Straight to the Sun – Cilento Sunset

Straight to the Sun – Cilento Sunset

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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


The First Sight

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When I am on places like mountains I always dedicate a portion of time to shooting details while I wait for the best moment to shoot my landscape, this is how I manage to capture pictures like this

After the climb way uphill to the tre cime I arrived in front of the place of the shot, after mounting the tripod I usually take this opportunity to look the surrounding with a tele zoom lens and try to capure something interesting with th changing lights of the dusk

It is in that stretch that I saw a glimmer of sunset light filtering into the sky and illuminate the mountain with beautiful colors with 3 different tones clouds and different lights on the same mountain For this reason I always consider very important to not fossilize using the same lenses but vary them when possible to make the most of the potential that the location has to offer. Even if now is summer you can read more about this topic in my post how to photograph the beauty of autumn colours 🙂

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

This is a handheld shot, I didn’t take this using bracketing mode but a single shot, for this reason this time I don’t used any digital blending but just luminosity masks to lighten and darken the main areas of the image

I increased details using TTS Pro filters, with the same panel I made all the workflow adding warm colours to the shot, increasing contrast and adjust dark and white points. I fixed colour cast and I increased colour vibrance

I sharpened the final result adding a soft vigneting to give more prominence to the mountain

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 70-200 f/2,8 (used @200mm)

Single Shot

ISO: 100 f/13

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro 2.0


7 Tips for Better Sunset Photography

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As everyone knows, the best moment to capture the best light is during sunset, this time of day coincides with the best softest light and which gives better colors in the sky and lights. This time of the day is generally between golden hour and blue hour to achieve the best light in the day

Nowadays everyone knows this simple but basic rule of photography, but so how to go further? How can be more professional in this field? Let’s find out in this article through these 7 tips for better sunset photography

1 Scout the Location Before Shooting

Scouting of the location is the requirement of a professional photography, as regards the main difference is made to arrive early and leave late the location. This simple advice will drastically increase the possibility of returning home with a shot of greater interest

Arriving earlier helps to find the right position of the photo, going away late helps to find the right light you are looking for in the shot you’re making. Sometimes it happens that the best moments for shooting are moved from the canonical moments of the golden and blue hour, this is because they are strongly conditioned from weather and location

2 Know the Sun Spot

This is the primary tip for a professional photo, knowing the sun’s position increase the chance to create impactful images. You will understand what the light will do and consequently what your image will look like, in this way you will be able to adjust your photo according to your needs

To find out this position you can help you with many apps, for example I use Photopills that have a very intuitive sun spot section

3 Shoot into the Sun direction

When it is possible I love shooting landscape into the sun direction. Taking the shot into the sun direction greatly increases the possibility of creating impactful images because it includes an important point of energy in the frame

Shooting into the sun direction also allows you to play with the sun’s spikes when it “lands” on some element of the frame, a condition that I love to capture in my landscapes

4 Always Bracket your Shots

When shooting towards sunset the possibility of having images with a great contrast is very high. Usually high contrasted images are very difficult to manage and for this reason I always shoot using bracketing mode

The bracketing mode grants to obtain a wide dynamic range of the scene through a series of exposures, furthermore, this guarantees an excellent result for digital blending of the image in Photoshop

5 Try Differents Focal Lens

As a landscape photographer I have always captured many photos using my wide angle, but during time I learned the importance of experimenting with other points of view and other focal lengths to achieve best results


In some cases, using different lenses instead of wide angle can give better results, it all depends on the location and situation, it is the case of the gallery below that I took in the mountains or in the hills. At a distance I had points that hit the eye with a wide angle it would not have been the same results

6 Focus on Composition

Everything said above is important but it is nothing compared to a good composition, this is the main tip that allows you to create an impactfull landscape. Don’t always focus yourself on shooting at eye level, include the right portion of the sky / foreground in your photo and balance the elements for a perfect composition. On this topic I have written a specific guide that I recommend you go and read called 7 Composition guidelines for better landscape photography

