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26/03/2015 - 12:31 PM

Pipe, risk, pestle.

Pipe, risk, pestle.Hi Patrick - the first thing that strikes me about this image is that I think you've pretty much achieved your objective here. I can't see anything glaringly obvious in either the reflections or the lighting itself. Yes, you've got a couple of highlights on the handle of the pestle and the sides of the mortar, but without those your image would be lifeless. Shiny things need a bit of zing to bring them to life Smile

Setup wise, you say you're using home made lighting stands and a reflective surface ... do you use a light tent? Do you use flash heads for your lighting or something more ambient like an anglepoise or similar in order to provide the light? (I'm wondering at you using Shutter Priority as your exposure mode, rather than Aperture Priority or even Manual but am guessing that it's to do with flash sync speed if you were using flash heads?)

If you did no more than crop the image, and no post processing in order to either darken the background or remove any odd reflections or highlights, then I'd say you've done incredibly well with this image.

I personally would use the lowest ISO my camera was capable of, i.e. 100 instead of the 200 you've used here. (The EOS 70D goes down to 100 so I'm wondering why you didn't use utilise that in order to get the best quality possible?)

Also, your aperture of f1.8 ... obviously you'll need to match the aperture to the effect and depth of field you want in the final image, but I suppose I'm wondering what effect a smaller aperture would have given you in terms of depth of field ... at the moment, the mortar and pestle at the back are a little soft and not particularly sharp. If that's the effect you wanted though, then that's obviously worked for you.

I'm not the most technical person where it comes to flash, as I'm more an ambient/natural light photographer, so I'm desperately hoping that someone else comes along with suggestions for the the technical side of things!

But if this is your first attempt at this kind of thing, then I think you're very definitely heading in the right direction Grin

[Edit: Okay, Willie got in there before me as I was playing around with a mod that I didn't end up completing! But the advice still stands Smile]

24/03/2015 - 5:21 PM


StrawberryI've held off all day on commenting on this one Keith, as I can't quite get my head around it for whatever reason. I'm honestly not sure why Sad
The things that immediately spring to mind are:

Her skin is very shiny - almost too shiny, particularly over the sternum area of her stomach.
The texture is incredibly realistic, almost to the point of uber-realism - I think the shine on the forearms is also making the texture stand out more, and therefore seem a little 'cracked' instead?
Her eyes look a little puffy ... not an easy one to get right, I appreciate that, but here I'm finding it an odd look ...
The fingers on both hands are like mirror images of each other - same pose, same positions and even the same blemishes in a couple of the fingers.
There's dripping 'something' from underneath the strawberry, but nowhere else - so that bit for me is perhaps out of context.
Her pose is ... well, almost not natural. It creates an odd engagement with the viewer, almost like we're laying on her legs looking up at her face (which, of course, may have been the point, but even so ...)
Her face colour is out of sync with the colour on the forearms, so stands out as being 'different'.

Despite the fact that Pranav's managed to morph the strawberry into a cherry somewhere along the line (Grin) ... I don't know what it is about this one, but although I appreciate the work that must have gone into it, and the render time involved, it's not for me this time.

Sorry Sad

Re-edit of Wine Strand, Co. KerryI like your re-edit Grin While the pinkish hues on your first edit were very appealing, they weren't necessarily natural looking. The re-edit of the edit is much better I think. The snow on the distance mountains looks much more like proper snow now and the mountain range in the foreground is a much more natural colour as well.

You've kept that beautiful light on the right hand side of the image, too. I think that's one of the loveliest things about the image for me - that reflected light on the wet sand. In a way, the rest of the image is a bit superfluous ... or, if not superfluous, then is just a supporting background for that bit of magic in the foreground.

I'm not suggesting you do this, but I've done a quick mod where I've tried to just concentrate on that bit at the bottom to try and get across the bit that, for me, is the best of this one. It's a bit of a rough edit at the top, where I had to do a bit of filling in.

Good to know you've ordered the Hi-Tech filters - I don't think you'll regret doing it Smile

23/03/2015 - 11:05 AM


a BOWL OF SOUPReally glad this one doesn't have a colour cast, Timothy. As it is, it looks very scrumptious and inviting, and it's making me hungry! It looks like some sort of noodle soup?
I think the exposure is good - you could have got a little brighter, but hey ho ... I know you said you'd cropped a little off the bottom, but I think that with a bowl like this, it's best to either show all of the place/bowl that the food's in, or else get in much closer and eliminate much of the clutter from around the edge of the utensils and cutlery. As it is, my eyes want to see that lower edge of the bowl and perhaps the whole of the spoon on the right hand side.

