Mirror Hole

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 ūüôā

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



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


Jewel on the Hill

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In my latest post I talked about Civita and why it is also called the dying city. The morphology of this area has been caused by erosion and landslides, that has brought civilization to abandon in the past this place in and which has led to its total abandonment by the inhabitants. Today, only very few people live in Civita, mostly owners of restaurants and small bars that are located inside and offer service to tourists

Civita can only be reached via a reinforced concrete pedestrian bridge. The bridge can only be walked on foot but the town of Bagnoregio, meeting the needs of those who live or work in this place, issued a circular stating that, at certain times, residents and authorized persons can cross the bridge on board of cycles and motorcycles

I took this photo in the hill in front of the town, is one of the best views of the ancient city of Civita, compared to the previous photo this is taken before in fact the color of the sky was more typical golden hour, from here you can admire the beautiful progressive setting of the sun over the town

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I selected a couple of shots (brighter and darker) to blend them using auto blend function inside my panel  TTS PRO

After this I selected luminosity masks to make other changes over the sky and over the darks to fix them better. The main difficult of this picture was to manage the lack of brightness of the shadows, in fact my goal was to clear them but without losing the natural look of the photo

A great hand provided me with my panel with the color masks function, I was able to intervene simply on the yellows going to increase the color on the part in the shade illuminated by sunlight, with a single click I got an effect very soft and natural, I repeated the same operation instead on the contrary on the town that had bright yellow colors

I applied a cold filter applied to luminosity mask to the sky and I launched orton effect to give a soft look to this image, I love the effect that orton effect generate on landscapes.

The final touch was to add a bit of sharpen and handle the contrast between the highlights and shadows

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 (-1; 0; +1;)

ISO: 50 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2019

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 ūüôā

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

 

 


Hide and Seek

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Hi everyone, this is an old find inside a folder of photos taken years ago in the Regional Park of Gran Sasso. What we see is the Corno Grande, the highest peak in the Apennine range

I love this place, it is natural wild, sometimes inhospitable and above all very quiet, at the sight of the mountain overlooking the whole valley below and is completely different from the rest of the landscape.¬†I recommend everyone to take a trip around here if you do not know Abruzzo is a milestone for photography enthusiasts and is just over an hour’s drive from Rome

I captured this photo with my old nikon 18-105 and I got the image from 3 bracketing shots at sunset while I waited for the sun to start taking some photos to the stars

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I discarted the overexposed picture and I merged the two shots using luminosity masks, I used lights applied to curves to fix lighting, always using the masks I reduced darks and adjusted contrast in the frame. With the use of TTS Fast Panel I increased details and applied a soft orton effect



I corrected colors using auto adjust, then I decreased the effect reducing the opacity. With a soft dodge and burn I recover the exposure in the darker part of the mountain and increased the colors around the Corno Grande. I reduced a bit the noise I increased the lights behind the mountain, after I decreased the light in the whole frame to make a more dark look and create more atmoshphere

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Nikon 18-105mm f/3,5 (Shot at 34mm)

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel

 


The Wall

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View of the lake of Stua inside the park of dolomites near Belluno, this artificial lake is located next to a small dam that serves the path in Val Canazoi. The view on the lake is very interesting also because it is facilitated by a terrace that overlooks this view

It would have been interesting to come down on the frozen surface and take some pictures with interesting shots from below but the ice surface did not allow it, so i decided to took the the framing close up the mountain because I love that light that touches the trees under it

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I take some exposure bracketing but I decided to work on a single image, I fixed lights and contrasts using luminosity masks between the trees and the sky. With TTS Fast Panel I launched details and orton effect to increase details and give after a softener effect through the forest

With the use of dodge and burn I lightened some darker areas between the trees and on the snow peaks of the mountain. After a contrast fix I put a filter mix between warm and cool fixing fixing the effect decreasing the opacity between two

To use this filter I applied the warmer filter and the cooler filter to lights luminosity masks. Last touch was to fix some contrast and fix the highlights. I hope you will find all this usefull. I love to ear this from you

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Sigma 24-70mm f/2,8 (Shot at 46mm)

Single shot

ISO: 100 at f/13

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel

 

 

 


The Balcony View

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I still do not have a drone, but at first glance it may seem like an aerial photo, but it is not ūüôā ¬†This is the view of the balcony of Italy, an amazing place between Italy and Switzerland. In particular this incredible view is on the mountain of Sighignola for the occasion often called the balcony of Italy for the view overlooking the lake of Lugano

The place is reached by a small  road that crosses the mountains, the place once reached is a large terrace overlooking this view that you see. Since I took this picture in December here at 1300 meters the wind was very cold and very strong. I did all very wide bracketing to capture the whole dynamic range between the strong light of the horizon and the shadows near the lake

