Gate to the other side

Gate to the other side

“Gate to the other side”. What would the sky look like if you could see celestial bodies even during the day? This is my interpretation of a seascape at the first light of dawn, under an imposing Milky Way that shines through the gradient of colors of the sky, towards the end of the blue hour.

To create this “time blending”, that is the fusion of two different moments, I kept the camera in the same position for about an hour and a half, without changing the composition and the focal length. This is because, keeping the terrestrial elements of the landscape unchanged, I was able to capture first the Milky Way and, later, the light and the colors of the blue hour. Specifically, the shots for the Milky Way were taken around 3:45 am, while the blue hour at 5:15 am. Although this is a “composite”, the peculiarity of this shot is that the Milky Way has actually “passed there”, but an hour and a half earlier than this light condition.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Samyang 16mm F2 ED AS UMC CS
Focal lenght: 16mm
Shutter time: 15×13 s + 121 s
Aperture: F/2.2 + F/5.6
Sensitivity: ISO1250 + ISO100
 

 

Cosmos watchtower

Cosmos watchtower

“Cosmos watchtower”. Southern Sardinia. An ancient coastal watchtower looks out over the night sea, under a majestic Milky Way that cuts the sky in half.

To achieve this night landscape it took some planning, to be in the right place at the right time, with the Milky Way in a vertical position, high enough over the horizon and aligned with the tower. After that, in order to capture as much light as possible, while keeping the stars point-like and at the same time containing the unevitable digital noise, a mix of shooting and post-production techniques became mandatory: multiple exposures with different shooting parameters for sky and earth, darkframes to map the digital noise, subsequent alignment and editing of the resultants, thus obtaining the final scene. All performed with common photographic equipment, without specific tools such as a star tracker.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Samyang 16mm F2 ED AS UMC CS
Focal lenght: 16mm
Shutter time: 15×13 s
Aperture: F/2.2
Sensitivity: ISO1250
 

 

Spikes and slivers

Spikes and slivers

“Spikes and slivers”. Masua, southwestern Sardinia. A striking contrast between natural elements, which generates a sort of symmetry whose plane is the horizon: in the foreground, the sharp and rugged rocks open onto a sea with a smooth and luminous surface. Above, a deep and clear sky, marked by white clouds whose shapes, generated by their movement, recall the spikes of the rocks. At the center is the lonely islet of Pan di Zucchero, symbol of this wild part of Sardinia swept by the wind and sea currents.

To obtain this image it was necessary to use ND filters: a 15-stop solid NiSi to extend the shutter speed to about a minute and a half, thus eliminating sea ripples, plus a 3-stop graduated ND to darken the upper portion of the sky. The latter effect was further emphasized with the use of a red filter in postptoduction.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
Focal lenght: 10mm
Shutter time: 88 s
Aperture: F/8
Sensitivity: ISO100
 

This photograph is part of a series that has been awarded at the following international photography competition:
– Honorable Mention in the 2020-2021 edition of the FAPA Fine Art Photography Awards: “Pan di Zucchero” – Category Seascapes

 

Slits

Slits

“Slits”. Masua, southwestern Sardinia. A stretch of coast that shows the rugged and wild side of the island, where the rocks, compressed and pushed by the immense forces of the Earth’s crust, have emerged assuming elongated and oblique shapes. The gaps, partially filled by long waves, generate shiny mirrors that contrast with the twisted shapes and rough surfaces of the rocks. On the horizon stands the solitary islet of Pan di Zucchero, right in front of the barely visible building of Porto Flavia.

The composition of this shot highlights the shapes of the rocks in the foreground, which lead the eye to the islet of Pan di Zucchero; it follows that both planes must be sharp and detailed. To avoid the focus stacking technique, which would have required multiple shots with different focus points and subsequent editing in postproduction, it was sufficient to apply the hyperfocal technique: closing the diaphragm very much, but not so much as to incur in diffraction, it was enough to focus a few meters away from the foreground. By doing so, the entire scene is included into the depth of field, with the foreground in perfect focus and the elements in the background in sufficient focus. The long exposure was done with two ND filters, one solid 9 stops and one graduated 3 stops for the sky.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM
Focal lenght: 10mm
Shutter time: 30 s
Aperture: F/9
Sensitivity: ISO100
 

This photograph is part of a series that has been awarded at the following international photography competition:
– Honorable Mention in the 2020-2021 edition of the FAPA Fine Art Photography Awards: “Pan di Zucchero” – Category Seascapes

 