Having said that, I get the feeling that you've thoroughly enjoyed yourself with this workshop and the resulting images, which is what it's all about Smile
CUTTING COOKES at WESTEFIELD HERITAGE VILLAGEWell, your whites are pretty white, while retaining plenty of detail, so that's great.

I notice you've used the 'red eye reduction' feature on the flash ... but she's not looking at you ... so technically, there's no red eye effect to reduce? Just a random thought on my part, and you may have done that for a particular reason, so if I'm wrong ignore me!

I think the one thing that strikes me most about this is the reflected flash light on the black panel on the left at the back - the effect of the direct flash is pretty obvious and does kill the atmosphere a little for me. I realise that the light levels may not have been sufficient to get away with not using flash, but is there any way you could diffuse or bounce the flash on your camera? Or use a higher ISO? If not, then sometimes something as simple as a small piece of paper placed over the flash head itself can be enough to soften that effect.

The other thing you may want to think about with this kind of thing is to get in close and focus just on the hands that are doing the cutting. It's lovely to have the whole context, but it's also good sometimes to have close up details as well. I know that she's cutting cookies, from your description, but my eyes (and my belly) are wanting to actually see the cookies - their colour, their textures, ponder over their ingredients, etc.

It's not always necessary to tell the whole story in one go ... not easy if you haven't done those kinds of variations at the time of taking, but something to maybe think about for next time?

18/03/2015 - 10:32 AM


CarboniteI like the idea and, as it's still in the development stage, I'm not going to go with the 'should have done this' or 'should have done that' mode of feedback. You'll progress this as befits your vision, which is pretty unique anyway Wink It'll be interesting to see how this comes along.

If I'm honest, I didn't twig this was yours on first viewing. Normally, you've got a style that shines through but with this one it didn't - and still doesn't. I found it hard to see the woman herself, and at first was just trying to figure out what the heck was happening! I thought (and I'll apologise up front for this thought) that it was a badly taken image of an exhibit through glass ... Blush

Then I 'saw' the faint outline of the woman with her face looking upwards and her hands on her hips. Then I got to thinking that the projection of Han Solo is too bright and dominates too much.

Then I got to thinking about what you'd actually asked in the first place Smile You could try a layer mask on the Han Solo projection area, and use a soft black brush and a low opacity to darken those areas down? Or burning in of those areas on a separate layer filled with 50% gray and the burn tool, again on a lower opacity to build up the effect. Other than that, I'm not entirely sure what to suggest!

Like I say, I think the idea of this is great and could produce some very interesting imagery, once you work out the ins and outs of what you want to achieve and how. It'll be intesting to see what comes out of this project.

17/03/2015 - 2:56 PM

She is lady

She is ladyQ1 - did you do too much?
A1 - nope ... what you did was remove the unnecessary bits and allow the viewer to focus on the lady herself.

Q2 - could you have done more?
A2 - your removal of the door handle and chair is a little clumsy - I can see the editing marks. Trouble is, it's a plain background so not easy to do perfectly.

Q3 - should you have done anything else?
A2 - no ... not in my opinion. You could have cropped to remove the dark chair back behind her, but that may have altered the feeling of space around her.

Other than that, I think it's beautiful. The background colours are unobtrusive and a great background for the colour of her jumper. The skin tones are just about perfect, her contemplative pose is absolutely enchanting and it's sharp in all the right places.

A big thumbs up from me - apart from trying to perfect the obvious editing marks, I wouldn't change a thing Smile

17/03/2015 - 11:30 AM

Shimmer and Shine

Shimmer and ShineI completely understand the client's request, as this image is about the makeup, not the photography (even though that's very good, by the way!). The only thing I might suggest is to reduce the intensity of the catchlight from the (presumably?) beauty dish in the eyes. They're a little too present and I'm finding my eye going there, instead of exploring the textures and tones of the makeup itself.

There's an awful lot in this image to enjoy - tones, textures, beautiful harmonious colour and a little bit of frivolity in the shape of the glitter in the hair and on the skin Smile
16/03/2015 - 2:28 PM

Three sentries

Three sentriesHello Jitendra. You haven't said with this image what feedback you'd like, or which areas of the image you want critique on. That would really help us to guage what kind of critique you're looking for. I'm assuming you sorted out your upload sharpening issues that you had with your previous image?