7 Luminosity Masking

Luminosity masks are the best way to bring out the best on your sunset images, using luminosity masks and digital blending can easily include in your image all the main elements of your shots and create a balanced images with a full dynamic range

You can read more about luminosity masks in many articles of this site and you can take a look better at them on my dedicated guide mastering luminosity masks. Don’t forget to going deepen downloading my FREE panel for Photoshop and if you want to go deepen you can discover TTS Pro for easy and professional digital blendings


The Hills of Val d’Orcia Pt.2

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This week I continue with a collection of images captured in the suggestive Val d’Orcia in Tuscany. Side the images published last week are added these, some taken in very famous locations in the area and also many of these captured with a telephoto that in this area helps a lot to exalt the beauty of the place and his landscapes

This second collection it is entirely captured from the top of some hills, details of some very suggestive farms at various times of the day, I love the alternation of light and the contrasts that are created by playing among the details of the hills and trees

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

This series is composed by single shots so no digital blendings was done for this images. As the previous post I applied the same “treatment” for these shots: increase details, applied a warm filter and decreased some highlights in the sky

For some shots I also applied a soft orton effect, I increased a little bit contrast and fixed colours using my panel TTS Pro. As final step I applied a soft vignette to all the images to give more prominence to the main subject

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Nikon 70-200 f/2,8 

Single Shots

ISO: 100 

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


From this Day on

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From the same location in Rome as Castel Sant’angelo, I propose a shot that I took many years ago and that I have never reproposed afterwards.

In this spot you can capture the whole location including with the help of a good wide angle, the entire location of the castle and the energy of the sun setting on the sides of it

A few days ago I was here waiting for the blue hour to photograph the view of San Pietro in the evening, I had arrived a little earlier and I took the opportunity to photograph the splendid effect of the sun disappearing behind the buildings, all with branches of the trees along the river that complete the frame of the image

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I captured 3 bracketed shots for this image that I merged with the help of TTS Pro, using the same panel I correct the sky and make it more pop selectively. With the clone stamp and lazo tool I removed some unwanted spot and ghosts from the image

By using another picture with the finger on the sunlight, I replace some part of the image to totally remove any lens flare from the frame. I added orton effect, increased the yellow tone of highlights, decreased the shadows and increased details. All the passages above using luminosity masks applied selectively

I also applied the glow tool on some areas of the image in order to create more atmosphere, as last step I added a dark vignette to increase the sense of darkness of the image

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D850

Sigma 24-70 f/2,8 (used at 29mm)

Focus Stacking

ISO: 100 at f/20

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


The Angels Stronghold

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From the same famous location of my latest post here’s a new angle of Castel Sant’Angelo, this time with the famous composition from behid of the bridge leading to the castle. This is one of the best spot to capture the castle with the statues of angels visible from below the bridge with the lighting of the street lamps that light up at dusk

Over the years I’ve done this shot many times and every time I tried to capture different conditions. This time I stay here during the golden hour of a rainy afternoon, when the sky open again after bad weather

I made this using bracketed shots to capture the entire dynamic range of the scene and to master the lights an colors in the sky

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I digital blended the bracketed shots using TTS Pro using auto blend function, a very fast and at the same time accurate way to digital blend multple exposures. I increased sky colours using a warm filter applied selectively to the scene

After this I increased details removing the effect on the sky and on the water, I added some glow using the proper filter of color efex pro, than using the glow tool

I fixed yellow colour luminosity and saturation, than I incrase the colour vibrance of the frame and as final step I added a soft vignette and decrease slightly the luminosity

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-850

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

Focus Stacking

ISO: 100 at f/18

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


Below the Path

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Here we are finally with a new image after a period of absence due to the restrictions that we all know by now. I return to post with a location that I particularly love in my city while waiting to plan the next outdoor trips

After a rainy afternoon the sky opened with beautiful colours I took the opportunity to go out to shoot and find some interesting alternative perspective of Castel Sant’Angelo like this one taking advantage of the puddle on the foreground

