Author Archives: Giuseppe Sapori

The Valley of Dreams Pt. 2

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Also this photo was taken in the same location of my last post. I’m still talking about the Valley of the Ferriere located near the beautiful harbor town of Amalfi. On the path that climbs through a valley full of all natural beauty there are many waterfalls  and this is one of those that I found along my way

In particular it was a very narrow stream that flowed down, it caught my attention. It was difficult to find a good position to capture the scene since I could not get too close because of the splashes of water came decided on my filter screen and not too far to not compromise the composition

I used a -6 stop ND filter to smooth the water, compared to the previous photo where in all the shots I’ve done I never exceeded 30 seconds in this shot I had exposure times even longer than 2 minutes, I was in a dense thicket and the light that filtered was very low. Shutter speed for this photo is 120 seconds



 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started using two exposure, not to made a digital blend but to save trees and leafs from movement. As always I used luminosity masks to decrease the lights around the water and softner the white effect of the long exposure. With my panel I launched details to boost of all them, launched also orton effect beacause I like this effect in all waterfall shots 🙂

Using dodge and burn tool I lightened the darker parts of the wood and I increased light on the direction of the sunrays. With a yellow brush I colored some part of the rocks reducing the opacity and setting the layer as soft ligth, in this way I intensified the yellow color on the rocks with a softner effect. I fixed contrast with luminosity masks reducing the effect decreasing the opacity. Also here I created a small vignette but increasing the bright of the image

I hope you will find this post usefull. I always love to ear this from you!

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 22mm)

Long Exposure for 120′

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Fast Panel

 


The Valley of Dreams

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That’s right, the valley of dreams! is not really called in this way but it is a dream place for all nature lovers here! I’m talking about the Valley of the Ferriere that is located in the town of Amalfi, it is reached with about an hour walk with a walking path  inside of the town. Inside the valley there are many small waterfalls, rivers of all kinds and above all many lemon trees 🙂

Time ago this area was full of mills as evidenced by the ruins in the valley, It is a very interesting place to immerse yourself in nature and to add to the sea of Amalfi also a part of hiking. During the path inside the Valley of Ferriere I found this small waterfall that although it was not very high had a considerable and very strong water flow

Using a maximum time of 30 seconds shot and with the help of an ND1000 I reached a very smooth water without using a very long exposure time. I made several shots even vertically but in the end I preferred this view that had less foreground but immerses more in the context of the context, do not you think?

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I used a single shot for this, I started using the luminosity masks action to reduce lights around the waterfall and to increase darks on the shadows.  I used TTS Fast Panel to launch all my luminosity masks and to use high details to push up all the details in this frame. I launched orton effect to create a soft look around the waterfall, reducing the darker effect on the darker area using layer mask

I increased the yellow colors using a warm filter applied to luminosity masks. Using as always dodge and burn  to fix some strongly darks areas and to darken some overexposed part of the water. Also used back luminosity masks applied to curves to fix contrasts and lights again

In the final steps I reduce the luminosity of the whole picture and I added a small vignette to create a dark mood look

As always I hope you will find this informations usefull. I’m always happy to ear it from you!

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 20mm)

Long Exposure for 30′

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Fast Panel


Coast to Coast

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With this post I connect last week image, Nightlight to show you another picture from the beautiful Amalfi coast, in particular this was taken the following day on the road that leads  Amalfi to Atrani town. The colors and the landscape that you can admire in this spot is very interesting and I never lose the opportunity to take this picture every time I’m here, the most attentive of you will in fact know that I took the same picture in the past 🙂

Even here the road certainly does not give easy moments to take pictures, being a very tight road you must always pay attention to cars moving on the road (especially buses).  Is a very nice place but not really quiet to stand in the middle of the road with the tripod. Fortunately, the road is always very busy and cars are often in traffic, this not allows to the cars to go faster