Fracture

Fracture

“Fracture”. Southern Sardinia. The stretch of rocky coast, on which stands the Pixinnì tower and the Punic quarry, is marked by large steps and deep crevices, through which the water flows incessantly. The feeling of being in an extraterrestrial landscape is amplified by the approach of a dense blanket of rain-laden clouds, which obscures the sky and makes one feel crushed between two powerful and impetuous natural elements.
This shot was taken during the last photographic trek with the students of La Bottega della Luce and, actually, the exposure time was interrupted at about 4 minutes because of the beginning of a strong downpour brought by those dark clouds. Two NiSi filters were used to take the long exposure: a 15-stop solid ND filter, plus a 3-stop graduated filter (rotated about 30 degrees counterclockwise from the horizon) to balance the dynamic range of the scene, containing in this way the bright lights in the upper left portion of the frame.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM
Focal lenght: 10mm
Shutter time: 249 s
Aperture: F/9
Sensitivity: ISO100
 

Floating pillars

Floating pillars

“Floating pillars”. Another shot taken on the beautiful island of Sant’Antioco, in Sardinia, to be precise at the stacks of the Nido dei Passeri. The magnificence of these rock formations and the time of day characterized by a high and intense light (about half past two in the afternoon) allowed me to create an image with strong contrasts. I therefore wanted to set the size and roughness of the stacks against the lightness and smoothness of the water.
To create this I made use of some technical and compositional choices: first of all, the use of black and white allowed to reduce the “information” to the essential, in order to concentrate on the important ones; in addition, the use of two ND filters (one solid 15 stops and one graduated 3 stops for the sky) allowed the extension of the shutter speed to 2 minutes, eliminating the waves and ripples of the sea and greatly reducing the structure of the clouds. The strong light of the scene made it possible to obtain an almost high-key effect with a chiaroscuro effective in increasing the visual contrast between the rock and the rest of the environment.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax HD DA 20-40mm f/2.8-4 ED Limited DC WR
Focal lenght: 20mm
Shutter time: 120 s
Aperture: F/9
Sensitivity: ISO100
 

Emerging from the dream

Emerging from the dream

“Emerging from the dream”. Mangiabarche (“Boat-eater”) lighthouse, Sant’Antioco island, southwestern Sardinia. The purpose of this photograph is to create a “dreamlike condition” by altering reality. To turn the image of the lighthouse and the rocks into a sort of dream or memory, with its emotional content, I chose the minimalist key: through the use of an ND filter (and an adequate post-production) I physically removed some “disturbing” elements, such as sea waves and clouds, to reduce the scene to its essential elements. It is no coincidence that even the horizon is almost completely invisible: the lighthouse and the rocks on which it stands appear in a vision, disconnected from space and time, as in a sort of dream. The use of black and white allowed me to focus on the shapes and transitions of brightness, as well as on the alternation of areas rich in textures with others totally empty.
This is a fairly simple way of doing non-descriptive landscape photography.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax K 200/2.5
Focal lenght: 200mm
Shutter time: 360 s
Aperture: F/8
Sensitivity: ISO100
 

Secret cove

Secret cove

“Secret cove”. Southwestern coast of Sardinia, Italy. As a rainy and windy day comes to an end, the colors of the sunset paint the sky and the crystal clear water of an hidden cove with vivid and deep shades of blue and pink.

This shot required a 9-stop solid ND filter to extend the shutter speed to nearly 2 minutes, plus a 3-stop graduated ND filter to darken the sky and balance the overall brightness and contrast of the scene. In this way, emphasis was given to the fast movement of the clouds pushed by the wind and the transparency of the water of the cove.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM
Focal lenght: 10mm
Shutter time: 91 s
Aperture: F/8
Sensitivity: ISO100
 

Mangiabarche blue hour

Mangiabarche blue hour

“Mangiabarche blue hour”. “Boat-Eater” Lighthouse, Southwestern Sardinia, Italy. A fleeting and dreamy moment of stillness during the blue hour, in a place often lashed by strong winds and waves.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Pentax K 200/2.5
Focal lenght: 200mm
Shutter time: 1/15 s
Aperture: F/8
Sensitivity: ISO100
 

Jump in the sea

Jump in the sea

“Jump in the sea”. On the west coast of Sardinia, among all the wonders that nature offers in this beautiful island, there is something truly special: the only one of its kind in Italy, is the Capo Nieddu waterfall. The thing that makes this waterfall unique is the vertical jump of about 40 meters that the small Riu Salighes makes directly on the small pebbly cove, right in front of the sea.
The view is fascinating, due to the majestic wall of basalt from which the brook flows, and the warm light of the sunset that saturates the colors makes the scenery even more spectacular.

To capture the magnificence of this sight, including the setting sun, I’ve decided to compose a panorama made of 4 vertical shots. As a result, the view is much wider if compared to a single horizontal shot, and it stretches from the cliff and its waterfall to the horizon. Moreover, in order to balance the brightness of the scene, I’ve used a 2 stop graduated ND filter to darken the sky a bit.

EXIF:
Camera: Pentax K-3
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM
Focal lenght: 14mm
Shutter time: 1/13 s
Aperture: F/7.1
Sensitivity: ISO100
 

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