Learn Lightroom and Photoshop

LRPSblog.jpg

Would you like to know the basics of how Lightroom and Photoshop work, so that you can process your photos and create attractive graphics for invitation, flyers etc? This one day course will take you through a simple workflow starting in Lightroom to make image enhancements, then over to Photoshop for more complex retouching and layer work.


This workshop covers:

LIGHTROOM - the Develop Module

  • lens corrections, jpeg/RAW, cropping, white balance, the histogram, tone, clarity, sharpening, effects such as vignette and grain, local adjustments, dodging and burning, split toning, exporting files

PHOTOSHOP

  • file formats and documents, layers, colour, retouching, blend modes, smart objects, adjustment layers, clipping masks, filters, combining images
learn lightroom and Photoshop Sydney workshop
 
  • When: Monday 16th October 9am until 3pm
  • Where: Collaroy, Sydney
  • Cost: $110 - $50 deposit to secure your place
  • What to bring: lunch, if you have a laptop with Lightroom and Photoshop, please bring it.
  • Afternoon tea is included
  • Maximum of 5 participants
If you are interested in coming, please phone Bernadette on 0432 731 488 and I'd love to chat with you and answer any questions you may have.
learn lightroom and Photoshop Sydney workshop

Starting with a single photo, you can use Lightroom to develop that image in many different ways. The options are endless; light and airy, soft, HDR, strong, saturated, dark and moody as well as black and white. Unlike using filters such as those in Instagram, you have complete control over every aspect of your image developing. During the workshop, you will have the opportunity to develop an image with several different looks.

learn lightroom and Photoshop Sydney workshop

If you shoot RAW, the images come out of the camera fairly dull and lifeless. Just a little bit of work in Lightroom with white balance, exposure, tone and colour grading can completely change the feel of a photo.

Lightroom and Photoshop workshop Sydney

No matter how hard we try to eliminate unnecessary elements, sometimes there are distracting things in our photos, such as the power cable and it's shadow on the ground here, which need removing. We will look at several of Photoshop's retouching tools and Content Aware Fill options. 

Photo straight out of camera

Photo straight out of camera

Of course, Photoshop is the only way to create extra layers and information for images.

 

Adding a photograph of the rose petals to unify the background is simple in Photoshop.

Adding a photograph of the rose petals to unify the background is simple in Photoshop.

Lightroom and Photoshop workshop Sydney

Layers are one of the most powerful aspects of Photoshop. You will learn about layers, masking and adjustment layers.

Lightroom and Photoshop workshop Sydney

And Blend Modes are a lot of fun too! We will cover the most popular blend modes - when and how to use them.

Lightroom and Photoshop workshop Sydney
 

Although Photoshop is not as ideal as Illustrator or InDesign for designing layouts, it is still very useful.

During this workshop, you will learn how to add layers, clipping masks, arrange text and pick colours.

 

Unless you are a photo-journalist, there is no reason that the image out of camera has to stay true. I used Lightroom to lighten shadows and desaturate this photo, then took it into Photoshop to add the blur to the edges, a light flare and colour using gradient maps.

lightroom Photoshop workshop Sydney

If you would like to learn more about how to work in Lightroom and Photoshop - join me at the next workshop.

Become Confident Using Your DSLR in Manual Mode in a Day

Are you making the most of your DSLR? If it is always left in auto mode, you are missing out on all the fun and artistic possibilities that your camera has to offer.

DSLR camera workshop Sydney

It is easier than you think to work your camera in manual. The really complicated part of modern DSLRs is all the extra features they offer. Manual mode gives you complete control to make photos any way you like. It is simple, logical and very rewarding.

photography workshop Sydney

My upcoming workshop is on Wednesday 27th September 2017.

It is a hands on workshop where you will have an opportunity to practice the basic principals of photography in a step by step way so that you go home with a clear understanding of what settings to use and when.

Small aperture for maximum depth of field - showing everything in focus.

Small aperture for maximum depth of field - showing everything in focus.

Wide open aperture for selective focus with the subject clear and the background blurry.

Wide open aperture for selective focus with the subject clear and the background blurry.

This workshop will cover:

  • The Exposure Triangle - Shutter Speed, Aperture, ISO
  • White Balance
  • Exposure Compensation
  • Light Metering
  • Focus Modes
  • Image size - jpeg vs raw
  • Lenses - focal length, maximum aperture, minimum focal distance
Use a long shutter speed to blur motion.

Use a long shutter speed to blur motion.

