Portraits of a Young Artist

Akiane-portrait-Bernadette-Meyers

I have never met anyone quite like beautiful Akiane. She is a young artist with an exceptional amount of talent, but what strikes you when you meet her is her gentle spirit. She is truly and 'old soul' with incredible wisdom beyond her years. She has a child-like wonder coupled with the wisdom of an 80 year old. 

akiane-portrait-Bernadette-Meyers

I met her while she was briefly in Australia. We spent time together over 3 days and I will treasure those moments and hold her in my heart as a dear friend for life.

akiane-portrait-Bernadette-Meyers

Her art is visionary and she is completely self taught. You can view a recent short documentary about her life here 

akiane-portrait-Bernadette-Meyers
akiane-portrait-Bernadette-Meyers
BMeyersAkiane-2017_BMM7982-Edit.jpg

This video of her Vermeeresque painting; Lilies of the Valley is one of my favourites. 

akiane-portrait-Bernadette-Meyers
akiane-portrait-Bernadette-Meyers
akiane-portrait-Bernadette-Meyers

She wakes in the early hours of the morning and paints for hours before her family get up. A very dedicated and hard working young lady.

akiane-portrait-Bernadette-Meyers

If you don't already know her work, I hope you will discover the depth, joy and beauty of this artist's painting. You can view her website here

The Colours of St Paul's Cathedral London

A few months ago, before we moved back home to Australia from the UK, I wandered the streets of London for a final visit. The light is so subdued in England with the thick cloud cover that it actually makes for easy photography. Generally, English colours seem soft and muted compared with the colours in Australia.

St Paul's Cathedral, London Bernadette Meyers

One can only imagine how many tonnes of Portland stone it took to make this iconic cathedral. In one way, it is very busy with such a lot of intricate detail and carving, but the uniformity of colour brings the whole project together with a lovely, glowing warmth.

St Paul's Cathedral, London Bernadette Meyers
St Paul's Cathedral, London Bernadette Meyers
St Paul's Cathedral, London Bernadette Meyers
St Paul's Cathedral, London Bernadette Meyers
St Paul's Cathedral, London Bernadette Meyers

Christopher Wren's St Paul's is a relatively new cathedral for London, built after the medieval building was destroyed in the Great Fire. It is amazing to think that most of the skills involved in building it have been lost to us a few hundred years later.

St Paul's Cathedral, London colour palette Bernadette Meyers
St Paul's Cathedral, London Bernadette Meyers
St Paul's Cathedral, London Bernadette Meyers

Even the wood and iron work seems to tone in perfectly with the stone.

St Paul's Cathedral, London Bernadette Meyers
St Paul's Cathedral, London Bernadette Meyers
St Paul's Cathedral, London Bernadette Meyers

I find these large architectural masterpieces quite overwhelming. Where do you start to explore or appreciate them? It's quite good to take photos and revisit them months later to see what they hold. I was quite struck by the overall harmony of the exterior despite the seemingly endless detail.

Artist Book Workshop 2nd September 2017

artist-book-workshop-Sydney

Who doesn't love books? Holding them, reading them, collecting them, writing in journals and making them. 

On September 2nd, I will be hosting an artist book workshop. We will create two books to take away at the end of the day. This is what we will cover:

  • Various ways of presenting books.
  • Book binding techniques.
  • Use of lettering and typography.
  • Layout and design.
  • Developing a book from idea to finished article. 

Make a concertina book from scratch - bring a basic book concept and some reference material, perhaps photographs, drawings, watercolour painting, poem etc.

Make a blank pamphlet book with artist paper - choose from watercolour, drawing or pastel paper  and include a watercolour palette.

Concertina Book

Concertina Book

Watercolour Pamphlet Book with Palette

Watercolour Pamphlet Book with Palette

  • When: Saturday 2nd September 11am until 5pm
  • Where: Collaroy, Sydney
  • Cost: $110 - $50 deposit to secure your place
  • What to bring: lunch, artist materials, pencils, paint etc, inspirational photos, drawings.
  • Afternoon tea is included
  • Materials for making the 2 books are supplied
  • Maximum of 6 participants
If you are interested in coming, please phone Bernadette on 0432 731 488 and I'd love to chat with you about your ideas and answer any questions you may have.
artist-book-workshop
artist-book-workshop
artist-book-workshop
artist-book-workshop-sydney
artist-book-workshop-sydney

 

 

How is a Professional Portrait Better than an iPhone Photo?

Headshot photography Collaroy Sydney

Good photographers make good pictures, not the gear. People can use the latest, fanciest cameras, lighting and lenses and still take average pictures, or even awful ones. On the other hand, someone with a good eye can take amazing pictures with any camera. iPhones take great pictures. There are photographers all over the internet showing commercial shoots and weddings they have done with their iPhone cameras. However, a really good, close up portrait will be better with good lighting and a long lens in the right hands.