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I stacked all the shots into layers and I blended them using luminosity masks, I started from the darker shots to end with the brightest to reach the right luminosity balance

Using my panel, I launched details and dodge and burn to increase lights around the darker parts of the mountain. After a soft orton effect  I fixed lights and darks using luminosity masks applied to curves layer to increase the luminosity of the sky and the darker parts of the image

I fixed color cast and I increase the yellows using a warming filter, with the clone stamp tool I removed some spots and some other littl unwanted element in the frame

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 200 at f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel

 

 


Resia

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I always wanted to go to visit this place, so I took advantage of my last trip to Trentino to reach it. The lake Resia is one of the most fascinating places in the Alp, the bell tower is all that remains of the ancient city of Curon Venosta that was submerged by water after the construction of a dam

Although in summer it is nice to see the bell tower emerging from the water  but in winter it is nice to be able to reach this ancient bell tower on foot

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

For this image I used a single shot so I did not use the luminosity masks to make a digital blending but to fix the light shadows and contrasts in the image. I fixed the color cast giving a slight imprint of yellow to light

After incrased details using  TTS Fast Panel I added contrast in the fram using luminosity masks applied to midtones curves. As final step I fixed the last lights using levels adjustment layer

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Lens: Sigma 24-70mm f/2,8 (Shot at 38mm)

Single Shot

ISO: 125 at f/13

Software: Photoshop CC2018

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel

 


Mostly White

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I took this photo during my last trip to Trentino, I returned to some of the places that I enjoyed better last time, Lake Carezza is one of these.¬†As I headed towards the lake, I thought I would find it frozen, but not to find so much snow over the ice that I could not even recognize where the land ended where the water started ūüôā

The place was surrounded by a magical atmosphere of silence, and sinking with snow up to almost the knee in the end I managed to take all the shots I need, since the moment of the shots I realized that they were photos in a natural black and white

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

This is probably the fastest workflow of latest years, the picture was naturally in black and white with no colors, the only things to do was fix the white balance and the exposure. I take the better exposed shot and I used  dodge and burn under brightest areas, I decreased luminosity under the foreground snow

I added contrast in the frame and I fixed lighting using luminosity masks applied to curves tool. With TTS Fast Panel I added details, the final touch was to increase the vibrant colors that add a more blue light to the image

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

 

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 100 at f/16

Software: Photoshop CC2017

Extensions: TTS Fast Panel


3 Different Ways to Create Beautiful Orton Effect

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Giuseppe Sapori - Frostbite Touch

The Orton Effect is a glow effect added to photographs in post-production. I’ts largely used in landscape to create a dreamy effect.¬†The Orton Effect found applications also in portrait photography and it is used to create a surreal impact. For this reason it is very used¬†by photographer during editing

The Orton effect consisted of superimposing two or more images of the same scene with very different exposure characteristics on a slide. Of these, one is perfectly focused while the others are blurry

Being a widespread effect in photography I noticed that it is also full of tutorials about how to make it, but it seems that everyone does this in a different way from the others and there is no standard way to accomplish it

That is why I did my guide within the orton effect to make it three different typologies that I usually use:

 

FIRST METHOD (MORE DARKS)

1. Duplicate your background layer by holding Ctrl+J, or CMD+J on a Mac.

2. With this new layer selected, go to Image>Apply Image. Make sure your settings are the same as the settings in the image below

Schermata 2017-06-13 alle 21.49.06

3. Next change the Blend Mode of the top layer to Multiply. This will darken the image

4. Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. While looking at the image, change the Radius until you have the

effect you are looking for, then press Ok

Schermata 2017-06-13 alle 21.49.47

 

SECOND METHOD (MORE BRIGHTS)

1. Duplicate twice your background layer by holding Ctrl+J, or CMD+J on a Mac

2. With the first layer, go to Image>Apply Image. Make sure your settings are the same as the settings in the image below, repeat it twice

Schermata 2017-06-13 alle 21.52.35

3. Now go to the layer on top and Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. While looking at the image, change the Radius until you have the effect you are looking for, then press Ok

4. Merge all layers and set Screen as blending mode

 

THIRD METHOD (MORE DETAILS)

1. Duplicate twice your background layer by holding Ctrl+J, or CMD+J on a Mac

2. Deselect the layer on top than with the second go to Go to Blur>Gaussian Blur set it between 20/25

3. Go to Image>Adjustments to increase brightness and contrast, then decrease the opacity to 10%

 

Schermata 2017-06-13 alle 22.03.39

4. Now make visible the layer on top,  go to Filters>Others>High Pass and put radius as your personal taste

5. Group all layers


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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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