Photographing the World 3: Advanced Cityscapes

Back in 2014, Fstoppers teamed up with landscape photographer Elia Locardi to produce two unique photography tutorials titled Photographing the World. In the first tutorial, Photographing The World: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing, Elia set out to build an introductory course that explores both his on-location shooting techniques along with his sophisticated post processing. In the second tutorial, Photographing the World: Cityscape, Astrophotography, and Advanced Post-Processing, Elia switches gears by photographing some of the world's most beautiful cityscapes as well as introducing much more complex editing techniques in Photoshop.

In 2017 we are excited to announce that the world wide journey continues with Photographing the World III! In this tutorial, Elia explores his favorite country, Italy, as well as two of the largest mega cities in the world, New York City and Dubai. Building upon the first two Photographing the World series, part III explores more advanced editing techniques as well as unique capturing methods in the field. Elia finds himself capturing stars in a city, dealing with harsh weather, scouting towns he has never previously visited, gaining access to unique rooftop views, using tilt shift lenses and Gigapan hardware, and even capturing the magnificant fog of Dubai. If you have been waiting for our next adventure with Elia Locardi, welcome to Photographing the World III!

Meet Elia

Elia Locardi is an internationally acclaimed professional travel photographer, Fujifilm Global Ambassador, writer, public speaker and highly experienced educator who spends his life shooting some of the most beautiful locations in the world. Location independent since March of 2012, he and his wife live a 100% mobile lifestyle, perpetually traveling from country to country, continuously circling the globe. Since he began traveling full-time in 2009, he has visited more than 55 countries and flown almost two million miles.

Using a combination of traditional in-camera techniques, targeted times of day, and advanced post-processing methods, Elia has developed a widely recognized and highly unique style of travel photography. With each photograph, his goal is to share his vision so others can see the world as he does, full of color, texture, depth and emotion. Fstoppers is excited to team up with Elia to share even more of his advanced photography process as we transition out of the natural landscape world and into some of the world's most incredible man made cities and wonders. 

Here are a few before and after images from Photographing the World III

Learn Photography On Location

As with every tutorial in the Photographing the World series, Elia takes you across the globe and shares with you the real world shooting situations he deals with out in the field. Each lesson begins with an in depth exploration of the location being photographed.  This means Elia walks you through all of his scouting tips, how he composes his camera, the lighting challenges he is faced with, and all of the technical camera settings he uses for a particular location. Not only are you able to see how the lighting and weather changes throughout the shoot, but you also get a one on one view into the process Elia uses to capture his raw files in the field. By watching Elia work through each of his photographers, you will be able to learn how to master all of the techniques needed to capture your own travel photos at the highest quality. 

Master Post Production and Complex Photo Editing

Once you have captured the files out on location, only half of the process is complete. Elia then takes you into the post production studio and shares all of the intricate steps he takes to turn his images from a perfectly captured snapshot into a world class piece of art. It is here that you will learn how Elia pulls the most out of his raw files and how to adjust color and tonality so your images pop off the screen. As with all of our tutorials, Photographing the World III starts of pretty simple but quickly builds up in complexity. As a forewarning, if you are not proficient in Photoshop you might want to start with Elia's most basic tutorial Photographing the World: Landscapes. In this tutorial, some of the topics covered are advanced panoramic stitching, creating illuminosity masks from scratch, replacing skies in complex scenes, advanced time blending, difficult object removal, and building Photoshop actions to help speed up your workflow. 

Unlike previous tutorials where Elia has used 3rd party plugins to achieve his signature look, in Photographing the World 3 everything is done entirely with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. This allows you to understand how you too can get the most out of the industry's two most used pieces of software without having to rely on extra plugins that might require extra money and constant updates. 

The Post-processing methods used in this tutorial are as non-destructive as possible using a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. With precision and the highest quality output in mind, every technique learned can be applied using a fast and efficient 100% manual workflow that relies on no third party plug-ins. Whether you’re showing your work in an online portfolio or preparing images for high resolution printing, this workflow is designed to help empower you to get the highest quality and most seamless results possible. 

