Eden – S. Benedetto Waterfalls

Eden – S. Benedetto Waterfalls

Tags : 

Images from the San Benedetto waterfalls, I photographed the main waterfall and the main course of the river that follows on the right side

This small very suggestive place is located a few kilometers from Rome, the waterfalls with their swimming pond are a natural oasis for those who decide in summer to take a bath immersed in nature or to take an excursion to a small natural oasis

I photographed the main waterfall through a with a framing in the composition, after having made several tests also considering the distance, this composition seemed to me the best 🙂

the second shot I propose it instead as an auxiliary to the first as it traces the course of the river that derives from the waterfall, a very close view of the river


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

For both images the workflow was very similar, after digital blend the images using different exposures, I increased details and fixed lights and contrasts with luminosity masks

I launched a soft orton effect to create more atmosphere at the image and applied a warm filter to the highlights especially in the main waterfall image where I create a glow effect on the top right to intensify the warm light coming from the sky

With the help of  dodge and burn I darkened some part of both images was too overexposed, I darkened a bit the images and I added for both a fade film effect with a 50% opacity

As last step I create a strong vignette through my panel  TTS Pro

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-850

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

Three Exposures (-1; 0;+1)

ISO: 100 at f8

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0


Road to the Castle – Rocca Calascio Startrail

Tags : 

For this post I propose a startrail from the castle of Rocca Calascio. A splendid location surrounded by nature which is one of my favorites for taking night photos

I usually start taking this kind of images when the visibility of the milky way starts to decrease, in fact the lighting that is in the scene is given by the rising of the moon that has irradiated the whole scene in front of me with the castle in the background

To capture this shot I made several exposures, mainly a very long one for the sky and one with ISO 6400 for the background, I then combined both shots in Photoshop


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started working on the startrail image to look better, so I increased contrast, decreased luminosity, increased whites and decreased shadows, after this with the help of luminosity masks I blended the image of the castle through the startrail sky image

Once obtained the complete image I used the dodge and burn tool to ligthten some highlights around the castle and darkening some rocks on the foreground, I launched a soft orton effect called orton effect dark that you can find in my pro panel TTS Pro

I fixed some color luminosity in the sky that was too much warm on the highlights due to lights pollution of the area, than I decreased noise always using an effect of my panel

As last step I added a small vignette to increase the view of the castle in the darkness

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-850

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

Image Stack

ISO: 6400 at f/2,8 + ISO 100 at f/2,8

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0


Stargate – Rocca Calascio Milky Way

Tags : 

From the same location I talked last time here is another shot of milky way in the suggestive village of Rocca Calascio

To take this shot I moved to the other side of the ruin in order to capture the door illuminated by the light of the castle during the night. Through a series of shots I managed to decrease the strong brightness that characterized the door due to the long exposure necessary to capture the milky way

I followed the same editing steps of the previous post capturing several exposures in order to generate the output image as I had imagined. So I captured some shots with and without the subject and another with higher ISO to make the milky way better visible


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started stacking all the images into Photoshop and worked with smart object and median, in order to obtain a noise free base shot. Nevertheless, after this process the milky way loses some details, for this I used another exposure captured to work specifically on milky way on Camera Raw. With this shot I made the milky way look its best, then with a layer mask I masked the milky way treated on the image obtained in median

After this I used another exposure to paste inside the subject in the frame, in fact I used all separate shots to make this kind of image in order to obtain the best clean result

With the final image obtained I started working on the lights and on the shadows with the help of luminosity masks selectively. With dodge and burn I pushed up brightness and colours on the milky way, than I darkened some part of the foreground to create a more concentrated focus in the center

As latest steps I fixed colours and general luminosity, warming some highlights and making a more uniform look with the lights of the horizon

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-850

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

Image Stack Median

ISO: 5000 at f/2,8

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0


The Great Henge – Molina Watefalls

Tags : 

This week I propose a photo of the Molina waterfalls near Verona, a photo taken this summer as you can see from the beautiful bright colors and the intense green of the surrounding vegetation

These waterfalls are located within an area served and equipped where it is possible to go up the river and meet many and suggestive waterfalls like this one

I shot this location getting as close as possible to the water and first making a series of bracketing shots using low iso, in order to increase the shooting time and to have the desired number of shots to digital blend the exposures. After this series I also captured one more shot at 3200 iso to save all the leafs in the scene from movement

The wind and the waterfall movement here moved all the leaves a lot and it would have been impossible to take a shot with the static leafs still as I wanted. this is a little trick I talk about in my guide all you need to know to photograph waterfalls

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I digital blended my shots using TTS PRO, than I used the extra image with freezed trees and leafs to paint over the blended image the leafs without movements

I correct colour cast in the image, than with the help of luminosity masks I fixed contrast and highlights. After this I increased the warm color of the light coming between the trees than I launched a soft orton effect to create a myterious look of the wood around

With the help of the glow tool I create a light glow around the area of the waterfall and on the light coming from the leafs

I increased vibrance of the colors decreasing the green than I created a vignette to give more prominence to the waterfall

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 14-24 f/2,8 (used @14mm)