 

These two photos were taken seconds apart. The first was a quick snap with my iPhone for the model release, using window light. The second was the light test just a few seconds later, using my DSLR with a 105mm lens.

Breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

Same beautiful girl, same hair and makeup, same outfit, same room, same gorgeous blue eyes, same photographer. So, why are they so different? The iPhone, like most phone cameras, has a lens with a field of view similar to a 35mm lens. That's great if you are taking group shots or even photos of individuals at full length, but it is certainly not ideal as a close up portrait lens. Photographers generally agree that a focal length of at least 85mm is best to create flattering portraits which show faces naturally, how we see them.

I used very simple, soft lighting from in front and behind, as well as adding three reflectors to bounce more light into the subject's eyes. So next time you look at a phone photo of yourself and feel a little discouraged, just remember that you probably look a whole lot nicer in real life! When you need a profile photo or a portrait, consider hiring someone to take a picture you will be happy with.

Simple Vintage Portrait Composite

This model was quiet and sweet spirited. She had an old world air to her and when I photographed her for head shots, I imagined a floral, vintage style portrait. These are the images I used to create the composite of Chynna

The final image.

The final image.

breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

I used a soft box behind the model to create a pure white background and also to give lovely backlighting. Then another soft box to light her face as well as three silver reflectors so that she received as much bounced light as possible.

breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

The buttercup image was taken with a 105mm macro lens using a wide aperture. I allowed some of the flowers to touch the lens to give soft shapes in the foreground. 

I used this wallpaper shot to add a bit of texture.

breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

THE PHOTOSHOP PROCESS

1. I lightened the shadows and reduced both contrast and saturation in the portrait.

2. Added a sepia film gradient map to the image to compliment her hair colour.

3. Black and white layer in soft light blend mode at about 30% opacity, blended to only affect the highlights - this was to give her skin a milky appearance and add some contrast back into the eyes.

4. Buttercup image in multiply blend mode, masked off the face.

5. Changed the hue-saturation to warm up and desaturate the buttercup photo, then added a sepia gradient map to tone in with the portrait.

6. I felt the image was a bit too smooth for the vintage feel I was trying to create, so tried a few photos of lace overlaid, trying to mirror the lace in her top. It didn't work, I thought it looked too contrived, so I opted for some old wallpaper.

7. Wallpaper layer in soft light blend mode at about 30% opacity, masked off the face and some of the background.

Lille and a Ballet Dancer Photo Shoot in Roubaix

Lille-Bernadette-Meyers.jpg

After a few perfect days of experiencing tulips, windmills, canals and cheese in Holland, we stayed with a lovely family in the north of France. With three dancers, a gorgeous French home and a camera, how could I resist taking some dance photos.

Bernadette-Meyers-travel-photographer

First a few pictures of the beautiful city of Lille. It was bitterly cold and windy the day we visited.

breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

My daughter was over-joyed at the sight of a beautiful Repetto store in Lille - they always have such exquisite window displays.

Bernadette Meyers travel photography Sydney-24.jpg

Then there were all the delicious looking patisseries! Mmmm Our host bought three different types of bread for breakfast the next day.

Although, I was much more tempted by the antique and vintage book market, set in a most gorgeous courtyard.

Breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

Now for some photos of the lovely dancers.

Breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
Breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
Breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
Breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

The family home is beautiful, however, it was quite challenging to find suitable places to take photos, with the narrow staircases and hallways.

Breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

I love the light coming in from the high windows. Mia was a gorgeous subject with classic features.

Breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
 
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
Breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
 
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

Under the Grape Vines

Bernadette-Meyers-macro-nature-photography

Recently I visited a friend in Mildura and she showed me the beautiful wonderland that is beneath the grape vines. It is another world under there - all green and warm. 

Breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

There are beautiful tendrils, so strong, yet some of them are threadlike.

breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

The way the light shines through the leaves is so gentle.

breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

It was an unforgettable way to spend a chilly winter afternoon.

breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney
breeze pics Bernadette Meyers, photographer Sydney

A Fresh Start

nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney

I've recently moved back to Sydney after being away for over ten years. The past three in the UK and the previous seven on a beautiful property in the Hunter Valley.

nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers
nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach

The first thing I wanted to do when I landed was to feel the wind in my hair, the sand between my toes and smell the fresh salt air.

nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach
nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach

This particular spot holds sweet memories of my daughter's first 10 years of life, enjoying the seasons pass and finding treasures in the rock pools.

nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach
nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach
nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach
nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach

I never tire of watching the sunlight glistening on the water or the sea gulls bathing and preening. 

nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach
nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach
nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach
nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach

So many beautiful textures and tiny details to discover. No walk is ever the same or ever dull.

nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach
nature travel photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney beach