Elia has become widely known for a process he calls ‘Blending Moments in Time,’ where he takes a series of photos captured all the way through sunset and blue hour and combines them together into one seamless image. This process is designed to encapsulate the entire memory of a location, from the vividness of an epic sunset, to the beautiful soft artificial lights of a city or town. This workflow is designed to show students how they can achieve this same world class and unique look for themselves. And though it is a highly digital process, Elia walks you through step-by-step and shows you how easy and fun post-processing can be. 

Learn Advanced Panoramic Stitching

Nothing captures the expanse horizon of a mega city like Dubai better than a stiched pano image. Throughout this tutorial, Elia shows you some of his most valuable techniques for capturing multiple images and seamlessly stitching them into a single, mega high resolution panoramic photograph. Wether you find yourself needing to drop in a sky replacement, blend moments in time, or remove foreground obstructions, Elia's lessons on panoramic photography will give you the tools to capture as much detail as possible while showcasing the largest field of view possible.

What’s included in the Digital Download:

  • 18 Hours of Video Content (1080p, 23.9fps, H.264 mpg4, over 25GB of material)

  • 14 On Location and Studio Post-processing Lessons

  • Full RAW files and companion software catalogs so you can follow along (Lightroom catalogs and Photoshop PSDs)

  • 13 Behind the Scenes episodes of our experiences traveling and filming this incredible project

  • Private Elia Facebook Group access for extended education and photo sharing

What's Covered in this Tutorial

  • In-Camera Photography Techniques (ISO, Shutter Speed, Aperture, White Balance, etc)
  • Overview of ideal lenses and gear for Cityscape and Astrophotography
  • Examples of New Lightweight Tripods, Clamps, and Accessories
  • Extensive Location Scouting and Tips for better composition, angles, and vantage points
  • How To Set Up Precise Camera Gear to Capture Hard to Work With Shooting Locations
  • Advanced Panoramic Photography Shooting and Stitching
  • GigaPano Multi-Row Panoramic Shooting and Stitching 
  • Working in Urban Environments and Proper Gear Setup and Control
  • Solid Neutral Density Filters and Softening Skies and Water
  • How to Use Smart Phone Apps to Precisely Plan Your Night and Astro-Photography
  • Capturing Stars and Star Trails Over Urban Environments
  • Understanding and Mastering Light (Golden Hour, Blue Hour, Sunrise and Sunset, and Astro)
  • Time Blending (combining exposures shot at different times)
  • Bracketing and Multiple Exposure Blending 
  • 100% Manual Exposure Blending using Zero HDR Software
  • Blending Different Moments in Time Together (Blending Different Times of Day Seamlessly)
  • Non-Destructive Techniques to Master RAW Processing
  • Extensive Non-Destructive Color Correction and Image Adjustment
  • Complex Selections and Masking Techniques
  • How to Create and Work With Luminosity Masking Techniques
  • Advanced Luminosity Masking
  • Compound Channel Masking for Precision Selections and Color Corrections
  • Advanced Object Removal and Image Cleanup 
  • How to Replace Skies and Add Depth and Drama to Existing Ones
  • Precision Sharpening and Selective Noise Reduction 

*All refunds are outlined in our terms of service.

The Longest Behind the Scenes Series Yet

Fstoppers started off our behind the series back in 2014 during Elia Locardi's first tutorial (watch them here). This time around the cameras literally never stopped rolling resulting in more wanderlust and shenanigans than ever before. Clocking in at over 3 hours, Photographing the World 3 includes 13 brand new episodes spanning the course of this tutorial. 

Two Additional Photographing the World Tutorials!

As mentioned above, Photographing the World 3 is the latest tutorial in the Photographing the World series. If you are new to Elia's work or are looking for the most comprehensive education on landscape and cityscape photography, we have combined multiple tutorials below with additional savings. For more information on either of these other tutorials, head over to the tutorial page for Photographing the World 1 and also Photographing the World 2.  

*No refunds allowed for bundle deals.

