The Secret Path

The Secret Path

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This is one of my favourite photo spot in Japan, the path that leads to the Fushimi Inari Shrine is one the most important spot in the province of Kyoto. Throughout the journey you will pass under these torii in a long uphill path to the sanctuary located at the base of a mountain also called Inari, which is 233 meters above sea level and which includes several paths to other minor

It’s a beautiful place as well as full of meaning, on the early morning¬†there was a cool gentle breeze accompanied by a soft rain with a tranquil silence. The Fushimi Inari shrine is also one of the most photographed spots in Japan like bamboo grove and therefore if you want to find these torii free from tourists of all kinds, even here it is necessary to get up early in the morning ūüôā

I took many shots here at this spot, I also had time to make some creative and slightly different shots that I will publish with a second post about Fushimi Inari Temple 

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I take 5 bracketed exposures for this that I blended using TTS PRO, until to reach a final image. The first successive step was to fix the lights around the torii, so I used dodge and burn applied to luminosity masks to darken some extra light areas and give more energy to the shadows. I added some yellow feel at the image using a warm filter applied to luminosity masks to apply the effect only to the highlights

I tried to keep low the lighting level of the photo, so I darkened the exposure by a few points and I raised the level of the highlights to maintain the light between the torii intact. I recovered the shadows in the foreground and I added sharpen to keep the viewer’s view as long as possible

Since I liked the atmosphere of contrast with the light that filters from the torii I tried to intensify it with a vignette giving more light in the central part of the photo, so in addition to darken the rest I further intensified the light source

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 24mm)

Five Exposures

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Pro

 


Towards the Sky

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Another image from the Bamboo forest of Arashiyama, in my previous post I have spoken extensively about this forest, which is an unmissable destination for those who go to Japan, but I also talked about how difficult it is to take pictures inside it to stay quiet away from tourists…¬†Well, the photo in question instead does not consider all this ūüėÄ

In fact in this incredible location just look up at the sky in some points of the forest to find shows of trees that are intertwined upwards, leaving just some glimmers in the light to enter and it is precisely these glimmers of light to create the magical atmosphere that reigns in the Bamboo forest of Arashiyama

I love the play of light that is created between the trunks of the bamboo, especially those that have formed on the left, illuminating some parts of the forest that are in the shadow areas. I made this shot handheld, without a tripod although in fact I used bracketing as I always do for habit at the end but I have only used one exposure of these, the reason? the wind and the leaves that moved made impossible any sort of alignment between the trees and the image will result blurry if I use digital blending

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

As anticipated a moment ago this is a single shot, so I exploited the potential of luminosity masks to raise and lower the lights and shadows of the image. Although I intervened several times on the central light coming from the opening between the trees, I have also chosen to leave the light source strong, to give greater contrast to the image but also to increase the sense of illumination.

I increased details using my panel placing the effect with 50% opacity and than I launched the orton effect decreasing the opacity to 10%. After increasing the yellow tones of the image with two warm filters applied to highlights and shadows, with dodge and burn I made some adjustments on the top leaves and on the dark tree on the right

I tried as much as possible to keep an editing similar to the one in my previous photo since the same location I like the idea of having results in terms of color and lighting similar, although the subject and lighting in this case is completely different. For this reason also this time I used Color Efef Pro with Sunlight filter and reducing opacity to 35%, to increase the glow coming from the main light

Last passage was to create a dark vignette but this time without increasing the light in the center part of the frame,¬†the light would have been really too much this time ūüôā

As always I 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 14mm)

Single Shot

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Pro, Color Efex pro

 


The Bamboo Path

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Before leaving for Japan I spent several days doing my itinerary and looking at many photos of the locations I would visit, the bamboo forest of Arashiyama is undoubtedly one of the most photographed places in the world.  From a trivial search in google you will find hundreds of images of all kinds of this forest, and all this is enough to make you understand how much this place can be visited and photographed by tourists

