Mountain Roots

Mountain Roots

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In the splendid setting of the Alps I took advantage of every single shot and moment of light that I had available, it was a beutiful excursion and a very prolific day from a photographic point of view. I made this shot using a large root of a tree that protruded from the ground around the frozen lake with the mountain in the background to complete the scenery

Here too, as in my two previous photos, I shot with the focus stacking technique, then first capturing a series of shots for the foreground and then a new series of shots for the mountain in the background. The result is a shot completely in focus, you can find more information on this technique in my article dedicated to how to use focus stacking with exposure bracketing


The processing was very similar to the latest of this series, I firstly blended the shots with respective focus, than I blended the two groups of images using focus stacking technique

With the use of TTS Pro I added details and contrast to the frame, than I increased warm lights with a warm filter applied to luminosity masks. I launched orton effect, than I fixed lights and contrasts using again luminosity masks around the main point of interests such as highlights and dark shadows

With the use of dodge and burn I lighten the root in order to give more appearance to the eye of the viewer, I also lightened the trees below the mountain and given more prominence to the sunlight reflections on the ice

I increased the colour vibrance and the autumn colour look using the specific effect you can find in my free panel

As final touch I darkened the the lawn area around the roots to give greater prominence to the central figure of the photo

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


Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Single Shot

ISO: 100 at f/14

Software: Photoshop CC2020

Plugin: TTS Pro

The Crystal Veins

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I know, there are many photos that I am posting every week of this place and its surroundings but the situations I found with light, ice, colours and great points of view was very very interesting

Compared to last week’s shot I shot a few tens of meters but as you can see for yourself the main subject remains the same. Here too I benefited from large and interesting colors in the sky not quite the classical golden hour time, a sign that in the mountains there are many hours during the day where you can shoot with great colours during the day

Also here as for the previous shot I used the focus stacking technique with multi exposure, so I captured a bracketing series with a focus on the foreground and a bracketing series with the focus on the mountain subject in order to blend the “two series of shots” togheder


To use the focus stacking technique I digital blended the shots with foreground using TTS Pro than I repeated the same process for the shots with mountain focused, after this I merged the two series togheder using focus stacking function on Photoshop

I fixed the highlights using luminosity masks, than I regulated contrast and colours. With dodge and burn I regulated all the lighting around the mountain, the forest below it but also in the reflections of the lake and on the rock

With my glow tool and the use of a brush with warm colors I emphasized the colors on the rocks of the sun and on the ice around them

After this I increased details and sharpness removing the effect in the unwanted areas using a simple layer mask and a black brush

Also for this shot I applied two different kinds of orton effect: the first is the classic orton effect decreased to the opacity to 15% and the second is the orton effect dark, that emphatize the dark tones of the image this time reduced in the opacity by 10%

I also decreased a bit the whole exposure of the shot, to create more atmosphere in this view

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


Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Single Shot

ISO: 100 at f/14

Software: Photoshop CC2020

Plugin: TTS Pro

Where Tomorrow Goes

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A blue hour at the beginning of darkness at Passo Falzarego, a beautiful atmosphere during the day and a night that turns out to be even more interesting an mysterious

I took this photo just before darkness shoting on one of the main peaks and working with a focus stacking between the backround mountain and the foreground shrub

My main intent in this photo was to convey a sense of darkness and mystery, I used focus stacking on a bracketing series which that I blended with luminosity masks in Photoshop


I blended the shot using TTS Pro to achieve a final shot with both background and foreground in focus, after this I increased the blue colours and decreased the exposure to intensify the dark mood

I increased details and I applied a orton effect, , after this I fixed contrast over the frame. I added a soft blue filter and with dodge and burn tool I made some painting over the shrub and over the mountain

I fixed the lights and darkness using luminosity masks and I increased sharpen over the mountain, as last touch I increased the vignette giving more light to the center of the image

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


Camera: Nikon D-800

Nikon 70-200 f/2,8 (used at 102mm)

Three Shots (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 320 at f/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2020

Plugin: TTS Pro

Bubble Crack

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Visiting Lake Braies is always beautiful, since I’ve been here other times, on my last visit I wanted to see it in winter. Usually in winter the frozen lakes lose part of their fascination, especially due to the absence of reflections, but in my opinion they gain on the colors and the pov where it is possible to take some pictures and Braies is one of the best on this

I found a very interesting point under the famous pier overlooking the mountain, under the snow could not settle and so remained only the ice, here the view towards the mountain in the background was perfect and the ice with all its variations did the rest

Photo aside this pov was definitely very uncomfortable, I had to shoot quickly because the place was very slippery and my tripod keep slipping away 🙂

I captured the images with two different focus points for focus stacking in order to obtain a unique focused picture of lake Braies 



As I mentioned above, I captured all my bracketing exposures first focusing on the ice below and then focusing to the mountain.  Once at the computer I uploaded all the photos between them and started this process to have 3 final images focused near and to infinite

At this point I started using my TTS PRO panel, to make a digital blending between images using auto blend functions. I started removing some people in the scene with clone stamp tool, than I raised the detail levels and adjusted the contrast with the luminosity masks

I used the dodge and burn to give more impact to the bubbles below, then adjusted the colors by increasing the purple and applying a colder filter to the frame. With the glow tool I adjusted the light intensity of the sky and lightened some points of the photo.