Download this 18 hour digital download now
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Previous comments

I just hear that NIK is back I myself have had Nik for about 5 year I paid for it and I run it on CS6 but I hear that it doesn't work on CC and for that reason I'm hold out on my going with CC. Not that I use it with everything but if I buy something I want to use it when I wish to. You can try it now for free so I would say test it to see if you like it. DxO has added some new thing to it but be honest you can do a lot without put out your money on there new upgrades it like plug in madness. Sometime less is best.

Rafal Hyps's picture

I have experienced issues with Nik after upgrading to macOS High Sierra.

Sorry to hear that I'm running High Sierra with no problem might be because I got it before google did a job on it. Like I said I have own this a good 7 year with no problem. Give it a another try I think you will find it nice tool to have in your work bag.

Titus Apfot's picture

So nice and cool guys. Welcome to Finland

Does this stand well on its own or does is it primarily build on PTW1&2? If budget only allows for 2 of the 3, better to pair this with PTW1 or PTW2?

We tried to make it stand alone but if you want 2 of them, I would suggest buying 1 and 2 unless you are interested in editing photos without any plugins. If that is the case, you should buy 3 or 1 and 3.

Can anyone compare this to Daniel Kordan's tutorial? Should by on the same level (the price is).

Patrick Hall's picture

Daniel's work is no doubt unbelievable and I'm sure his tutorial is completely worth the $300 price tag too (to be honest, $300 isn't much compared to what it costs to take many photographer's in-person workshops).

I was talking with someone who brought up his tutorial and from my understanding all the photos aren't taken out on the field like we did with Elia but rather he has some on location shooting but a lot of editing of previous work. I could be mistaken so don't take my word for it but knowing how expensive these tutorials have been to produce (flying all over the world for great locations), I find it hard to believe that many individual photographers have the ability to produce 100% on location lessons.

Now some people might not find it important to see the steps on location as they happen and only want to learn the post processing, but our goal has always been to walk you through the photos from step one to the final product.

Again, if you learn anything from any of these tutorials and you can apply it to your work forever, I have no doubt the price tag will pay for itself over and over again if you continue to take photographs for the rest of your life.

bonjour can you tell me if the video from youtube or if you have some sub titre ? in french ?

Desmond Stagg's picture

Re. Travelling the world full time - I would like to know just "how" he financed such a trip? Even living in cheap hotels and flying economy one would require a very deep pocket for such an adventure.

Patrick Hall's picture

I believe Elia discusses this in the video we made about how he and his wife overcame bankruptcy. Traveling can be pretty expensive if you only do it every now and then but if you commit to travel 100% of the time like Elia has, then it's actually can be about the same cost as living at home.

Up until recently, Elia did not have a home, a mortgage or rent, no cable bills, no car payment, etc etc. The most expensive part of traveling is the first overseas flight but once you are in say Europe, you can buy train and plain tickets for cheap and backpack throughout the entire continent fairly inexpensively. Of course you need a way to make income so you really need to also have a job that lets you work from the road and not clock office hours. Elia has leveraged his connections with camera companies to help get some expenses paid for, he also hosts photo workshops, does advertising for tourism departments in various countries, and also licenses video and photos for various projects.

The goal is to make as many automated revenue streams as possible while also using your connections to get as much travel comped as possible. But yes, if you have a ton of bills back home and try to do what Elia has done, it's going to be twice as expensive unless you can airbnb your home while you are gone or leverage some other assets back home so you are making money in other ways.

Terje Karlsen's picture

Hi, is the "behind the scene" episodes/contents the same as those you have included over at your YouTube channel?

Patrick Hall's picture

Yes, we slowly release the behind the scenes on our youtube channel

Are Parts 1, 2, and 3 independent of each other? Are there assumptions made regarding learned skills from earlier parts in the series?

Patrick Hall's picture

Yes they are all independent. Part III pretty much assumes you are comfortable with all the techniques taught in prior lessons but Elia does do a good job explaining them again. PTW I starts off very simple and works through a list of more and more complex techniques. PTW II is much more complex as Elia starts shooting cityscapes that require detailed masks in order to get windows, cars, and other specific features to pop in the final edits. My suggestion is to start with II if you are already great with Photoshop, Layers, illuminosity masks, etc or start with PTW I if you haven't done any of those techniques before.

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