Welcome to Mars – Calascio

Welcome to Mars – Calascio

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In the village of Calascio, looking towards the valley, you will find this beautiful view where is located this small church

The church I’m talking about is called Santa Maria della Pietà is a religious building located in Abruzzo, next to the Norman castle and the village of Rocca Calascio, open to religious ceremonies only on special occasions and managed by a group of volunteers from the place

The church is located along the path that leads to the castle of Rocca Calascio at 1482 m. on the place where, according to tradition, the population defeated a band of brigands who, coming from the nearby Campo Imperatore in the Papal State, were about to storm the possessions of the Piccolomini family

This area is very visited during the year especially in summer, many tourists come to this village for a daily trip to take a visit to the ancient village and especially for the view of the valley from the castle which is beautiful especially at sunset where the warm colors of the sky radiate the valley with beautiful yellow colors


I manage the two images in a very similar way, for both images I used exposure blend to get a balanced images and recover all the highlights and shadows from the exposures

With luminosity masks I finish to correct the highlights and contrast between the two images. After applying orton effect  to create a dreamy feel in the scene especially for the valley image, while for the exposure of the church I increase the warm coming from the sun

With  luminosity masks I increse the warm of the highlight, than I lighten some part of the images using the glow tool, as final I launch a sharpen filter a bit the two images creating for the one of the curch a dark vignette for the foreground

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


Camera: Nikon D-850

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

Sigma 24-70 f2,8 (used at 70mm)

Three Exposures (-1; 0;+1)

ISO: 100 at f8

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0

Milky Way Door

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To make this picture I moved to the central area to have a frontal view of the “door” this time in front of me, the moment of shooting the picture is logically different than my previous post, the milky way was much more displaced and higher. This was not one of my favorites spots that night because the light pollution of the nearby cities that are located a few kilometers away from the location selected for this photo definitely comes on stage

I selected two shots for this image, the first with a darken and the second with brighter foreground, in this way i was able to use the brighter shot to bring up the lights on the ruins and the foreground, I don’t use any blending functions but only luminosity masks to bring up exposures and layer masks to paint the areas in.



I started in Camera Raw setting the exposure, shadows, whites to push up initially the milky way withouting destroy the other part of the picture. I’t really important that in this first phase to not add contrast because it will affect all the following work.

Opened the image in photoshop  I started to  to raise up the milky way using  TTS PRO  I made the main adjustments regarding, color, lights and contrast masking the work done only on the milky way, for this I simply used a layer mask and a brush. With dodge and burn I increased the lights around the rocks on the foreground and I darkend the light pollution coming from the city. Using hue/saturations and the color adjust funcions of  TTS PRO i fixed the colors around the milky way, this time turning it slightly more on blue

Always using my panel this time I applied the noise reduction to the image, reducing the opacity a little bit more, the latest touch whas to add a very soft focus around the milky way using glow funcion, you can find the tutorial here

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



Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Two Exposures

ISO: 3200 at f/2,8

Software: Photoshop CC2018

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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