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1) +1 to freeze the leafs

ISO: 100 f/10

Software: Photoshop CC2021


Galaxian – Rocca Calascio Milky Way

Tags : 

After three years I returned to one of the locations I know very well to shot milky ways. Rocca calascio is an enchanting village surrounded by nature where time has stopped. Here are the remains of an ancient castle and the village that stood at its feet, all destroyed many years ago by an earthquake. Nowadays a new village has been built for the people who live here and the old village has recently found new life thanks to a strong recovery work given by tourism

I chose the location of this ruin with this door inside which was characterized by having the milky way on the side. I took this photo with a friend, I first took the first shot by inserting the subject in the composition, then I took a series of images with the goal to stack them in Photoshop

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started stacking all the images into Photoshop and worked with smart object and median, in order to obtain a noise free base shot. Nevertheless, after this process the milky way loses some details, for this I used another exposure captured to work specifically on milky way on Camera Raw. During this process I didn’t have to pay attention how sliders affcted the rest of the pictur because once done I masked out the milky way from the other part of the image

I used the image with the subject to insert it on the others with the help of a simple layer mask. At this point I started the general processing of the image which was essentially composed of dodge and burn on the milky way to bring out its colors and visibility in the best possible way

I adjusted the colors of the image, brought out the yellow glow more without taking away the original blue colors of the sky, I added some shadows details with the help of a specific flter of TTS Pro panel, I also fixed contrast, highlights and shadows using luminosity masks

As final steps I darkened the foreground a bit and I increased vibrance on the colours of the sky selectively

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 14-24f/2,8 (used @14mm)

Image Stack in Median

ISO: 5000 f/2,8

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0


5 Reasons to use Luminosity Masks in all your Processing

Tags : 

Since I started editing my first images the main goal was always to make targeted and selective edits in my images. At first time I relied on third-party software for post processing, so I enjoyed their HDR tone mapping features to edit all my landscapes and cityscapes with good results

Over the years I realized that the tone mapping process and the presets I used were too limited and that to improve the image quality and my post processing I needed to do more, that’s how I discovered luminosity masks. In the following article we will talk about how this become over the years my main post processing method

1. Image Quality

Going back to the introduction, the HDR images were always too saturated or too noisy due to artificial and confusing processing that affect image quality

With luminosity masks instead you will work only on the raw file and you will only affect the values you want. The result will be a high quality image with the ability to manage lights, shadows and details like an HDR


2. Full Control of Editing

With luminosity masks you decide which area of ​​the image want to affect and on which image work, by selectively deciding the various points of the shot. With third-party filters and softwares you cannot always decide how and in which points to work your photo


3. Digital Blending

If you use luminosity masks and you capture bracketed shots you can easily digital blend your shots into a single perfectly balanced image. Personally, during my processing I edit almost all my images in this way because it gives you a great control of all processing. By selecting the appropriate luminosity mask and by choosing the opacity of your tool the precision of the changes you can make are awesome

For example in the image below, I used digital blending only to take advantage of the details and colors of the sky of the darkest exposure. To make this I used a brush with a 50% opacity to benefit only of information from the sky I need without making it too dark


4. Choice the Mask for your Needs

The selections made through the luminosity masks are specific, moving through the selection of masks is like choosing an area from the smallest to the largest for that type. Whenever shooting in high contrast situations (such as in the same direction of the sun) selecting the specific area of ​​light to decrease or shadows to increase becomes a great help


5. Speed up Processing

Since I use luminosity masks, the time spent editing images has been significantly reduced. Digitally blending images with luminosity masks is quick and easy, imagine doing the same job manually by selecting each area manually before blending it… it will take a long time

In the past I’d upload brackets in Photoshop and play with some sliders on the whole image, wasting a lot of time to adjust contrasts, lights and shadows always different

Now my processing is fast and fun and mainly consists of painting or applying some filters to the various exposures. At the end of the process I feel a sense of achievement to give to the image my desired design


Conclusions

Luminosity masks aren’t for everyone. They take a little time to understand and learn about it. They’re certainly more difficult to master than third part software and filters, but I assure you that once you master them you will never be able to go back. In my opinion, regardless of the quality of the third party software, nothing can give you control back than digital blending using luminosity masks

If you don’t know where to start, I have created a specific course on luminosity masks where you will get all the tools to start working using them and with pratice become a master


My free Luminosity Masks Resource

I created a panel to easily launch and select luminosity masks, the panel is the TTS Fast Panel and it’s completely free. With this panel you can manage the luminosity masks like a pro and benefit of some filters created by me and that I use very much in my processing

Don’t forget to give me a feedback about it in comments


Straight to the Sun – Cilento Sunset

Tags : 

While I was hiking near a promontory in the Cilento area I came across this splendid view of the sea, with a practically perfect sunset with the sun going falling down between two mountains in front of me. Despite the beauty of the place, however, shooting here was very challenging

There was to consider that I was shooting in the direction of the sun, so in a situation of great contrast, also I had to capture all my shots with focus stacking to contrast the wind that came from the sea made all the leaves that I had inserted in composition

For this reason I captured a series of bracketed shots to save the sky and be able to retrieve the information I needed in processing and in addition to this I captured another series of focus stacking shots to save some elements of focus

