I'm Yaopey, the author of Fotographee. If you're searching for ways to improve your photography skills, or ideas to create something different, or just looking for inspiration for a breakthrough, then this page is for you!
I believe anyone can create good images, regardless of the camera we own. All we need is knowing what our tools can achieve and the skills to bring out the best of the pixels.
What Is Fotographee?
It's a photography blog with tutorials to help you create better images and discover the creative side of you.
It's my platform to share with you what I use and how I create my images. It's my stage to share my workflow so you can replicate or pick up the parts you like to incorporate into your routine.
I'll share with you how you can produce compelling image that you often see in the works of professional photographers.
What To Expect?
Techniques come first, camera comes second. That's why the articles on Fotographee focus on shooting techniques and post-processing skills instead of what gear to buy.
Here are a few articles that give you an idea what Fotographee is about:
How To Become A Photographer
How do you start? Where to get your gear? What resources to learn? Everything you need to know to get yourself started in this ultimate guide.
Understanding Dynamic Range
Read the dynamic range of the scene with histogram in your camera. Learn when to bracket exposure for high dynamic range image.
The Ultimate Guide To HDR Photography
Learn how to extend the dynamic range of your images with high dynamic range photography. Guide on HDR software, HDR photo effects and HDR tutorial.
The Kickstarter's Guide To Luminosity Mask
Bring out the best of Raw pixels with luminosity mask. Learn how to push the limit of your image and transform it to the next level.
Exposure Blending With Luminosity Mask
Learn digital exposure blending with luminosity mask in Photoshop. Find out the tips and tricks to blend multiple exposure smoothly and efficiently.
Luminosity Mask Course I Recommend
You'll hear me talking a lot about luminosity mask. This is because I use it routinely in my workflow to apply adjustments in a targeted fashion. It has evolved the way I create my images and I highly recommend you try it too.
The course is taught by Jimmy McIntyre, who's well known for his landscape and travel photography. His straight-to-the-point style teaches you the basics of luminosity mask and how to apply it in exposure blending. If you want to learn luminosity mask without overwhelming yourself, this is the course for you.
Top Tip #1
My core believes that I like to share with you:
"What camera did that photographer use to take his photos?"
If you think what you saw came straight out of camera, then you're making a HUGE mistake. It's a misconception and you need to change your mindset on that.
Having good gear is important, but it doesn't determine what you can or cannot achieve. Some of the great photographs were created with camera that you and I own. World renowned NatGeo photographer, Frans Lanting used a Nikon D100 to shoot some of his famous photographs.
My point is: It's how you use your camera that matters.
"How do I achieve / replicate that effect?"
Probably THE MOST common question among beginner photographers on social media. We see something we like and want to recreate the same effect. Some of these effects were created by simply applying a preset (filter) or manual color grading in post-processing.
It's often difficult to reverse engineer what others have done to their image. Instead of hunting for the particular filter used, learn color grading to achieve ANY effect you like. Isn't it better (and more fun!) to learn how to fish rather than being given a fish every time?
"I use HDR software but my images look unnatural"
HDR is an elegant technique to recreate the dynamic range that we actually perceive with our eyes. Unfortunately, it's very easy to go overboard when creating HDR with HDR software. Also, HDR software often gives your image that typical "HDR look".
A better way to create HDR is by exposure blending (in my opinion). It does have a learning curve but it solves many limitations that HDR software have in common. Exposure blending is my choice of creating natural and realistic HDR images.
"Has Photoshop ruin photography?"
If anything, Photoshop has enriched photography. We can now be more creative than ever in our images. The ethical question remains to what extent should we retouch an image.
A common misconception with the term "Photoshop" is that people often mean "post-processing". This is particularly true in those who are not familiar with photography. Post-processing is an essential part of photography and Photoshop is one of the many tools to achieve this. Photoshop is regarded as the "gold standard" tool in image post-processing for most professional photographers because of its robust and versatile functionality.
The Photoshop Training I Use
If you're serious about photography, you'll need to learn how to use Photoshop to post-process your image. It's the "gold standard" image post-processing software for many professional photographers. In my opinion, the versatility of Photoshop is second to none.
The course is delivered by Aaron Nace, the instructor and founder of Phlearn. It's currently the most practical and comprehensive Photoshop course on the market. You don't need any prior knowledge and you'll become a Photoshop power user in the end.
Top Tip #2
Elements of A Compelling Image
What I think a great photograph should be made of:
The Core : Red
These are the CORE and the ESSENTIALS of an image. The triangular relationship of aperture, shutter speed and ISO is inseparable and dynamic. Changes to one affect the others. These are the FUNDAMENTALS that you must learn and master.
The Energizer : Green
These are the elements that make an image interesting; that give life to an image. Without it, the image looks flat, mundane and without a focus for the viewer. You can have one or a combination of these elements in your image.
The Accessories : Blue
It's essentially image post-processing, which can generally fall under one of these categories. These include basic to advanced color and tonal adjustments; Correction such as cropping, perspective correction, removing sensor dusts, etc; Sharpening with your preferred technique; Stylization such as light painting, dodge and burn, light bleed, etc.
Top Tip #3
How To Be More Creative In Photography
1. Know Your Gear
This is so simple yet so easy to forget. You gear includes camera, lenses, tripod, filters, software, etc. These are the tools you use to create your work. You should know how to operate them, understand what they can do for you and what their limitations are. Your gear are your best friends in photography. Know them well!
2. Think Outside The Box
When you're photographing your subject, move around it, try different camera settings or even try with a different lens. Always think about how you can make your image different from others. Resist the temptation to snap any photos on your first encounter with your subject. Observe, study the light, think about composition and how you can create something unique.
3. Never Stop Learning
There are a ton of resources on the web on almost anything in photography. Learn a new skill or a technique every month. Explore the work by other photographers to get inspired with new ideas. Don't be afraid to experiment with a different style. Every bit you do counts and accumulates. You'll naturally become a better photographer over the time.
My Trusted Resource For Learning
Creativelive is an online educational platform that curates photography classes taught by professional photographers. To name a few: Frans Lanting, Ben Willmore, Linsay Alder, John Greengo, Art Wolfe and many more. I have personally taken classes before and I found them to be fantastic and extremely valuable.
Classes are free when it's being broadcasted live but you'll have to purchase to watch it later. Register today and find out when is the live broadcasting for the classes that you're interested.
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