For my first time in Japan I could not miss the bamboo forest of Arashiyama and for this reason I decided to move very early in the morning, for some locations such as this, the early alarm clock is the only solution to avoid hordes of tourists photo bombing and their hateful selfie sticks ūüôā

The location of the Arashiyama bamboo forest is fantastic, it’s a unique place here you can find a¬†a thick and silent bamboo forest where you can ear the only sound of the wind in through the leaves.¬†Inside the forest I moved to the path that led to the sanctuary, looking for some openings in the trees and the perspective that would better the beauty of the place, after some attempts I found a spot where I stopped to shoot, I realized 7 exposures bracketing to make sure you capture the full dynamic range of the scene

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started blending my exposures using TTS PRO, with the final blended image I increased the yellow tones of highlights and shadows using a yellow filter applied to luminosity masks. In my mind I imagined this pictures as a glow effect so I pushed up orton effect and with the glow tool I increased the lights over the sky

After a soft detail increase through the bamboos I increased the shadows using darks luminosity masks applied to curves tool, in the same way I fixed contrasts using midtones. With dodge and burn I made some fix on the darker part of the picture

I increased a little more the yellow tones using Sunlight filter of Color Efex pro, reducing the opacity to 35%, this effects contributes to create a beautiful glow thorough the trees and a yellow warm over the grove

To finish I created a small vignette always using my panel, if you are not a TTS PRO user to create a vignette essentially it needs a circular selection in PS with the Elliptical Marquee tool, and then invert the selection

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

7 Exposure Brackets

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Pro, Color Efex pro

 


A Night in the Village

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Second image from Takayama village in Japan, I took this second picture a few minutes after that of my previous post going to photograph the bridge in his front view, the image so quiet in the village at sunset illuminated by these yellow lanterns was a very impressive element for me.

Even the contrast between the yellow lights and the blue twilight has greatly attracted my curiosity, I love the blue hour for these reasons. I captured this image with a very low light, so at ISO 100 the shutter speed was 30 seconds

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

This is a single shot, so this time no blending was done for this picture. Anyway I always used luminosity masks  to fix the lights in the sky, over the lanterns and set the right contrast. I set the proportions and slightly straightened the photo, with the clone stamp I removed a spot at the top

With the glow tool  I made some lights adjustments on the bridge to increase the light and give more warm over the area under the lanters. I gave a soft orton effect and I added a warm filter to the foreground to give more the impression of  lighting coming from the lanterns. I raised up the shadows with luminosity masks and as a last touch I created a small vignette to increase the sense of darkness

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Single shot for 30′

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Pro

 


A Night in the Village

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Takayama is located in the Gifu prefecture and it is a small village located between the Japanese Alps. Visiting Takayama means visiting a very traditional part of Japan and enjoying its magical atmosphere. The whole village can be covered on foot in a short time and those that you do here are pleasant walks through restaurants and artisan shops

The Sanmachi sŇęji district is one of more visited, here is possible to visit not only shops of various kinds, houses, but also small museums and companies among the best and oldest producers of sake even some producers for centuries, in an atmosphere where time seems to have stopped

The trip to Takayama is long and with some transhipment but the place did not disappoint. Personally¬†I found here a magical atmosphere of Japan experience and delicious food! ūüôā

The photo spot is the main torii in Takayama symbol of access to the old city located at the end of the bridge, below the river Miyagawa. At dusk this spot has acquired a magical atmosphere, with the river flowing I took the opportunity to take a picture that took as much as possible of this corner of Japan

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I take some bracketing shots that I blended in Photoshop using TTS PRO, with the resulting image I first arranged some perspective lines and made some spot interventions with the clone stamp. Done this I increased details and used a blue filter to increase the degree of dark atmosphere of this image

