Coastal Beauty

Coastal Beauty

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I shot for three consecutive days in this location in search of the best clouds and the most interesting colors, at the end I preferred for this image in focus stacking with this rock in the foreground using two different focuses between foreground and the mountain. I used a nd filter with -6 stops to make this, I love the submerged part of the rock blurred by the long exposure of the water

This area is one of my favorite locations to photograph the sea. I’m talking about Cilento area in the south of Italy. I love the rocky beaches with the mountain in the background typical of this area. The sunsets here are always very special and full of beautiful colors, every year I try to spend a few days here taking these colorful seascapes

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I captured this with 5 brackedet shots that I merged using TTS Pro with digital blending creating 2 different shots that I blended with focus stacking. With luminosity masks I fixed the highlights in the sky and I lightened the darker parts of the rocks

After increasing the color vibrances, I used dodge and burn to fix some darker areas around the rocks and darkened the general luminosity of the picture using a vignette

I increased the contrast applying luminosity masks to curves adjustment layer, after a general layer fixes a gived a soft orton effect to create a soft glow effect

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

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 100 at f/16

Software: Photoshop CC2020

Plugin: TTS Pro


On the Edge

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During this shot the sun was lowering in the sky and the colors of the sunset began, I captured the vertical scene to give the viewer a greater sense of movement between the waterfall and the mountain

This photo spot come next to the lake photographed in my last post, in fact I found this small artificial waterfall very close to the lake, probably the waterfall is used as energy source, the small costruction maybe is a energy cabin

I used a bridge that passed over it to benefit from a facilitated composition to portray both the flow of the waterfall and all the beautiful scenery that was behind it

I used a 3 stop ND filter since the light was not very strong I only tried to apply a filter that could give me more exposure without lengthening the exposure times too much


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I blended the shots using TTS Pro using auto blend darks function, than painting the darker areas with luminosity masks in order to recover the exposure in the darker areas using the brighter exposure

I made some adjustmesnts using clone stamp tool and I fixed perspective on the house, increased the sunset colors appliyng a warm filter to luminosity masks and increasing the highlights into the sun direction

After adding orton effect I applied dodge and burn with a warm brush over the water and on the rocks on the foreground. I lightened some other spot of the image using luminosity masks increasing darks and some highlights

As final touch I incresed the vibrance colors of the frame reducing the opacity to 60%

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

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


All you need to know to Photograph Waterfalls

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During my photographic trips it often happens to be in the places that have waterfalls nearby and every time I don’t miss the opportunity to go and visit some of them.
The reason for this is that in addition to their natural beauty and charm of the fullness of nature they have an incredible variety

Waterfalls also represent an incredible photographic spot for every landscape photographer for the context in which they are often inserted and for the possibility of photographing them from multiple angles, radically changing the perspective and the sensations that are transmitted to the viewer

So in this article we will see all you need to know to photograph waterfalls starting from necessary equipments up to shooting tips

WHAT YOU WILL NEED

Tripod: One of the essential requirements for every long exposure shot is a sturdy tripod, when using the tripod in the field always consider the slippery surfaces that are around the falls, explore the position well to find the right pov

Lenses: in most cases it happen to photograph the falls with the help of a wide angle lenses, these lenses are the best to include as much as possible of the scenery around the waterfall and allows to create good compositions with foreground, rocks, water etc. It is also interesting trying different angles, for example with 24-70 (it depends on the waterfall) to have a closer look of the scene

ND Filters: this is the part of your gear that in many cases manages to give that extra touch to the movement of your waterfall. It is not required a strong ND because the waterfalls are almost always found in wooded areas and with not too strong lighting, a 3 – 6 stop is usually what I use most

At the same time happened to me to photograph waterfalls even without any filter to catch the movement in a different way or simply because I liked the flow of water as it was

Waterfall captured without ND Fiters

SHOOT IN THE RIGHT MOMENT

Unlike many landscapes, waterfall photography can be done in different conditions, if usually in landscape photography you try to avoid gray and flat skies or rainy days, these are instead the ideal days to take the waterfalls. So cloudy day will helps so much to create a natural soft light to your waterfall

It is also possible to photograph waterfalls in sunny days to take advantage of the sunlight that filters through the leaves of the vegetation to have beautiful light effects, in this cases you have to pay attention to the water reflections and avoid to keep them too overexposed or creating too much contrasted areas

Waterfall captured during Sunset

CAMERA SETUP

Iso: Since you’re using a tripod to photograph waterfalls use the lowest ISO possible, this will reduce the noise and capture the most dynamic range

Shutter Speed: The key is to use slows shutter speed, I usually move through f13 or f18 it depends of what filter I am using for the shot, I try to avoid diaphragms totally closed to for this kind of photo unless it should also include sun spikes

Manual Mode and Manual Focus: If you are using ND filters on waterfall, manual mode is a must because the camera didn’t always choose the aperture I needed to get the right depth of field.

