About Me

That's me (left), sipping a cup of morning tea while traveling in Iran.

Hi, my name is Yaopey and welcome to my website.

This site is perfect for you if you like HDR photography but fed-up of the “HDR look” or maybe you want to get out of the HDR hole! You probably want to continue doing HDR but like to create more natural images without relying on HDR software. Most importantly, you want to improve your skills so you can publish stunning photographs like the ones taken by professional photographers.

I know that feeling because I’ve been there. I’ve also seen the light on the other side of the tunnel and I’m here to show you how you can do it.

What’s In It For You?

So how exactly can I help you better your photography?

  1. Comprehensive guides to HDR photography, luminosity mask and exposure blending, all the essential tools to create natural and realistic HDR images. Everything is presented in one place without the need for you to click away, so you can save time navigating and spend more time learning what you need.
  2. In-depth tutorials that cover not just the core of the topic but dive deep into the nitty-gritty behind. For example, my deep dive article on histogram enables you to really understand what it is about so you can apply the practical knowledge in any aspect of photography, not just HDR. Kill two birds with one stone at its best!
  3. Tutorials on image post-processing to show you the endless possibility of creative editing. Apply these to your editing workflow to get the effect you like and be the artist you have always wanted to be. No need to buy presets when you can create your own!
  4. Learn the exact steps I use in my post-processing workflow using Lightroom and Photoshop. I explain the story and the thought process behind my images so you get to know the reasoning behind my actions. Insight into a different mindset (mine!) can help you develop your own which may eventually mould into your own personal style.

Little Things That Keep Me Going

​Although I’ve been doing photography for more than 10 years now, I’m still learning new things constantly. I’ve also been fortunate enough to have my images published in several books and notable websites.

  • ​Asia Overland: Tales of Travel on the Trans-Siberian and Silk Road, Odyssey Guides (ISBN 9789622178113)
  • Mountain: Portraits of High Places by Sandy Hill (ISBN 9780847834020)
  • National Geographic Travel Guide to Prague
  • Visit Scotland – 12 Hidden Gems In Glasgow (bit.ly/2gYnruI)
  • The Glasgow We Used To Know (ISBN 9780956305435)
  • Photography Week Digital Magazine (Issue 187, 197 & 199)
  • Exhibited 3 of my images at the Showcasing Yorkshire Print Exhibition 2017 by the Royal Photographic Society

My Story

I’m a self-taught landscape photographer. Having said that, I do like the occasion of shooting cityscape and architectural photography. I like to create both representational and impressionistic images as it allows me to capture the beauty of nature as well as recreating the emotions in the scene.

I bought my first digital camera, a Canon Ixus 400 when I was 19. It was one of the best digital cameras on the market at the time with 4 megapixels! I fell in love with digital photography and had  my camera everywhere with me. I didn’t take photography seriously until I upgraded to a DSLR (Canon 40D) because I dropped by Ixus 400 at the Eiffel Tower (Ops!).

I couldn’t imagine how different my life would’ve been if I didn’t upgrade to a DSLR. Maybe I would’ve upgraded anyway but not until many years later…who knows?

Fast forward a few months later after I bought my Canon 40D, I discovered HDR photography and went absolutely crazy about it. I really liked the “HDR look” and embraced the hyper-detailed and saturated effect in almost all my images.

A couple of years later, my enthusiasm for photography started to hit a plateau. I felt everything I did was repetitive. Bracketing exposures had become a routine that my workflow seemed flat and lack creativity.

Looking back, I guessed I knew there was something missing but I just couldn’t figure out what it was. I started to avoid taking photos and even not bringing my camera out anymore. I almost gave up on photography.

I started to search for a solution. A solution for a breakthrough and this was proven to be a failure at the beginning. This was because I didn’t know what I needed. I didn’t try to define what was wrong or missing.

Feeling burnout, I took a hiatus in photography for a year or so. I didn’t start shooting until I discovered exposure blending and luminosity mask. I started to feel excited again.

I searched the internet and learned everything I could get my hands on luminosity mask – selective tonal and color adjustment, exposure blending, dodging and burning, black and white post-processing and much more. I started experimenting with different techniques to create the effect I have envisioned.

inspired by tron yaopey

The process of learning new techniques has given me to the opportunity to come up with my own system for creativity. I found a way to learn more effectively and find endless inspiration for new ideas. I’ve also developed my personal style over the years and becoming more consistent in my work.

If my story resonates with you in any way, the chances are, I can help you!

I’ve created a comprehensive guide on creating natural and clean HDR images with exposure blending. I called it “The XDR Blueprint“. It’s a blueprint because it outlines my entire HDR workflow in detail + post-processing techniques I’ve acquired over the years. It’s free and you can get it here.