Author Archives: Giuseppe Sapori

Walking through the Ancient

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I love Seoul because it is a very variegate city, inside we can find tall skyscrapers and modern buildings but there is a part linked to tradition and traditional life

I’ts the case of this place, this is the beautiful Hanok Village, where you can find the traditional korean house. It is fascinating to walk along its narrow streets among the low houses and the so characteristic and traditional roofs. The Hanok Village offers one of the most interesting view of Seoul, with this street view that leads to the modern buildings

It seems a museum itinerary but the streets are full of real houses, it is considerated a residential zone and some people leave here. I arrived here quite early and found various signs on the spot asking for silence until at least 9 am, to allow the residents to rest

That’s right! in fact I read a few days before about this village that its streets are full of tourists during the day, which is why going there very early in the morning remains the only solution to shooting

Furthermore near the village there are several shops that rent the hanbok, the famous and traditional Korean dress, so it’s not difficult to find someone like you who decided to wake up early to get some shots immersed in the tradition 🙂


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

Taking this shot did not require any particular technicalities, I reach the top of the village to benefit from the perspective, a girl who dressed in the traditional hanbok dress that was taking selfies just passed she approached a door I started taking some pictures

I take a single shot for this image so this time i didn’t used any digital blending but I used the same luminosity masks to correct the highlights in the sky and recover the shadows

I increased details and pushed up colours using TTS Pro, with dodge and burn tool I dodged some house tiles touched by the light to increase the clarity effect

I corrected the wide angle effect that was created on the houses creating a slight distortion, to do this I used the free transform tool dragging it on side

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Single Shot

ISO: 100 at f/9

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


Seoul from the Sky

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View of Seoul from one of the tallest buildings in the city. I love photographing from these spots and more they are closer to the city with other tall buildings nearby, more they offer a beautiful view.

In my trip to Korea I photographed very much from spots like this, you will see it on the next posts… In the meantime I wanted to tell you about how I made this photo:

I climbed to the top of Seoul Tower after a pretty rainy day, I feared all the time to the last that the windows could be dirty and stained by the rain but incredibly (don’t ask me how) it wasn’t

To shoot the cityscape I always prefer a little glow of daylight before the total darkness falls, so I always prefer to start shooting from the blue hour.

Also mindful of last year’s experience where I took all my photos through glass covering the camera with a sweatshirt 🙂 this year I had a useful accessory that you find on the web for a few euros … it’s a sucker that is made pass through your lens and you can stick it to the glass with the lens, so as to completely avoid any reflection coming from behind you

In the picture there is a glare of sunlight that I captured through a series of long exposures and bracketing. The sky has a different exposure than the rest of the photo, this to prevent the lights of the city from being too strong-

For the city I take 3 bracketed shots that I used to correct the citylights and exposure of the builings and streets


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I blended the exposure for the city, using the dark exposure to decrease highlights on the streets and buildings. As I said before I also captured a series of long exposure for the sky that I blended with the first take of the one of the city of Seoul

I launched details enhancements using TTS Pro, I also added details to the shadows using the effect inside the panel. I made a series of colour correction to increase the blue color, decrease the red spot on the right, increase yellows coming from the city

With the use of luminosity masks I increased highlights and lights coming from the sky, giving more energy and light at the whole frame

I correct the horizon line and applied a free trasform to correct the wide angle distorsion on some building, than with the clone stamp tool I removed some spot of rain on the glass

The last passage was to add a soft vignette to emphatize the central part of the picture

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Sigma 24-70 f/2,8 (used at 32mm)

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1) + Long exposure for the sky

ISO: 100 at f/14

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


After the Rain – Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Hi guys, on my first day in Korea I immediately found a beautiful rainy day 😀 the day I decided to go to the Gyeongbokgung palace the weather was certainly not the best: quite strong rain and gloomy day (even if very hot)

I will spend two words to tell you about this royal palace which is one of the most important buildings of the Chousun, namely the dynasty that reigned in Korea for the longest time

The palace was burned during the period of the Japanese invasion and subsequently abandoned due to the difficulties of the restoration until the 60s where an important restoration brings it back to ancient beauty

During my visit to the Gyeongbokgung I met many people who took pictures in traditional clothes (hanbok) and at the entrance of the building, it is possible at certain times to observe the interesting change of the guard in front of the main door of the palace

The rain did not discourage tourists who were like me under the underpasses at the sides of the main building, when I took this picture the sky was opening and it had stopped raining

The possibility of portraying the royal palace Gyeongbokgung with the perspective of some puddles was very suggestive while the sky opened up to the after rain colors. Some nice Korean ladies have protected me with an umbrella from the gutter drips at the top while I was taking this picture 🙂


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

To make this shot I used focus stacking technique, so I captured 3 bracketed shots focusing on the palace, thank other 3 bracketed shots focusing on the grass

