Per your PM, Iíve taken a stab at your Camera Self Portrait entry (Click on the thumbnail below). Just so you know, the file size was kind of small (99kb), so the results are not a good as if I had the original to work with. First thing I did was to crop the photo so the framing from by the pot was uniform on the left and right side of the image. Second, I adjusted the contrast using Levels. My levels settings for the input were Black 21, Gamma (Middle) 1.6, and White 221. I use Paint Shop Pro X but I think the Photoshop uses the format for levels. I also used USM (Radius 1, Strength 60, Clipping 5) before saving the image. As you can see there is a lot more detail in your face and the camera with this simple adjustment.
As I stated in my PM, I highly suggest you play with the fotomann tutorial for B&W conversion on this image. It works a lot better than desaturation.