Pax and Speed – Arco della Pace

Pax and Speed – Arco della Pace

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For this location in Milan I made a different composition than usual view of Arco della Pace. I moved towards the side of Corso Sempione at the height of the passage reserved for the preferential lane. The purpose of the photo was to portray the arch and trails as vehicles passage

I made a series of bracketing shots for the basic situation of the shot and a series of long exposures to capture light trails. About light trails I had to wait for the twilight to start to capture and make them much more visible, in any case I used a 3 stop ND filter to increase the exposure time


To begin with I blended all my shots using  TTS Pro auto blending feature and luminosity masks to make adjustments about lights, shadows, contrasts etc…

Once obtained a balanced shot between the various exposures I masked out some unwanted stuff in the scenes, like some ghosting people and other small stuff in front of me

I increased the colors of the sky increasing vibrance, also incresed details and sharpen always using luminosity masks

After this I added from the other exposures all the light trails captured, I duplicate some of this light trails layers and changing the blending mode of them between screen and lighten to create different lights effect between them

I added a soft cold filter and decreased a bit the luminosity of the whole frame, as last touch I added a dark vignette to better enhance the view on the arch

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


Camera: Nikon D-850

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

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1)

ISO: 100 at f13

Software: Photoshop CC2022

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0

5 Reasons to use Luminosity Masks in all your Processing

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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


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

TTS PRO 2.0 out 28th February – Preorder Now!

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Get TTS Pro – Click below to Preorder

Lifetime Updates – Fast and easy Download –   Installation Instructions Included –  All Languages Compatible



Which PS version is compatible with TTS Pro? TTS Pro it’s compatible with all photoshop CC versions

Is TTS Pro Compatible with CS6? TTS Pro is not compatible with CS6 and previous PS versions. It only works from CC (2015) and latest

The download have instructions? There is a pdf online link inside the panel, that explain the correct use of the panel with youtube links, anyway the panel is very intuitive and easy to use

Will this work with Photoshop Lightroom or Elements? I’m afraid but the panel only running in Photoshop. Currently the panel works in all versions of CC (including latest)

What does lifetime updates mean? Lifetime updates means that all customers of TTS Pro get every single new update for free. They do not have to purchase the new releases of TTS Pro again when it will be update

Which languages does TTS Pro support? The panel works in all language versions of Photoshop, but the panel is always in English

What is the current version of TTS Pro? The current version is 2.0

Will this work on a Mac computer? This will work on both a Mac and PC

Is this Windows 10 Compatible? This is 100% compatible with Windows 10

My 2020

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Here we are my final post of the year, my annual photo composition. Every year I create a personal photo manipulation obtained with all top elements that distinguish the year. In this photo composition every thing, object and person you see has its own meaning, its importance, its memory for me, a moment that I want to remember and keep with special affection in this 2020

This is a personal representation of my 2020, here we have places visited, travels, personal goals and all that was dear to me.  This image has meaning for myself but I like to think that this image is beautiful even for you who look at it

I really hope you will appreciate the work, as you know I always love to ear this from you! I want take the opportunity to thank you all for the support on my page and socials during this year, I want to wish you a happy 2021 to all!

How to Recover Highlights and Shadows Selectively

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A very effective method that I often use to recover highlights and shadows selectively in Photoshop is through the help of curves adjustment layer that give the possibility to better manage the light according to the widest needs.

Curves adjustment layer are one of my fav adjustments, very versatiles and easy to apply. To make a curve adjustment layer and use them selectively it is possible to use a layer mask and with the use of a paintbrush, mask out the areas that we do not want to affect by this edit.

In this tutorial we’ll see something deeper and more specific to how to recover highlights and shadows selectively in a easy way

Let’s see how to do it:

1. Create a new Curves Adjustment Layer and adjust the curves as your needs. In the example image I need to decrease the highlights of the sky so I lowered the curve

2. Navigate to Image>Apply Image and put the settings as follows: since I need to decrease the highlights the following settings arefor the highlights, but if you need to apply them to the shadows put the flag on invert

3. The curves adjustment layer is applied selectively! Check the layer thumbnail to check the selective application

4. To softner the effect change the curves adjustment layer blending mode to soft light or simply decrease the opacity

Another very easy way to create with just one click the same kind of edit is through the use of the the effects in my TTS Pro Panel that have 2 specific effects dedicated to this

So these were the simple steps to recover highlights and shadows selectively in Photoshop, as you can see it is simple and quick to apply. If you need further informations or you want to tell me what is the technique you use for recover the highlights and shadows please let me know with a direct message or with a comment below. I’m always happy to respond to you!