In this Amalfi spot I captured several long exposures, I wanted to have the effect of movement of the sky and the sea, I did some test shots before without filter to set the values and to save the leaves in the lower left corner, the strong wind of this spot moved them all the time and I wanted to make sure I could intervene later

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I blended the long exposure with the normal exposure to save the leafs on the left. The wind moved the leaves and in the long exposure them results blurry, with this method I have limited the damages, not easy to edit because on the back there was the smooth sea but I managed something. Anyway I used luminosity masks to fix the lights and darks, I reduce the strong highlights on the back of the mountain and I pushed up the darkness of the foreground rocks

I incrased contrasts and I used dodge and burn to darken the middle rock and to lighten the sea breaking on the coast. With TTS Fast Panel I launched high details and orton effect to smooth the effect and to create a soft dreamy look. To begin edit the colors I started fixing color cast reducing the opacity on the result, than I increased the yellow colors using this techniques, reducing again the highlights in the sky. Latest passages was to darken a bit the whole frame and add a small purple look using camera raw

I always hope you will find this usefull. I love to ear this from you!

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 24mm)

Long Exposure for 30′

ISO: 100 at f/13

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Fast Panel

 

 

 


Nightlight

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I founded an exciting twilight light that day in Amalfi, together with a very strong wind on the cliff where I was to photograph the city. Amalfi coast view is one of the most beautiful in Italy and the city is located in the heart of this location, although it is not easy to move and walk along a very narrow road crammed with vehicles of all kinds (it is the only way to get there) with patience and paying max attention you can walk some paths in the rocks or on the coast that allow you to find beautiful views to admire

The whole area of ​​the Amalfi coast is subject to many sudden changes of the weather, probably due to the fact that the mountains above the coast are very close to the sea, the currents are often strong and sun and clouds and rains are very easily alternated, but it is easy to find very interesting skies like this

About this picture I take some long exposure shots, to try to have the sea softer but at the same time I did not want to lose the sky of that color so dark and mysterious. I shot several long exposures with various time from shorter to longer exposures, although I had taken all kinds of precautions I could not avoid that some photos being moved… anyway I stayed a while and in the end I managed to capture several shots that I could use for what I had in mind

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

Since I use the digital blending on my photos I have combined the exposures of the sky with those of the sea, in order to obtain from that images what I needed. I applied contrast to luminosity masks to control midtones, darks and light contrast individually. All my use of luminosity masks here was applied to curves to fix lights and darks around the sky and sea

I applied details using TTS Fast Panel and with the same plugin I launched  dodge and burn to increase luminosity on the darker parts of the rocks. I launched  a slightly orton effect with a low percentile opacity is an effect that I always like to put in my images when I can. I also use sharpening tool in my panel this time because I wanted to notice the edges on the mountain and best details on the houses. As final passages I darkened the image a bit on the sea adding a small vignette to the frame.

I always hope you will find this usefull. I love to ear this from you!

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 16mm)

2 Long exposure shots

ISO: 100 at f/8

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Fast Panel

 


Little Amalfi

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Also this year I decided to return to this beautiful Italian town and admire the beauties of the Amalfi coast. In this area I love the magnificent view of the cliff, the scent of lemons, the sea and the good cuisine of the area. This is absolutely one of my favourite places ever visited among beautiful panoramas, place to visit, architecture, culture and food i never get bored here

Amalfi and the Amalfi Coast offer numerous photographic spots and also the conditions for shooting are often optimal thanks to the alternation between rain and sun that often insists in the area

Coming to the photo I moved away from the center of Amalfi to take a postcard of the city, that day it was raining but I managed to find a way to protect the camera, what I have done is a long exposure using a ND64 and a ND8 filters both mounted, where I included the mobility of boats, sky and sea with the staticity of the coast

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I edited this long exposure as a single shot, but as usual I used luminosity masks to edit lights, darks and midtones. I fixed the color cast in the image giving a more blue look, using a cold filter applied to the highlights and to the shadows. With dodge and burn I fixed some part of the frame hard to edit even with luminosity masks

With TTS Fast Panel  I launched details and orton effect , than I fixed contrast using midtones applied to darks masks. With lights masks I increased the highlights in the sky and lightened the houses, I also increased the colors of the houses using LAB Color and hue/saturation tool. The final steps was fixing the perspective of the frame and cutting the image that included an additional piece of foreground

I hope you will find this usefull. I’m always happy to ear it from you!

