Author Archives: Giuseppe Sapori

A Evening by the Sea

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Also this year I decided to take a tour of the Amalfi coast, it is one of my favorite places to spend a few days capturing great landscapes, visiting important UNESCO sites and eating very very well 🙂

This photo represents a spot that I really like and that every time I come to these places I take it Every time I find something different and it’s never the same, from the sky to the vegetation, to the colors of the sea… I love it!

This time I took the shot with a long exposure, since the area is always very windy I took a few minutes before the precaution of saving the leaves from the wind

The moment of the shot is the one that anticipates the nautical twilight so the moment immediately before when the sky begins to pull out the blue



WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

This time no digital blending was necessary, so I used the exposure I captured for the leaf to manually mask them with the main shot

I fixed lights, contrasts and details using TTS Pro effects, than I fixed color cast and created a soft warm atmosphere using a warming filter

I increased the vibrance to have more vibrant colours and with dodge and burn I fixed some darker areas inside the caves of the coast. As usual I also used a soft orton effect orton effect to create a more soft and dreamy effect

I reduced the highlights and I created a strong vignette to increase the dark mood of the scene and give more prominence to the central scene

Last step was to increase the sharpness on the edges and in particular on the mountain to increase the viewer sense of detail

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 14mm)

Long Exposure

ISO: 100 at f/9

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


Vessels

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Always from the same location of Belluno Alps National Park I took this photo of the waterfall that feeds the “pools” of my previous post. They are charaterized by a small stream, but with a strong flow that is powerful enough to feed the whole system of which the valley is characterized

The turquoise color of which the water of the pools below is made up can already be seen in the part below the waterfall where it already begins to take on a very bright color

For this shot I used a Nd3 filter stops with a series of 3-shot bracketing to have the chance to perform digital blending



WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started using a digital blending using my panel with the 3 shots bracketing taken

I regulated brights and contrasts using luminosity masks,than I used dodge and burn to adjust the lights around the rocks near the waterfall. Since the image was very flat I wanted to create a darker and at the same time soft effect with an orton effect filter and in particular the orton effect dark that you can find inside TTS Pro I used a 30% opacity to have a strong effect

I used curves to adjus the luminosity of the whole frame and after generating a strong vignette I fixed the final contrast and color correction to the final image you see

As final step I decreased the luminosity to create a dark mood in the whole picture

I hope you will find this informations 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)

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


Pool With a View

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This magical place is near the regional park of Alps in Belluno, skirting the lake of Mis you arrive in this series of natural pools feed by a waterfall with the alps in the background

The crystalline water and the white rock at certain times of the day it reaches its most complete amazing yellow colours when sun goes behind the mountains and all take a great looking yellow like golden hour

To take this photo I decided to create a vertical photomerge of two shots so as to include as much as possible of the scenery

The waterfall that feeds the pools is on the back, so I could not include it in the same shot but I promise you that it will be the subject of my next posts 😀



WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I captured two series of shots to photomerge, for each series I take 3 bracketed shots that I blended using auto blend darks function of TTS PRO 

After a lights fix using curves applied to luminosity masks, I increased details and controlled contrast. With a warm filter, I generate more yellows tones and I decreased the luminosity of the mountain with dodge and burn

I applied a soft orton effect details using my panel, a orton effect that create the typical effect but avoiding to loose sharpness. I create a light painting in the picture using the brush on the main viewer’s eye points

I decrease the luminosity a bit and I generate a soft vignette as final steps

I hope you will find this informations 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)

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


7 Composition guidelines for Better Landscape Photography

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Composition is the main key in photography. Light, location and post processing are always really important but without a good composition, the image will never be a very good shot

On the web there are so many articles on this thread, often are called rules but since is not needed to apply them all together it would be better to talk about guidelines

For this reason I want to talk about 7 composition guidelines in landscape photography, that I often use during my shots, I hope it will be helpfull for you


 

1. Rule of Third

The rule of third is the most know rule of composition in every kind of photography. This is also the first rule learned by beginners photographers since it helps very much to create interesting balanced shots

The rule of thirds relies on the famous “grid” that sets it apart: imagining it during the shooting phase or displaying it from the live view screen of the camera

With this grid, the rule of thirds identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider for placing points of interest while composing your image

The rule of third also gives you four “lines” that represents the best locations for elements in your shot. Positioning points of interest in the intersections or along the lines your picture becomes more balanced and will allow an image observer to interact with it in a more natural way

It’s also possible to use just 1 or 2 spots moving along the lines created by them in order to form different point of interest on a side as opposed at the other element


 

2. Leading Lines

The leading lines are one of the most important tool in composition. They allow to virtually always follow with the eye a line between the key element of the picture. Through the leading lines it is possible to control the viewer’s eye through the frame

Leading lines are all around us in cities and in nature. You only need to find and arrange them in your shot so that they lead towards the key element of the frame

Once you find the leading lines is compose the photo using the perspective to enhance your composition: Some examples of leading lines are: rivers, waves, sand dunes, roads, rocks etc…


 

