Again I am very impressed by the work being done in our Photofocus/Scott’s Critiques critique group. If you’re not participating then you are missing out.
The original image submitted by KT56 was quite striking – a beautiful woman photographed in nice light.
The critiques posted mimic many of my own feelings. The crop on top was unfortunate. Either crop all the way or leave plenty of headroom so we know what your intentions were. This tight crop in the original is disturbing. So in my version, I cropped even tighter to make it a clean break. It’s not my first choice. My first choice would be to leave enough headroom, but this is a better alternative than the hesitant crop of the original.
The pose is brilliant as is the background. No need to adjust either.
I do think the picture was a bit underexposed so I opened it up a bit in Aperture and then exported to Photoshop to retouch the eyes just a bit. I wanted to open them up as well. Then I round-tripped back to Aperture where I put this photo into the superb plug-in called Silver Efex Pro by Nik. I used Silver Efex Pro and a preset called “soft skin” to convert to b&w. I like it better. I also added a bit of contrast to the conversion and there you have it.
I did minimal work to the photo. I appreciate the well though-out critiques offered in the group and will pick another picture Monday (as I always do) and ask the group for their opinion.