Author Archives: Giuseppe Sapori

7 Tips for Better Sunset Photography

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As everyone knows, the best moment to capture the best light is during sunset, this time of day coincides with the best softest light and which gives better colors in the sky and lights. This time of the day is generally between golden hour and blue hour to achieve the best light in the day

Nowadays everyone knows this simple but basic rule of photography, but so how to go further? How can be more professional in this field? Let’s find out in this article through these 7 tips for better sunset photography

1 Scout the Location Before Shooting

Scouting of the location is the requirement of a professional photography, as regards the main difference is made to arrive early and leave late the location. This simple advice will drastically increase the possibility of returning home with a shot of greater interest

Arriving earlier helps to find the right position of the photo, going away late helps to find the right light you are looking for in the shot you’re making. Sometimes it happens that the best moments for shooting are moved from the canonical moments of the golden and blue hour, this is because they are strongly conditioned from weather and location

2 Know the Sun Spot

This is the primary tip for a professional photo, knowing the sun’s position increase the chance to create impactful images. You will understand what the light will do and consequently what your image will look like, in this way you will be able to adjust your photo according to your needs

To find out this position you can help you with many apps, for example I use Photopills that have a very intuitive sun spot section

3 Shoot into the Sun direction

When it is possible I love shooting landscape into the sun direction. Taking the shot into the sun direction greatly increases the possibility of creating impactful images because it includes an important point of energy in the frame

Shooting into the sun direction also allows you to play with the sun’s spikes when it “lands” on some element of the frame, a condition that I love to capture in my landscapes

4 Always Bracket your Shots

When shooting towards sunset the possibility of having images with a great contrast is very high. Usually high contrasted images are very difficult to manage and for this reason I always shoot using bracketing mode

The bracketing mode grants to obtain a wide dynamic range of the scene through a series of exposures, furthermore, this guarantees an excellent result for digital blending of the image in Photoshop

5 Try Differents Focal Lens

As a landscape photographer I have always captured many photos using my wide angle, but during time I learned the importance of experimenting with other points of view and other focal lengths to achieve best results


In some cases, using different lenses instead of wide angle can give better results, it all depends on the location and situation, it is the case of the gallery below that I took in the mountains or in the hills. At a distance I had points that hit the eye with a wide angle it would not have been the same results

6 Focus on Composition

Everything said above is important but it is nothing compared to a good composition, this is the main tip that allows you to create an impactfull landscape. Don’t always focus yourself on shooting at eye level, include the right portion of the sky / foreground in your photo and balance the elements for a perfect composition. On this topic I have written a specific guide that I recommend you go and read called 7 Composition guidelines for better landscape photography

7 Luminosity Masking

Luminosity masks are the best way to bring out the best on your sunset images, using luminosity masks and digital blending can easily include in your image all the main elements of your shots and create a balanced images with a full dynamic range

You can read more about luminosity masks in many articles of this site and you can take a look better at them on my dedicated guide mastering luminosity masks. Don’t forget to going deepen downloading my FREE panel for Photoshop and if you want to go deepen you can discover TTS Pro for easy and professional digital blendings


Outlines

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Orvieto is a very pretty town in central Italy, with an excellent historical and artistic heritage. Its splendid cathedral is the most visited spot in the city very similar to the most famous cathedral of Siena

This wonderful cathedral is not the only spot you can visit here, you will find also the the St. Patrick water well, another great spot in Orvieto. i visited both during my day here so i don’t rule out future photos at the water well too 🙂

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

To make this shot I used the vertorama technique using a series of horizontal shots. Usually I don’t apply this technique so much and I prefer direcly shooting vertically but on this occasion it was necessary to include the whole cathedral in the scene.

