The Light Gate

The Light Gate

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When I published the post about the Gyeongbokgunk palace I didn’t tell you about the famous Gwanghwamun front door. This is the main gate of the royal palace of Seoul

The Gwanghwamun gate has had a very long history, was destroyed during the Japanese invasion made up of reconstructions, displacements and new destructions, until a definitive restoration took place in recent times where we can admire in all its beauty

After all these historical facts now the door is an important tourist destination, many people are here visiting Gwanghwamun gate and Gyeongbokgung palace in fact on some days of the week you can watch the famous change of the royal guard, both are one of the most representative sights of the city of Seoul

I dedicated a careful photo visit to the door in the evening, since it is located in front of a large traffic artery, I used local traffic to color the frame by exploiting the light trails of buses and cars


I took a series of shots in order to capture the best light trails, I selected 3 shots wich have some interesting lights, I put togheder using layer masking and luminosity masks.

I lightened the sky and increased contrast, with the help of my panel TTS Pro, I increased details, contrast and launched dodge and burn to fix the lights and shadows

I added some vibrant colors and a soft orton effect to give more soft looking to the shot, I made some correction with clone stamp tool removing some spots in the sky

As final step I incresed the highlights in the sky and I added a soft vignette to the frame

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


Camera: Nikon D-800

Nikon 14-24 f/2,8 (used at 15mm)

Single Shot

ISO: 100 at f/13

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro

Seoul from the Sky

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View of Seoul from one of the tallest buildings in the city. I love photographing from these spots and more they are closer to the city with other tall buildings nearby, more they offer a beautiful view.

In my trip to Korea I photographed very much from spots like this, you will see it on the next posts… In the meantime I wanted to tell you about how I made this photo:

I climbed to the top of Seoul Tower after a pretty rainy day, I feared all the time to the last that the windows could be dirty and stained by the rain but incredibly (don’t ask me how) it wasn’t

To shoot the cityscape I always prefer a little glow of daylight before the total darkness falls, so I always prefer to start shooting from the blue hour.

Also mindful of last year’s experience where I took all my photos through glass covering the camera with a sweatshirt 🙂 this year I had a useful accessory that you find on the web for a few euros … it’s a sucker that is made pass through your lens and you can stick it to the glass with the lens, so as to completely avoid any reflection coming from behind you

In the picture there is a glare of sunlight that I captured through a series of long exposures and bracketing. The sky has a different exposure than the rest of the photo, this to prevent the lights of the city from being too strong-

For the city I take 3 bracketed shots that I used to correct the citylights and exposure of the builings and streets


I blended the exposure for the city, using the dark exposure to decrease highlights on the streets and buildings. As I said before I also captured a series of long exposure for the sky that I blended with the first take of the one of the city of Seoul

I launched details enhancements using TTS Pro, I also added details to the shadows using the effect inside the panel. I made a series of colour correction to increase the blue color, decrease the red spot on the right, increase yellows coming from the city

With the use of luminosity masks I increased highlights and lights coming from the sky, giving more energy and light at the whole frame

I correct the horizon line and applied a free trasform to correct the wide angle distorsion on some building, than with the clone stamp tool I removed some spot of rain on the glass

The last passage was to add a soft vignette to emphatize the central part of the picture

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


Camera: Nikon D-800

Sigma 24-70 f/2,8 (used at 32mm)

Three Exposures (-1; 0; +1) + Long exposure for the sky

ISO: 100 at f/14

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro

After the Rain – Gyeongbokgung Palace

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Hi guys, on my first day in Korea I immediately found a beautiful rainy day 😀 the day I decided to go to the Gyeongbokgung palace the weather was certainly not the best: quite strong rain and gloomy day (even if very hot)

I will spend two words to tell you about this royal palace which is one of the most important buildings of the Chousun, namely the dynasty that reigned in Korea for the longest time

The palace was burned during the period of the Japanese invasion and subsequently abandoned due to the difficulties of the restoration until the 60s where an important restoration brings it back to ancient beauty

During my visit to the Gyeongbokgung I met many people who took pictures in traditional clothes (hanbok) and at the entrance of the building, it is possible at certain times to observe the interesting change of the guard in front of the main door of the palace

The rain did not discourage tourists who were like me under the underpasses at the sides of the main building, when I took this picture the sky was opening and it had stopped raining

The possibility of portraying the royal palace Gyeongbokgung with the perspective of some puddles was very suggestive while the sky opened up to the after rain colors. Some nice Korean ladies have protected me with an umbrella from the gutter drips at the top while I was taking this picture 🙂


To make this shot I used focus stacking technique, so I captured 3 bracketed shots focusing on the palace, thank other 3 bracketed shots focusing on the grass

I blended the shots following this guide, until obtaining 3 blended images able to be blended toghteder using luminosity masks

that’s what I did, using TTS Pro to digital blend the images until get the perfect exposure; after this I increased contrast and details, than I added a warm filter to the sky and shadows using Color Efex Pro

With the help of dodge and burn I give more light over the grass and over the puddles. After a color vibrance increase I remove some tourist near the temple using clone stamp tool

I decrease slightly the exposure value to increase the highlights and added more contrast to the image

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


Camera: Nikon D-800

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

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

ISO: 200 at f/7,1

Software: Photoshop CC2019

Plugin: TTS Pro, Color Efex 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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