Leandro Gemetro: Above Kapadokya, Turkey

The Image

Leandro Gemetro

Kapadokya, Anatolia. Turkey

Time / Date:
8:19 AM/ October 27th, 2013

The Technical

Camera Body: Nikon D800
Lens: Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 AF-S G

Camera Settings:
Shutter Speed: 1/100
Aperture: f/11
ISO: 400
Focal Length: 70mm

The Story


I’m a self taught photographer based in Dubai, and I occasionally do travel photography as well. I was spending some days in the beautiful region of Kapadokya, in Turkey and I took the opportunity of doing the typical balloon ascent during early morning. As I encountered perfect weather for shooting, I set up my equipment inside my Think Tank bag, including extra memory cards, my D800 and my 24-70 2.8 and 80-200 2.8 Af-D, as well as nice and warm clothing, as the morning was really cold at ground altitude (temperature drops quite fast when you are ascending). I knew for sure that I could get stunning images if I was prepared for it, so I tried to set up the settings as much as possible for the available light, deciding not to go above ISO 400 to retain the desired quality. I always try to think about the relation between focal range and speed shutter, going as much as possible to the limit to obtain the best output. I took several dozens of pictures, but in this case I got the right shot in one go!

The Scene: 

Kapadokya seems to be a place out of this world. Its geography makes this place quite distinctive as at sunrise it seems to be taken from a Martian scene. What drew me to take this photograph was the separation of shadow and light and how I could accommodate the balloons seen on the imagen in a perfect example of the rule of thirds. As I said before, the landscape in front of my eyes seemed taken from a science fiction movie!


I think that the combination of my D800/24-70 2.8 was vital to get as much detail as possible with the available light, as the D800 has an amazing dynamic range and allows you to reproduce this kind of scenes in an uniquely faithful way.

Making the Shot:

I tried to maintain as much quality as I could to enable this image to be printed in a reasonable size without loosing quality. So I stayed with ISO 400 and I pushed the limits of the focal lenght/shutter speed to the max. The sensor of the D800 (36MP) requires you to go further of the 1:1 ratio, closer to the 1:2 focal lenght/shutter speed ratio, as well as using some breathing technique to get a sharp image.

Editing & Processing:

Depending in image I apply certain philosophy when it comes to editing and processing. Some times I try to tweak it to resemble as much as possible to what I had in front of my eyes and sometimes I like to apply some “artistic” freedom to the processing. In this case, I brought the shadows back, added some contrast, clarity and sharpening, as well as tweaking the color balance to get an image as close as possible as I had seen that beautiful morning in Turkey.

Looking Back: 

This image for me is the perfect example of how quality light makes the difference when it comes to photography. This image is about light in any way possible.
What does this image mean to you, either personally, professionally, or as a technical execution? Does it express your style as a photographer, and, if so, how?


An important piece of advise that I would give is to always try to take the picture with your head before you do it with your camera. Get enough practice to know the settings and asses the light even without using your camera. That will enable to take less time in setting up the camera, and more time to look after a strong composition.


For landscapes, definitely Ansel Adams!



About the Photographer

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but nowadays I live in Dubai, UAE. I’ve always been fascinated about photography thanks to my late dad, who was an amateur photographer of the analog era. I’ve been doing photography semi-professionally for over two years already, focusing on architecture, street photography/travel and occasionally landscape.

Flickr: www.flickr.com/leogemetro

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