Manual Focus it is a very important requirement to have the sharpest images possible, it constitutes that added value to your landscape photography, to better master manual focus read this article

Waterfall composition example

Compose the Waterfall Scene: This is the most important point, composing the frame doesn’t mean simply photography a waterfall but capture it’s movement, the envinroments that composed it. Every waterfall has a lot of vegetation, rocks, trees, leaves around it. The goal is to capture an image that includes the waterfall within the context in which it is located, this will make the image much more interesting for the viewer

Always Watch Highlights: In waterfall photography the water probably will be your primary subject, so the best choice will be to expose to the waterfall in order to control the highlights on the water. Always check the instogram to control the shot and avoid too much underexposed/overexposed areas

Freeze Trees: Capturing one shot of the scene without the use of filters or long exposures is important for having a static image of the waterfall and its surroundings. Waterfalls are often in wooded environments full of leaves and trees that can move and move with the wind making all the leaves fuzzy. Capturing one or more shots in this way will allow you to replace the blurry areas in post processing

In this image I used the exposure to save the trees from movement

Bonus Post Processing Tip: A general tip for post processing waterfall is to take the highlights down, usually I do the same but in camera Raw I balance this using white points. I capture the scene with multiple exposures in order to blend images, for example with trees as I described above or to darken or lighten properly the exposures using digital blending or luminosity masks

If you haven’t already download my free luminosity masks panel to make your workflow easier and start using it on your next waterfall shot


Halfway to the Coast

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The beautiful colors of the Cilento cliffs are one of my favorite spots in this area. This year I have been several times here and every time I managed to capture great sunsets and as many beautiful colors. The mountains are not far from the sea here and this creates a beautiful atmosphere at sunset

When I took this photo in the evening the sea was very rough, I put my tripod on a rock sheltered from the high water and started shooting with the colors of the golden hour until almost complete darkness

Capturing the entire event allowed me to take the whole dynamic range of the scene. In particular the brightly colored sky is the result of the yellow colors of the sunset when it was to turn towards the blue, having more series of shots at my disposal it allowed me to protect the yellows by exploiting the beautiful purple colors of “evening”

At the same time the long exposure of the water was captured in another series of shots that I used on the main frame to edit


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

For this shot I makes 2 different blends: one for a series captured during the golde hour and another with another exposure series captured during the blue hour, so with more darkness.

I selected the shot with the golden hour and I used the blue hour blend to make some adjustments in the main frame, so I used it to blend, water and some part of the sky that i want to replace with a more dark image

I added details and I increased yellow colours in the sky using a warm filter applied to luminosity masks. I used dodge and burn on the rocks to make some lights effect in the direction of the sun, I always used dodge and burn to soften som lights coming from the clouds. I added orton effect and I increased the contrast using TTS Pro that have this function applied to luminosity masks in order to create a series of curves easy to adjust

I fixed the finale exposure and I increased the shadows to mitigate the darkess coming from the foreground rocks

As final step I made some colours increase adjustments, pushing up the vibrance but reducing the blues becoming too strong

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Nikon 14-24 f/2,8 (used at 22mm)

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

ISO: 100 at f/14

Software: Photoshop CC2020

Plugin: TTS Pro


Korean Nights – Haedong Temple

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During my trip to Korea I visited many temples but few of them really impressed me like this place. What you see in the picture is the famous Haedong Yonggung sea temple located near the city of Busan.

Also this temple was sadly destroyed during the Japanese invasion and subsequently rebuilt only in 1974. The temple is a large one in the middle of the sea and a small wood behind its, the surrounding area is inside a park relaxing and peaceful

When I arrive there I was really impressed of the strongest visual impact of the temple complex built on the rocks of the sea, here there are many panoramic points where you can have a beautiful view of the cliff and the temple in the background.