I selected all the images an created the output images, I managed lights and shadows using luminosity masks than I added contrast and details using TTS Pro. I removed all the ghost in the frame and I clean the scene from unwanted elements

I decreased the luminosity of the scene using color lookup filters applied selectively on the shadows and highlights, than I also launched a soft orton effect to create this glimpse glow effect

Using dodge and burn I lightened some part of the scene including cathedral, as final step I created a soft vignette to darken the foreground area

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 14-24 f/2,8 (used @14mm)

Single Shots

ISO: 100 

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


The Hills of Val d’Orcia Pt.2

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This week I continue with a collection of images captured in the suggestive Val d’Orcia in Tuscany. Side the images published last week are added these, some taken in very famous locations in the area and also many of these captured with a telephoto that in this area helps a lot to exalt the beauty of the place and his landscapes

This second collection it is entirely captured from the top of some hills, details of some very suggestive farms at various times of the day, I love the alternation of light and the contrasts that are created by playing among the details of the hills and trees

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

This series is composed by single shots so no digital blendings was done for this images. As the previous post I applied the same “treatment” for these shots: increase details, applied a warm filter and decreased some highlights in the sky

For some shots I also applied a soft orton effect, I increased a little bit contrast and fixed colours using my panel TTS Pro. As final step I applied a soft vignette to all the images to give more prominence to the main subject

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 70-200 f/2,8 

Single Shots

ISO: 100 

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


The Hills of Val d’Orcia

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After a winter without travel, I finally had the opportunity to leave for this magnificent location in Tuscany. Very famous but also very photographed is the third time I come here in few years. Tuscany offers fantastic photography spots in every angle and with the help of google earth before travel it is the perfect place to photograph

Here it comes handy necessary the use of a telephoto lens, not that with other types of lenses you do not take as many beautiful photos but at my view the telephoto lens here leave space to focus more on details and gives you the chance to take home a few more shot

This small collection is an example of some shots taken from the top of some hills, details of some very suggestive farms at various times of the day, I love the alternation of light and the contrasts that are created by playing among the details of the hills

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

This series is composed by single shots so no digital blendings was done for this images. I applied the same “treatment” for these shots: increase details, sharpness, applied a warm filter

For some shots I also applied a soft orton effect, I increased a little bit contrast and fixed highlights and shadows using luminosity masks. I made all those steps using TTS Pro and as final step I applied a soft vignette to all the images to give more prominence to the main subject

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 70-200 f/2,8

Single Shots

ISO: 100

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


From this Day on

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From the same location in Rome as Castel Sant’angelo, I propose a shot that I took many years ago and that I have never reproposed afterwards.

In this spot you can capture the whole location including with the help of a good wide angle, the entire location of the castle and the energy of the sun setting on the sides of it

A few days ago I was here waiting for the blue hour to photograph the view of San Pietro in the evening, I had arrived a little earlier and I took the opportunity to photograph the splendid effect of the sun disappearing behind the buildings, all with branches of the trees along the river that complete the frame of the image

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I captured 3 bracketed shots for this image that I merged with the help of TTS Pro, using the same panel I correct the sky and make it more pop selectively. With the clone stamp and lazo tool I removed some unwanted spot and ghosts from the image

By using another picture with the finger on the sunlight, I replace some part of the image to totally remove any lens flare from the frame. I added orton effect, increased the yellow tone of highlights, decreased the shadows and increased details. All the passages above using luminosity masks applied selectively

I also applied the glow tool on some areas of the image in order to create more atmosphere, as last step I added a dark vignette to increase the sense of darkness of the image

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Sigma 24-70 f/2,8 (used at 29mm)

Focus Stacking

ISO: 100 at f/20

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


The Angels Stronghold

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From the same famous location of my latest post here’s a new angle of Castel Sant’Angelo, this time with the famous composition from behid of the bridge leading to the castle. This is one of the best spot to capture the castle with the statues of angels visible from below the bridge with the lighting of the street lamps that light up at dusk

Over the years I’ve done this shot many times and every time I tried to capture different conditions. This time I stay here during the golden hour of a rainy afternoon, when the sky open again after bad weather

I made this using bracketed shots to capture the entire dynamic range of the scene and to master the lights an colors in the sky

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I digital blended the bracketed shots using TTS Pro using auto blend function, a very fast and at the same time accurate way to digital blend multple exposures. I increased sky colours using a warm filter applied selectively to the scene

After this I increased details removing the effect on the sky and on the water, I added some glow using the proper filter of color efex pro, than using the glow tool

I fixed yellow colour luminosity and saturation, than I incrase the colour vibrance of the frame and as final step I added a soft vignette and decrease slightly the luminosity

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-850

Nikon 14-24 f/2,8 (used at 22mm)

