Stairing the Middle

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Giuseppe Sapori - Stairing the middle

This is the famous spiral staircase inside the Vatican Museums, is a staircase built in the 30s as a result of a series of architectural works included in the Vatican City in the aftermath of the signing of the Lateran Pacts. The spiral staircase of the vatican museums is a double spiral staircase by a striking perspective effect. As roman I visited the Vatican museums as a child many years ago with the school and I have always seen this scale in the picture, I recently had the chance to return again to visit this beautiful museum (which I recommend to everyone) and photograph this staircase

Speaking about how I take this picture: I visited the vatican museums on Saturday where there really was a sea of people 🙂 that stopped to the stairs to take pictures, my goal was to take a series of exposures with the intent to auto align them and to remove people from the stairs


I selected a bracketed series with the less people as possible behind the shots I take. I blend the images with luminosity masks, lighten some darks with darks4 around the stair. I take another exposure with no people on the bottom of the stairs and some other exposure with no people on the first part of it to auto align the images and easy mask out people from the main frame

With the clean frame available I started launching with TTS fast panel: high details, orton effect and dodge and burn with whom I darkened a few points on the scale that had too much brights

With the color lookup tool I launched “filmstock” filter and reduced the opacity to 10% to give effect made of different light to the staircase. I launched a photo filter giving a slight yellow tint, such as by applying soft light fusion method and reducing the opacity to 20%

Finally I adjusted the contrast and image lights adding a slight vignetting


Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 250 at f/4,5

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel

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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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