Using dodge and burn I lightened the reflections in the water and made other small interventions along the bridge. I intervened with the luminosity masks to increase the level of blacks, to create greater contrast to the image and to change the color level with little intervention on the hue/saturation adjustment layer. With the glow tool I increased the brightness of some areas then inserting a vignette at the end to darken the edges

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 16mm)

Multiple shots

ISO: 100 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Pro

 


SensŇć-ji

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During my stay in Tokyo I could not miss the most famous temple in the city, I am talking about the¬†SensŇć-ji temple. That is a Buddhist temple complex located in the Asakusa district of Tokyo. It is the oldest temple in the city, and one of the most important. I take this photo to the¬†¬†imposing five-storey pagoda that you can find near the temple

The entrance to the temple is marked by the famous “door of thunder”. It houses a huge paper lantern, painted red with black characters. In the nearbyes there’s¬†a busy shopping street, that leads to the main entrance of the¬†SensŇć-ji temple

The¬†SensŇć-ji is a popular tourist destinations. ¬†In the shopping street you can find a high number of stores specializing in the sale of traditional Japanese items have emerged in its surroundings, as well as restaurants offering traditional Japanese food (ramen, sushi, tempura, etc.). Many of these shops are run by the heirs of former owners, who started their business thanks to the economic income secured by the great flow of pilgrims to the temple

I really enjoyed the visit to SensŇć-ji and among good food, photos and shops the visit to this traditional Tokyo place is very pleasant ūüôā

Here you are some shots taken in the temple area:

 

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

The main picture of pagoda is a result of a digital blending made from 3 exposures brackets. I used my panel to stack the images and to blend them using luminosity masks blending funcions inside TTS PRO

I increased details and I launched dodge and burn applied to luminosity masks to avoid to affect the unwanted part of the picture, in particular I lightened the darker areas near the door. I also applied a warmer filter to the highlights and shadows to emphatyze the yellow lights and I added some glow effect to the sky

After a fix on the sky colours I added a soft contrast using midtones. As final touch I added a small vignette to increase emphatyze the center of the image

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 15mm)

Three Exposures

ISO: 100 at f/9

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Pro

 


Tokyo Nights

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Last image from this trip that regards highest japan buildings… I promise ūüôā

As my latest post also this is taken from Tokyo Skytree, the biggest tower in the world and the second highest artificial structure after Burj Khalifa skyscraper

To make this shot changed position from my latest post and I turned to the east to photograph the long river Sumida and its surrounding traffic arteries. From this point you can see how gigantic the city of Tokyo, even from this height you cannot see the end of the city that is practically as far as the eye can see

Also here as in the previous posts I take shots through the windows of the Tokyo Skytree so I had to pay the maximum attention to the backlights that could reflect the lights on the window, to avoid this you can use a sweatshirt or a dark towel. In this image even something come through the camera on the borders so i easily cropped it

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I take 2 different exposures (brighter and darker) to have the chance to make a digital blend. Using TTS PRO, this time I used fast blend darks cause the blend was easy to do and the process satisfied me

After a small cleaning process (crop, dodge and burn and fix white balance) to have a series of images rather uniform with the others, I applied to this image all the lines of my Tokyo Nights previous posts, so here I used the same color variations provided by the application of color filters lookup that I applied to the others

I increased the details using the High details filters that you find in all my panels and I also applied a soft sharpen to give more depth to the viewer’s sight.¬†As final I increased the shadows to give more luminosity to the bottom buildings

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Sigma 24-70mm f/2,8 (Shot at 48mm)

Two Exposures

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Pro


Tokyo Nights

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I take this from Tokyo Skytree, ¬†from here you can admire (and photograph) the highest view of the city of Tokyo. The Skytree is a telecommunications and panoramic tower located in Sumida, Tokyo’s special district

With a height of 634 meters it is the tallest tower in the world and the second highest artificial structure in the world after the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, the Tokyo Skytree is a strong tourist attraction and one of the main symbols of the city

