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Cimeon gives it her best shot

Cimeon Tyrrell with one of her favourite pieces in the Cimeontography show at Berkeley Institute (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

There are few things Cimeon Tyrrell will not do for a great photograph.

To shoot one picture she crawled through prickly underbrush on her stomach to get into an abandoned house near her home.

“That was probably the craziest thing I’ve done,” said the 18-year-old.

And she is not afraid to make her 13-year-old sister, Cameron, do edgy things either.

“Once I made her get on our roof,” Cimeon said.

“But she’s not a very good climber and it was a wet day. I decided the light wasn’t right and it would be better to do it on a really sunny day.

“Another time, I put her up in a tree. She kept complaining that there were bugs. I just told her to be quiet so I could figure it out.”

But she feels they both benefit; she gets “amazing” shots and Cameron ends up with an exciting Instagram feed.

“No one else has pictures that look like hers,” Cimeon said.

Recently her photos have been gaining some exposure. Earlier this month, four of her pieces were featured in the Bermuda Society of Arts 2018 Graphic Design Showcase at City Hall.

“One photo sold within the first hour of the show,” she said.

And 32 of her photos went on display during her first solo show, Cimeontography, at the Berkeley Institute on Friday evening.

“The most difficult thing about setting up the show was cropping the photos,” she said.

“I’d already cropped them to my taste, but some of them had to be cropped more to suit the frames we’d purchased. Some pictures it worked and some it didn’t.”

Twenty-two of the photos sold during the one night show. She plans to use the money to help fund her photography studies in university. She heads off to Sheridan College in Toronto, Canada, next week.

She is not sure what type of photography she will specialise in and is leaving her options open.

“When I go to school, I will be opened up to so much more,” she said.

“So I feel like, for now, I’ll just wait and see what happens. Right now I don’t like taking pictures of people, but if I study that in school, I might start to like doing it.”

She fell in love with photography as a young child.

“When I was little, my nana would give me disposable cameras to take photos of anything and everything,” Cimeon said.

A stint in the Bermuda National Gallery Youth Camera Action photography summer camp when she was 12, cemented her interest.

“I enjoyed learning about the camera and how it works,” she said.

“After you take the pictures of people, I like the reactions they get if they like the pictures. Finding different things to take pictures of is interesting, too. I like to take pictures of nature, animals, and interesting architecture.”

However, she finds portrait work a little challenging.

“If you do something people don’t like, sometimes it is hard to handle them,” she said.

“It is a lot of work because they have to look at the pictures and say ‘I don’t look right’, even if I think they look fine.”

She works with a Canon EOS Rebel T3i, which she permanently borrowed from her father, Craig Tyrrell. She has no plans on upgrading it.

“I read somewhere that whatever camera you get, you should stick to it, learn it and get it down 100 per cent,” she said.

“It doesn’t matter what the camera does, it is the photographer that counts.”

She is almost entirely self- taught in photography.

“I watch YouTube tutorial videos every single day,” she said. “I write down the information in them and then try out the techniques.”

Several years ago she spent a day work shadowing The Royal Gazette photographer Akil Simmons. She also had a chance to work with London sports photographer Karen Yeomans when she visited the island last year.

“She has been to Bermuda a couple of times,” Cimeon said. “She was here photographing the Bermuda swim team and female cricketers.

“My father heard about her because he is operations manager at the National Sports Centre.

“She is really big on encouraging female photographers so I got to work with her.

“It was pretty different because I don’t have all the equipment that she uses. She was teaching me to use the equipment and what it does. It was cool to watch her and learn from her.”

Cimeon hopes to hold more photography shows in Bermuda during university breaks.

“I feel like I should do a show every couple of months to show what I am doing,” she said.

In the meantime, her work can be viewed on her Instagram account, @Cimsphotography_