Author Archives: Giuseppe Sapori

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 menù
  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 menù
  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

Lifetime Updates – Fast and easy Download –   Installation Instructions Included –  All Languages Compatible

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


Easy and Beautiful Glow on Highlights Using Photoshop

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In this tutorial we will see how to create a beautiful glow effects on highlights using Photoshop, this help to create a different eye catching look and great atmosphere mood at out landscapes

1. To begin with start going to Select>Color Range

2. In the Color Range window select Highlights and adjust Fuzziness and Range to refine the selection, than press ok

3. Now that you have the highlights selected you will see the marching ants. Press Ctrl+J (PC) or Cmd+J (Mac) to duplicate the highlights in a separate layer.

4. Now right click on the new layer and select Convert to Smart Object

5. Navigate to Adjustments>Curves and create a curve to brighten the highlights

6. Now it’s time to add blur, so go to Filters>Blur>Gaussian Blur and adjust the radius to make glow

7. Now it’s possible to reduce the opacity of the layer that contains the higlights selection in order to softner the effect, or add a layer mask to remove selectively from the selection all the areas where we don’t want to apply the effect

8. As final touch is possible to give more details to the highlights going to Filters>Sharpen>Unsharp Mask and set the sharp you would like, than press ok

Enjoy the video:


The Power of Blue Hour Photography

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Some time ago I wrote an article on how to shoot during the golden hour, this is usually the best time of the day to shoot sunsets with the best and most powerfull conditions for photography. However golden hour does not always provide stunning results, it may happen that the weather is not good, or with a flat sky. In all these cases blue hour is a very good alternative

But blue hour is more than that, it depends on what are you looking for but in most cases can be to prefer to golden hour. So we see in this article the power of blue hour photography and when exploit it

1. Enhance Mood

The aspect that I prefer about blue hour is the mood of the images, the blue hour manages to give a unique atmospheres that no other time of day can give. In all these cases especially with the help of dramatic clouds it is a unique way to deepening the mood of images

2. Long Exposure

With coming dusk the exposure time lengthen, taking advantage of this conditions is the key point of blue hour, long exposure can completely transform the scene. For example in landscapes to benefit from the movements of clouds or water, in cityscapes with light trails

3. Combine Blue Hour with Golden Hour

Another aspect I love about blue hour is the chance to mix it with golden hour. In every sunset there is always a moment where the golden hour gives way to blue hour. The mood contains the power of blue hour and the warm as golden colours on the horizon

4. Light Trails

Light trails are one of the strongest composition of long exposure photography, especially the cityscape are particularly suitable for this kind of photos. Usually light trails are made during the blue hour, for this reasons it gives the chance of mixing the colors of blue hour and the yellows of city lights, two complementary and attractive colors for the viewer

5. Reflections

Blue hour is a great chance to capture reflections on the water, no matter if in the city or shooting landscape, the result is sure. During blue hour, reflections are amazing and taking advantage of this time of the day is the right time to deal with it

6. Look for Unique Light

Sometimes when the light is falling down a beautiful light can emerge, it’s a totally random and unexpected look that often occurs on very cloudy days but can completely transform your shots. This is the case of my photo taken in Amalfi when a coming storm contrasted with the last colors of the sunset creates a stunning and a unique light

7. Digital Blend

I’ve spoken about the chance to combine golden hour with blue hour while shooting, but we can do this also using Photoshop. In the image you see I have digital blended two different images with different lights, the warm colors of the golden hour and the cold one that characterizes blue hour, in a time that runs between about 30 minutes

8. Emphatize Blue Colours

It can be useful to increase the blue tones of the blue hour in our images, this to make images that are not in enough blue mood in order to increase the dark/blue atmosphere of our photo

We can proceed with the increase of the blue through the use of camera raw blue tones slider or through the use of Photoshop filters. Using TTS Pro Panel there are functions to increase the blue hour such as the golden hour through the application of selective filters that take advantage of luminosity masks


Curon

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Years ago I had the chance to visit the now famous Resia lake in winter. It was interesting to see live one of the most bizarre places in Italy. The history behind this bell tower wants that the construction of a large dam in 1950 unified the first two previous lakes and submerged the ancient town of Curon Venosta which was rebuilt further upstream

