Iced Bulwark

Iced Bulwark

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I always liked to photograph the frozen lakes and when I find one I never stop circling around looking for some rift or some interesting spot to shot 🙂

This is exactly what happened in this lake, where in my previous post, I talked about this represents one of my favorite photography locations

The surface of the lake was covered with transparent ice and below it you could see the vegetation, in some parts it emerged from the ice

I made this photo lying on the ice with the technique of focus stacking with bracketing to capture the two different points of focus, in this way I got 5 shots of different exposure per point

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I selected 2 shos to focus stack than with luminosity masks : I launched curves tool to fix lights around foreground and sky

I launched luminosity mask contrast using TTS PRO, after a color fix I pushed up the blues and yellow colors increasing in this way the violet tones

The next step was to increase detais, especially over the mountain, than with dodge and burn I give more prominence to the cracks on the ice

I reduced the exposure of the image and as final step I increased the highlights to give more enery to the sky

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

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS PRO


Mirror Hole

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During my visit to Lake Braies, I took a short ride along the lakeside looking for some interesting spots until I found this hole in the ice on the left side of the path

What struck me most about this spot was not so much finding an interesting composition, but to see how the trees and the mountain reflected in the hole in front of me. On the right side, the mountain reflects itself on the thin layer of existing ice

I took a series of 7 exposures brackting since the area where I was shooting was quite dark I wanted to have the full dynamic range available to intervene later with the digital blending

I take my shots a distance using my 14-24 lens set to 20 to not get too close to the hole where all around the ice was very thin, it was a little risky 🙂

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I opened all my shots inside Photoshop and I blended the exposures using TTS PRO with the use of luminosity masks I set the highlights and shadows to fix the sky and lighten the trees that was too dark

I increased details in the whole frame mitigating the effect by inserting a slight orton effect, which as you know I love to insert in almost all my images at low opacity

With dodge and burn I increased the lights over the ice and the reflections around the hole, giving more energy to the reflections and to that glow of light that is near the ice

I increased the purple colors a bit using camera raw filters and I put less blues using hue/saturation hand tool

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

Three Exposures Focus Stacked (-3 ; -2; –1; 0; +1; +2; +3)

ISO: 50 at f/9

Software: Photoshop CC2019

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 

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

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!

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

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


King of Snow

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Also this year I decide to spend a some days on the Italian Alps, these places are always beautiful and I really appreciate them also in winter, here we have Lake Carezza or rather the Latemar massif considering that the lake below is completely submerged in the snow

After the recent heavy rains in the autumn that caused extensive damage in many regions of northern Italy, this area has suffered too, on the road that leads to the lake I found hundreds of trees felled and collapsed due to bad weather and even the long lake Carezza not it was accessible

Despite this condition from the road it was possible the same to admire the lake Carezza and the Latemar massif due to the absence of trees that usually cover the view from the street. To have a greater width and depth of the scene I decided to photograph the lake through a photomerge, so I photographed the lake according to 3 sections, taking care not to exclude any element between one photo and the other, with bracketing mode to 3 shots

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I’m not a great fan of Photomerge because it increases the work in Photoshop, but I must admit that it is of great help when you want to give a greater photographic composition, to do this work I captured three bracketing images per horizontal group, respectively the mountain, the central body of the photo and the foreground

I discarded the darker ones and I worked exclusively on the middle shot and the brightest shot of the bracketing series, so I created two photomerges which I then used for digital blending. With the full image avaiable I started working on it to intensify the colors, here I used the Color efex pro plugin to boost up of the golden hour tones

Then I increased the contrast and details with the help of my TTS PRO panel. I used the dodge and burn applied to the luminosity masks darks to lighten the trees under the latemar massif and to darken and then bring out the details of the mountain, with the colors I intensified the yellow levels and slightly lowered the blue ones

I intensified the highlights and applied a slight orton effect to increase the photo’s glow level, as a final step I again adjusted the contrast of the photo and the brightness through the layers adjustment layers

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 50 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro, Color Efex Pro


Civita

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Here we are with the first post of this 2019, what you see is the now famous Civita di Bagnoregio, a location that is not far from Rome and which is in my opinion one of the most beautiful photo spots in central Italy

It is located downstream of the gullies, originally these valleys around had to be sweeter and more accessible and were crossed by an ancient road that connected the valley of the river Tevere to the lake of Bolsena

The morphology of the territory has been strongly influenced by erosion by atmospheric agents, by streams but also by deforestation, for this reason Civita di Bagnoregio is also famous for being nicknamed the “city that dies”

Now the town is offcially unhabited but during the day many activity of restaurants and local shops opens in it for tourism. Civita can only be reached through a reinforced concrete pedestrian bridge built in 1965

Coming to the photo the best position to photograph it is from the hill in front of it where you can see very well the city and the whole valley around, I made a series of shots during sunset, moving between the various areas

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I take 3 exposure brackets over the hill in front of Civita and I used the brighter exposure to lighten some part of the hill and of the town. I increased details using TTS PRO, I decreased the blue colours to the horizon with the mountain at the bottom and darken the light tones.

