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Article by Raffaella Testi - 22nd December 2016

Nature photography is technique and art because it's free style of aestetic and deep application of physical laws. Photographer's scope is to give depth to photos he realizes, enhancing detail and colours without altering the natural beauty and conveying emotions in the viewer: "The pictures should stimulate the viewer to experience nNature, to go to those wild places to admire the beauty" (Alessandro Terzi, 2015).

Alessandro Terzi realizes this photo in August 2014 in the San Pellegrino Lake to show the strength and beauty of nature at sunset: "the earth without human beings would be more beautiful" (Alessandro Terzi, 2015). This photo has a particular composition but above all the transmits feeling of calm. The title, Dream on, seems to refer to an unreal world that you see sometimes only in dreams.

The picture is characterized by two path views (one on the right, outlined by a small river and one on the left, delineated by a grass path) that guide the viewer's eye to the center of the scene, where the lake stays without ripples and an opening through the trees that leads us to look beyond, to admire the mountains. On the bottom we see the sunset clouds that are leaving the scene or threatening advance.

The Alessandro style remembers the painters of the Hudson River School of the 20s of 1800, as Asher Brown Durand with his River Scene painted in 1854 and Frederic Edwin Church with his Heart of the Andes painted in 1859, seeking to celebrate the magnificence and vastness of nature accentuating colours.

How it was made this photograph? Alessandro Terzi uses Canon EOS 5D Mark II camera, and Canon 17-40mm f/4 lens, resting on a tripod. The main technique used is long exposure (up to a minute) combined with an f/10 aperture and ISO 50. Also the usage of Tiffen ND filter 1024, that absorbs up to 10 stop of light. The light gradually enters into the lens and the photo is no longer a snapshot image, but prolonged in time and yet even though we might expect low slight movements of the water and the clouds this photo is still dominated by the complete calm, silence and by the absence of all life: nothing moves and Nature is the absolute master of the scene, with its silence and its colours.

But what makes this picture even more special is the technique used by Alessandro Terzi and which he himself calls Manual Masking.

Manual Masking. The photographer masks the lens with a black cardboard, moving constantly to avoid creating a black zone in the frame, masking manually (hence the term) the part of the frame where the light would be too high compared to the rest of the scene. A photo with some overexposed parts, thus ruining the picture and making it unrecoverable even in post production without this technique would be generated.

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