Focus Stacking

ISO: 100 at f/18

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


Below the Path

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Here we are finally with a new image after a period of absence due to the restrictions that we all know by now. I return to post with a location that I particularly love in my city while waiting to plan the next outdoor trips

After a rainy afternoon the sky opened with beautiful colours I took the opportunity to go out to shoot and find some interesting alternative perspective of Castel Sant’Angelo like this one taking advantage of the puddle on the foreground

I made this shot with a focus stacking between the elements around the puddle and the castle with its bridge, I then joined a further shot to correct the perspective of the bridge and the castle

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I take single shots for this focus stacking, I opened the image with camera raw and i opened in Photohope where i blended the images using auto blend layers functions, than i correct the perspective using the other image of the Castel Sant’Angelo

With the complete image obtained i started edting using TTS Pro to enhance details, colours and contrast. I added a dark orton effect to create a powerful light and at the same time darken the scene

I added a smart warm filter to increase the yellow lights in the scene and I corrected the lights in the sky to enhance the clouds.

As final step i brushed the puddle wih a yellow brush to give it more light energy

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-850

Nikon 14-24 f/2,8 (used at 15mm)

Focus Stacking

ISO: 100 at f/7

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


Colours and Lights Corrections using TTS PRO

In this video we will see some colours and lights corrections made on a single image using to using TTS PRO panel

TTS pro is not only an excellent panel for digital blending but also an excellent ally for editing single images. In the video below you will see some colour and lights corrections made thought the panel that includes:

you can find all the steps described in the video below

Enjoy the video


Easy Digital Blending using TTS Pro

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In this video we will see some fast and easy digital blending techniques using to using TTS PRO panel

It is possible to digital blend two or more exposures through the use of luminosity masks or through the digital blending functions included in the third page of the panel called Blend

1. Fast Blend

One of the most easy and fast techniques is the use of Fast Blend, if you have the darker image on top use fast blend darks, in the case you have the brighter image on top use fast blend lights. With this TTS Pro function with just one click the image on top is digital blended with the bottom image

2. Auto Blend

Auto Blend offers the possibility to choose the degree of digital blending among the images, using a series of luminosity masks to apply to the selection. In this way you can visually choose by scrolling with the selector, which mask applies best to your image

3. Blend using Luminosity Masks

TTS Pro allows you to freely use the luminosity masks not only for edits on adjustment layers but also for digital blending directly two or more exposures. An interesting and simple technique is to use the channels section in the first page of the panel and after selecting a mask, create a black mask adjustment layer to apply the selection directly. Below the steps:

  1. Go to Luminosity Masks page of TTS Pro
  2. Select Channel drop down menĂą
  3. Select a mask
  4. Select black mask from the adjustment layers buttons

Furthermore there’s always possibility of freely applying the masks to a previous layer mask created and then paint over the image in order to manually do it. Below the steps:

  1. Go to Luminosity Masks page of TTS Pro
  2. Apply a layer mask to the exposure you want to blend
  3. Select Channel drop down menĂą
  4. Select a mask
  5. Press Ctrl+H (Win) or Cmd+H (Mac) to apply the selection to the mask
  6. With a black brush paint the areas you want to manually blend

you can find all the steps described in the video below

Enjoy the video


TTS PRO 2.0 out 28th February – Preorder Now!

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Get TTS Pro – Click below to Preorder

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TTS PRO IN ACTION



FAQ

Which PS version is compatible with TTS Pro? TTS Pro it’s compatible with all photoshop CC versions

Is TTS Pro Compatible with CS6? TTS Pro is not compatible with CS6 and previous PS versions. It only works from CC (2015) and latest

The download have instructions? There is a pdf online link inside the panel, that explain the correct use of the panel with youtube links, anyway the panel is very intuitive and easy to use

Will this work with Photoshop Lightroom or Elements? I’m afraid but the panel only running in Photoshop. Currently the panel works in all versions of CC (including latest)

What does lifetime updates mean? Lifetime updates means that all customers of TTS Pro get every single new update for free. They do not have to purchase the new releases of TTS Pro again when it will be update

Which languages does TTS Pro support? The panel works in all language versions of Photoshop, but the panel is always in English

What is the current version of TTS Pro? The current version is 2.0

Will this work on a Mac computer? This will work on both a Mac and PC

Is this Windows 10 Compatible? This is 100% compatible with Windows 10


Site Founder

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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