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 18mm)

Single Shot for 91′ sec

ISO: 100 at f/9

Software: Photoshop CC2018

 


The Complete Guide To Long Exposure Photography

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Car trails, water like silk, milky way, startrais and moving objects: These are just some of the uses that can be made with long exposure photography

Long Exposure Photography is a photographic technique that has become very popular during the lasts years. This kind of photography technique uses long shutter speed times to exalt every feature of the passage of time…  but this is not all, in fact long exposure photography is what allows each photographer to free their creativity

The basics of Long Exposure Photography is the Shutter Speed and  the amount of time the camera’s shutter is open, in long exposure photography, photographers uses low shutter speed, this means that the camera registers anything that moves while the shutter is open. More this time is long more the camera will record

 

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED FOR LONG EXPOSURE PHOTOGRAPHY

Long Exposure Phtography needs few things to purchase before start. Some of them are not essential but are highly recommended for the best result of long exposure photography

– A Dsrl Camera with manual mode

– Tripod

– Shutter Release

– ND Filters

 

Tripod

With the camera is the essential requirement of long exposure. Without the tripod it would be impossible to do anything that does not have a high shutter speed, for this reason I always recommend to spend some extra money and invest in a good tripod with a good load capacity and mobility. It will be a very important purchase for every landscape photographer not only for the use of long exposure

Shutter Release

It ‘a very recommended accessory to avoid interacting with the fingers on the Camera to avoid unwanted vibrations, in fact especially on very long exposures is a usefull accessory to avoid having to press the button continuously during the bulb mode and in general to work in cleaner way. For some types of long exposure such as startrails it is a essential accessory. Today they are instruments that have a low cost and with some extra money you can buy triggers with very advanced functions. For example, I use the Pluto Trigger which allows many applications and greatly facilitates the shooting phase in the long exposure

ND Filters

ND filters are very helpfull in Long Exposure Photography requirement, they will change in better the final result, imagine that you can lengthen the shooting time at your convenience and so you can capture beyond the possibilities offered by sunlight, this is exactly what do ND filters do. They are very useless to take a long exposure in daytime or extend your time for long exposure

Anyway there are many ND filters various types, screwed or square with many variations, from the cheapest to the most expensive. Now I am currently using square filters because is the only ND possible for my wide angle lens, in Long Exposure Photography this is the lens that I use most does for my 24-70 I use a  screw-on filter. Square filters are on average more expensive but they allow greater versatility of the others because they can be used more than one at the same time

What about ND filter stops? currently I have a 3-6 and 10 stops that correspond to the strength of the filter, more stop the filter has, more it will be able to lower the exposure. For example, I use the 10 stop for very long exposures and when I need to firmly lower the solar light while I use the other two filters essentially at sunset or with a lower illumination. This setting of ND square filters gives me a lot of versatility besides the possibility of using them at the same time and therefore adapting to many situations

 

SHOOTING LONG EXPOSURE

After seeing what is the necessary equipment to make a long exposure we pass with the analysis of all the main measures to take a long exposure. Since long exposure photography can have different applications, in this article I will talk about long exposure applied to what I do most like for example a landscape. In long exposure photography it is particularly important to have in mind the final result, what we want to achieve. If our intent is to take a waterfall, a sky with moving clouds or the sea with silk effect we should take a series of measures depending on what we have to photograph. So let’s start by seeing all the necessary steps and the main measures to efficiently achieve a long exposure