Focus: Mastering Luminosity Masks Digital Course

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My first video tutorial Mastering Luminosity Masks has finally come out, in this article I want to talk to you more in detail about this course, the reasons that led me to create a course on luminosity masks and why this will be an additional element of knowledge to your photography

What is Mastering Luminosity Masks Course

As you will have the opportunity to read and understand also from the page dedicated to the course, mastering luminosity masks is a video tutorial that leads you through the word of luminosity masks

Through the use of luminosity masks it is possible to work images only using Photoshop, taking advantage of an advanced level of selections of highlights, shadows and midtones

Through luminosity masks it is possible to proceed to an advanced level editing, intervening only in the areas of our interests, without affecting those portions of the frame that do not require any process

Furthermore, luminosity masks can be used to proceed through digital blending, that consist in selecting areas of interest and combine multiple exposure to obtain the perfect final image

A Luminosity Mask Course

Luminosity masks are a technique known by all those photographers who want to ask more from photography and want to go deeper in the editing process

This is a fairly used technique and there is many material on the web about it, but from what I could see the free contents on the web, they remains on the first steps of luminosity masks topic leaving the rest to a other researches or paid courses

Although there are very well-done pro courses to luminosity masks topic, but from a personal experience I found many of them too long, sometimes repetitive and expensive

Since many time in my posts and in my tutorials I write about the use of luminosity masks, but I have never focused on creating a course of my own that encompasses everything you need to know in detail in order to proceed alone to mastering luminosity masks and digital blending

In this course I have included everything you need to know to be able to manage this technique on your own, in the simplest way I could. I avoided dwelling on laborious things so I realized a course that captures the essence of luminosity masks. I created this course to allow you to manage this technique independently in the future

The additional element to your Photography

Luminosity Masks are the best technique to create a clean result on your images. Through the use of luminosity masks you will understand the importance of handling highlights, shadows and midtones in your photography

It is an additional element of knowledge for all those photographers who want to do a step forward the common used Photoshop editing techniques

The use of HDR software or Photoshop plugins, simply add filters and effects to the photos but makes images surreal and oversaturated

The step forward is to achieve a personal process of editing and learn capturing the images thinking of what you will do when you work on Photoshop

If you’re wondering how some photographers get beautiful clean and detailed pictures Mastering Luminosity Masks course is what I suggest to you

How to Dodge and Burn using Luminosity Masks

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Dodge and Burn is a very used technique in photoshop, it allows you to emphasize some of the main elements a image focusing on some points of it. Dodge and burn is mainly use to guide the viewer’s eye to the leading lines. Some time ago I wrote an article about this technique called Dodge and Burn 2 non destructive techniques compared where I talked about how to create the effect without any risk to make any damage to your image

Among the methods illustrated to create dodge and burn there  is the use of a 50% gray  layer and to use separate layers, both are efficient methods but they apply globally to the image. The risk is to apply the effect where is not needed, for this reason the application of luminosity masks into the dodge and burn layer is the key

In the video below I explain how to dodge and burn using luminosity masks. If you do not know how to create luminosity masks I invite you to download my free panel where you can create luminosity masks and launch some very useful effects including dodge and burn

I hope you find all this useful. I always love to ear this from you!


Highlights & Shadows Enhancements with TTS PRO

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In this tutorial is shown how to use the highlights and shadows enhancements using TTS PRO

The first group of highlights and shadows adjustments are in the field warm and cold filters – they are Warm Highlights – Cold Highlights – Warm Shadows – Cold Shadows

The main use of these buttons is to accentuate the effect of golden hour or blue hour in the images and to give more dynamism at dusk pictures


Warm highlights and warm shadows increase the levels of warm in the picture – they are very usefull for increasing golden hour effect or to give more energy into the sun direction

Cold highlights and cold shadows increase the levels of cold in the picture – they are very usefull to increase the blue hour effect or give a soft blue touch to milky way, night shot or to mix with blue the colors of sunset


The other interested buttons of highlights and shadows inside TTS PRO panel are More Highlights and Shadows Recovery. Both are filters that allow a quick click to lighten highlights and shadows.

More highlighs gives more energy to sunset and sunrises increasing the highlights in the landscape sky without burn it.

Shadows recovery increase the luminosity of shadows going to recover some parts of the peripheral image where we risk losing details

Enjoy the video


Download TTS PRO today!


Colours Enhancements using TTS PRO

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In this new video we will see how to use the colours adjustments buttons using TTS PRO panel

The colour correction is composed by Auto Correct – Colour Adjust – LAB Colour and Autumn Colour and in the finishing page we can find a Black and White conversion

Auto Correct will automatically correct your colour cast with one click, it usually make a good job but for every variations and how to use it without TTS PRO please read this article

Colour Adjust is a black and white based level to change the color cast of the picture moving the sliders of the colours, it’s an easy and great instrument to brighten and darken the image without affecting other colours.

LAB Colour is a great instrument to enhance all the colour of your picture, it gives a nice boost of vivid colours without overdo it. You can find my LAB Colour Tutorial here

Autumn Colour is the color effect that converts all the greens into red foliage autumn feel

Black and White creates a high contrasted black and white conversion of your image, it’s always possible to adjust it by clicking the window on the layer thumbnail and moving the slider to brighten od darken the picture

Enjoy the video

3 Different Ways to Create Beautiful Orton Effect

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3 Different Ways to Create Beautiful Orton Effect

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:


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


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


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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