Finally I launched a slight orton effect and created a vignette effect to emphasize the central scene

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



Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Three Exposures Focus Stacked (-1; 0; +1;)

ISO: 50 at f/6,3

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro

The Hollow

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Giuseppe Sapori - The Hollow

The plain of Campo Imperatore on a quiet Sunday in December. I took this picture a few minutes before sunset in a small lake near the main road. That day I was going to make some shots to the largest and Lake Pietranzoni but I found all the roads closed due to snow and so I had to come back and take some shots here. I shot using  focus stacking between the foreground bush and the tip of Corno Grande of Gran Sasso basically doing three bracketed exposure shots by series


I stack the images in three different pictures than I blended the different exposures togheder using luminosity masks. I increased contrast using curves applied to midtones and I raised up contrast again using midtones minus darks to avoid too much darken parts around the foreground. With the help of my panel, I launched details and sharpen, then I used dodge and burn to refine lights and darks around the bush

I make some color correction using camera raw and I decreased the blue on the top of the frame with hue/saturation. As final touch I added a vignette to the image increasing a little bit more contrast.  I hope you find this informations useful, if you have any suggestions write to me, I love always hear you



Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1) x2

ISO: 100 at f/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel

Twelve Sides of Gold

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Giuseppe Sapori - Twelve sides of Gold

This is the Seville Tower of Gold (in Spanish Torre del Oro) is one of the landmarks of the city, the whole area surrounding the tower is a belvedere through Guadalquivir river. The river banks are a nice walk with bicycle lanes, a bridge overlooking the river where it can be admired a landscape of the city flanked by the tower. The Tower of Gold is composed of twelve sides and 36 meters high is an important symbol for the people of Seville, the story has it that a result of the Lisbon earthquake, the tower was badly damaged and on that occasion the Marquis de Monte Real we proposed the demolition to widen the adjacent street but, in the face of strong opposition from the local population, the idea of ​​the demolition was abandoned. I planned this photo after a small scout of the area, having seen the bridge in fact, my first idea was to photograph the tower from the bridge, but did not offer the view I was hoping for… So I went down to the base of the bridge where I found the picture you see, the bar on the right with a little muddy foregroud, riverside and the beautiful tower of gol in the background was exactly the composition I was looking for.

When I take these shots I take exposures for the foreground and for the tower, to have all the images needed to apply a bracketed focus stacking. (for any clarification there’s a tutorial here). So 3 exposures to focus on the part of the foreground and 3 other exposures to focus properly the tower, I combined them with photomerge and then proceed to the traditional interventions with Photoshop. That’s all!



Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1;) for the foreground

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1;) for the highlights

ISO: 200 at f/8

Software: Photoshop CC2015

Tutorial: Bracketed Landscape with Focus Stacking

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The technique of the Focus Stacking consists in taking a series of pictures gradually changing the focus between the one and the other; being processed will join the shots, taking advantage of each image only those parts that appear to be in focus. In landscape photography the main rule is to focus all the elements of the foreground and take some exposure for the sky or highlights.

When i was at the lake in Campo Imperatore I shot a large number of exposures to focus on all the rocks it was, sky and mountain. When I go home indeed I realized that I really need only one of the exposures for the foreground, and only one of exposures for the mountain, focus stack all the rocks one by one in this case was not so necessary, cause the focus was pratically the same for each rock. I did not think about it 🙂

So in this tutorial I will show you how to apply focus stacking in a foregrounded landscape using Bracketing mode and how I use other exposures for my final image.


Shooting and preparing the images

I took a series of exposures bracketed images ( -1 , 0, +1 ) for the rocks in the foreground and an additional bracketed series of shots focusing the mountain set on ∞  ( -1 , 0 + 1 ).

Added to this, there is another shot that I took in the late evening to replace the mountain covered by clouds. For a total of 7 exposures.



I take all the shots using tripod, ISO 100 and f/11

Below all the steps I do that show you  how to focus stack and how to make a blend with additional exposure


Stacking and Auto Blending

1. Launch Lightroom and select all the stack images.

2. Right Click on the images selected. Develop settings>Sync Settings

3. Adjust for all the stacked images,  distortion,  white balance, contrast ecc…

4. Right Click again and select Edit In > Open as Layers in Photoshop

5. Select all the layers and Go to Edit>Auto-Align Layers, with settings as follow:

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6.  Regroup layers by exposure.