The view from here is excessively high and everywhere you turn you can find some ideas to photograph from the top of the Japanese capital. Here I managed to make some shots including this where I preferred to emphasize a detail with one of Tokyo‘s main traffic arteries…¬†everywhere I turned around it turned out to be all small ūüôā

Also here as in Tokyo Tower to take shots through the windows of the tower I had to pay the maximum attention to the backlights that could reflect the lights on the window and definitively ruining the photo, at this regard also here I came to the rescue my sweatshirt with which I covered most of the reflections that entered the frame

I captured 3 exposures in bracketing mode for this frame, to have the ability to fix the lights and shadows with digital blending, the longer shot was of 25 seconds at ISO 100

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started this picture with digital blending using  TTS PRO, I blended the images using fast blend lights funcion and auto blend darks funcion. With the resulting frame ready I worked on luminosity masks going to fix the darks and lights as I like, to lighten some shadows and decrease some lights too strongs

I added details and using dodge and burn I lighten some darks area of the city and I used some color lookup filters to add to this picture, in particular: crisp winter at 20% filmstock 10% and futuristick bleak 30%

The latest touch was to increase the shadows and adding some extra sharpen to the frame

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Sigma 24-70mm f/2,8 (Shot at 48mm)

Three Exposures

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Pro

 

 


Tokyo Nights

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This is one of the possible views that can be seen from Tokyo Tower, is a telecommunications and panoramic tower located in the Shiba-kŇćen district of Minato. 333 m high, it is the second highest artificial structure in Japan, after Tokyo Skytree. The Tokyo Tower is a tower inspired by the Eiffel Tower painted white and international orange in order to respect the rules of air safety

Among the various possible views I chose this because I liked the close-up view of the skyscrapers in front, moreover as in all the photos taken in the evening in front of the windows you have to pay the maximum attention to the reflections

At this regard it is very easy that in the frame can enter lights from the back usually lit to allow visibility into the Tokyo Tower, or the screen of someone’s cell phone that takes the picture behind you,¬†for this reason it is really very important to have not only a tripod behind to shoot with long exposure times and low iso but also something to cover these reflections

For the occasion I use a sweatshirt with the zip that open becomes big enough to be able to almost completely close the field behind the camera and minimize the reflections on the glass, probably someone will take you for a crazy while you’re with a sweatshirt open behind the camera stopped for 30/40 seconds, but the result does not wait … this is achieved with shutter speeds of 30 seconds and ISO 100

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I take two shots of this view, a brighter and a darker exposure that i blended using auto blend darks function inside TTS PRO. Obtained a definite image I worked on luminosity masks going to fix the darks and lights as I like, to lighten some shadows and decrease some lights too strongs

I increased details and i used dodge and burn over the darks, as final touch i applied a small vignette to emphatyze the central part of the frame

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Two Exposures

ISO: 100 at f/14

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Plugin: TTS Pro

 


The Golden Gai

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The Golden Gai is a truly magical place that is located in Kabuki-cho, the Shinjuku district a place that never sleeps in Tokyo

It is an area with many small bars that accommodate five to ten customers each and are really very small. The streets that surround the golden gai are all alleys and is famous for being the meeting place for artists, musician and actors

Although it has been a couple of nights at the Golden Gai in search of of a particular photographic point that struck my attention and I found this colorful and characteristic alley that contain the essence of Golden Gai

Despite is a place of small bars inside Golden Gai  the atmosphere was really calm in the streets, while if you enter one of these bars you find a completely different atmosphere of cheerful people

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

These are single shots images, I started working them opening the images in camera raw to get the major adjustments to white balance highlights and shadows

Once opened the images in Photoshop I used TTS PRO to launch dodge and burn with I decreased the lights of the lamps and increased the lights around the darker areas. Final steps was to increase a bit the details and fix contrasts.

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 14-24mm f/2,8 (Shot at 15mm)

Single Exposures

ISO: 500 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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