I made this shot with a focus stacking between the elements around the puddle and the castle with its bridge, I then joined a further shot to correct the perspective of the bridge and the castle

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I take single shots for this focus stacking, I opened the image with camera raw and i opened in Photohope where i blended the images using auto blend layers functions, than i correct the perspective using the other image of the Castel Sant’Angelo

With the complete image obtained i started edting using TTS Pro to enhance details, colours and contrast. I added a dark orton effect to create a powerful light and at the same time darken the scene

I added a smart warm filter to increase the yellow lights in the scene and I corrected the lights in the sky to enhance the clouds.

As final step i brushed the puddle wih a yellow brush to give it more light energy

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-850

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

Focus Stacking

ISO: 100 at f/7

Software: Photoshop CC2021

Plugin: TTS Pro


In the Wood

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A small series of images that I collected during my latest photo session inside the wood. I waited here until sunset to catch the colors of autumn and to give more prominence to the leaves. The sun filtering through the branches of the trees was also a strong inspiration for me, as my previous post, for that as well as an important point of energy in the photo

The first image is a bit of a classic of autumn photos although I have never taken anything like this before, on the other two I tried two different point of view

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I made for all the shots very similar edits. I captured all the shots with no brackets so every image is a single shot, I didn’t use any digital blending here, but at the same time I used for all the fixes TTS Pro with I launched orton effect, increased glow, details, contrast and warmth

I also increased the color vibrance to push the red color up, I increased the yellow tone of the sky and pushed up the highlights, I also added a smart vignette effect to the image to increase the sense of darkness in the wood

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

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Nikon 24-70 f/2,8 (different angles)

N/A

ISO: 320 at f/9

Software: Photoshop CC2020

Plugin: TTS Pro


In the Wood

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The autumn scenarios are of great inspiration this period for me and for this reason this week’s photo is centered on a autumn forest scenery. I found many leaves on the ground and no longer on the trees but despite all the forest was enveloped by a magical mysterious autumnal atmosphere

In this photograph I tried to focus more on capturing the sun filtering through the dry branches of the trees, pushing myself as low as possible with the camera to have an overbearing foreground

I made this shot in focus stacking because I had in front of me several points with different focus starting from the roots up to the trees that are at the bottom of the woods

WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I started stacking all the exposures into a final image, after this I fixed all the highlights and contrast using luminosity masks. The image needed a perspective correction that I made through the use of Photoshop Warp to bring the roots a little closer and arrange the other trees in the forest

I increased details and created a glow atmosphere with orton effect using TTS Pro, with a paintbrush I glowed also the highlights to increase the sense of glow coming from the sky

After fixing color vibrance and saturation I added a small vignette to focus more attention on the sun spikes and the main tree

TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

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

Focus Stacking

ISO: 100 at f/22

Software: Photoshop CC2020

Plugin: TTS Pro


Capri

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This is a picture from 2019, I take this shot in the beautiful island of Capri this is the view o classical Faraglioni from the stairs leading to the beach in front of them

During the walk through the beach the dense vegetation does not always make it possible to see the two Faraglioni rocks in the sea but I found this opening by chance which also created an interesting compositional framing

I post this photo after a year because even this like the previous post I initially discarted it, in fact in this photo the largest rock of the two Faraglioni is covered by vegetation but it is in any case a very interesting composition


WORKFLOW EXPLANATION

I digital blended the shots using TTS Pro, I fixed highlights and shadow using luminosity masks. I added a warm filter to the sky using luminosity masks and color efex pro filter, than I added orton effect to create a soft dreamy effect

To lighten the dark of the foliage I used dodge and burn to lighten the shadows and light bleeding to increase the warm of the sky

After adding details on the whole image, I removed the effect on the sea and as final step, increased the contrast on the rocks

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


TECNHNICAL STUFF

Camera: Nikon D-800

Sigma 14-24 f/2,8 (used at 21mm)

Single Shot

ISO: 100 at f/9

Software: Photoshop CC2020

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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