For a 2 series of bracketing (-1; 0 +1) x 2 I had 2 overexposed, 2 correct and 2 underexposed images.

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7. Highlight images by group and blend them, Edit>Auto-Blend Layer like below:

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Photoshop will blend the highlighted images creating a layer mask for each image, to show in white the sharp and in black the hidden areas. Select this layers and merge them.


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Theese three images are now a “Bracketed Focus Stacked Series”, you can now edit them with Photoshop as you do with a normal bracketing series.  I usually edit theese shots using Luminance Masks to select all the brights and shadows I need without affecting the entire picture in order to create a final quality image.


Exposure Blend

Remember the seventh exposure that I said at the beginning? I’ve taken it just before leaving the location, cause I had seen that the mountain began to discover from the clouds. In that picture I had masked only this part of the mountain without affecting the sky.

1. Put the new layer at the top, and auto align again with Edit>Auto-Align Layers

2. Create layer mask and click (Ctrl+I; PC) or (Cmd+I MAC) to invert it

3. Select now a white brush and paint in the areas of the sky that you want to blend in

4. Press( Ctrl+E; PC) or (Cmd+E; MAC) to merge layers

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The final question is “How many images do I need, and where should they be focused?”

The answer depends on what your scene looks like and what effect you’re trying to achieve.

At a minimum, you need to have each scene element you need be sharp, at least one (or a series of bracketing shots)

Sometimes you can do that by focusing specifically on each element you care about. For example in presence of many close-up elements in the foreground, ( leafs, flowers and other things that wind can move). In this case take many exposure as for the element you need.



The Heaven Mirror

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Giuseppe Sapori - The Heaven Mirror

Hello guys, first of all happy new year and lucky 2016 to everyone!! I decided to start this year with a series of shots taken at Gran Sasso during last autumn. It ‘a series of spectacular shots of all the magnificent nature that you can find those heights, including stars. I decided to start in chronological order from the first photo taken during sunset on the lake overlooking the tip of the big horn of Gran Sasso, a sight to leave speechless by the beauty, immersed in nature for hours it was also fun to see the wild horses and the ox that occasionally approached the lake to drink.

I made dozens of shots of this part, from the golden hour to finally get virtually the blue hour. The photographs taken during the golden hour were definitely the most fascinating in terms of colors, but the bright light of this hour restrained me to choose these shots, while the exposures taken during the blue hour were much more attractive but less marked with reflections. So I decided to  choose a series of exposures taken in the mid point of time, as lights and reflections that were the right measure.

To make the shot more interesting I chose to portray most foreground, rather than making an image somewhere between water and sky. This difference needed careful focus of rocks below than the horizon. For this reason I made a focus stacking on the rocks on the bottom and then toward the horizon to better frame the mountains and have an image that was both elements in focus. Until the latest shots, the top of the mountain was covered by clouds, only in the late clouds go away from Corno Grande. For this reason I show the mountain “discovery” from the clouds with a exposure that I had made a few minutes later, masking it with those previously results obtained from focus stacking



Camera: Nikon D-800

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

ISO: 100 at f/11

3 Exposures (-1; 0; +1) stacked on the rocks

3 Exposures (-1; 0; +1) stacked on the horizon

1 Exposure for the mountain in the horizon

Software: Photoshop CC2015


Under the bridge

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Giuseppe Sapori - Under the bridge

I am back from my long weekend spent in Veneto in the north of Italy. Saturday I spent the afternoon in the beautiful town of Bassano del Grappa, a place that I already knew and that last year I photographed under the stars over Christmas. The little city of Bassano del Grappa is one of my favorites in Veneto and this year, before taking a tour of the beautiful Christmas markets, I made osome shots to the famous Alpine Bridge (Ponte degli Alpini).

When I come to the bridge I found some work in progress from the non-visible part of this picture so I decided to give it an alternative shot on the river banks. It was enough delve a little bit at the bottom and climb over the fence to get somewhere in this picturesque small rocks bank that looks at the bridge, everything else did the sky and the city of Bassano 🙂

I applied the Focus Stacking  in the whole picture, putting at first to fire the rocks in the foreground, then the more distant and finally the horizon of the bell tower. If you want more information on the focus stacking I recommend you go there to read this article  on 500px ISO written by Max Foster. I applied some variation to thist utorials for every focused image I did 3 expoures Bracketing, in various moments of the evening, In this way I had the availability of more overexposed and underexposed picture for contrast, exposure and details editing.



Camera: Nikon D-800

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

ISO: 100 at f/8

Three Shots (-1; 0; +1;) focus stacked

Software: Photoshop CC2015

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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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