With this one, I like the way the image has horizontal bands of interest. That foreground rock, the three 'sentries' in the middle ground, and the sky as the upper band. Once again, your colours are lovely and very harmonious and peaceful.

I like the way the largest sentry is crossing the horizon line - it's like a link between the sea and the sky. Many times, things that cross a horizon line don't work but in this case, for me, it does on this image.

The only bit of the image I'm actually having difficulty with is that very fine line on the horizon, and the blue band above it. It looks like a distance shoreline with a city scape or clouds above it? I'm guessing it's probably cloud, but it just looks odd to my eyes.

I've done a mod where I've actually removed that line on the horizon (a little crudely, perhaps, but you get the idea). I've also gone with mono in my mod. Why? Just because I wanted to see how it would look Smile I know that if you'd have wanted it in black and white, you'd have done it in black and white. So it's just a personal indulgence on my part. I think that this is one of those images that looks good either way and a preference is just down to personal taste in the end.

13/03/2015 - 4:21 PM

Still Life of course!

Still Life of course!Eileen - to complement Willie's mod uploads, I've just added three more for you. Textures1 shows basically the same thing as Willie's, but suggests just playing with the blend modes. Textures2 shows the effect using just a blend mode, and Textures3 shows the effect of using a blend mode THEN applying a layer mask and hiding the bits where you don't want the effect of the texture to show.

My pointy lines aren't quite as straight as Willie's though and don't have nice perfect arrows on the ends ... Smile

Hopefully it will encourage you to dive into layers and blend modes, and hopefully Willie won't mind me using his first texture (which is a corker!) for artistic license purposes!

13/03/2015 - 3:14 PM


a RED PEPPERExcellent - a proper red pepper and a proper green stalk Grin I like it.
The water droplets really stand out quite well too, even though the attention is pulled directly to the intersection of stalk and vibrant red of the pepper's flesh. The droplets give the image a feeling of life and freshness that's very appealing.
13/03/2015 - 3:08 PM


generalDaniela's right ... the point of focus here is on the cat's hindquarters, not the face and/or eyes. Also using flash has, unfortunately, washed out the cat's eyes to the point that there's virtually no detail there at all. And yeah, that's a little creepy Smile

Which is actually a huge shame, as the composition I really do like a lot. Using a 200mm focal length and a wide aperture has given you a wonderfully out of focus background and the cat shows up really well against that. The background tones are beautifully complimentary to the cat's colouring too.

That single white element (railing?) that the cat is sitting on is also a great addition to the image. It's not perfectly straight, and so adds a sense of dynamic to the image and the little spots of rust also tone in well with the cat's coat.

Can you remember whereabouts on the cat you focused this? Did you lock focus on the cat's eyes and then move the camera back to compose the image how you wanted it? If so, the camera may not have held that focus point on the eyes if you refocused then once you'd composed the image.

If the cat's eyes and face had been in focus, and the eyes themselves not washed out by the flash, then this would have been a winner for me.

13/03/2015 - 2:08 PM

Still Life of course!

Still Life of course!Eileen, if you want a really easy way to try reflectors - make one to start with. Inexpensive, easy to throw away if you decide it doesn't work and, if it does work, you get the pleasure of thinking "I did that!" Smile

Get a square (or rectangle, doesn't matter) of card; could be the side of a box like a cereal box or something similar. Smaller size will probably give you more intense reflected light, larger will soften the effect to some degree.

Almost every kitchen has a roll of silver foil in it somewhere - simply cover the card with the slightly matt side of the foil. It doesn't matter if you get wrinkles or kinks in it, that's partly the nature of aluminium foil.

And voila ... one very simple, very cheap reflector. The light from this will probably be harder iand more intense than, say, a shop bought soft white reflector, but it's worth a try just as an experiment.

Prop it against something, out of line of sight of the camera, and play around with 'bouncing' and directing the light into the areas you want to illuminate more in your image.

Textural overlays ... that 'orrible, scary thing called 'layers' we discussed in the comments on your Four Pears image.

