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Ethan, Dirty Face and All
Ethan, Dirty Face and All

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Masters' Free Study (Advanced Editing II*)
Camera: Canon EOS-10D
Location: Friend's backyard, Colorado Springs, CO
Date: Sep 27, 2004
Aperture: 4.5
ISO: 100
Shutter: 1/180
Galleries: Family, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Sep 27, 2004

I reduced the yellow and red saturation, then converted to BW using calculations, set to Gray, Blue, Screen 60%. I then did a levels adjustment to get max dynamic range without blowing the highlights. I did a little dodging and burning overall. I then hit SHIFT-ALT-CNTRL-TILDE to select the light areas of the image. I inverted the selection and filled in a new layer with a medium orange-brown. I did a gaussian blur on this layer, and changed the blending mode to multiply and reduced opacity to about 60%. I went back to the base layer and did SHIFT-ALT-CNTRL-TILDE to select light areas again. I filled it on a new layer with an almost white pink color. I did a heavy gaussian blur, changed the blending mode to softlight and set opacity to about 30%. I copied the eyes from the base layer and put them on top. I did a series of levels adjustments and sharpening to get them to look as they do. I just make this stuff up as I go and see how it comes out. I like this one...

Place: 34 out of 69
Avg (all users): 6.7012
Avg (commenters): 7.5278
Avg (participants): 6.5000
Avg (non-participants): 6.7349
Views since voting: 1599
Views during voting: 801
Votes: 405
Comments: 78
Favorites: 6 (view)

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10/08/2004 06:38:33 AM
Little disappointed to see this place so low as I thought it would ribbon for sure. Having skimmed through the comments I am struck by the fact that what one person cites as a plus, another specifically criticises. I guess portraiture is a 'risky' business because we all bring our own interpretation of human attractiveness to the table. I, for one, think your style gets the right balance between engaging with the subject but also remaining sufficiently objective so that the resulting photo doesn't drip cloying sentimentality. Heida achieved a similar quality with her shot this challenge. Keep up the good work. Ben
P.S. Will study your PS process in detail!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
10/07/2004 11:34:18 PM
Very nice photo. The focus and detail is dead on. If I could change anything, it would be to try to take the glare out of the eyes. Still a great photo! 9
10/07/2004 11:18:21 PM
Nice crop. I think the B/W is well done.
10/07/2004 10:36:51 PM
Excellent b/w! I realy like the strong contrast you gave this shot. The eyes just draw me into this photo. Crisp details and excellent tonal balance. I wish his face were much dirtier, though, as that is what kids do best. 8
10/07/2004 07:48:44 PM
Incredible Eyes!!!
10/07/2004 05:53:56 PM
This picture really jumped out at me! The expression and the eyes make the composition very natural and real. A classic little boy picture... balck and white was a great choice here!
10/07/2004 05:02:21 PM
I really like this picture. Are those eyes real!!? Good job.
10/07/2004 02:50:25 PM
Great portrait! The tonality and lighting here is phenomenal and the candid nature of it really sets it off nicely.
10/07/2004 10:24:40 AM
Good b&w conversion and the eyes stand out. Very good.
10/07/2004 07:27:40 AM
Straightforward good work. One of the best portraits in the challenge. -9
10/07/2004 07:21:10 AM
this is a killer shot. the focus is perfect, the expression priceless. bw really brings this to life. if this doesn't do as well as you'd like, i'd attribute it to the shallow dof.
10/06/2004 11:03:40 PM
GREAT sharpness and detail in the eyes. It's what makes this shot.
10/06/2004 08:51:36 PM
What a GREAT shot, one of the best "dirty kid" pictures I've ever seen, that expression and those eyes, I have come back several times just to look at it - a definitely 10 from me on this one :)
10/06/2004 04:22:37 PM
What a wonderful shining eyes!
The cropping is too tight (IMO) and there is some blur on his shoulder, but it doesn't disturb me much. Just the cropping.
10/06/2004 02:01:08 PM
amazing eyes. lucky chap. :)
10/06/2004 12:59:58 AM
great pic, the eyes are simply wonderful
10/05/2004 08:55:19 PM
Why yes he does have a very dirty face but near as dirty as my James was the other day, LOL! ;)

