The Cliffhouse

The Cliffhouse

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Anyone who has been following me for many years knows that this place is one of my favorites for capturing seascape images. I come back here on this cliffhouse annually… if only for a short time to enjoy the beauty of the area as well as being able to capture images of long exposures on these cliffs

This place has the distinction of having often beautiful sunsets beyond that small house built on the rocks. Here I made a focus stacking between the rocks that were lower down and all the other elements of the photo

For the sea, I captured various long exposures with a ND filter -3 stops, to keep the water with some textures, I waited here all the golden hour but it is during the blue hour where the colors of the sky literally exploded … with colors that went from yellow to blue passing through purple

I captured all the shots that I then blended in Photoshop, the detail below

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I blended the image using focus stacking technique, it was necessary just a couple of images to make focus stack between the first rocks and the background, the shooting position was in fact not too close as the sea was strong enough I kept away from it 🙂

After realizing the focused image with the help of TTS Pro panel, I digital blended the images to benefit for the best sky and for the best long exposure on water. About this the water is the result of 2 images of waves crashing on the rocks an another one for the rest of the sea

After increasing details and fixed contrast around the rocks, I fixed sky tones and highlights using luminosity masks. I launched a cold filter for the foreground and a soft warm filter for the sky

I also increased the whole colours vividness of the whole image using my panel and I softly retouched some rocks with dodge and burn. As last steps I removed some distracting elements on the frame especially for those was in the corner

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 14-24f/2,8 (used @24mm)

Focus Stacking Serie

ISO: 80 f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0


Illusion of Time – Tre Cime

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I come back after several years to Tre Cime of Lavaredo, an incredible and beautiful place known wordwide. Unlike last time I took the typical shot of the view of the Tre Cime closer to the blue hour

At that time some clouds were also rising that, few minutes later, covered the whole view in white, luckily I was able to capture the last images of the day of the visible peaks before they were covered

I take the shot using the focus stacking technique, focusing first on the small flowers in the foreground, then in the central part and then on the peaks. I taked some shots based on the alternation of the clouds on Tre Cime waiting to capture the shot that would make them visible at best, the result of 9 total photos is what you see in the image

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

As mentioned I made this shot using focus stacking technique, I made it blending all the shots avaiable captured here, 9 shots with different focus parts included the image used for the peaks. I don’t use digital blending here because I don’t captured bracketed shots, the management of so many shots with different focus and also with different exposure would have created an incredible and not so usefull job to do in post

Therefore I edited the image using only luminosity masks and my panel TTS Pro, as usual we see the main steps of the workflow:

I added details and contrast to the whole frame, I fixed colours, than glow using orton effect . With the help of dodge and burn tool I lightened some darker part of the foreground and on the clouds

I increased the blue tones of the image adding a cold filter applied to highlights than shadows, I also used light bleeding to add some lights to the sky and colours to the clouds

I desaturate selectively some blue tones of the sky and as final step I added a soft dark vignette to the frame

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 14-24f/2,8 (used @16mm)

Focus Stacking Serie

ISO: 100 f/14

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0


Antorno

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The small but beautiful lake antorno is located on the road that leads from Misurina to the Tre Cime of Lavaredo, just before the toll road for the park of “Tre Cime”. It is a must for all those who go to the famous park in question but the small Antorno lake deserves a careful visit, especially on sunset

Although its best view is opposite to the sunset, the colors of the mountain that lights up as the sun goes down gives beautiful reflections into the water. I composed this photo with the help of this bush on the foreground and I used it to realize a focus stacking through the element of the frame.

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

To begin with I stack the images into Photoshop the focused image in all the element of the frame, I used the other expoures to realize a digital blending and create a balanced image. With the use of I launched details filter to increase details on the main spot, than I correct colours and contrast

With the help of  luminosity masks applied to TTS Pro filters I warmened the sky and I increased the dark mood of the image, I also created a orton effect to mitigate the details effect and create a soft glow dreamy feel. Using dodge and burn I gived some last touches to the image, going to increase/decrease lights in the main area of interest

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 14-24 f/2,8 (used @24mm)

Three Shots (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


Stronghold Temple

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Starting to travel again, I also had the time to spend a night in a village of my old acquaintance from where my family originates, this place is located a few kilometers from my home and I know it very well

Here I spent many years of my childhood and growing up I transformed a lot of my knowledge of the place into a photo scouting. It is here where I soon will organize a full workshop program for explore all the surrounding area

This is one of the spots I planned for the workshop, very nice for both sunrise and sunset. I combined the two moments of golden hour and blue hour waiting for the public lighting to start to create a better mix between the two moments and also benefit from some small light trails as seen below left

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I blended the shot using digital blending with my panel TTS Pro, than I recover some dark shot to add lights and light trails to the image. I made the major adjustments using using luminosity masks: create contrast, decrease luminosity, add some warm colours to the sky

With orton effect I added some glow light at the scene and with dodge and burn I recovered some area in the village. As final steps I added details to the whole frame and I decreased a bit the luminosity

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Sigma 24-70 f/2,8 (used @32mm)

Three Shots (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


Arms of the Earth

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I returned as a sure shot in this wood that I know very well, in a location not far from my hometown. I come here many times since I was a child but only recently I discovered the photographic potential of this place

Here I begin to know the trees and their peculiarities like this trunk with a particular shape that seems to remember that of two limbs facing the sky behind a gorgeous mid-afternoon light.