I blended the shots following this guide, until obtaining 3 blended images able to be blended toghteder using luminosity masks

that’s what I did, using TTS Pro to digital blend the images until get the perfect exposure; after this I increased contrast and details, than I added a warm filter to the sky and shadows using Color Efex Pro

With the help of dodge and burn I give more light over the grass and over the puddles. After a color vibrance increase I remove some tourist near the temple using clone stamp tool

I decrease slightly the exposure value to increase the highlights and added more contrast to the image

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 200 at f/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro, Color Efex Pro


Conjunctions II

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From the beautiful beaches of Cilento, I come back with a photo from a different perspective of my favorite beach of this area. To take this picture I used the distortion of my wide angle to create a more impactful effect in the foreground

To take advantage of the distortion it is always good to consider the corners of the image to avoid falling lines on the horizon. I love vertical photos but the management of distortions when you want to highlight a subject in the foreground may not always be easy

In my tutorial 7 composition guidelines for better landscape photography I insered Mind the Corners, to remember the presence of spots or other distracting elements in the picture that could focus away the viewer’s attention, the falling lines are one of them so always check it when you use lens distortion for you shots


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I captured 5 exposure bracketing series that I blended using TTS PRO.I used an additional shot to capture the sea with a long exposure that I used to make the water more soft

With the complete blend, I straighten up the horizon and removed some water spots on the lens. With the use of luminosity masks, I decreased the highlights and I increased the shadows in order to make better visibles the stones around the beach

I increased contrast and I added some blue colors to the image using a cold filter. I added a very soft orton effect and I used dodge and burn to increase the lights over the rocks and decrease the luminosity of the sea

Always using my panel I used the glow tool to make other adjustments and creating a manual vignette over the image

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


The Rockside

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Another shot I made in Cilento,  this is the the same beach of my latest post. At sunset the light behind that house on the lake was slowly falling, I made this shot through a 3-stop ND filter to capture as much as possible of the movement of the sea

The light coming from behind the house was a stark contrast to the rocks on the beach, in particular the one I placed first on of the frame

I shot for a long exposure series using bracketing, in order to blend all the images together, shooting in bracketing mode is what I always prefer to do when there is a strong contrast like this between direct light and rocks


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

For this shot 5 shots bracketing was necessary, I blended the best 3 shots using luminosity masks and TTS PRO

I removed some water spot on the lens using clone stamp tool, I fixed horizon line and perspective than I started add more details and contrast to the image

I slightly increased the yellow tone of the sky using a yellow filter applied to luminosity masks

After a dodge and burn job around the rocks and on the house I lauched my effect orton effect dark that you can find in my panel

I darkened the scene reducing by 0,15 the general exposure, I increased a little bit the highlights, than as final step, I created a vignette to increase contrast and give more attention to the main subjects

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Nikon 14-24 f/2,8 (used at 16mm)

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

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


Conjunctions

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I took this photo in a beach located in the Gulf of Cilento, I love this area of Italy and very often I spend a few days here in the summer. The Cilento area is located in the southern part of Campania and is a UNESCO heritage area that offers not only beautiful beaches but also small mountains, archaeologic areas and natural parks

Although we are along the coast, the proximity of the hills to the sea, makes that in the evening, the sky around the mountains, is often clouded; creating interesting photographic spots not so common on the coasts

I make this shot in the final hours of sunset, to capture the movement of the water I used a 3-stop ND filter to avoid exposures that were too long for each series of shots


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I captured 5 exposure bracketing for this that I blended using my panel TTS PRO, to the blended image I added contrast and details

I fixed lights over the rocks and over the horizon using luminosity masks, than I enhanced colours using a cold filter applied to highlights and a bit less to the shadows

I boosted the colours of the sunset creating a mask for yellow, red and magenta to give more warm to the sky after this I applied a soft orton effect and a soft dodge and burn to the rocks and to the water

As final step I created a soft vignette to give more energy to the central scene

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


Hands Lifted

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Waiting for my next trip I spend a day last week in the Tuscia region. It was a name given to the old region of Etruria now named conventionally has the name of the region around Viterbo

Here there is a beautiful beech forest, located on Monte Cimino. The beech forest and is a pleasant walk (especially the summer) to go through these beautiful centenary trees, very suggestive the lights that filter through the branches during the morning

I found these two trees that they had a shape almost representing hands towards the sky, where a strong morning light filtered creates beautiful plays of light


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I edited the single shot with luminosity masks, used to adjust contrast lights and darkness, no blend here was possible because I was freehand and the wind moved the leaves

I increased details using TTS PRO ,created two warm filters (highlights and shadows) applied to luminosity masks to give more yellows tones to trees and leaves

I launched an orton effect to give more sens of glow in the frame, plus to intensity the light I used the glow tool with a brush around the main lights area