Great shot but the glare on the eyes is very distracting and a little less contrast would have made this shot much better for me personally. The face is so clear while the ears and neck are blurred, intentionally, I don't know but I would have liked to seen the whole head in focus. A 7
10/05/2004 06:07:16 PM
The EYES! PERFECT. A classic "little boy portrait" - that his parents will cherish forever.
10/05/2004 03:39:50 PM
Great b&w. Looks like one of my littles on a good day.
10/05/2004 03:29:10 PM
A competent shot but lacking in aesthetic appeal for me. Good tones, composition is a bit bland though.
10/05/2004 10:29:35 AM
ice portrait, dirt and all. Like the twinkle in his eyes.
10/05/2004 12:03:51 AM
A good portrait, but: the catch light in his eyes are very strange. The light is not concentrated, and we can see you (the photographer) in his eyes. The focus on his eyes is excellent, though. I don't like the messy face.
10/05/2004 12:00:07 AM
I hope this is hanging somewhere in your home. What a wonderful capture!! Dirty face or no, this is a picture to cherish. (And what a wonderful gift someday for Ethan's children and grandchildren some day). 10.
10/04/2004 11:59:17 PM
This will be a good looking young man when he hit about 15 years old! Might have cropped it so that he wasn't so centered but otherwise it's a great photo.
10/04/2004 11:58:38 PM
Nice focus on the eyes. A great headshot all around. 9
10/04/2004 11:39:21 PM
great portrait
don't like dirty faces:(
10/04/2004 08:27:39 PM
Cute shot... but a deeper DOF would have let you keep his ears in focus too.
10/04/2004 05:23:49 PM
Priceless expression! Love this in b/w as it gives a kinda Leave it to Beaver look, maybe you're too young to relate to that... anyway great subject, nicely done.
10/04/2004 05:22:00 PM
I never ever recommend borders. Except for some reason, I feel a border of some kind may have helped here. I think it's because the entire face EXCEPT for the top is present and that makes it slightly awkward for me. Aestheically and technically a great picture! 9.
10/04/2004 04:51:22 PM
Outstanding black and white image. Great contrast and tone.
10/04/2004 02:34:20 PM
I do like the shot, would be a good family shot. Not really somthing which grabs my attention I'm afraid.

The expression on Ethan's face is great, DOF maybe needs a little tweaking to get everything in focus. 5
10/04/2004 01:39:54 PM
And, I think the dirty face adds to this perfect "little boy" picture. Nice portrait, but I would have liked it better if his whole head was in it. But it's really a neat picture. 8
10/04/2004 01:25:20 PM
great portrait, i love the fact that you used such a shallow dof and you are forced to focus on his face 9
10/03/2004 11:45:47 PM
The first thing I notice are of course the eyes, and they say so much. Very bright and demanding of attention. The toning is also excellent and suits the image perfectly. The dof is also perfect for this type of portrait and it puts emphasis back on those eyes. The expression is very cheeky. A wonderful portrait shot.
10/03/2004 10:07:38 PM
He looks very good with a dirty face. It's the eyes that make this picture though. I absolutely love the toning here. Wonderful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2004 04:53:17 PM
What a great look of surprise! His features are crisp, his eyes are astounding...and yes, dirty face and all, he's adorable. Great contrast here, great shot. Thanks!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2004 03:19:41 PM
What eyes! Nice black and white portrait. I don't really like his expression though. A nice smile would be better, just a suggestion.6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2004 02:01:20 PM
Incredible skin texture and iris detail. Beautiful face expression
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2004 01:34:33 PM
One of the best portraits I've seen at DPC...a real eye-slapper of clarity and rich tones (tri/quad?). I like it because of it's timeless quality and because the boy has such an emotive yet UNFORCED expression. You may retire now, your work is done!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2004 12:56:38 PM
Love the sharpness, the face (the expression is priceless), the B&W, but not so crazy about the crop, think it might go better as a vertical or a wider view that didn't crop the top of his head. -5
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2004 11:32:34 AM
Certainly captures the spirit of the moment. It will be interesting to see how this fares against some of the other entries.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2004 10:30:27 AM
I like this with the exception of the extra bright eyes and soft focus. I think sharp focus would bring out the startled look, if that is what you were after. 5
10/03/2004 10:16:43 AM
The eyes are amazing. I love it. Good luck.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2004 09:36:10 AM
Nice guy :)...and real deep expression in his eyes.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2004 07:48:22 AM
fantastic exposure - brilliant 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2004 06:45:30 AM
Wonderful portrait, the limited dof works well here. Superb expression, lots of detail. Great eyes. The composition lets it down for me though. Is it trying to be centered, or off centre? This looks in-between like the photographer couldn't make up their mind as to where to place him in the frame. I'd have cropped closer and lost more of the forehead. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/03/2004 03:27:23 AM
Great focus.
10/03/2004 12:10:10 AM
When the challenge is over I'm going to look you up so you can tell me how you lit and processed this. I love it. it totally reminds me of the Ken Lee Quadtones, and that guy's a Pro. this is awesome. well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2004 08:21:58 PM
Very sharp on the eyes, great expression.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2004 06:47:07 PM
the catch light is a bit much.
draws away from the expression a bit.
still a good semi-candid - 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2004 03:46:30 PM
I'm very mixed on this portrait. I love the overall composition and toning. His eyes alone are simply amazing. The dirt and grime on the face though turns me off. It just doesn't fot the look of the image. I could see his grimey look in a candid, but this has such a great casual portrait feel to it and the dirt just blows it for me. Not entirely though, cause I still rank it an 8 just for his eyes.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2004 03:43:10 PM
Great candid photo. I can almost see the silouhette of the photographer in his eyes. Nice B&W photo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2004 03:27:25 PM
Very striking eyes, and the face shows a lot of character. Not sure if I would have changed anything.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2004 01:37:32 PM
Cool image with a bit of a wow factor, the sharp eyes and high contrast catch your attention. But the eyes are significantly oversharpened, IMO, or maybe the whites are just too white, and it throws off the balance a little.

