This week we had a great picture from Timothy Keith called Deep in Thought. It had lots of promise and I believe that promise is what drove so much comment on the image.
Let’s start with the obvious. The background has serious problems. The bright object in the top left corner of the image is super distracting. It had to go. And everyone who actually worked on the photo agreed, using different methods to remove it. Fortunately, it’s a dark background so cropping or cloning would work.
I also wish the subject had a little more headroom. It’s too close. Either leave enough space there to make it comfortable or cut it clean to let us know you meant to do it. Since I didn’t want to add more background I cropped a bit tighter to make it more deliberate. Still my preference would have been to have more headroom in the original shot. Taking one step back would have done the trick.
The next problem is with focus. The photographer got the forehead in focus but not the eyes. In a portrait, getting the eyes right is the ONLY thing that matters. So I used Photoshop and created a layer with High Pass Sharpening to bring back some detail in the eyes. In a perfect world it would have been done in camera. This will be a poor cousin to what could have been.
I then used Alien Skin Exposure 2 to convert to B&W and created a mask so I could keep the color of the eyes intact. Last, I added a Vibrance Layer in Photoshop to make the eyes pop.
It’s not perfect but I’d bet a bunch the child’s mom would like it.
This is a perfect example of a good photo that could have been great with just a little more care during the capture.
Thanks for your comments. As always there’s no right or wrong. Join our Flickr pool and have your image critiqued or jump in and critique someone else’s pic.