Coffee doesn't ask silly questions. Coffee understands.
Where Am I? Fujiyoshida, Japan
26 February, 2013

Follow Your Heart | Positano

Lately, I’ve had some pretty bad luck with the weather. In the past 2 weeks for example, I’ve only seen the sun come out twice. It’s unfortunate but it’s all part of the game of full time travel and destination photography. Sometimes you win with epic skies, and sometimes you lose with solid grey overcast and rain. There’s really nothing to be done about it but accept it – or in my case, use it as an excuse to take shelter in my little hotel room and catch up on some much needed photo editing.

Since the constant grey sky has been so persistent, I wanted to edit a photo that would help lift my rain drenched spirits. So of course, the first Lightroom Catalogue I browsed was from Italy, specifically my summer visit to the beautiful Amalfi Coast. It instantly made me feel better when I remembered an entire trip of warm and perfect weather.

In my opinion, Positano is one of the most photogenic Italian cities and certainly one of the most beautiful along The Amalfi Coast. With it’s southern positioning, it can be equally beautiful at sunrise and at sunset, with each time of day providing unique and interesting lighting scenarios. On a clear night after the sunset, the blue hour can also be extraordinary. In that case, my recommendation would be to find a restaurant with a nice view and enjoy the scenery with a good bottle of local Italian wine… On second thought, make that two. :)

After the sun sets in Positano, one of the most beautiful towns along the Amalfi Coast.

Technical Mumbo Jumbo || Before and After

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: 24-70 f/2.8 (Shot at 28 mm)
Tripod: RRS TVC-24 / BH-40 Ballhead / RRS L-Plate
ISO: 100 at f/8
7 Exposure Brackets

Location: Shot in Positano, Italy - August 2012, and post-processed in Yangshuo, China - February 2013.

Hardware: 15” 2011 Macbook Pro, Wacom Intuos5 Small Tablet

Software: Lightroom, Photoshop, NIK Color Efex Pro 4

Technique and Details: Manual Exposure Blending using Luminance Masking

To blend 5 of the 7 exposures together, I used a new Luminacne Masking Technique that I’m developing. Once I finish fine tuning the process, I’ll create the video tutorials.

Espresso: Lavazza Oro! Zoooooom!

About the Author

Armed with his camera, tripod, and no doubt a giant cup of coffee, photographer and writer, Elia Locardi traverses the globe full-time looking for interesting photographic opportunities and the stories that go along with capturing them. With each photograph, his goal is to share his vision with others so they can experience these places the way he does, full of color and emotion, depth and texture. He hopes to inspire people to travel for themselves, visit these beautiful locations, and to fall in love with the beauty of the world.
Visit Elia Locardi on Google+ to learn more.

  • Cheryl

    Awesome! Looks like a lava flow of buildings and lights coming off the mountain. Looking forward to your tutorial!

    • Elia Locardi

      Thanks Cheryl! :)

  • Greg

    Im looking forward to seeing the new masking technique explained in detail.

    With the incredible abilities of LR4 to deal with shadows and highlights, I’m curious if you’ve ever compared processing a single frame vs. your blending or straight up Photomatix results. I suspect you have and would love to hear or see your thoughts on the comparison.

    • Elia Locardi

      Mostly I’ve noticed that using an exposure shot at a low ISO is better than recovering 1-2 stops, especially in the darks. You get much less noise that way. In some cases, it’s negligible but if you like working down to the pixel level like me, you’ll notice it for sure.

  • Karl Lindsay

    Elia, I’m curious as to why clone out most of the boats? Beautiful shot though!

    • Elia Locardi

      Some of them came out a bit blurry due to the longer exposure. I left some of the sharp ones in and took out the rest.



  • Ryan Wright

    Elia, excellent photo and I appreciate you putting in the before and after images. Recently found your blog, looking forward to seeing more. Cheers!

  • Ehlana Chou

    Beautiful photo! Can I ask where you took this photo from? I’m attending a wedding on the Amalfi Coast this summer. It will be a first, and I’d love to visit your spot. Thanks!

  • Omkar Kokamthankar

    How did you get the color of the trees??(The once located to the right in the frame)
    And a terrific Image Like Always!! :)