Have you ever used the old fashioned overhead projectors that people used to write on and project up onto a wall or a screen? Put simply, think of 'layers' in an image as stacked opaque acetate sheets, placed one on top of the other. These can either be images in their own right, imported into your original image, or they can be blank transparent layers which you then add elements to. They can also be layer masks, but let's not go there for now!

Try to visualise this ... the image at the bottom of the stack is the image above of the trug, the oranges and the jar. This is your 'base' image, or your 'background'. Then, above that, you add another image as a layer (there are several way to do this, but we'll leave that one alone for now as well). This 'new' layer contains an image of, for example, a piece of linen that shows the texture.

Now, given that these 'layers' are opaque at the moment, you can't see your original image through the one of the linen texture because the opacity of the one on the top of the stack of layers is set to 100%. So you need to change they way the one on top interacts with the one below it. You could just alter the opacity of the top layer, or you can actually change the way the pixels in the top layer image affect the pixels in the image below it. That's what 'blend modes' are. If you told the one above to use the Overlay blend mode, you'd see the original trug/oranges/jar image through the linen texture above it in one particular way. Other blend modes will give other effects - that's one of the beautys of using them; the only limit is your imagination (and taste, of course, but that's a whole other ball game!).

That's a very simple analogy, but hopefully it makes some sort of sense? It can be confusing, I'll not deny that. But the freedom it will give you once you get your head around it will boggle your mind Smile


PS - I didn't know what a trug was either, until some kind soul bought me one ... now I ponce around the garden with it, doing my weeding Wink Damned useful things, actually ...
13/03/2015 - 1:26 PM


StellaWell, I think it's wonderfully creative. I love the whole soft pink look and feel, irrespective of how you've achieved it. To be inspired and enthused by someone else (as I was last night by a judge at our local club) is brilliant ...

My problem with the hand isn't so much that it's there, it's the fact that it looks just like a lump of flesh; not a hand. (Sorry!) There's no modulation to the shape, no individiual digits gracefully arched over, for example, the chest area. Yes, there's that little finger, but that on its own isn't enough to do it.

However, the rest of the image is a wow for me. Such a beautiful model you've worked with here, and her face lends itself perfectly to this kind of dreamy creative imagery.

I've done a mod that's tried to address a couple of things - the hand for one - I removed it completely. (I used content-aware fill in Photoshop CS6 several times and then used the clone stamp tool to just finish off the bits the fill tool couldn't manage - it's not perfect by any means, but it does make me realise that the hand isn't even necessary in the image - which is strong enough in its own right without it.)

I did a little bit of skin smoothing too - not because your model has bad skin, far from it. But I felt that smoothing fit in well with the overall feel. I used a duplicate layer, added a 20 pixel Gaussian Blur to that layer (set to 50% opacity to begin with), added a (black) layer mask and then painted on that with a soft white brush, everywhere except the hair, eyes, lips etc. Then I reduced the opacity of that blur layer to 25% which looked just about right. (This, of course, can be adjusted depending on what look you want.) Then I flattened the image.

I added a bit of contrast to the image using a black and white adjustment layer, left at the default settings and set to Soft Light blend mode, with an opacity of 50%. This brings back the colours but adds a touch of contrast that is a little more forgiving than using a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer - a win / win situation!

I did a tiny bit of localised sharpening on the eyes and lip areas using the Sharpen tool set to 13% (because I didn't want to overdo it).

And finally, in order to try and subdue the background a little, I just duplicated the flattened image again, used Guassian blur again (at about 12, I think - forgot to write it down), added a (white) layer mask and painted on it in black over the face area - I actually left the bottom, left side and the top a little blurred too as I felt that focused attention on the face, where it should be. (I set this blur layer to 75%, by the way.)

It's a great image to start with and I'd imagine you're rightly proud of both it and yourself ... if not, then you certainly should be!!

13/03/2015 - 10:51 AM

A boat

A boatThis is such a lovely image that I'm loathe to do anything to it! The colours are glorious, the placement of the boat just about perfect and that hint of reddish light on the stern of the boat sets it off perfectly.

Removing the distant streaks of light from a fishing boat was the right thing to do - this image is about this one boat, here, now. Nothing else should detract from that or take the attention away. It's a perfect moment in time, and I think you've taken it beautifully.

However, since you have put it into the critique gallery there's one or two very minor things that I've done in my mod.

Although the colours you have here are soft and gentle, almost dreamlike in a way, part of me wanted to give it a slightly stronger feel in terms of contrast. That band of foamy water is very similar to the colour of the boat's hull, and possibly doesn't allow enough separation to let the boat stand out in its own right.