I am satisfied with the final result even if the processing that I report below as usual was quite long and complicated 😅

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started working on my image with TTS Pro with I digitally blended all my shots to obtain a balanced image with all the informations recovered in the sky. After this I go through focus stacking technique to save focus in the foreground around the leafs, to make this I used a couple of shots more

Once I obtained the image I started working on it with luminosity masks to recover the highlights in the sky, contrasts, blacks and shadows. I correct color cast in the image, than I fixed again the luminosity of the sky, after this I applied a orton effect to increase the sense of glow warm coming from the sun, I added details, sharpness and increased vibrance

I removed some unwanted spots in the water and reduced the photo noise, created by the shots I used for focus stacking that were captured with high ISO to avoid long exposure

As last touch I fixed lights and I created a manual vignette to emphatize the light source from the sun

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 14-24f/2,8 (used @24mm)

Focus Stacking Serie

ISO: 80 f/22

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0


Returning to Sand

Tags : 

A new photo from the Cilento coasts which represent one of my favorite places to take seascapes in Italy. In this place beyond the mountain in the evening it often clouds up, giving very suggestive points of views. Here many beaches have interesting rocks to approach and take pictures with interestng foreground elements with which to make compositions

I took this photo using the focus stacking technique, for this I captured a series of exposures to capture as much diversity of focus between the various areas of the image. To this series of photos I then added another series of long exposures to capture the water with greater movement

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

After completing the blending of the images with focus stacking I make anther blend for the sky and for the long exposure of the water. All the blend for the sky and for the water was done with the help of luminosity masks and paintbrush

With a final blend image I used TTS Pro to lauch more details on the picture, I also increased vibrance, added some cold filters to highlights and shadows. I fixed contrast and I used dodge and burn around the rocks on the foreground

As final step I sharpened the image and I created a vignette to make the scene more dark and with a mysterious style

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 14-24 f/2,8 (used @16mm)

Focus Stacking Serie

ISO: 80 f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0


The Cliffhouse

Tags : 

Anyone who has been following me for many years knows that this place is one of my favorites for capturing seascape images. I come back here on this cliffhouse annually… if only for a short time to enjoy the beauty of the area as well as being able to capture images of long exposures on these cliffs

This place has the distinction of having often beautiful sunsets beyond that small house built on the rocks. Here I made a focus stacking between the rocks that were lower down and all the other elements of the photo

For the sea, I captured various long exposures with a ND filter -3 stops, to keep the water with some textures, I waited here all the golden hour but it is during the blue hour where the colors of the sky literally exploded … with colors that went from yellow to blue passing through purple

I captured all the shots that I then blended in Photoshop, the detail below

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I blended the image using focus stacking technique, it was necessary just a couple of images to make focus stack between the first rocks and the background, the shooting position was in fact not too close as the sea was strong enough I kept away from it 🙂

After realizing the focused image with the help of TTS Pro panel, I digital blended the images to benefit for the best sky and for the best long exposure on water. About this the water is the result of 2 images of waves crashing on the rocks an another one for the rest of the sea

After increasing details and fixed contrast around the rocks, I fixed sky tones and highlights using luminosity masks. I launched a cold filter for the foreground and a soft warm filter for the sky

I also increased the whole colours vividness of the whole image using my panel and I softly retouched some rocks with dodge and burn. As last steps I removed some distracting elements on the frame especially for those was in the corner

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 14-24f/2,8 (used @24mm)

Focus Stacking Serie

ISO: 80 f/11

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0


Illusion of Time – Tre Cime

Tags : 

I come back after several years to Tre Cime of Lavaredo, an incredible and beautiful place known wordwide. Unlike last time I took the typical shot of the view of the Tre Cime closer to the blue hour

At that time some clouds were also rising that, few minutes later, covered the whole view in white, luckily I was able to capture the last images of the day of the visible peaks before they were covered

I take the shot using the focus stacking technique, focusing first on the small flowers in the foreground, then in the central part and then on the peaks. I taked some shots based on the alternation of the clouds on Tre Cime waiting to capture the shot that would make them visible at best, the result of 9 total photos is what you see in the image

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

As mentioned I made this shot using focus stacking technique, I made it blending all the shots avaiable captured here, 9 shots with different focus parts included the image used for the peaks. I don’t use digital blending here because I don’t captured bracketed shots, the management of so many shots with different focus and also with different exposure would have created an incredible and not so usefull job to do in post

Therefore I edited the image using only luminosity masks and my panel TTS Pro, as usual we see the main steps of the workflow:

I added details and contrast to the whole frame, I fixed colours, than glow using orton effect . With the help of dodge and burn tool I lightened some darker part of the foreground and on the clouds

I increased the blue tones of the image adding a cold filter applied to highlights than shadows, I also used light bleeding to add some lights to the sky and colours to the clouds

I desaturate selectively some blue tones of the sky and as final step I added a soft dark vignette to the frame

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 14-24f/2,8 (used @16mm)

Focus Stacking Serie

ISO: 100 f/14

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0


Site Founder

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)

Newsletter Signup