"If you can't live longer, live deeper." ~ Italian Proverb
Current position on planet Earth: Italy
6 March, 2014

Misty Melody | Tuscany

While I’ll never be sure whether it’s possible for a photographer to capture the heart of a location, with the extent of my travels over the last few years, I’ve learned that it’s certainly possible for a location to capture the heart of a photographer.

Tuscany is one of those locations that has truly captured my heart, and that’s not just the Chianti talking. There’s a longing to be there again – to wake up to the soft melody of the morning fog as it cradles the rolling hills and valleys creating a visual harmony of color, texture, and light. In this feeling also lives the desire to experience and photograph this landscape in every changing season, whether it takes months, years, decades, or a lifetime. Again, that’s not just because of the wine. ;)

There are still a few spots left on our Italy Photo Tour this May where you can join Ken Kaminesky and I as we explore and photograph Tuscany along with some of the most beautiful destinations in Italy. Spring is also one of the best seasons for a chance to capture the enchanting (and highly sought after) Tuscan fog.

** Warning: There will be a lot of good food and wine involved in this tour. ;)

Misty Melody || Tuscany Italy

 

Technical Mumbo Jumbo | Before and After Comparison

Camera: Nikon D800
Lens: 28-300 f/3.5-5.6 (Shot at 98mm)
Tripod: RRS TVC-33 / BH-55 Ballhead / RRS L-Plate
ISO: 50 at f/8
2 Single RAW Files

Location: Shot in Val d’Orcia Tuscany, Italy – June 2013 and post-processed in Lake Tekapo, New Zealand – March 2014

Hardware: 15” 2013 Macbook Pro Retina, Wacom Intuos5 Small Tablet

Software: Lightroom 5, Photoshop CS6, Nik Color Efex Pro 4

While I rarely replace skies in my photography, this was a shot where I felt it to be absolutely necessary. I shot in this location over the course of many days and on a few mornings I captured beautiful fog with clear skies and other times, I had zero fog and epic skies. This resulting image is a blend of 2 different days shooting in nearly the identical location and focal length.

After some small tweaks in Adobe Camera Raw before import, I used hand painted masks in Photoshop to blend the two RAW files together. Once the blending was complete, I gradually built up the contrast in specific areas until I felt that the light had a nice and even balance. I find that while working with fog and hazy environments, it’s best to apply adjustments selectively rather than globally since each area can have varying degrees of atmospheric haze. Post-processing images like this becomes a careful game of push and pull where careful brush strokes and masking can really make the difference, especially when applied with the pinpoint precision of a Wacom Tablet.

Of course I’ll also be covering many different post-processing techniques during our Italy Photo Tour.

Before and After Comparison – Move the slider to see the difference between the image “Straight out of the camera” and “Fully post-processed.”

About the Author

Elia Locardi is an internationally recognized professional travel and destination photographer, writer, public speaker and educator who spends his life seeking out and capturing some of the most beautiful and inspirational locations in the world. Recently featured by Professional Photographer Magazine, CNet Australia, and Wacom USA, Elia has cultivated an engaged social media following of nearly 2.5 million people across Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Instagram. On the road full-time, he teaches the Art of Photography here on www.BlameTheMonkey.com, collaborates with various brands, sponsors and tourism boards, and leads Photography Tours and Post-processing Workshops worldwide.

  • Denis Grenier

    Hello Elia,

    I really like this picture. In fact I should say that I love all your pictures. This one compelled me to leave a comment though. I would associate your picture production to Sculpting and not just art. Looking at the picture I can feel the hard work of your hands on the landscape in order for it to reveal itself to the viewer. Great work and thanks for sharing!

    • Elia Locardi

      Thanks for the awesome complement! :)

  • Florian Cortese

    Your Italy photo tour is definitely on my bucket list for next year. I hope you will have another one scheduled. Beautiful, breath-taking picture, BTW

    • Elia Locardi

      We will definitely be having at least one Italy Photo tour for 2015. It would be our pleasure to have you join us. :)

  • Oleg

    Clothes: Abercombie&Fitch T-shirt, Calvin Klein socks and boxer briefs, Ecco Ethan shoes, Banana Republic pants.
    Food&drinks: Prosciutto&Mozarela panini, Pringles Sour Cream chips leftovers, cold coffee.
    Music: Bon Jovi- Livin` on a Prayer (live in Bogota).
    Weather: 78 degrees Fahrenheit, a bit cloudy. Humidity 67%.
    Great pictures and work in general though.))

  • Dave Morrow

    Really nice shot Elia!