Study the location

It’s the first thing to do, study and scouting the location is the rule to get the perfect shot. Usually to find out some sites, how to reach them and how they take a look at first glance to google maps but in the long exposure many things change. You have to keep in mind the composition of the photo, understand whether, insert or not some objects that could moving, this can be of decisive importance for you shot. The movement is the one that most distinguishes this phase, the more you take it into the clearer you will have the work to do for the final result

Wheater

Another important component that significantly affects the final result of the long exposure is precisely characterized by the weather. Obviously, even here a lot depends on what you intend to photograph, for example if you are in a forest to photograph a waterfall no matter if there will be many clouds in the sky because they will not fit in your frame but in general weather conditions with clouds and wind are to be preferred in long exposure photography because they enhance the characteristics of this technique. A look at the weather should always be given in every kind of photography, particular attention deserve rainy days at sunset where it usually stops raining and the sky opens up giving incredible colors

Compose the image

The goal of composing the image is to give the viewer more elements in a landscape is what captures the attention and characterizes the most. Getting this is not always simple, you must try to never be too trivial bearing in mind what is our final goal. Compose the image of a long exposure is perhaps the most beautiful and most interesting part, we should understand what is the part that most interests us in the photo to catch it. It is closely related to the following two points

Set the Focus

When I wrote the article 10 tips to improve your landscape photos  inside one of the points is manual focus. Basically the same applies here too with a clarification, if you use filters you must clearly focus before you put the filter on the lens otherwise we will not see anything. Therefore, before you compose and shoot your image, I strongly recommend using manual focus using the live view function to zoom in, using manual focus is very important to capture sharpen images

Test Shot

Set the Camera on Manual mode (I also use Aperture mode for less than 30′ long exposures). Set the aperture between f/8 and f/13 and take the “Test Shot”. You need to reach a correct exposure shot, check the histogram to see if the light is correct, avoid to see only the display, it is too bright and it can make you wrong. To check if the histogram is correct try to take a shot that it stand approximately on central values, there are not a universally correct histogram but if it looks too much on the right or on the left the image is too bright or too dark

Once the test shot is successful, appoint the shutter speed you used for that shot. Making test shots is also important to understand the shooting parameters, if we use filters, in fact, once mounted, you have to understand which values corresponded and go by trial can waste you time. For this reason there are several apps to do this, for example Long Exposure calculator  is one of this

Remove the Camera Strap

This is a passage that many people do not consider but that I have actually understood over time that this can really make the difference. Imagine being in an extremely windy place, the vibrations that the wind causes on your camera strap can cause it to bang repeatedly and violently against the camera and affect the quality of your long exposure. When I photographed the north coast of Spain there was a wind so strong it moved all my equipment away. Removing the camera strap could not be a fast operation and that’s why I moved to an easy removable camera strap

Now I am using the Cross Shot Breathe  strap camera by Blackrapid, which allows me to have an excellent camera strap that does not load the weight of the camera on the neck but on the shoulders, is equipped with adjustable length that allows you to adjust it according to your own height and have your camera easily at your fingertips

The camera strap I am using allows a combination with an important accessory the FastenR Tripod that allows you to hook the camera directly to the tripod plate in this way you can easily switch from the shoulder strap to the tripod by removing the strap camera and very quickly

Take the Long exposure

Finally it’s time to shoot, with the mode set at first you only have to resume your long exposure but I want to repeat what are the basic parameters of the long exposure. Manual on Bulb mode, Iso 100, opening values ​​between f8 and f13 (of course it all depends on what we want to photograph)

Usually a long exposure to really be such requires long shutter speeds, so we will hardly be under 30′ time for which the camera switch in Bulb mode. Using a remote shutter or camera trigger is important for this and avoid being glued to the camera with the risk of a blurred image. For this reason as I mentioned above I use Pluto Trigger which is a smart remote shutter, with Pluto Trigger many functions are facilitated through the mobile control and offers a series of other applications for startrail, HDR, Time Lapse in an easy and intuitive way