3. Framing

Framing in photography consist in creating a visual picture frame within your image to draw attention to the main subject

In landscape photography the frame is natural, like trees, branches, rocks or leafs. In architecture are usually used window, arches, doors

Framing images helps very much to give attention to key elements. Many times, frames are easy to find in other cases creativity is needed but the prominence of the subject is guarantee

Finding frames while shooting is sort of like being on a really creative scavenger hunt. You’re constantly looking for new ways to frame your subject or finding creative tools to incorporate


 

4. Add Foreground Elements

Adding foreground or use foreground elements to fill the composition is one of my favourite rules of landscape photography composition. The use of the foreground helps very much to fill the space between the main subject and the rest of the image, it gives imediately a sense of depth

To add a foreground elements it depends of what you are photographing and on your own creativity, in most cases just to take a look of what you have around and add it at the bottom of the shot

Sometimes is enough lower the camera angle view by including a good part of the foreground towards the main background element

Whe you use this composition rule remember that is helpful if it adds to the impact of the image but it should not be distracting, which is why it is important to balance the use of the foreground in favor of the key elements


 

5. From Light to Dark

Light is one of the key factors that captures the most attention. When I wrote my article about 10 Tips To Improve Your Landscape Photos I was talking about shooting in the direction of light; this is because the sun will add a wonderful point of energy in your image, it will change and enhance the entire balance of light in your picture

Playing with light and creating transition areas between warm and cold or bright and darks is what drives the viewer towards the main subject


 

6. Viewpoint

Today on the web we often see images very similar to each other, strongly influenced by social media and by the desire of photographers to emulate some top shots found on socials

All this is normal and also understandable, we live in the age of social networks and we are constantly influenced by beautiful locations images

When you take a shot try to change your angle view, it helps a lot to create new interesting compositions. This gives the possibility to create a more personal content

All this changes in viewpoint can add a deeper meaning or feeling to your image, doing it is not always easy but a scouting of the location always gives interesting and different points of views


 

7. Mind the Corners

This is not a compositional rule, but more a warning. When we take a shot we need to ask if every element in the frame is necessary and it help the composition of the image

About this keep attention to not to leave elements in the corners that could distract the viewer’s attention. The presence of some spots or distracting elements may easily grab attention out. It is easily removable zoomin or moving the tripod or removing it in post processing


Romantic Rome

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I love photographing Rome from the bridges of the river. This is a shot that I cyclically go to take because it’s a beautiful spot and every time it changes in something

No doubt, this spot is one of the most classic in Rome and if you have seen my recent instagram / facebook stories you realized how many people had crowded it in a street corner just to take this picture

Unfortunately some locations in Rome are recently becoming impractical for the crowds around these photo spots and this is becoming one of them

However the view from here is magnificent, Castel Sant’Angelo on the right (remains covered by the trees but it is still visible between), at the bottom the San Pietro basilica and all the beauty reflections and water games that this postcard offers

The only disturbing element is unfortunately that horrendous billboard that has been there for a long time now, besides being huge it is also illuminated and impacts a lot in the picture. I could not remove it in post because I would have compromised the photo, but I had a strong temptation to do it


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I wait until the complete dusk to make this shot, this is from the late blue hour. I captured 5 bracketed shots and I blended all the exposures using TTS PRO 

With the blended image I fixed the light and darkness using curves tool and luminosity masks, than I straightened the horizon using ruler tool on the bridge and I launched high details filters of my panel

I applied a cold filter to the image, first applying it on the highlights and then on the shadows, to give a greater nocturnal and a “elegance” touch to the frame

I fixed some colors that appears too bright, for this I used hue / saturation filter applied selectively thank I increased the vividness of the sky

In closing I applied a slight orton effect and increased the sharpen reducing the opacity to 20%

I hope you will find this informations 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/16

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


The Touch of the Sun

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Looking back at some of the shots taken in Japan, I found this picture that take my interest.

In particular this is the initial area of the Arashiyama Bamboo forest, at this point the bamboo is not as thick and narrow as in some of the inner points but you can appreciate the beautiful through the bamboo

The light is surely the most striking in this photo and in particular how it touches those two large dark trees beside the bamboo, the tree on the right in particular

To make the shot in my opinion very interesting there is also the beautiful game of contrasts and lights on the main avenue and at the end a tourist who enters the frame at the bottom that concludes the composition of the image


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I captured for this shot 3 exposure brakets that I blended using my panel, with the same tool I lauched high details effect very usefull to add details using frequency separation

I incresed the yellow colours applying a warmer filter first to the highlights than to the shadows, separately with a different opacity (usually shadows require less % than highlights)

With the dodge and burn tool I darkened some part of the foliage with too much light and with the glow tool I increased the luminosity at the points of the path and on the fence hits by the sun

With the use of orton effect I increased the glow of the picture, to give more energy to the sunlight. Final steps was to decrease a bit the general luminosity, recover the shadows and to add a small vignette

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Five Exposures (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f/9

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


The Underbelly

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One of the most significative spot of Rome is the view of Castel Sant’Angelo with his bridge, this is one of my favourite spots in my city

