Nature Embrace 2

Nature Embrace 2

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Giuseppe Sapori - Nature Embrace 2

I found this shot between my shots of my trip near Bolzano and Dolomites and Lake Carezza  was a pleasant surprise that I met along my way. I remember well that in that day my destination was not even lake Carezza but the Sass Pordoi, which is several kilometers further from this lake

Unfortunately that day I found the cable car to go inexplicably closed, with any explaination on the website, so I went back and I stopped here to take some shots. It was almost a fortune to have found the closed cable car, I would not have discovered this magical place

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I blended all exposures with the luminosity masks, then I made some color correction on the green and the yellow. I used dodge and burn to lighten the darker parts of the trees and increase highlights on the mountain. I stepped up lights and darks in the foreground area then I increased contrast

With TTS Fast Panel I launched high details and sharpen over the picture, I also used the panel to launch LAB Color that give to the mountains a touch of gold. After applied a orton effect to darken a bit and create a glow effect the last touch was to darken a little more the frame

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-90

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 15mm)

Five Exposures (-2; 0; +2)

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel


Frostbite Touch

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Giuseppe Sapori - Frostbite Touch

I took this picture at the lake Calaita in Trentino a few kilometers from Fiera di Primiero, lake Calaita is a small alpine lake is located in the upper Vanoi valley and is a spectacular balcony on the Pale of San Martino. The day that photograph this lake was not very cold, but the wind is channeled between the mountains was something of incredibly icy, I am not surprised that the lake was frozen, at the end of my shooting session though I was I covered much I had to spend a few minutes in the car to warm myself back  😀

I made several shots at sunset, using  focus stacking technique between the rocks and the mountain, I took with a very wide dynamic range since there was a strong contrast between the foreground and highlights

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I blended the exposures of lake Calaita with focus stacking to focus all the rocks and mountain in the frame, then I blended again the results images with luminosity masks. I correct the color cast then with TTS Fast Panel and I launched details and sharpen to increase them, finally I launched dodge and burn to increase the light around the stones and darken the images around them

With luminosity masks I decreased highlighs and I fixed light around the mountain, always with my panel I launched orton effect to increase the glow in the picture. With the help of hue/saturation I decreased some blue too much up, as the final touch I launched levels adjustment layer to fix the exposure in the frame. I hope you will find this information usefull, if you have any tips, write it as well. I always love to hear you 🙂

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Seven Exposures (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f/8

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel


Ascension

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giuseppe-sapori-ascension

Here we are in the new year with views of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. This picture is part of the images that I made last October during my trip on the place. I took this picture in the late afternoon after a long time under the Tre Cime waiting the best light. I realize this final image after different series of exposures including one where I put a finger in front of the lens to remove the lens flare that reverberated in the image 🙂

I was with a D90 rent by a friend and I made five bracketed exposures using before a bkt series (-1, 0, +1) and then a (-2, 0, +2) because the menu of  D90 will not take us longer than three bracketed exposures. However I was in the past a possessor of Nikon D90 and I not remember about it, D90 has proven a great camera, it has done a great job 🙂

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started as usual with the digital blending of the images using the luminosity masks, starting from the over exposed  that I gradually darkened on the foreground and the sky, I repeated the same thing for the other series of exposures made by placing the finger in front the sun to avoid lens flare. So I created two final images taken with a digital blending, one with the sun and one with my finger placed in front of it. I used this last to remove all reflections from the main picture having an image from the sunlight clean without reflections

I flatten all levels and started editing the picture mainly using camera raw, I lowered  the exposure, highlights and lights. With my panel I launched the luminosity masks and applied contrast using midtones 3 applied to curves and soft light. I launched the dodge and burn with whom I dodge some points of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo as areas illuminated by the sun in the foreground.

I launched the effects high details and sharpen to increase detail and sharpness. As a finishing touch I still got up the contrasts using the levels adjustment layer and created a small vignetting to enhance the viewer’s vision depth. I hope you find this information useful, if you have any tips, questions or advices leave a comment I am always proud to hear you

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-90

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

Six Exposures (-1; 0; +1) (-2; 0; +2)

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel


Chasing the Sun

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giuseppe-sapori-chasing-the-sun

 

In Agios Ioannis I probably take all my pictures of Skopelos, on my arrival I found a very cloudy day with threatening skies but also with the beautiful rays of light that filtered through the clouds. This is just one of the many shots that I did in Agios Ioannis Kastri, on this picture, I was on the shore of the beach before taking the walkway toward the top of the monastery

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

Starting from 5 exposures shots, I blend them using Luminosity Masks and TTS Fast Panel, I used all my exposures exept for the more brightest. After applied details and Orton Effect, I used Dodge and Burn tool to give some enhancements to the rocks and to the mountain. I adjusted the colors to the neutral values using hue/saturation filter, then I applied the LAB Color  to intensify the colors and emphasize the greens

However blues colors remained, very strong especially in the sky as well, with the “click and drag”  function present in hue/saturation filter I have reduced blues in the affected areas. I raised the central photo brightness and increased the contrast using midtones masks applied to the curves (select a midtones mask> curves> change the blending method in soft light). The final touch was to create a slight vignetting for intensifying the dark near the rocks and give more light the center of the frame by adding yet another contrast, this time to the entire image

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 100 at f/9

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel


Road to the Stars II

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Giuseppe Sapori - Road to the Stars 2

 

Although I still have several shots made in the plain of Campo Imperatore with some other landscapes and stars. But this will probably be the last of this series of Gran Sasso, to afford my personal goal to publish always my best pictures, and also not to bore you 🙂 This road is the other side of the road of my previous post, as you can see is going down and this side is the one that gets out and goes to the highway.

