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Breakfast at St Heliers

Breakfast at St Heliers
Photo Information
Copyright: Rew Shearer (rewshearer) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5496 W: 444 N: 4351] (24649)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-12-01
Categories: Daily Life, Mood
Camera: Canon EOS 400D/Rebel XTi, Canon 18-55mm EF-S f3.5-5.6, @ ISO 400, Cokin P121s ND8
Exposure: f/4, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2010-01-19 12:13
Viewed: 2851
Points: 84
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
December 1st 2009; a day off work, and breakfast at St Heliers Bay.

A pleasant, cool, calm early-summer morning with the smell of the sea on the air and the pohutukawa flowers in bloom.

Shot with the 18-55mm kit lens.

Used some post work to balance the difference between the bright morning sky and the dark tree. Corrected horizon. Added gradient. Cloned out a portion of fence and some posts at the bottom left of the shot.

daisydaisy, roges, jean11-3, parasbhalla, shelbeesmom, Teresat, Fortuna, lilimih33, walk33a, lysander, mvdisco, mcmxcvii, Reflex, chrisJ, dcpixel, Yancy, gcifromsocal has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To dcpixel: Colour ...rewshearer 2 01-21 16:55
To linus: Sky OE ...rewshearer 1 01-19 16:52
To galderjon: Critique ...rewshearer 2 01-19 16:10
To caledonia: Tripod ...rewshearer 1 01-19 16:04
To shelbeesmom: WS ...rewshearer 2 01-19 14:11
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Critiques [Translate]

Excellent composition with rule of thirds control.
I like this continuity in the right corner.
Here, you have combined two elements usually solitary : bench and tree.

This is an excellent idea and the result is superb.
atmopshere a Zen calm for breakfast.
Clever capture Rew.

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  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 897 W: 0 N: 1845] (8705)
  • [2010-01-19 12:22]

Hi Rew,
After so many portraits .... now one in .. "no"!
Superb image, a landscape that really urges you to a breakfast at St.Heliers Bay. Exceptional fit.
A wonderful evening,

Hello Rew,I like the feeling of space you have achieved with this PoV.
The tree has a beautiful shape;I am fascinated by its' name, now how do you pronounce that?
The sky has the qualities of a water colour,very attractive.
A good balanced shot.
Tfs, regards Jean.

Hi Rew,

A portrait from a wonderful tree, shown in a unique way!

I like the perfect colors here and the atmosphere you have presented here. The calm and peaceful scene gives a great feeling whenever I look at this picture.
Great work!

best regards,

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  • fransx Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2953 W: 139 N: 7397] (41704)
  • [2010-01-19 12:51]

Hi Rew,
How I wish I was seated on that bench beneath this marvelous tree!
What a tranquil place facing this Bay.
A nice Summer shot at its best.
Nice red blooming flowers in this green tree.
Beautiful early morning light.
Well seen and neatly presented.
best regards,

Francis Xavier

I love these trees! Would love to have one. Nice comp Rew. I'm wondering if the levels are off, as you can see the sky has some tonal problems. I would love to see the original, straight out of the camera. I know the sky was probably too bright, as F4 really is too low an Fstop for the scene you are shooting. I would have done at the very LEAST F11 and possibly F16 if the sun was glary. I also would love to see more of the tree, as most of it is dark. Maybe you can post the original in WS for us to play with? What a gorgeous place you live! (jealous!)

Boa noite Rew
Very well composed...you give with your open colors and, space the lead of the photo to the tree, a dream tree. Your work is very singular here like a painting I believe each one will increase other colors and will close the photo. So I like your option of space, the feeling of freedom.

My regards

Hello Rew,

I said about you in the past: who knows, knows.

And you know very well how to do an excellent photographic work!
Congratulations and TFS

(*) I did a WS just to remove the street or sidewalk that appears at the bottom.

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  • jackal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 819 W: 26 N: 805] (9092)
  • [2010-01-19 14:36]

Hi Rew,
lovely simple composition with the two NZ icons - pohutakawa and Rangitoto, good to see you out of the studio. There does appear to some noise / pixelation in the sky but is was obviously one of those hazy days that we get here in Auckland

Hi Rew,

You have done very well with a single image,I see you shot wide open @ 800th sec, I am going to state the obvious here,tripod and always raw mode. This would mean this shot could have been taken about 1/[email protected]/16 giving you lot's of depth through the tree and in raw you could really bring that lovely tree detail right out, forgive me Rew as you will know all this. I had, many years ago forced myself to carry a tripod all the time,but of course as a mainly landscape photographer it is a must,feel free to put the boot in to my next portrait.