After visiting the temple I started taking some photos from a bridge overlooking the cliff and from where there is a beautiful view of the temple. However at the end of the day when they were gone all of them I moved down to capture some more shots and found this interesting spot by placing the camera between the bars of a fence on the cliff

Between the two shots I preferred to post this because it captures all the essence of the temple in the evening or anyway when the day comes to an end and the beautiful silence of this location remains, broken only by the waves of the sea


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

Being now at the last light of the day I realized this shot through a series of bracketing of 3 shots, with the darkest exposure of 30 seconds

I blended the exposure using TTS Pro, than I fixed lights and contrasts using luminosity masks. After a spot removal with clone stamp tool I used dodge and burn to lighten some rocks too dark and lighten the surrounding area of the temple

With a yellow brush I also increased the yellow colour aroud the lights near the main temple building

I corrected color cast adding a more blue/purple tone and I decreased the whole exposure of the image to increase the sense of dark mood of this scenery maintaining the exposure im the sky

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Three Shots ( -1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f/16

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


Conjunctions II

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From the beautiful beaches of Cilento, I come back with a photo from a different perspective of my favorite beach of this area. To take this picture I used the distortion of my wide angle to create a more impactful effect in the foreground

To take advantage of the distortion it is always good to consider the corners of the image to avoid falling lines on the horizon. I love vertical photos but the management of distortions when you want to highlight a subject in the foreground may not always be easy

In my tutorial 7 composition guidelines for better landscape photography I insered Mind the Corners, to remember the presence of spots or other distracting elements in the picture that could focus away the viewer’s attention, the falling lines are one of them so always check it when you use lens distortion for you shots


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I captured 5 exposure bracketing series that I blended using TTS PRO.I used an additional shot to capture the sea with a long exposure that I used to make the water more soft

With the complete blend, I straighten up the horizon and removed some water spots on the lens. With the use of luminosity masks, I decreased the highlights and I increased the shadows in order to make better visibles the stones around the beach

I increased contrast and I added some blue colors to the image using a cold filter. I added a very soft orton effect and I used dodge and burn to increase the lights over the rocks and decrease the luminosity of the sea

Always using my panel I used the glow tool to make other adjustments and creating a manual vignette over the image

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


Vessels

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Always from the same location of Belluno Alps National Park I took this photo of the waterfall that feeds the “pools” of my previous post. They are charaterized by a small stream, but with a strong flow that is powerful enough to feed the whole system of which the valley is characterized

The turquoise color of which the water of the pools below is made up can already be seen in the part below the waterfall where it already begins to take on a very bright color

For this shot I used a Nd3 filter stops with a series of 3-shot bracketing to have the chance to perform digital blending



WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started using a digital blending using my panel with the 3 shots bracketing taken

I regulated brights and contrasts using luminosity masks,than I used dodge and burn to adjust the lights around the rocks near the waterfall. Since the image was very flat I wanted to create a darker and at the same time soft effect with an orton effect filter and in particular the orton effect dark that you can find inside TTS Pro I used a 30% opacity to have a strong effect

I used curves to adjus the luminosity of the whole frame and after generating a strong vignette I fixed the final contrast and color correction to the final image you see

As final step I decreased the luminosity to create a dark mood in the whole picture

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



TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro


The Secret Path

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A series of shots collected under the torii of the Fushimi Inari Shrine. This one is one of the most important spots in the province of Kyoto, its guided path to the top of the temple in the midst of a characteristic Japanese forest makes the whole journey lovely and charming. The route towards the main temple includes several other minor temples during the way

The route this Fushimi inari Shrine is famous for the countless torii gates that are found along the way, so they are one of the biggest photographic spots in Japan

As I explained in my previous post, I went there early in the morning and I managed to find the time to take alternative pictures:

The first pictures was a snap taken during the passage of a guy, the white color of his shirt in the middle of all that red caught my attention

In the second picture I captured the ghosts of the people that were passing under the torii gates

The third image is a  is a manual shot of the detail of one of the torii

 

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

Even all the images have a similar treatment, they are all single shots so here I did not do any digital blending between different exposures. For every images I increased the details using the High Details filter included in my panels TTS Fast Panel and TTS PRO than I applied a soft orton effect to generate some glow and soft effect to the frame, a small vignette to the end was applied to all

In the first photo (the guy) I used a dodge and burn along the torii gates to reduce the brighs on the highlights, I lightened the shadows and worked on the colors, in particular I intensified the warm tones, subsequently reducing the saturation level of the reds

In the second image (the ghosts) I merged other ghost images from other exposures I take to have a more ghost coverage in the final frame, I fixed the brights and darks using curves adjustment layers and luminosity masks. 

In the third image (focus) I worked above all on details and lighting, even here I slightly lowered the red level of the torii

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

Various Exposures

N.1: ISO: 640 at f/4,5

N.2: ISO: 100 at f/16 for 5 seconds

N.3: ISO: 200 at f/2,8

Software: Photoshop CC2019

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 sūji 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! 🙂

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

 


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 🙂

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

 

 


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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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