The beauty of the castle and the reflections on the river during dusk are make this place one of the most famous locations in Rome

I usually take my shots the other side of the bridge but this time cause to a dry river this time I preferred the view from the west side

That day I stayed in the place from the sunset to the end of the blue hour, just before dark the sky take a tone of a beautiful purple

Although I was satisfied with my previous shots taken, the latest photos with this shade of purple became my main choices 🙂


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I take 5 exposure brackets for this frame, I blended the shots using
TTS PRO with the function auto blend darks, I started from the darker shots to the brighter

With the use of luminosity masks I ligthened some parts under the bridge, to decrease the darks than with dodge and burn I pushed up the lights in the areas of main view of the frame

I increased details and contrast, with a curve tool I also increased the luminosity of the sky and applied a soft warm filter to the higlights to mitigate the blue/purple effect and better mix it with golden hour colours

I added a vignette to increase the sense of darkness of this image and with the glow tool I increased the luminosity of reflections and water

Last passage is to use color efex pro filter to use “glamour glow” filter to add a smooth look to the image, I love the glow generated by this filter

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


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/13

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro, Color Efex Pro


Waiting for the Night

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Here is a new autumnal image from my series of photos taken in Friuli. During my tour I also included a series of local lakes that had caught my attention over my research of some spot to photograph

It often happened that I had to deal with the rain during those days but the autumn atmosphere and the mist that rose on the horizon made special any corner of nature that caught my attention

I’ts for the same reason that towards evening, I stopped on the banks of a lake to take this picture where I tried to portray the dark but at the same time colorful armosphere that could be admired in those places

At that moment there was a pretty strong rain, luckily I always carry an umbrella with me that allowed me to cover the camera and to take the shots without wetting the lens, the image is realized with a 3 shots brackets

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I combined the shots using digital blending between the darkest photo and the central shot, I used the most exposed shot to lighten some areas of the photo (such as puddles) using a brush applied to luminosity masks

Using TTS PRO, I launched autumn colours to increase the red look of the autumn foliage, than I increased the blue colours applying a cold filters to the shadows.

I adjusted the contrast and brightness then started using dodge and burn over the puddles, around the tree and on the mist to stand them more to the viewer’s eye

After this I created a strong orton effect to increase the dark mood and to give a more dreamy look to the frame

I gave to the highlights a greater warmth filter in order to create a warm tone that highlights the colors of autumn, at the same time I launched color lookup filter using “Midnight” (opacity 10) to restore the same level of brightness and leave the colors of the sky unaltered

I hope you will find this usefull. I’m happy 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


The Autumn Path

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This is a photo taken last autumn during my tour along the Friuli Venezia Giulia, were days of heavy rain and very adverse weather but during those days I could admire beautiful autumn landscapes

It often happened that I stopped with the car along the routes to get off to take pictures. Among these landscapes that have impressed me there is certainly this view of the valley of Raccolana wrapped in the fog and the colors of autumn, down the walking path through the woods

What struck me was the mix of colors not only present in the valley between the green and the red that blend the leaves and the trees but also the perfect meeting between the warm and the cold light at the end of the day

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I take this as single shot, so I edited the image by using luminosity masks applied to curves adjustment layer, without any blend

Using my panel TTS PRO, I launched autumn colours to increase the red look of the autumn foliage, with the same tool I launched high details to increase the details over the frame

My next step was to give more warm look to the photo so I applied a warm filter to the highlights, after this I launched orton effect  to give a more soft look to the landscape

Using dodge and burn applied to luminosity masks I give more lights over the fog, after this I fixed contrast between highlighs and darks

Latest steps was to decrease the general lights and to add a soft sharpen to the final frame

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

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Sigma 24-70 f/2,8 (used at 31mm)

Single Shot

ISO: 100 at f/6,3

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


Ice Bushes II

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Another pov by the iced lake Calaita, I took advantage of a vertical photo along the vegetation on the lake. As I wrote in my previous post, this location is an alpine lake located in the valley of Lozen and it in winter is very often frozen without snow.

Compared to the previous photo this was taken at an earlier time of the day. Also this picture is made by using focus stacking technique to compose the photo by the mountain and the close-up bushes

I take all my shots bracketing in order to select have the correct dynamic range avaiable to blend the exposures

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I focus stacked the main shots and with the other bracketed images I made other focus stacking pictures, to have the exposures avaiables to digital blend all the images. At the end of this process I created my base shots, blended and focus stacked

After the details increase with the use of TTS PRO, I launched dodge and burn (to lighten the bushes and the trees ) and to darken the light over the mountain that was too high.

I increased yellow colors on the mountain and I decreased the same yellows on the bushes. With the luminosity masks applied to the highlighs I incresed the lights at the back of the mountain and I launched a orton effect to give more dreamy look at the image. Always using my panel I lauched details shadows filter to increase the details over the foreground without affecting other part of the frame

Last spots was to intervened on the colors, increasing the level of blue and violet in general and adding a soft vignette

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

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8

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

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS 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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