Hope you don't mind my little workshop.


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  • Tezza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 213 W: 97 N: 368] (3380)
  • [2010-01-19 15:30]

The subdued colours and understated PP produce a lovely mood with a touch of melancholy. Of course the empty seat adds to that. While I love your portraits I really look forward to your landscapes. In Australia we call that tree the new Zealand Christmas Bush. They are a very commonly grown here but I've not seen one as large. Obviously they are happier at home.

Hi Rew, change of topic huh?
Very eyecatching image... no doubt.
Features i like to comment on:
- Narrow, very narrow bottom solid base (sidewalk and road) which gives tension and a dizziness feeling.
- The land in the right of the skyline doesn´t help the composition to my mind, I see it like unnecessary data, and as post-process work is a worthy part in the art of photography, Rew you must forgive me if I try a ws to sink it in the ocean ;)
- In the case of keeping it, the point where it touches ocean level should be shown... but it´s hidden by the tree. That is inconvinient to the eye but just a minor aspect.
- The bench shows us the huge scale of the tree (just like geologists use coins to show the size of minerals) that´s clever.
I know you appreciate constructive critiques, not only naive backslapping or shallow easy cheers. I hope it´s been useful.

a pleasant image Rew....and you rather than to work ,you sit on bench for enjoy the scenery in this early summer morning
good crop
ciao sERGIO

Hello Rew!
Very calm atmosphere and beautiful tree!
Excellent perspective!
Best regards!

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  • linus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1822 W: 13 N: 1442] (15482)
  • [2010-01-19 16:26]
  • [+]

Hi Rew,
Nice composition here. May be the BG is a bit over-exposed? I like the sense of tranquility that is shown.

Hi Rew!

I saw this in the gallery at work, and just got around to commenting on it. This photo speaks volumes to me. To me it's a perfect composition in that the main subject is amazingly beautiful, sharp and interesting, especially with the flowers. This is a perfect place for a bench and it adds much to the photo. The only way this bench could be better is if I were sitting on it with a hot cup of Starbucks coffee. Then the topper is that I love a BG subject, and the slight haze surrounding it makes it less significant as a subjects, but perfect as a BG object.

I see you used a gradient filter here. You may have needed a full ND filter here, or did you try a smaller aperture? A 14 or 16 aperture would have let the light fuse in a little slower and helped with the sky.

It's funny to me that you've gotten so many WS. There are so many ways to present a landscape photo. I bet you don't get many WS on portraits. :)

Very well done Rew! You should be happy with this; I wish I'd captured it. :)


Really nice shot Rew ... I was kind of surprised to see your name under this one.
I love your composition with just a sliver of land under the tree and bench, which are very well placed within the shot. I like the slope of the land in the distance too .. a good balance for that side of the shot.
Nice job
(I like Douglas' WS too .. a little more color to the sky and the tree)

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  • werdir Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1416 W: 147 N: 2654] (11957)
  • [2010-01-19 17:01]

Hi Rew,

I like the subject and composition, simple and visually appealing. I was curious about your settings, but I see that Linda has addressed them to some extent. I might have tried a lower ISO setting too. Still, you have a beautiful country and this is proof!


Hi Rew,
Wanderful composition of this lovely seascape,
Excellent POV. and details with this lovely tree and bench,
very nice presentation and great colors and light,
very well done.

hi there,

i like the elements in this shot which makes it very interesting n unusual at the same time (road, bench, tree, sea n mountain).

use of iso400 is clever in my opinion (gives u a little extra DR), exposure-wise i would've stepped down to f/8-11

all in all, an excellent capture n perfect composition, i like when people talk about their pp work rather than keeping us guessing :)


  • pozaru Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3627 W: 881 N: 2607] (21386)
  • [2010-01-19 22:25]

What a gorgeous break in your portraits !
Love the compo and the "washed" BG for this fabulous tree.
For me, it's just perfect this way


hi rew! wow! wow great image remind me of the movie forest gump! a very peaceful place to relax when i grow old!!!



Bonjour Rew

Superbe photo de ce magnifique arbre en fleur sur fond de mer étale!!!
J'ai regardé tous les pp work et la version que je préfère reste la votre!

