The Flight

The Flight

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Giuseppe Sapori - The flight

This is one of many beautiful views that can be seen from the city walls of Dubrovnik, what you see in the distance is Fort Lovrijenac, a stronghold of the sea famous for its plays and importance in resisting Venetian rule, it overshadows the two entrances to the city, from the sea and by land.  Fort Lovrijenac was als a important location of the TV Series Games of Thrones On the right you can see parts of the walls almost completely refurbished and in very good condition, the full tour allows you to do a lot of good pictures between sea and city views.

I climbed the walls around 5.30 pm in order to have time to do the full tour and at the same time benefit from a favorable sunset light for photos, in this case the misfortune to have had the bad weather in the days of Dubrovnik proved providential having the opportunity to photograph beautiful cloudy sky. I took this picture freehand leaning from the walls to catch as much as possible the sea and the Fort Lovrijenac, I made 5 shots but I used only 4, the last was too overexposed.

 

TECHNICAL STUFF 

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 100 at f/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2015


The Last Light

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Giuseppe Sapori - The last light

The beach of Maiori during sunset, I took this picture in the few moments of light available before the sundown, it was beginning to be dark when I found a small pier looking out to sea, there was only a fisherman just ahead. I placed a few meters before him shooting towards the Gulf of Amalfi, the sea was very much moved and several times I had to clean the lens from a few sketches that even at a distance came on my lens.

However not being the owner of an ND filter I took this photo only using a slower shutter speed and a good exposure compensation, I have to say that I am very satisfied of the final results but all the credits go to the sunset cause I was helped by the little lights remainings which allowed me the fog effect in the water. With Photoshop I tried to step up the contrasts, the details on the rocks and further blur to the water, specially in the central part of the image

 

TECHNICAL STUFF 

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Five Shots (-2; -1; 0; +1; +2) with around -2,5 sec. exposure compensation

ISO: 100 at f/8

Software: Photoshop CC2015


Coastal Sunset

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Giuseppe Sapori - Coastal Sunset

It follows the serie of photos taken in Amalfi during my stay in the beautiful Amalfi Coast . This is a landscape of the top watching Amalfi touched by the setting sun. To Give Some landmark is simply treats the other side from my latest post. As in the previous photo I take a series of exposures before coming down to Amalfi town when the sunset ends

 

TECHNICAL STUFF 

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2015


Amalfi coast

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Giuseppe Sapori - Amalfi

 

This is the famous Amalfi coast, framed on the way to Amalfi, definitely my favorite shot in this part of south Italy. I took this picture after taking some shots at the port, as in my latest post. I started to go up on the Amalfi coast  by walk (which in the meantime was swarming with cars whizzing fast), to reach a first top where you could admire the beautiful Amalfi Coast in all its glory. I have been in this spot for about 20 minutes taking photos during different times of the Amalfi coast seascape during the golden hour.

When I go home I select the exposures taken in the first part of my take because they had a shade of yellow and the most characteristic colors than the other.  In Photoshop I used  my actions Luminosity Masks to do manual blend, my other actions to add, details, sharpen, orton effect and lab color.

 

TECHNICAL STUFF 

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2015

 


Twelve Sides of Gold

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Giuseppe Sapori - Twelve sides of Gold

This is the Seville Tower of Gold (in Spanish Torre del Oro) is one of the landmarks of the city, the whole area surrounding the tower is a belvedere through Guadalquivir river. The river banks are a nice walk with bicycle lanes, a bridge overlooking the river where it can be admired a landscape of the city flanked by the tower. The Tower of Gold is composed of twelve sides and 36 meters high is an important symbol for the people of Seville, the story has it that a result of the Lisbon earthquake, the tower was badly damaged and on that occasion the Marquis de Monte Real we proposed the demolition to widen the adjacent street but, in the face of strong opposition from the local population, the idea of ​​the demolition was abandoned. I planned this photo after a small scout of the area, having seen the bridge in fact, my first idea was to photograph the tower from the bridge, but did not offer the view I was hoping for… So I went down to the base of the bridge where I found the picture you see, the bar on the right with a little muddy foregroud, riverside and the beautiful tower of gol in the background was exactly the composition I was looking for.

When I take these shots I take exposures for the foreground and for the tower, to have all the images needed to apply a bracketed focus stacking. (for any clarification there’s a tutorial here). So 3 exposures to focus on the part of the foreground and 3 other exposures to focus properly the tower, I combined them with photomerge and then proceed to the traditional interventions with Photoshop. That’s all!

 

TECHNICAL STUFF 

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1;) for the foreground

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1;) for the highlights

ISO: 200 at f/8

Software: Photoshop CC2015


Tutorial: Bracketed Landscape with Focus Stacking

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The technique of the Focus Stacking consists in taking a series of pictures gradually changing the focus between the one and the other; being processed will join the shots, taking advantage of each image only those parts that appear to be in focus. In landscape photography the main rule is to focus all the elements of the foreground and take some exposure for the sky or highlights.

When i was at the lake in Campo Imperatore I shot a large number of exposures to focus on all the rocks it was, sky and mountain. When I go home indeed I realized that I really need only one of the exposures for the foreground, and only one of exposures for the mountain, focus stack all the rocks one by one in this case was not so necessary, cause the focus was pratically the same for each rock. I did not think about it 🙂

So in this tutorial I will show you how to apply focus stacking in a foregrounded landscape using Bracketing mode and how I use other exposures for my final image.

 

Shooting and preparing the images

I took a series of exposures bracketed images ( -1 , 0, +1 ) for the rocks in the foreground and an additional bracketed series of shots focusing the mountain set on ∞  ( -1 , 0 + 1 ).

