I’ve been reading lately about the Brenizer method (something I’ve apparently been doing already, without knowing that’s what it’s called). Essentially, you take a bunch of photos of a still subject, then stitch them together into one image. The resulting panorama will have the depth-of-field (ie, background blur) of a single photo taken with a much, much wider lens.
The image above is made up of 38 photos, each taken using a 50mm lens, wide open at f/1.8. I stitched the photos together using hugin, an open-source panorama creator.
The resulting image was 12,000×15,000 pixels, which is huge. I shrank it down to 2000×1600 or so to upload it here.
It’s not a perfect result: there’s a definite change in colour above and to the right of the bike, and if you zoom in you can see some ghosting in the handlebars and body.
But the image—taken, remember, with a 50mm f/1.8 lens—has an effective focal length of about 16mm and an aperture of f/0.6. There’s… there’s no way I would afford an f/0.6 lens.
Here’s a single photo, taken from way further back, of the bike. Ignore the difference in colour—the clouds kept coming and going, and I shot for sunlight instead. But look at the trees in the background. They’re way less soft than the ones in the Brenizer photo above.