Nice B&W though, it really feels like an image from the 1920s or something.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2004 08:23:18 AM
I only like B&W photography when the pictures are clrear and contrast is taken to the edge.
This picture I love exactly because of those.
Great shot
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2004 08:13:16 AM
In my opinion, this picture would be much better if his upper lip were wiped off. It's a good capture, a great face he's making, except the stuff around his mouth detract from the clarity in his eyes and the rest of his face. 6
10/02/2004 06:34:11 AM
A wonderful expression on your young models face. Its nice to see one where the face is dirty and not staged! He is all boy. Great capture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2004 06:22:59 AM
Wonderful tones and facial expression. Narrow DOF really helps to isolate the sharp focus on the eyes and very good catchlight in the eyes, as well. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2004 02:54:33 AM
I like the casual look but the lighting on his face seems a bit harsh
Nice detail and he has georgous eyes
10/02/2004 01:49:48 AM
This is exactly the type of portrait I aspire to take. Photography is best when we can take a natural candid moment and turn it into art like this. Excellent. 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/02/2004 12:22:57 AM
Aren't all boys just dirt magnets?!? Great shot, I love the expression and the cropping. The highlights in his eyes seem a bit too much but overall I really like this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 07:29:42 PM
Good portrait. I wish the reflection in the eyes wasn't quite so noticable, but his eyes are still VERY striking. It looks great in B&W too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 06:40:20 PM
Excellent work, you pulled in an amazing tonal range here. I know you spent a lot of time on this image, but you know what makes it such a good image? That you can't see at all that you have spent so much time post processing it. You did a very good job working the eyes, just enough dodging to keep the details in, especially around he white of the eyes, where a lot of people tend to dodge far too much detal out of them. My hat off to you, I want this one to ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 05:49:23 PM
My favorite things about this photograph are his eyes. Honestly, I would like this so much better if he had a clean face. But, I see your vision and I applaud you for an excellent capture. I'm just thrilled with those eyes...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 04:58:17 PM
Nice expression on Ethan's face. Great DOF, love the B&W (9).
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 03:47:43 PM
cute picture, beautiful eyes, with focus on the front of the face, more DOF may have been good
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 11:47:39 AM
Beautiful highlight of the eyes ...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 11:12:48 AM
The expression is great, the eyes are radiating, full of energy, and the B&W works well. To fully appreciate this image I think you must be a relative or close friend. For me it does not have the appeal that some of the others in the challenge have, but a good image anyway.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 10:44:29 AM
This is a really good candid portrait. I really love the high contrast and the shallow DoF. The slightly off-centre composition is good and the expression tells a story :) 9
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 09:39:06 AM
Beautiful color tones. Maybe a bit centered but certainly beautiful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 07:27:57 AM
From someone who has taken a ton of my own dirty faced children's shots, I must say this is a good one. For some reason, I like extreme face portraits of children to be in color, especially when the mood is cheerful or surprised, and I assume the kid has huge blue eyes. What I will say is that the shot has fantastic focus, tone and is nicely darkened to a perffefct contrast imo.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 03:57:12 AM
Love the detail in his eyes. I'd kill for the tonality. Excellent work. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 01:54:15 AM
I have a nephew named Ethan and he has those cute little freckles on his nose too. Great shot. BTW- Ethan has very beautiful eyes.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 01:32:59 AM
beautifully sharp eyes. well done, great expression. 7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 01:13:47 AM
Amazing tonality, and incredible eyes! Extraordinary photo indeed!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 01:02:01 AM
A very impressive image with good tones and good eye focus, which makes or breaks any form of portrait. Placing at 6 as a place holder and will return.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 12:47:43 AM
His eyes! They just pull you right in. The contrast you've used in this shot is also very "retro" like.. it's almost as if I'm gazing at a boy of the 50's. Almost everything about this photograph is simply gorgeous. Only issues I have are the horizontal lines on the background, which distract a touch, and I think the head was cropped a little *too* close.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
10/01/2004 12:25:07 AM
hmm i have seen this one too... i can't recall where...well may be if I come across this one again I will know :D

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