Fast shutter speeds freeze action.

Fast shutter speeds freeze action.

We will look at which different lenses and focal lengths are best suited for various types of photography, such as landscapes, portraits and close up work.

photography workshop Sydney Bernadette Meyers Breeze Pics
  • When: Wednesday 27th September 10am until 4pm
  • Where: Collaroy, Sydney
  • Cost: $110 - $50 deposit to secure your place
  • What to bring: lunch, DSLR camera, your camera manual, any lenses or tripods you own.
  • Afternoon tea is included
  • Maximum of 5 participants
If you are interested in coming, please phone Bernadette on 0432 731 488 and I'd love to chat with you and answer any questions you may have.
Don't own a DSLR yet and would still like to come? I have 2 cameras which can be used on the day.
photography workshop Sydney Bernadette Meyers Breeze Pics
photography workshop Sydney Bernadette Meyers Breeze Pics

Hand Spun Yarn and Loom Weights

craft photography Bernadette Meyers Sydney

If only our homes could be filled with beautiful, hand crafted items, made from traditional materials such as timber and pottery.

hand spun yarn with wooden knitting needles
hand spun wool with wooden knitting needles Bernadette Meyers craft photography

I came across these lovely pottery urns filled with hand spun wool, in a history museum in Barcelona. 

sheep field England travel photography Bernadette Meyers Breeze Pics

Watching sheep grazing in the English countryside, you can imagine slower days past when people sat quietly spinning, knitting and weaving.

wool skeins craft photography Bernadette Meyers

From a craft store window in Brugge.

loom weights photographer Bernadette Meyers

In the same museum, I saw these ancient loom weights. The stones and the way they hang are an artwork in themselves.

ancient loom weights
ancient loom weights photography Bernadette Meyers

This old woman was demonstrating weaving in an outdoor museum in Holland.

tradition weaving Holland travel photography Bernadette Meyers
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Simple linen, soft drapes, beautiful light.

linen drape

6 Tips on What to Wear for a Portrait or Headshot Photography Session

headshot photography Collaroy Sydney
portrait photographer sydney

Are you slightly overwhelmed by the idea of choosing an outfit for your portrait or headshot session? The good news is that the best policy is to keep things as simple as possible. When I take portraits, I love the chance to discuss outfits with my clients before the session.

The idea of a portrait is to focus on the person, not clothes. This is even more important with headshots, where we are looking to draw attention specifically to the face.

 

Here are some quick and easy tips for classic portraits and headshots. I will write another blog post with ideas for more imaginative, creative portrait shoots.

personal branding photography Sydney

1. Think about wearing an outfit which is timeless and won't look dated in years to come. Choose solid colours, with tones all in the same family.  Avoid super bright colours and fluorescents because colours reflect and they don't look great reflected on your face. Patterns, busy looking prints and bulky jewellery all draw attention to themselves and detract from the face.  All white or all black outfits are not the easiest on camera either. It is best not to have any obvious logos.

portrait photographer Sydney

 

 

2. You may be tempted to wear baggy clothes to hide your figure, thinking it will be more flattering. Unfortunately, that doesn't work with the camera. Fitted or tailored clothes always create a more slimming look in photographs than baggy outfits. Having something which shows the waistline will give the body a pleasing look whereas loose fitting clothes don't give any definition.

 
portrait photographer Sydney Collaroy
headshot photography Collaroy Sydney

3. Changing outfits isn't always practical, especially if the shoot is outdoors in a public place. If you can't take a second or third outfit, it is easy to create varied looks by bringing layers, for example; jackets, scarves, hats etc.

4. Pay attention to details! Lay out your items of clothing and accessories and check that each piece fits the colour and style theme. If you are wearing socks, don't forget to match them with the outfit. Nail polish! Make sure that if you are wearing nail polish, it is either neutral, or if it is coloured, that it matches the outfit and is not chipped.

portrait photographer Collaroy Sydney

5. If you plan on wearing a hat, don't have it on at the start of the session, have the first photos taken while your hair is still looking good, then put the hat on later. Also, if you are going to change hairstyles by wearing a ponytail, do that in the second half of the shoot too.

 

6. Last, but definitely not least - iron every item, including scarves and other cloth accessories. Our cameras capture every, tiny detail which can be a blessing and a curse. Every wrinkle or mark on clothing will show up on the image, so iron the night before and if you are taking extra outfits, make sure they are hung or laid flat until the shoot.

personal branding photography Collaroy Sydney
portrait photography Collaroy Sydney

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.