I launched a soft orton effect and fixed contrast and I applied two color lookup effects with opacity to 15%. As a last steps I launched the sharpen  and used a small vignette to darken the edges always using my panel

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Sigma 24mm f/2,8

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

ISO: 100 at f/8

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro

 


Cave In

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Back from Japan, on my lastest trip I visited Friuli region in Italy, during the course of my itinerary I have marked many photographic spots and this is precisely one of those. This famous waterfall in this area is named Fontanon di Goriuda that faces to a mountain recess inside a wood. It’s amazing to be near and feel the loud noise of water coming from it, in the area that is exactly behind there is a flow of air that brings a lot of water so the wash is assured 🙂

During my days in those areas I found a really bad weather, the rain was strong beating most of the day, many roads were closed for collapsed trees and even the day I went to visit the Fontanon di Goriuda it was raining heavily, fortunately the recess in the rock allowed me to take pictures in complete calm sheltered from the rain

Finding the exact position to make this shot was not easy considering the too much water  coming under the waterfall and on the other side the ground was sloping with mud … at the end with a little patience and getting muddy 🙂 I could find this point of view, my intention was to portray an overview of what I was facing: the beautiful Friulian landscape with the Fontanon di Goriuda on the left

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I captured 5 exposure brackets to make this but I don’t used all the shots for blending because the tree on the right moved too much from one pictures to another, so I just used one darker and one brighter exposure to fix the main darkness inside the cave and to decrease the lights in the sky

I launched  luminosity masks to made the main adjustments using contrasts and curves to lights and darkness, with the use of TTS PRO  I increased details and I launched orton effect to smooth the effect and to create a soft dreamy look around the waterfall. After this I used a white brush applied to a layer with soft light to intensify th glow effect selectively, you can see more of it here.

I little intensified the yellow look of the frame by applying a warm filter to the luminosity masks and then I stepped up the full color scale through the LAB Coloring

I also used dodge and burn around some areas that I wanted to lighten, as a final touch I lowered the brightness a little while preserving the light on the waterfall

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Three Exposures (-2 ;-1; 0; +1; +2)

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro

 


Milky Way Door

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I took this photo at the dawn of the moon, the light source that starts from the left is just the light of the moon that began to peek out of the mountains. I made this frame by two shots, I moved to photograph the rock first at the top to take all the milky way and then gradually down to include more foreground

Initially I did some tests shooting here with a subject in the picture and then other tests with a light source inside that little door that is in the ruins, I discarded all these shots because the image as a whole with all these elements was not look good, especially even if the light coming from the door would have made the most striking photo at the same time made it so much artifacts, so I avoided

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I followed the same editing line of the previous picture, I started opening the images on camera raw to make the first edits and save the images before apply the Photoshop photomerge in one, once obtained one single frame by this two exposures I applied the free trasform tool to adjust the empty areas and adapt to the frame

So I started edit the image by using camera raw to raise up the milky way than back in photoshop I applied the result only to the sky. Using TTS PRO  I made the main adjustments regarding, color, lights and contrast. I applied the luminosity mask contrast to better control the contrast over the point of lights darks and midtones of the picture

I increased the lights of the foreground applying a curves tool to the darks luminosity masks and I launched dodge and burn with I adjusted with a brush the colors over the milky way and the lights over the darkest areas of the foreground

I also made some adjustment to the colors, I don’t like so much the coolest tone of the night sky coming from this picture, in particular the sky was too much blue saturated, so in this case I stepped up the yellow tones of the light pollution and I decreased the saturation of the blue colors

In TTS PRO in the third page of finishing there are many functions to save and finishing your work, here I applied a small vignette reducing the opacity to 30% and I saved the images by height to simply create a web format image without loosing quality

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

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

 


The Wanderluster

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I absolutely love to photograph the night sky and every summer I try to find the right time to dedicate to the milky way and night shots. What you see is a shot taken in Abruzzo, an Italian region where nature is the main element and for me it is one of the main spots for landscapes and the night shots