Added to this, there is another shot that I took in the late evening to replace the mountain covered by clouds. For a total of 7 exposures.

ESEMPIO

ESEMPIO1

I take all the shots using tripod, ISO 100 and f/11

Below all the steps I do that show you  how to focus stack and how to make a blend with additional exposure

 

Stacking and Auto Blending

1. Launch Lightroom and select all the stack images.

2. Right Click on the images selected. Develop settings>Sync Settings

3. Adjust for all the stacked images,  distortion,  white balance, contrast ecc…

4. Right Click again and select Edit In > Open as Layers in Photoshop

5. Select all the layers and Go to Edit>Auto-Align Layers, with settings as follow:

Schermata 2016-01-04 alle 14.42.23

6.  Regroup layers by exposure.

For a 2 series of bracketing (-1; 0 +1) x 2 I had 2 overexposed, 2 correct and 2 underexposed images.

Schermata 2016-01-17 alle 13.17.36

 

7. Highlight images by group and blend them, Edit>Auto-Blend Layer like below:

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Photoshop will blend the highlighted images creating a layer mask for each image, to show in white the sharp and in black the hidden areas. Select this layers and merge them.

 

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Theese three images are now a “Bracketed Focus Stacked Series”, you can now edit them with Photoshop as you do with a normal bracketing series.  I usually edit theese shots using Luminance Masks to select all the brights and shadows I need without affecting the entire picture in order to create a final quality image.

 

Exposure Blend

Remember the seventh exposure that I said at the beginning? I’ve taken it just before leaving the location, cause I had seen that the mountain began to discover from the clouds. In that picture I had masked only this part of the mountain without affecting the sky.

1. Put the new layer at the top, and auto align again with Edit>Auto-Align Layers

2. Create layer mask and click (Ctrl+I; PC) or (Cmd+I MAC) to invert it

3. Select now a white brush and paint in the areas of the sky that you want to blend in

4. Press( Ctrl+E; PC) or (Cmd+E; MAC) to merge layers

Schermata 2016-01-17 alle 14.48.55 Schermata 2016-01-17 alle 14.50.16

 

Conclusions

The final question is “How many images do I need, and where should they be focused?”

The answer depends on what your scene looks like and what effect you’re trying to achieve.

At a minimum, you need to have each scene element you need be sharp, at least one (or a series of bracketing shots)

Sometimes you can do that by focusing specifically on each element you care about. For example in presence of many close-up elements in the foreground, ( leafs, flowers and other things that wind can move). In this case take many exposure as for the element you need.

 

 


The Shelter

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Giuseppe Sapori - The Shelter

In September I started exploring some areas looking for a place to photograph the Milky Way, since I had time until October to see it. So I start explore the area of Gran Sasso – Abruzzo an afternoon in late September located in Campo Imperatore where is an astronomical observatory. In the plain of Campo Imperatore it’s possible to admire a beautiful view of the mountains, the other ( behind my shot ) is located  the astronomical observatory and the Hotel Campo Imperatore, red coloured to be visible during the harsh winters of snow. During my tour, I scoured log cabins that serve the explorers to shelter from the cold during the crossings and this is one of those, A peaceful, greeny mountain landscape, il the result.

I shot 5 exposures for this picture, but I’ve only used 3, starting from the darker one. Indeed  the light was still too high and usually shooting always times close at dusk, so I started using the underexposed image using the others to bring up on light and detail. In this image I used the color lookup function to give greater emphasis to the greens and shades of sky.

 

TECHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

ISO: 100 at f/6,3

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

Software: Photoshop CC2015


The Blackout

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Giuseppe Sapori - The Blackout

Series of exposures taken in the island of Ios, I can not tell exactly what place I retracting in this landscape, but what you see on the other side of the mountain is a sunset, harbour direction. I started taking these shots in the late sunset and continued in the following time. For this image I created a series of 7 shots in various moments of the evening, manually merged to get the final result, for longer exposures I used a 2 minutes time around. Benefited from the low-light town, in the highest exposures I managed to capture some passing star 🙂

I worked very much on colours, contrasts, and details, using longer exposures to the sky and to lighten the foreground which at times was too dark.

 

TECHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

ISO: 100 at f/6,3 – iso 1600 at/f2,8

Seven Shots

Software: Photoshop CC2015


New moon

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Giuseppe Sapori - New Moon

I took this sunset in the pacific island of Ios, during my stay on the island some people indicated me this place as the best to take pictures at sunset. This is a local front-terraced sunset, cocktail bar where you can spend a few hours during the day also in the pool. Single shot with suspended man in the air  and new moon in the background 🙂

 

TECHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

ISO: 100 at f/8

Single Shot

Software: Photoshop CC

 


Oia Sunset

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Giuseppe Sapori - Oia Sunset

The famous as beautiful sunset in Oia, Santorini. Personally, the most beautiful sunset and exciting I’ve ever photographed, not surprisingly, the place in August was very full of people everywhere over each other trying to capture a sunset. To take this shot I come on my place around 3 hours before, around the sun goes down I was surrounded by hundred people 🙂

To figure out how many people were in the village of Oia just look carefully along the streets of the village, you will notice a human chain along the entire route of the roads. Once at home I made a very big job of editing on this picture. I wanted a wide photo but with a little more defined to the village and in the center, so I decided to make a partial crop to focus more towards the center and remove part of the walls of the houses that were within the frame. But the main difficulty was to eliminate and reduce the visual impact of the hundreds of people who had in the frame, in addition to the elimination of antenna that I was in front and I could not erase in any way except with Photoshop. From thecomparison you can better understand what I mean

TECHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

ISO: 100 at f/8

Single Shot

Software: Photoshop CC

 


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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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