In this side of the road there’s not milky ( but it was behind me as the previous post), I really enjoyed the glow lights of the city reflected on the horn of the mountain to the left looking at the stars in the sky. The light pollution (if distant) are impressive favorably with those yellows contrasting with the colors of the blue of the night. In this photo I had fun playing on the flashes and colors of the lights in the distance to create a greater yellow effect.

 

TECHNICAL STUFF 

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Single Exposure

ISO: 3200 at f/2,8 – 30 sec

Software: Photoshop CC2015


Road to the stars

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Giuseppe Sapori - Road to the stars

We’re back on the Gran Sasso, this is the road that leads to the summit of the mountain to the valley of Campo Imperatore. I had stopped for some time with the car in this area and after shooting my main shot I started exploring different angles to find some other interesting spot.

I made this picture by a single shot taken at ISO 3200 f2.8 and 30 sec, I developed two different processing to the sky and to the foreground. At first I opened Camera Raw trying to set the correct values ​​to view all parts of the picture and saved the result. Than I opened the same image in Camera Raw setting values ​​of high contrast and  everything that could bring out the most of the beauty of the milky way. Open the two images as layers I then auto align them, with the help of layer masks I  replaced the first sky to the second. Other major initiatives were a dodge and burn to the colors of the Milky Way, sharpening, detail, contrast, noise reduction and LAB Coloring.

 

TECHNICAL STUFF 

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Single Exposure

ISO: 3200 at f/2,8 – 30 sec

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.

 

Schermata 2016-01-17 alle 13.29.00

Schermata 2016-01-04 alle 14.46.54

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.

 

 


Moonwalk

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Giuseppe Sapori - Moonwalk

Night shot taken in the valley of Campo Imperatore under the peaks of the Grand Sasso mountain. I realized this image in the following hours to that of my previous post. Unfortunately where I was previously, the mountains close me a full view of the milky way and clouds dirtied a little too much the landscape, I had to leave the beautiful location where I was standing near the lake and the Corno Grande, to follow the milky way to make it fully visible in a lower part of the mountain.

When I arrived at this place,  the moon was still high, so I waited for the sunset of the moon to see the most of all the milky way show. I create this image by two main shots, a exposure taken to the sky and a second for the foreground. I combined the two shots with the “Photomerge” funcion in Photoshop. For the sky shot I used an exposure time of 30 seconds and high ISO value. For the foreground, instead I used 4 minute long exposure time and less ISO  to bring brightness and visibility to the underlying stones.

 

TECHNICAL STUFF 

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

2 Exposures:

ISO: 2000 at f/2,8 for the sky

ISO 1600 at f/4 for the sky (280 sec.)

Software: Photoshop CC2015


The Heaven Mirror

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Giuseppe Sapori - The Heaven Mirror

Hello guys, first of all happy new year and lucky 2016 to everyone!! I decided to start this year with a series of shots taken at Gran Sasso during last autumn. It ‘a series of spectacular shots of all the magnificent nature that you can find those heights, including stars. I decided to start in chronological order from the first photo taken during sunset on the lake overlooking the tip of the big horn of Gran Sasso, a sight to leave speechless by the beauty, immersed in nature for hours it was also fun to see the wild horses and the ox that occasionally approached the lake to drink.

I made dozens of shots of this part, from the golden hour to finally get virtually the blue hour. The photographs taken during the golden hour were definitely the most fascinating in terms of colors, but the bright light of this hour restrained me to choose these shots, while the exposures taken during the blue hour were much more attractive but less marked with reflections. So I decided to  choose a series of exposures taken in the mid point of time, as lights and reflections that were the right measure.

To make the shot more interesting I chose to portray most foreground, rather than making an image somewhere between water and sky. This difference needed careful focus of rocks below than the horizon. For this reason I made a focus stacking on the rocks on the bottom and then toward the horizon to better frame the mountains and have an image that was both elements in focus. Until the latest shots, the top of the mountain was covered by clouds, only in the late clouds go away from Corno Grande. For this reason I show the mountain “discovery” from the clouds with a exposure that I had made a few minutes later, masking it with those previously results obtained from focus stacking

 

TECHNICAL STUFF 

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

ISO: 100 at f/11

3 Exposures (-1; 0; +1) stacked on the rocks

3 Exposures (-1; 0; +1) stacked on the horizon

1 Exposure for the mountain in the horizon

Software: Photoshop CC2015

 


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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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