In this place together with other spots that you will see in the next posts that I have in mind to create the next photographic workshop to discover these places with you there will be developments in the coming months in this regard 🙂

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I realized this capturing the images using focus stacking and bracketed shots in order to create easily digital blending with my panel TTS Pro. I fixed the lights and shadows using luminosity masks, I increased contrast and darkened the scene to emphatize lights

I launched a dark orton effect and I correct some lights using dodge and burn, as final step I created a vignette to increase the dark mood of the image

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 14-24 f/2,8 (used @16mm)

Focus Stacking

ISO: 100 

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


7 Tips for Better Sunset Photography

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As everyone knows, the best moment to capture the best light is during sunset, this time of day coincides with the best softest light and which gives better colors in the sky and lights. This time of the day is generally between golden hour and blue hour to achieve the best light in the day

Nowadays everyone knows this simple but basic rule of photography, but so how to go further? How can be more professional in this field? Let’s find out in this article through these 7 tips for better sunset photography

1 Scout the Location Before Shooting

Scouting of the location is the requirement of a professional photography, as regards the main difference is made to arrive early and leave late the location. This simple advice will drastically increase the possibility of returning home with a shot of greater interest

Arriving earlier helps to find the right position of the photo, going away late helps to find the right light you are looking for in the shot you’re making. Sometimes it happens that the best moments for shooting are moved from the canonical moments of the golden and blue hour, this is because they are strongly conditioned from weather and location

2 Know the Sun Spot

This is the primary tip for a professional photo, knowing the sun’s position increase the chance to create impactful images. You will understand what the light will do and consequently what your image will look like, in this way you will be able to adjust your photo according to your needs

To find out this position you can help you with many apps, for example I use Photopills that have a very intuitive sun spot section

3 Shoot into the Sun direction

When it is possible I love shooting landscape into the sun direction. Taking the shot into the sun direction greatly increases the possibility of creating impactful images because it includes an important point of energy in the frame

Shooting into the sun direction also allows you to play with the sun’s spikes when it “lands” on some element of the frame, a condition that I love to capture in my landscapes

4 Always Bracket your Shots

When shooting towards sunset the possibility of having images with a great contrast is very high. Usually high contrasted images are very difficult to manage and for this reason I always shoot using bracketing mode

The bracketing mode grants to obtain a wide dynamic range of the scene through a series of exposures, furthermore, this guarantees an excellent result for digital blending of the image in Photoshop

5 Try Differents Focal Lens

As a landscape photographer I have always captured many photos using my wide angle, but during time I learned the importance of experimenting with other points of view and other focal lengths to achieve best results


In some cases, using different lenses instead of wide angle can give better results, it all depends on the location and situation, it is the case of the gallery below that I took in the mountains or in the hills. At a distance I had points that hit the eye with a wide angle it would not have been the same results

6 Focus on Composition

Everything said above is important but it is nothing compared to a good composition, this is the main tip that allows you to create an impactfull landscape. Don’t always focus yourself on shooting at eye level, include the right portion of the sky / foreground in your photo and balance the elements for a perfect composition. On this topic I have written a specific guide that I recommend you go and read called 7 Composition guidelines for better landscape photography

7 Luminosity Masking

Luminosity masks are the best way to bring out the best on your sunset images, using luminosity masks and digital blending can easily include in your image all the main elements of your shots and create a balanced images with a full dynamic range

You can read more about luminosity masks in many articles of this site and you can take a look better at them on my dedicated guide mastering luminosity masks. Don’t forget to going deepen downloading my FREE panel for Photoshop and if you want to go deepen you can discover TTS Pro for easy and professional digital blendings


The Hills of Val d’Orcia Pt.2

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This week I continue with a collection of images captured in the suggestive Val d’Orcia in Tuscany. Side the images published last week are added these, some taken in very famous locations in the area and also many of these captured with a telephoto that in this area helps a lot to exalt the beauty of the place and his landscapes

This second collection it is entirely captured from the top of some hills, details of some very suggestive farms at various times of the day, I love the alternation of light and the contrasts that are created by playing among the details of the hills and trees

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

This series is composed by single shots so no digital blendings was done for this images. As the previous post I applied the same “treatment” for these shots: increase details, applied a warm filter and decreased some highlights in the sky

For some shots I also applied a soft orton effect, I increased a little bit contrast and fixed colours using my panel TTS Pro. As final step I applied a soft vignette to all the images to give more prominence to the main subject

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 70-200 f/2,8 

Single Shots

ISO: 100 

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


The Hills of Val d’Orcia

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After a winter without travel, I finally had the opportunity to leave for this magnificent location in Tuscany. Very famous but also very photographed is the third time I come here in few years. Tuscany offers fantastic photography spots in every angle and with the help of google earth before travel it is the perfect place to photograph

Here it comes handy necessary the use of a telephoto lens, not that with other types of lenses you do not take as many beautiful photos but at my view the telephoto lens here leave space to focus more on details and gives you the chance to take home a few more shot

This small collection is an example of some shots taken from the top of some hills, details of some very suggestive farms at various times of the day, I love the alternation of light and the contrasts that are created by playing among the details of the hills

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

This series is composed by single shots so no digital blendings was done for this images. I applied the same “treatment” for these shots: increase details, sharpness, applied a warm filter

For some shots I also applied a soft orton effect, I increased a little bit contrast and fixed highlights and shadows using luminosity masks. I made all those steps using TTS Pro and as final step I applied a soft vignette to all the images to give more prominence to the main subject

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 70-200 f/2,8

Single Shots

ISO: 100

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


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


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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


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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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