Cross of the Alps

Cross of the Alps

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I took this picture on the way back from Locatelli Refuge,  the sun was setting and the colors began to be warmer. I found this little chapel with the sunset behind and mountains to the side, a truly beautiful scene to photograph.The chapel  is the Cappella degli Alpini and is easily findable on google map complete with street view 🙂  The photo is the result of a digital blending of 3 bracketed shots that will show as usual as I worked below

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started with the three shots working them with uminosity masks, starting from the image clearer and gradually darkening the sky. I used the dodge and burn tool to lighten some part of the foreground and the mountain and I made some color correction to adjust sunset colours

After give more details and sharpen to the frame using TTS Fast Panel, I added some contrast using curves applied to midtone masks. With hue/saturation I lovered some blues on the top of the sky and as the last touch I added some little more contrast manually. For save the image for web I used this guide

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-90

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

Four Exposures (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f/7.1

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel


Counterparts

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Sunset at Tre Cime of Lavaredo, I took this photo on the way back from the refuge Locatelli, in a lucky day of October where there was a beautiful and warm weather. This side view is just one of hundreds of pictures I took during sunset and is the result of a vertical stitch between the foreground and the Tre Cime peaks. Since my D-800 was broken and I was with a d90, and thankfully :), I tried to expand the visual field and give more depth to the image, I take 3 bracketed shots for the Tre Cime and 3 for the foreground

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

This time instead of stitching the images before the digital blending I did it as first thing of the mountains and then of the foreground, only later did I sticth, this is because by doing the stitching before the images alignment was bad. The digital blending of the images was done with luminosity masks launched from my panel that i suggest to download it even if you didn’t

Starting frome the blended image, I applied and worked dodge and burn the mountains and foreground. I intensified the sunset colors using the brush method that you can find in this guide, and launched orton effect to add a glow effect to the photo.

With the help of luminosity masks i added some contrast applying curves to darks 3 masks and changing the blending mode to soft light. Final interventions was adding more details, with high details filter into TTS Fast Panel, a small vignette effect and a bit more contrast using levels

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-90

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

Four Exposures (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel


Nature Embrace

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Lake Carezza near Bolzano was a pleasant surprise that I met along my way. It is a small alpine lake located in the Val d’Ega, about 25 km from Bolzano. It is nestled between thick forests of trees and is located under the massive of Latemar, which is reflected in its crystal clear water. Lake Carezza is known for its beautiful colors and why people who lives in this place call it the “rainbow lake”

The entire circumference of the lake is surrounded by a fence, and the lake is located a few meters below this. It ‘a beautiful lake to admire but very difficult to photograph, in fact any shot does not do it justice. During my shots I have sought to emphasize the reflections that were in the water and the massive Latemar which stood in the background, but it took me long to find an interesting spot from where shoot 🙂

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

As I said in my previous post, I was with a D90, so I could not take more than 3 bracketed shots, so I chose to take a series (-1, 0 + 1) and (-2, 0, +2) separate. With Photoshop  I have used the set (-1, 0 + 1) and +2  exposure from the other set, cause the photo was very dark view of the shortage of light.

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. With midtones masks I set contrasts on the frame and with Fast Panel I increased details over the picture, also applied orton effect to darken a bit and create a glow effect. As final I set contrast, shadows, and highlights again to balance the image

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-90

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

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

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel

 


Lights and Bounds

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Photo taken in the port area of Skopelos, from here it is a small rocky beach behind a walkway from the port. I made this photo at sunset from a series of bracketed shot, where I applied focus stacking between the rocks that are in the foreground and the hill which is seen in the background. I take 5 bracketed shots per series but I decided to use only 3 for it

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I opened my bracketed shots series in Photoshop and I align them for blending (for more information about focus stacking blending please read this article). At the end of this process, I create a series of three shots aligned and ready for edits. I applied luminosity masks to use darks to lighten the foreground, then increased contrast with midtones 3 applied to curves