With the use of dodge and burn I reduced some strong lights around the trees and as final step I added a vignette to give more prominence to the light coming to the sky I darkened some rocks with too much lights on them, I adjusted contrast using it applied to luminosity masks

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Single Shot

ISO: 250 at f/8

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


5 Useful Tips to Focus in Night Photography

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With the arrival of summer it is also the perfect time to start doing some night shots. Like many landscape photographers I also love night photography and some time ago I wrote this guide about how to plan and shot the Milky Way

While shoting for the stars usually we are completely in the dark and is not always easy to find the correct focus point, so I decided to write this guide to give you som tips for focus in night photography


Manual Focus

During the night and without any light point the manual focus is one of the most efficient way to focus in the night. To achieve it simply move the manual focus ring until the infinity symbol. When using manual focus we have to consider that the exactly focus point can vary from the symbol of infinity from lens to lens.

So knowing your instrumentation is the key to the success of a manual focus. Write down or try to memorize then which is the optimal focus towards infinity on your lens so that you can easily recognize it in the dark

Live View + Zoom

This is also a recommended function during the day, it is about using the live view zoom to set the manual focus correctly. Just zoom in on a bright spot, such as the moon or the stars if we are shooting for the milky way and set the manual focus easily through the live view

Many mirrorless cameras have focus peaking as part of some live view systems, that shows you regions in the frame where the highest contrast exists by highlighting them in a bright color. Focus peaking consist to put focus very fast without any risk to wrong

Pre-focus during the day

This easy trick consist to focus your camera at a infinity subject during the day using autofocus. Then, switch the camera to manual focus and use a piece of gaffer tape to keep the focus on the lens from moving

Consider that using pre-focus which will be limited to the focus we set with light, so for every change of the subject it need to change method and focus

Target light points

Consists simply of focusing on a light source, if the moon is present in the sky it is surely the best point of focus to choose, instead if there is no moon you may be able to do it using a shining star

It is not always so easy to find light sources that can help us to use this function, in any cases can be very usefull light up the area with a lamp or laser pointers to illuminate the area, this may allow you to focus and set the desired shot

Hyperfocal focusing

Distance is defined when the lens is focused at infinity, where objects from half of this distance to infinity will be in focus for the lens. Instead, the hyperfocal distance may refer to the closest distance that a lens can be focused for a given aperture while objects at a distance (infinity) will remain sharp

Many lenses have hyperfocal markings on the lens barrel. This funcion allows you to set your lens so that, at a given aperture, you can determine at what distance objects in the frame will be in focus. So, without even looking at the viewfinder, you can set your focus

Here was the tip to focusing the dark, as you can see many relays to manual focus or with some experience in the field. And what about you? I’d like to know what methods you use to focus at night, let me know in the comments




The Bless II

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In one of my latest posts I talked about the valley of Ferriere, an enchanting place surrounded by nature that saw its period of greatest activity during the production of paper, where many paper mills in this valley were active and functioning

Today those paper mills are no longer there but all the remains of their buildings are still here, now the valley of Ferriere is aa very green wood full of waterways. During my journey I also found this waterfall which is located in a basin further downstream

The light was a bit strong and filtered through the branches, this meant that numerous contrasts were created between the areas struck by the sun and the darker ones. I captured this with a single shot and a 6-stop nd filter


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I edited the single shot with luminosity masks, used to adjust contrast lights and darkness

I increased the glow effect using TTS PRO applying an orton effect  and increasing the warm colors on the highlights

I also increased the lights coming from the highlights to give more enery to the warm between the trees.

I darkened some rocks with too much lights on them, I adjusted contrast using it applied to luminosity masks

I adjusted the yellow colors and the vibrance of the frame, the final step was to add a very soft vignette to give more impact to the waterfall

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



TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Single Shot – Long Exposure

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


The Upper Sight

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I have been going to Amalfi for several years, now I know many photo spots here and I made some of them several times during the years. This time thanks to a conversation with some local people I managed to find a location never done before and it one of the most beautiful spot to have a great view from top

I’m talking about the highest point of the city of Amalfi where you can enjoy the best view of the city and the coast. Below me there was a balcony full of lemons that only if they had been covered by some sheets would have been an incredible part of the composition of the photo

Here late in the evening and with a slight haze I was able to capture a postcard of Amalfi in the evening from above, I realized it from a single shot and with a single exposure of 30 seconds


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I start editing regulating exposure, darks, lights and conrast using luminosity masks .

I intensified the glow of the haze using a orton effect and I incresed details in the whole frame using TTS Pro panel

I lightened the highlights and I darkened the shadows, used a soft dodge and burn in some critical points such as lamps and light trails

Th final adjustment was to regulate the yellow colours brighing it to a soft warm yellow rather than a orange as it was originally

I really hope you will find this usefull. I’m alwats happy to ear this from you!



TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Sigma 24-70 f/2,8 (used at 38mm)

Three Shots – Long Exposure

ISO: 100 at f/16

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


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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