A little dodging and burning on the midtones and highlights (at a very low opacity) of the hull give that area a little more depth. I agree with Paul and Mike about the boat needing something, so by dodging and burning on it I hope I've given it more of a sense of solidity without taking away that dreamlike quality too much.

A added a touch more space at the top of your image, just to allow the horizon line to sit on the lower third horizontal line. Not a requirement, by any means, and it's a guideline rather than any kind of rule. However, sometimes it does work - particularly with an image that has a very strong linear feeling like this one.

I did clone out your copyright watermark - although I understand why you added it, it's not necessary in the critique gallery and can detract from the overall image when trying to guage feedback.

The other thing I did was to just clone one or two bright stars that were on the very edges of your image. While they were hardly noticeable, a couple of them did begin to pull my eyes upwards towards (and out of) the frame and that's definitely not what you want with this image. There is so much to linger over and enjoy with the soft colours as they fade into one another, the delight of that solitary boat and the absence of anyone at all ... well, I want my eye to stay within the image, not wander out of it.

So there you have it - one very lengthy explanation for a couple of tiny tweaks Smile Adjusting the tonal range a touch wasn't necessary at all, it's just another interpretation and a very personal one at that.

This is the kind of image I'd hang on my wall and enjoy every day.

12/03/2015 - 3:00 PM

A Hill temple

A  Hill templeOne thing that I really do like with this image of yours is that, for the viewer, there's a sense of upward movement from darkness into light at the top. I realise that's probably what you intended with your choice of wide angle, but all the same it was a good choice. The fact that the building at the top of those stairs is a temple also lends itself to that sense of peace and safety after a hard journey.

The other thing that I think is very effective here is the beautiful golden light ... I know you say in your description that the light is from a village further down the hill, but with the tones in the stonework it looks like late even sunlight. As a consequence the night sky, as impressive as it is with all those stars, just doesn't look quite believable. I doubt for one minute that you've swapped the sky, and so I think this is a result of the 30sec exposure you used.

I've done a quick mod where I've tried to do two things really - give the image a more 'night' like feel and also try and retain some of that gloriously warm colouration on the temple itself. I don't know what processing software you use, if any, but all my adjustments have been done in Photoshop.

I cropped the image a bit to remove some of that darkness at the bottom ... although the steps are integral to the overall feeling of the image, I felt that there was too much of them. Hopefully, my mod retains that sense of 'upwardness' while removing the sense of heavy darkness.

I then applied two Colour Lookup adjustment layers - one using the NightFromDay preset, with a Hard Light blend mode and a 75% Opacity. On this one, I also masked out the steps themselves, so they retained lot of their detail. Then on top of that I decided to apply another Colour Lookup adjustment layer, this time set to Moonlight, at 50% Opacity and using the Darken blend mode. On this adjustment layer, I masked off everything except the starry sky so that the 'moonlight' effect was only applied to the sky area. I also brought back a little of the warm light on the temple itself as I really like that effect.

Hopefully you won't mind what I've done to your image. It's definitely a scene that makes me want to go there, and stand and just absort the light, the atmosphere and the very apparent peace of the night.

12/03/2015 - 10:27 AM


SHALLOW DEPTH OF FIELDI think that, as an abstract image, this works very well indeed. It's beautifully sharp on that edge of the closest leaf, which I'd imagine is a result of you using your closeup filters. The idea of filling the frame with the fruit is also very effective.

Although the oranges themselves are realistic and vibrant (to my mind) with the colour, I'm having difficulty with the leaves if I'm honest. To me, leaves should be green when fruit is ripe like this, and yours seem to have a slightly purplish cast to them. That could, of course, be differences between your monitor and mine so I can only say what I'm seeing at the moment. If I'm wrong, and the leaves of that particular species of orange ARE this colour, then I do apologise.

Overall, I like this a lot. Sometimes though, as with this image, I do wish you would (or could?) upload at a larger size so I can enjoy the image more! Smile

11/03/2015 - 11:02 AM

A Simpler Life III

A Simpler Life IIII never thought for one minute you were trying to 'trick' anyone, Ian; mess with their eyesight, yeah, but trick? Nah, I love stuff like this Grin

I actually like these images so much because they make me stand back and think. My eye's tell me one thing but the brain's shouting something else and that's always a good thing in my mind with photography and imagery. It's not about what we photograph, it's how we put it all together that counts!