Using my panel I launched dodge and burn to make some adjustments on the rocks and on the sea, then I launched orton effect to increase glow and darken the image. Next, I create some color correction using lab color and hue/saturation to adjust blues and yellows, then increased contrast again to have more highlighs and more darkenss on the foreground. As always In applied details and sharpness to the entire frame, without including the sea. As a final touch  using camera raw I lowered the exposure and raised slightly up the shadows

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Five Exposures (-2; -1; 0; +1; +2) x2

ISO: 100 at f/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel


Quasar

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giuseppe-sapori-quasar

I am in the same location of Agios Ioannis in Skopelos. As I said I did a lot of photos here and for a few weeks I will post only about this place 🙂

Here I was always close to the Agios Ioannis beach where I took several photos to the coast of the beach focusing on the rocks near the foreground. In that morning I was lucky benefiting from the cloudy sky in the morning there was a beautiful diffused light over the entire area

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

For first thing I prepared all 5 of my exposures captured in photoshop and I started working them using TTS Fast Panel and Luminosity Masks to capture the entire dynamic range. I discarded the most overexposed shot and lowered the lights on the rocks  with luminosity masks applied the curves tool. I made the same thing to increase highlights in the sky.

After I applied a Dodge and Burn tool, to make it more homogeneous light and to finish the work previously done with luminosity masks, same with Dodge and Burn I made some light effects on the lower rocks in the foreground. Using the Fast Panel I launched the effects to enhance and sharpen the details, then Lab Color to give the image more vivid aspect. I increased yellow tonalities checking the effect on the bottom left rocks, I applied at the end a little Orton Effect, contrast and vignetting to accentuate the effects of light in the central part of the frame

 

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/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel


A Light in the Dark

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From Skiathos  to Skopelos, another Greek island of great natural value. This island is a spectacle of nature and mountains and has some fantastic location. One of these is  Agios Ioannis, a location on northeast of the island where there is a small monastery on a top of a cliff of the mountains, the whole area of Agios Ioannis, sea, beach, boundary mountains are an incredible sight that it is rarely seen in seascapes.

When  I went to Agios Ioannis I photographed  every part of the place, benefited from the cloudy sky in the morning there was a beautiful diffused light over the entire area, including this opening to the sky, on the road leading to the monastery I stopped on this open to the sea which offered this composition of rocks below

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

Although I made a bracketed series of the scene, I realized the whole image with the use of luminosity masks applied to the regular exposure. The reason for this is that the contrasts between the sky and the foreground remained still high despite the bracketing series, where the benefit of using multiple exposures will employ more time.

For this reason I applied the luminosity masks to the affected areas of the sky using lights masks, the sea and rocks using darks masks, working them almost exclusively with the curves tool. Always applying the luminosity masks, I used dodge and burn on rock and water, applying them to hue / saturation tool I reduced the saturation of water colors with contrasts had intensified excessively.

Other uses of  luminosity masks are on the sky to increase the color tones and midtones to increase the contrast. At the last I increased the details in the whole frame, all the changes were made using my panel that you can download free in the download section

 

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/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2015.5

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel

 


The Pool

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Second image from Skiathos, this location is not far from that of my last post, always along the harbor. The view facing the sunset was without any doubt the best so I decided to place me in front of this small cove. The continuous passage of the boats that were directed towards the port of Skiathos has facilitated much what I wanted to do, that is to take as much as possible water movement. Not having a ND filter with me on that occasion I tried to stretch the exposure as much as possible using exposure compensation.