In the summer season the scenery is certainly much more interesting than in winter but in winter the frozen surface of the lake allows you to go up to the bell tower on foot and take different angle shots

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

For both images I did a few edits and the images was very fast to complete. I used single exposures here that I edited using luminosity masks, I used TTS Pro to enhance details, colours and contrast

I used a soft orton effect on the image and I used dodge and burn over the shadows areas to decrease the blacks. I lightened the highlighs in the sky using luminosity masks and decreased the brights in the foreground to decrease the whites

I also increased colours vibrance and decreased the luminosity of the whole frame using levels

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

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Two shots

ISO: 100 at f/13

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


Crossroads

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As the first photo of 2021 I post a photo that I found from some of my old shots of the Dolomites, unfortunately in a period where is not easy to travel, my photographic resources are decreasing 🙂 but I always try to ensure new elements on all my social networks every week

This is small alpine lake, is one of my favorite mountain spots, if not one of the most photographed by me in the latests years, as in winter the surface of the lake freezes but without snow, a feature that I often look for in lakes in winter but it’s not easy to find anywhere. This is because the whole valley is crossed by icy currents but the altitude is not very high

About the shot I captured two series of exposures in focus stacking in order to have an image totally in focus, every series of exposure was done in bracketing mode, so I had the chance to digital blend every series before proceed with focus stacking

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I digital blended every exposure series before proceed to focus stack the shot to achieve a perfectly focused image. The next step was to add details and enhnace colours using TTS Pro dedicated effects

I fixed the highlights and shadows using  luminosity masks, I applied the same luminosity masks on curves to have a precise adjustment layer to enhance contrasts. I correct color cast on the sky and on the mountain, I pushed up some shadows on the forest and I slightly decreased the whole image luminosity

With hue/saturation tool I fixed more the colours and I created a small vignette using color efex pro filter

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

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Focus Stacking

ISO: 100 at f/13

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


My 2020

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Here we are my final post of the year, my annual photo composition. Every year I create a personal photo manipulation obtained with all top elements that distinguish the year. In this photo composition every thing, object and person you see has its own meaning, its importance, its memory for me, a moment that I want to remember and keep with special affection in this 2020

This is a personal representation of my 2020, here we have places visited, travels, personal goals and all that was dear to me.  This image has meaning for myself but I like to think that this image is beautiful even for you who look at it

I really hope you will appreciate the work, as you know I always love to ear this from you! I want take the opportunity to thank you all for the support on my page and socials during this year, I want to wish you a happy 2021 to all!


7 Reasons to Prefer Manual Focus over Auto Focus

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Focus is certainly the main aspect of photography, if the images are out of focus they are ruined definitively. There may be several reasons that lead to an out of focus image, some of which may be the difficulty of automatically focusing on a subject but anyway the best way to get out images perfectly focused is by using manual focus. So here are 7 reasons to prefer manual focus over auto focus

1. Sharpen Images

The main reason for preferring manual focus to auto focus is certainly to get sharper images, the best way to deal with manual focus is to achieve it by using live view, following these simple steps:

  1. Set your lens to Manual Focus
  2. Set Live view on your Camera
  3. Use zoom button to zoom into the are you want to focus
  4. Turn the focus ring until what you see is in focus

In this way you should be able to focus manually with ease. There’s also another step to do just to be sure your images are 100% in focus and extra sharp: compare the images captured with manual focus system and live view with an image captured from live view using auto focus. If you’ve done things right the image taken with manual focus should be with better focus and sharper

2. Photograph with every Light

Focusing with auto focus in low light conditions this one may not work properly or be inaccurate. Imagine shooting during the night, especially for night photography, images like milky way or light painting or startrails, manual focus becomes crucial to focus into a total darker scene

3. Capture low Contrasts

The auto focus to work properly needs some points that are “recognized” to the camera. If you’re shooting something that has similar colors, tones, and textures, or a smooth wall your lens can struggle in autofocus mode. In all these cases manual focus is of great help to be able to focus on subjects with low contrasts

4. Capture out of Focus images

One of the strongest photography composition guidelines is framing. Composing a framing with an out of focus element can be a successful compositional element of a photo and can lead the viewer’s eye through the main subject. Manual focus helps in this sense to be able to take our images with such compositional techniques and play between in focus and out of focus elements