 

Pluto Trigger has also the Smart Sensor function that uses the sensor in your mobile to activate the camera for shooting. The accessory is small and light and you can easily attach it to the flash slide, whereas other triggers that I used required a slot on the tripod because otherwise it does not know where to keep them

Final words

The most beautiful part of long exposure photography is certainly to admire the final result, it is very fun to make it. But we need to consider all the aspects before starts.  Long exposure photography requires great precision, in fact instead of take the usual number of photos, we will take a few photos with long time exposure.  This means  to keep in mind the passage of time that the long exposure photography affects to the light conditions, especially during golden hour and blue hour light change quickly and with shots long even 200/300 seconds you will not have the time to try to make the same shot. All these parameters to check and speed of execution require practice over time and clear ideas, so all the best thing is to put everything into practice and make you ready when you need it

 


The Eternal Sunset

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For my opinion this is one of the most representative and fascinating sights of Rome, it captures all the essence of its daytime activity in the middle between everyday life and the timeless charm of the eternal city. This is perhaps my favorite spot in Rome, it is very representative of the city, beautiful and colorful at sunset. From this spot it’s possible to capture many elements including the dome of San Pietro and the river Tevere flowing down

I’m talking about the location of Sant’Angelo bridge, a photographic spot that contains at least other  3 spots inside, from here it is possible to shoot towards the dome of St. Peter as you see in this picture, go down on the banks of the Tevere to take the castle from below or with a little patience and many tourists in less do the front view of the castle 🙂

This photo dates back to last week where I decided to go here to do some test shots with some equipment I recently received, to test the products. The fact is that probably that was the windiest and coldest day of the year and on that bridge to photograph I literally froze 🙂

But finally we come to talk about the photo, for the first time I shot this part of Rome with a medium-distance lens my sigma 24-70 for the occasion mounted on my camera between the bars at the bottom of the bridge. Usually I took this picture with a wide angle, this is the first time that the first time I take a closer shot and I must say that I prefer to a wider view. The first floor on this part of the city is very fascinating for me

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I start as usually blendind the images using luminosity masks, obtained the base shot I used clon stamp tool to remove some dust spot and some other little unwanted element in the picture. Using TTS Fast Panel  I launched high details effect to increase all the details in the picture, removing the effect on the water flow in the foreground.

Always using my panel and with the use of luminosity masks I applied contrast to the curves on midtones and darks to create a specific contrast per area. With orton effect I created a soft look of glow in the frame. Using a cold filter I increased the blue hour colors in the sky applying at the same time a warm filter to mediate the effect, I also used dodge and burn effect around the Tevere bridges and the lightings of the city, to decrease/increase luminosity selectively, in particular some points like the tree and other dark parts were very difficult to lighten even using darks luminosity masks

I always hope you will find this usefull. I’m happy to ear it from you!

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Sigma 24-70mm f/2,8 (Shot at 70mm)

Five Shots (-2; -1; 0; +1 +2)

ISO: 100 at f/8

Software: Photoshop CC2018

 


Tuscany Dream

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Hello everyone, waiting for the next trip at the end of this month I propose for my week photo another of  my past photos, in this case one of my favorite destinations. In particular we are talking about the Val d’Orcia, a splendid place, a UNESCO world heritage that I always visit with great pleasure

Every time I go to Tuscany and Val d’Orcia a passage in the notorious chapel of Vitaleta is a must. Among the times that I went, this take was surely the one with the better conditions and colorfull sky . I remember that I had gone for a walk around the neighborhood of San Quirico d’Orcia looking for the Vitaleta chapel until I could see with the corner of my eye this little church in the middle of the valley. I found it I told to myself!