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  • psyce Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 265 W: 25 N: 207] (2856)
  • [2010-01-20 3:06]

simple but excellent composition Mate! its nice to see that your trying something different too! nice one mate ... and fantastic results! a well aligned horizon... good clean shot! TFS and Ingats pare

Very neat picture. I am unsure if the subject is the tree or the bench. Either way would work without any problems. A beautiful shot very nice. TFS

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  • Reflex Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 639 W: 205 N: 43] (1347)
  • [2010-01-20 13:24]

wow ! quelle force dans cet arbre ! impression renforcée par le cadrage très horizontal qui met en valeur la verticalité de l'arbre. La lumière qui joue dans le feuillage et les touches de couleurs accrochent le regard. Le banc et la colline au loin ouvrent la vue vers la mer et donnent une impression de paix !

This is very good Rew, the bench , the tree perfectly positioned in the frame , without the deep red flowers in the tree would still make a fine shot but their presence there just makes the shot for me , great find , great composition and great PP too !
I like this ,

Rew, First thing I noticed was the gorgeous shape of the tree! The branches are interesting in shape and the leaves and flowers colorful. I like all of the interesting horizontal lines at the bottom of the composition as it gives a nice natural border along the edge. I'm also glad the mountain is there as it gives the sea and interesting and asthetically pleasing gentle curve. Bench is an interesting touch as I can just visualize myself sitting there enjoying the view.

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  • chrisJ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4430 W: 637 N: 9632] (55124)
  • [2010-01-21 1:04]

Hi Rew

Good warm color contrasts, between the red flowers, and blue sea & sky. I like the graphism & muted colours. The rising slope of Rangitoto volcano at right, balances compo & augments the graphism of the solitary tree. Tfs!

hi rew
excellent image,nice contrast between the leaves and flowers,the tree stands out well against the light b/g.

Hello Rew

Awesome that so many workshops were done on such a fine image. I do like the workshop where the mountain was removed. It takes the image from nice to artwork for the imagination. nice image to create so much interest.


Nice shift in subject.

Clean cloneouts, perfect assymetrical compo, simple and eye-catching subjects.

The only suggestion I can make to improve the photo some more is to tease out some more color and detail in the dark areas of the tree and the sky.

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  • korbee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1483 W: 0 N: 1852] (14495)
  • [2010-01-21 11:00]

A strong simple picture like this doesnt need
long stories I believe,I wish the sky was a bit more exiting,but thats not your fault Rew ;]]


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  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1977 W: 301 N: 3060] (26902)
  • [2010-01-21 13:19]

Hello Rew! A very strong image. I think there is nothing I would change in it. A fine shot to look at, well done!


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  • Yancy Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 30 W: 13 N: 35] (958)
  • [2010-01-21 19:44]

Hi Rew,
I like this composition. the colors are so vibrant at f4. I learn from your insightful notes. Regards, Yan

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  • yanm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 818 W: 84 N: 1189] (10601)
  • [2010-01-22 1:05]

i was going to say...b/w.... lol...until i saw those reds on that tree.

Hello Rew,

I like very much this composition, the tree in bloom looks great near the see and the "tiny" bench, also the color tones are beautiful, a photo full of atmosphere, thanks for sharing.


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  • Clanyi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 255 W: 7 N: 100] (7079)
  • [2010-01-23 12:00]

Hi Rew! Great composition, beautiful capture. Very well done, the sky give an interesting frame for the picture. Best regards Csabi

Hello Rew - Great composition with good contrast between the main subjects and the BG.

Bonjour Rew.
Une belle composition et un bon angle de prise de vue qui met en valeur ce bel arbre fleuri.
Les couleurs naturelles contribuent à la bonne réussite de cette bonne image. Bravo.
Bonne soirée.

hi rew! a very nice capture on this one. The Bench on the side attracted my attention like i just wanted to sit there and watch the calmness of the sea. It can set a peaceful mind. The Tree is huge and beautiful. Very proportion and photogenic. I like the reds against the trees. Plus the framing, the placement of the sky and the subjects are perfectly done. good composition! thanks for sharing


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  • ramon Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 294 W: 39 N: 824] (4058)
  • [2010-01-29 10:15]

Hi Rew,

A cracking composition Rew, pecfect rule of thirds.
Excellent color contrast and separation of the main subject to BG.
simple and striking delivery.


There is something in this landscape shot, Rew, that reminds me of your portrait photography: the well-thought composition, the way the light falls on the tree as if you had used spots to bring out all its textures, the subdued colours that evoke the clean white studio background you are fond of... To put it briefly, this IS a Rew-Shearer-landscape-shot ;o).
Moreover, it conveys an interesting mood of stillness and serenity that cannot but broaden our mind...
TFS & kind regards,

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