At the passage of a ferry I risked to water all my equipment because it came a crazy wave and I was able to bring out the tripod just a moments before 🙂 I captured 5 bracketed shots for the base shot and then I started doing several shots to capture the waves until I found the longer and softer

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

The shot with long exposure had absorbed much of the foreground I used it as a starting base exposure, I blended the sky using Luminosity Masks applied to the darker exposure. Always using the darker exposures I darken he rocks just to the bottom of the image using manual blend. With Camera Raw I adjusted the contrast and highlights, this time also increasing the value of Clarity usually do not use, but this case the foreground need it. I used the function Dodge and Burn, High Details and Lab Color that you find in my TTS Fast Panel. As final touch I increased sunset color and a little vignetting effect using Color Efex Pro

 

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/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2015.5

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel

Plugin: Color Efex Pro


Sunset at the Harbor

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From Aegina to Skiathos, this is a beautiful and famous island which is located in the archipelago of the Cyclades. Much of Skiathos island fame is the fact that it was the main location of the famous musical “Mamma Mia”, where exactly here were filmed most scenes of the movie. This is the port of the city island taken over by a small hill in front of

I take several shots on this hill since they had a favorable position towards the sunset and the city harbor. I made a small stack of photographs to take as many as possible in the frame rocks and make the image more depth

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I start as usual using Luminosity Masks to blend all the bracketed exposures taken in the port of Skiathos.  When I got a final image I combined this with the image I had taken further down with rocks to merge them together to get such a small vertorama. With the resulting “basic” image of  I started to change the lights, shadows, highlights the Curves tool inside Camera Raw

Using  LAB Color I pushed up vibrance and yellows color, then I applied Dodge and Burn tool on the rocks to make them brighter. I increased details in the whole frame, then, with a small gaussian blur, I removed a small noise in the water. For this I applied gaussian blur with a black layer mask (hidden), with a white brush I painted all the water to smooth it. Finally I increased the contrast using curves tool  and created a slight vignetting to give more prominence to the central area

TECHNICAL 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/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2015.5

Plugin: Color Efex Pro


When The Sun Goes Sleep

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As I wrote in my previous post I took a lot of photos in the archaeological area of Aphaia. With that beautiful temple all for me I could not portray the temple in different angles and this is one of those romantic photos made. I tried several angles until I founded one where the sunlight filtered through the columns of the Temple of Afaia. I take 5 bracketed shots of which the last holding my finger in front of the camera in the direction of the sun to avoid too many lens flares. The finger at the point of greatest sunlight is a very effective method to prevent that lens flare ruin all the shots. This little trick is to take advantage of the increased exposure to the sun covered by the finger and without lens flare, to erase all those formed in any previous exposures taken.

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started Blending the exposures using Luminosity Masks, to brighten the foreground and the columns of the Temple and I apply the adaptive wide angle Photoshop function to correct the perspective of the Temple. I removed all the lens flare using the overexposed shot lightened slightly the sunlight, after I increased contrasts and yellow colors to the whole picture. I take a little Dodge and Burn over the underexposed areas of the frame and then I increased details of the picture using high frequency separation method. The final touch was adding a final LAB Color to push up all the colors of the picture, I use a black brush to mask out all the excessive red spikes of the sun through the columns.

TECHNICAL 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 CC2015.5

Plugin: Color Efex Pro

 


Lycabettus

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giuseppe-sapori-lycabettus

The one on the far right is the Mount Lycabettus, a hill where you can admire a beautiful view of Athens as well as having a nice restaurant at its top. It is easily reached by a funicular from Kolonaki, another beautiful area of Athens. Mount Lycabettus is one of the Greek capital attractions, and there are also of course I was in, but just as I did to the Acropolis also in this case I decided to portray the mountain from the outside, overlooking the city. We’re at in the same area where I took Acropolis that you find in my previous post, I made the image from 3 exposures.

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started as usual using the luminance masks to combine different exposures together, I then stepped up hightlights for the sky and contrast for the city always using luminosity masks. With the help of Color Efex Pro I applied Skylight filter for intensifying the shade of yellow reducing the opacity around 60%. Then, it was the turn of  details pushed up selectively and of a soft dodge and burn effect using white and black brush with 2% opacity, by the trees (to create more light through the leaves) and darken areas of the rocks in the foreground. As a final touch, I created a small vignette to give greater prominence to the central part of the frame.

TECHNICAL STUFF 

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Five Exposures ( -1; 0; +1)

ISO: 400 at f/4

Software: Photoshop CC2015.5

Plugin: Color Efex Pro


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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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