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Yes, it was rotated CCW (with background expansion to recompose) and the arm/shoulders were re-shaped. The rotation gives his face a more engaging look and it is a more dynamic pose. Adding space on the left better balances the pose. When rotating, the base of the shoulders/arm can become unbalanced and did in this image. Extending the arm to the left (reshaping) at the base gives the image a most stable balance to the image by building a heavier base. As people age, we often develop some fat on the back around the base of the neck. Therefore. some upper-back/neck base reshaping is often helpful and I did some here.
Notice that his right eye is on the bright side of his face. That makes it the primary and strongest nexus of attention. Positioning the nexus of attention is the most important part of the composition. His left eye is about on the left/right centerline, but that's OK because it isn't the primary center of attention.
The lighting had a couple of problems. His head wasn't separated from part of the background. Hair lighting or a repositioned rim light would have helped and a slightly repositioned light on the background would alternately have worked. I partially dodged the hair/background edge to simulate a better placement of background light. The second lighting problem was excessive light on his neck. I burned it to simulate less light on his neck. The light also reflected a bit too much on some parts of his face, such as his chin. I burned selective areas to compensate. I dodged around his left eye (on the right) and reduced the problem shadow where his left brow met his nose - an aging artifact that can be reduced without generally making a face look re-touched. I also slightly dodged a few bright places on his face to even the skin and slightly shape his right cheek.
The sharpening I added was to return the original sense of sharpness after upwards resizing, plus a wee bit of selective sharpening of his eyes. (Sharpening can also increase the appearance of contrast.) I also applied vignetting to suit the recomposed and cropped image. If I recall correctly, I also added a small amount of mid-tone boost to restore some contrast reduced by the selective burning and bumped the exposure and tweaked the gamma to compensate with the conversion to sRGB space. (I'm never quite sure whether dot gain 20% displays properly in all browsers, so I try to remember to convert images to sRGB, defensively. Anyone know?)
BTW, although there things to improve, this portrait works so well because the expression was well captured and the rest technically done well and it could easily support the PP adjustments. It was just tweaking a good image. The main point of the tweaks is to suggest minor improvements to making portrait shots that can make a significant difference in moving good portraits to excellent ones.
Edited on Oct 16, 2012 at 08:45 PM · View previous versions