This area is located in an ancient, uninhabited medieval village, very suggestive but above all ideal for taking shots and the milky way. At regard if you have not yet read it I recommend this article where I wrote how to plan and shot the milky way where you can find usefull information about the dark skies and how to take this kind of shots

This image is the result of a photomerge. I took a series of shots where I went to compose the frame by taking the whole milky way moving to the shots gradually down to including more foreground, I inserted the subject later with a mask from one shot taken separately to avoid the light disturb the visibility of the milky way

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

Before open the images in Photoshop I make some edits on camera raw, especially for the colors and the lights, I saved the results and I opened the images as photomerge that composed my based frame, I adjusted the frame using the free transform tool, than I started using camera raw again with TTS PRO where I made the major adjustments for the contrast, highlighs, white and black points for the milky way

Using curves I increased the lights on the foreground helping myself with a brush. With dodge and burn I fixed the lights over the underexposed areas and I added more colors in the sky and on the ruins. Always using my panel I applied the warm highlights fiter that increased the yellow part of the highlights, than I decreased the opacity to 10% to softener the effect

Also made some adjustments at the colors where I fixed the main chromatic tone of the sky. With the clone stamp tool I removed some unwanted spots and some light pollution coming from the nearest city. As last touch I added a soft orton effect to make all more dreamy

You can find all the effects mentioned above in my custom panel TTS PRO, a very useful tool for any type of editing that I recommend to download to speed up and improve your workflow. I also want to recommend to subscribe to my newsletter to have news and updates from me and to receive a welcome gift as well as monthly tutorials about travel and landscape photography

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Three Exposures

ISO: 3200 at f/2,8

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Pro

 


Vernazza Sunset

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One of the most significant sunsets of the Cinque Terre is located in Vernazza, from this incredible spot you can portray the town of Vernazza with all its characteristic elements … the vegetation, the sea, the sun and the coast as well as the town that extends towards the sea

When I decided to travel the Cinque Terre I had this shot among my main objectives and that day I fortunately found a great light with a beautiful colored sky

I go to this spot several minutes before sunset armed with beer and chips to deceive the time once the tripod was placed 🙂

I did all long exposures in bracketing mode since I was shooting directly into the sun direction if I had not had many shots to blend would have been difficult have a non burned sky

Even the long exposure is a requirement that I love in the maritime locations like Vernazza where the water that breaks on the rocks always creates that typical silk effect that I really like. I shot 7 exposure brackets shot with longest on 48 seconds with ND64 filter

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I blended the exposure taken starting from the darkest images, where I gradually move frame to the brightest. With my brand new panel TTS PRO I used luminosity mask contrast function to fix the contrast on the various areas of the picture having great control of them

I make a light bleeding over the sun and on the plants in the foreground and after I removed all the lens flares in the image using eyedropper tool with paint brush in a brand new layer with soft light fusion mode.

With dodge and burn tool I fixed the remaining spot of strong light caused of lens flare, after this always using my panel I launched warm highlights funcion to give a touch of more yellow on the frame reducing the opacity to decrease the effect. After giving to the image a stronger look with more details, I increased a bit the vibrance and I give more light to the shadows for not having them too dark

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

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 20mm)

Seven Exposure ( -3; -2; -1; 0; +1; +2; +3)

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Pro

 

 


Dreaming Riomaggiore 2

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Here’s again another shot  from Riomaggiore that goes to close this mini series shot in this beautiful italian town. Together with the previous ones are all photos are taken in the same location, the small and pretty harbour of Riomaggiore, in this spot I moved a few meters to change the angle between the 3 photos that composed this series

Unlike the other images where I captured only sunlight in favor of greater framing of the town, this time I shot directly into the sun, I captured a series of exposures including some very long ones the idea was to have as many shots possibles to blend togheder

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started from two exposures and I start blending the images using luminosity masks. The blend was between a long exposure and a normal exposure this creates a soft effect that I like for this picture. I increased yellows using a warm brush and giving the main color in the direction of the sun. With TTS Fast Panel  I increased details and contrast using luminosity masks applied to curves layer

After recovering som shadows and fixed the highlights I increased the luminosity over the buildings using luminosity masks. Increased vibrance with hue/saturation, same like the latest picture I added a soft glow effect with color efex pro. Last touch was to decrease luminosity just a bit 🙂

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 17mm)

Two Exposure ( Regular shot + 61′ Long)

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Fast Panel – Colo Efex 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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