So I started to look to follow the road until I was in a barred country path where it was impossible to proceed with the car. Leaving the car there I continued on foot for about 15 minutes of walking. I always love to come here, it’s nice to admire the Tuscany hills in this place and find a place so characteristic to take pictures

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I blended the images using luminosity masks, I fixed color cast using auto adjust and decreasing the opacity to create a mix between the warm original color and the blue of the fix. I Increased vibrance in the sky to create more colors. I added contrast applied to luminosity masks to better use it on the foreground and the sky

With TTS Fast Panel I increased details reducing the effect on the sky. With dodge and burn I darkened the foreground and lightened the front part of the trees. I also used orton effect to create a soft look on the sky. As final touch I brighten the view of the chapel and the stones on the foreground adding a soft vignette to the frame

I hope you will find this information usefull. I love to ear this from you!

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 14mm)

Three Shots (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2018

 


Bled

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Hi guys here we are as usual with the appointment of the weekly photo. As you could easily imagine I finished photos to edits 🙂 and thanks to the bad weather and many seasonal illness I have not succeded to shot anything new. This is why today I also propose a photo from my archive of photos taken from the past 🙂

In this case we are talking about Lake Bled, a magical and beautiful place that I recommend everyone to visit at least once. Lake Bled is located in Slovenia, not far from Lubjiana, it can be reached by car in about an hour and a half from the highway and the whole area offers many other important places to visit and for excursions. I take this photo  in 2013 with my old Camera when I went on the island of the lake by rowing boat (it is one of the attractions of the place)

I hope to find time one day to come back here in Bled again, and take pictures with my new equipment soon! In the meantime I look forward to leaving for my new trip at the end of March,  for the location at the moment I  want to keep it secret … 🙂

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

This is a single exposure shot, I fixed lights and darks using luminosity masks, with TTS Fast Panel I launched details and dodge and burn to increase details and brighten some part of the frame, specially around the bushes of the island

With a brush with soft light effect I incrased slighly yellows in the sky to give a soft look of drama in the sky. Always using luminosity masks, I increased contrast applying midtones excluing darks to curves layer. If you use my panel you can easily do this selecting  midtones 3 and subtracting by this, a dark layer pressing ALT keyboard and pushing on darks 2. After this if you lauch curves layer you could move only the specific selection of this and add contrast better

Last two passages was to decrease the lights in the sky and add a small vignette to create a dark mood to the image

As hope you will find this information usefull. I love to ear this from you!

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-90

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 14mm)

Single exposure

ISO: 100 at f/13

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel

 

 

 


Hide and Seek

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Hi everyone, this is an old find inside a folder of photos taken years ago in the Regional Park of Gran Sasso. What we see is the Corno Grande, the highest peak in the Apennine range

I love this place, it is natural wild, sometimes inhospitable and above all very quiet, at the sight of the mountain overlooking the whole valley below and is completely different from the rest of the landscape. I recommend everyone to take a trip around here if you do not know Abruzzo is a milestone for photography enthusiasts and is just over an hour’s drive from Rome

I captured this photo with my old nikon 18-105 and I got the image from 3 bracketing shots at sunset while I waited for the sun to start taking some photos to the stars

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I discarted the overexposed picture and I merged the two shots using luminosity masks, I used lights applied to curves to fix lighting, always using the masks I reduced darks and adjusted contrast in the frame. With the use of TTS Fast Panel I increased details and applied a soft orton effect



I corrected colors using auto adjust, then I decreased the effect reducing the opacity. With a soft dodge and burn I recover the exposure in the darker part of the mountain and increased the colors around the Corno Grande. I reduced a bit the noise I increased the lights behind the mountain, after I decreased the light in the whole frame to make a more dark look and create more atmoshphere

As always I hope you will find this info usefull. I’m always happy to ear it from you!

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 18-105mm f/3,5 (Shot at 34mm)

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel

 


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Hi, my name is Giuseppe Sapori, a professional photographer and author of this website, created by yours truly to show my work and share with you the techniques I use. My expertise is in the field of Landscape Photography... (Read More)

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