5. Photograph with Fog

Fog is that element that helps make the image more striking and create a beautiful atmosphere in the image. But fog will reduce contrasts and scatter light in the scene, and focusing with fog can be difficult with auto focus if there’s not strong contrasted element in the scene. In all the cases of fog and misty landscapes using manual focus will avoid the problem of having out-of-focus images in fog

6. Focus Stacking

Focus stacking is one of the most used technique to ensure all of images elements are in focus. With focus stacking you take many images of the same scene with different focus in order to achieve a completely focused images with all the elements of the scene perfectly in focus. I created a detailed guide on how focus stack your images using bracketed shots. For a precise use of focus stacking it is very imporant to use manual focus, because it allows you to have great control of the elements of the frame in at different focal angles

7. Moving Objects

This point can be connected with the previous one but also because mobile elements are present in landscape photography. Imagine having to focus stack on flowers in the foreground that are moving on a windy day, or simply wanting to give movement to an element of the photo while keeping the focus fixed in one point. All of this with auto focus would be slower and even more difficult to achieve

Conclusions

Even if manual is better for all the reasons we talked about automatic focus can be very usefull in other situations, the auto focus should be used for:

  • Photographing animals, sport or other scenes where the subject is moving
  • Photographing events and concerts where the subject doesn’t stand still
  • Photographing handheld

Even if auto focus are certainly valid in different cases, for professional results rely to manual focus is the best solution. In any case relying on own’s eyes and judgment is always the best choice


10 Pro Tips for Snow Photography

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A snow covered landscape is always an attraction for every landscape photographer, for this reason every year I take almost two trip on the snow to take photos with beautiful icy and snowy sceneries. I love the colors of the sunset that reflects on the white that characterizes the landscapes this period of year. Photographing in the snow can give beautiful lights to your images, but to do the best you need to be prepared, which is why I have prepared this guide about 10 pro tips for snow photography

1. Save your Batteries

Cold is one of the downsite of snow photography, this reduces the battery longevity of your camera and all your electronic devices, including phone. One solution is to always have a spare battery and to put the camera on the bag when you don’t use it in order to keep your equipment warm

2. Be Careful of Condensation

This point is partly connected to the first one, before going from a cold to a warm environment remember to put your camera in your backpack. Switching from a cold environment to a heated indoor environment instantly creates condensation that can damage your camera and lenses

3. Set the Right White Balance

White balance is very important, especially when photographing in the snow. In snowy locations a trick is to set maually the white balance using Kelvin mode, this allows you to handle the white balance in various situations and set it on the light you have. If 5000K is the mid-day light a good starting point for white balance for snow is around 8000K

4 Use the Histogram

Using the histogram is very usefull in every photography situations not ony during snow photography, but in these cases the histogram takes on even more importance because it gives us a correct and graphic measurement of the exposure, avoiding relying only on a visual image in a prominent white scene

5. Find Colors and Contrasts

This is a compositional tip: in a mainly white scene playing with colors or strong contrasts helps the image to be pop or of greater impact for the viewer

6 Protect your Gear

When shooting in the snow some recommended precautions are:

  1. Keep the lens cap when you don’t use your camera to prevent moisture on the lens,
  2. If your lens becomes fogged avoid to blow warm air on it,
  3. Hold your breath when bringing your camera up to your face to take a picture could prevent fogging on your LCD screen and viewfinder

7 Use Polarizing Filters

Using a polarizing filter while shooting a snowy scene will help you cut through over-powering glare. The use of filters also reduces the light that passes through the lens and can make a great difference in the final result

8 Use Zoom Lenses

Images appear flat when there is nothing standing out in the foreground and most of the image is white. Snowy scenes are dominated by prominent colors over white. Getting closer on the main subject and its details is an interesting compositional solution to add depth to the image and make the image more captivating

9 Adjust the Exposure

In the white of the snow it may be necessary to have to adjust your exposure compensation to get the right light on the snow, in addition to this it is always useful to shoot in raw to be able to fix the exposure even in post with ease

10 Protect your Hands

While shooting landscapes we all use a lot the hands to interact with the camera, for this reason always having warm and dry hands is essential.
Having a pair of warm gloves that allow you to interact easily with the camera will prove to be the most important choice for the success of your winter photos


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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