Here, the scenario is definitely messier and less ordered, which is good. It's more realistic and 'normal'. The mop casually stuck in the bucket, the elements on the table, the box of onions on the Chesterfield ... it's like 'life, interrupted' and is therefore something we, as the viewer, can relate to.

I honestly don't want to critique this in a way, because it IS a creation from the imagination. It's those little oddities that actually make it, for me Smile

However, seeing as you've asked for opinions and comments again, here's my thoughts ...

The figure is very sharp, when compared to the rest of the room (apart from the plane that the onion box is on). Not a bad thing, but it does increase the illusion of reality/non-reality.

There's something slightly odd going on with his feet ... like they're melting into the floor. Maybe more definition there?

The width of the ceiling and wall panels is, perhaps, slightly overlarge for that proper sense of realism. But then again, it's one of the things that makes the brain think, so is good in many ways.

The slightly open window, with a slight sense of condensation (pure luck or astute judgement on your part?) is brilliant; it gives a real sense of reality ... sunny day = warm kitchen = open the windows to let some air in!

Is it worth opening the door a crack as well, and perhaps shining a light or something through from the other side, to give another sense of reality? Might work, might not, but it's a thought.

Like I say, it's actually hard to 'critique' this and in lots of ways I don't want to. It is what it is ... and therefore I really appreciate the skill that obviously went into creating it Smile


[Edit: another thought ... have you got a model cat lurking in your box of tricks somewhere? Every kitchen should have a cat ... or a dog ... Grin]
10/03/2015 - 2:10 PM


PRIOR to the FRUIT SALADHi Timothy - this is definitely a much more pleasing image than the peppers. This one makes me want to eat the fruit; the peppers made me think of nuclear radiation for some reason (sorry, but that's honest).

Here, I like the mixture of colours ... they're inviting and succulent. The richness of the raspberries and grapes are brilliant. There's only a couple of suggestions I'd make.

(1) Given that you've cropped the top of the green apple off, you could crop the left hand side too, to remove the 'bits' of fruit that we can't quite see (either that, or recrop to include the top of the green apple).
(2) There's a rogue stalk in the bottom right corner, in amongst the grapes. I'd be tempted to clone that out with a whole grape instead.

As Willie says above, the lighting on the green apple is quite bright and doesn't do a lot for that area of the image. Was it natural window light or were you using studio lighting of some sort?

The Workshop looks like it was a lot of fun, and it will be interesting to see more images from the session.

10/03/2015 - 1:15 PM

Lights - Cork Salon

Lights - Cork SalonWhat a beautiful girl to work with - lucky you! Smile

My initial thought about the pose was that the angle was too harsh, and the shoulders should have perhaps been more at a 45 degree angle, rather than straight on to the viewer, as you've got them here. But then I figured what the heck ... she's young enough and her neck skin elastic enough to stand the extreme twist of the neck! Grin (If I tried that, most of my neck would still be at the front, even if my head was facing backwards ... ah, the benefits of youth!! Wink)

Anyway. To my eyes there's quite a bit of space behind her that's redundant. It's also quite bright, as you point out, from the strong backlight used. So I've cropped quite a bit to remove it, and some above and below, but still leaving the eyes roughly on the upper third line.

To tone down that brightness on the left, I simply used a Background to Transparent linear gradient, coming from the left of the image to about halfway across and at 40% Opacity. (It's possibly a bit too far over, but by the time I'd decided that it was too late as I'd flattened the layers - a salutory lesson in non-destructive editing!)

Another layer was used to remove the blemish(es) between the eyes and on the forehead (minor, but noticeable with that kind of light).

A Hue/Saturation adjustment layer took the saturation of the Reds down to -30.

A Black and White adjustment layer was then added on top of the stack, using the 'Darker' preset but modified to the following: Reds=30; Yellows=116; Greens=30; Cyans=50; Blues=10; Magentas=70.

I set the Blend mode of the B&W adjustment layer to Soft Light and 50% Opacity, which brought back much of the colour but also added a bit of contrast as well.

Having done all of that though, I do think your original image is very good indeed as you had it. The strength of colour in post processing is always a personal choice, as is things like skin tones, contrast and skin softness Smile

(I did a second Mod too, which is just a straight forward black and white conversion of my first mod.)