by Billie Mosley
(Denver, Co, USA)

This is my little girl and I was just clicking away and was able to get what I think is a pretty good profile portrait.

I love it, but after looking at this section on black and white tips, I wonder if it's too grey scale to be black and white? I do have it in color also.

Thoughts and advice MOST welcome!

Thanks for the submission. We asked Ed to take a look at this shot, and offer any advice:

Billie, this is a lovely photo, and it really suits the black and white treatment. I do have a couple of suggestions for you . . .

First, the crop. This photo seems a little unbalanced. Using the rule of thirds as our guide, we should be placing focal points on one of the four 'hot-spots' of the rule of thirds. (click to read more about the rule of thirds)

In this case, I think your daughter's eye is a clear focal point, and I think it should be higher up in the frame, and just a little closer the left side of the frame. I suggest the left side, because this will give more space on the right of the photo, and it usually looks better if there is some room in the photo for your subject to 'look into'.

I would also reduce the thickness of the frame. I think it is just a little too heavy for such a delightful little girl. About a third of the thickness would be about right.

Finally, as you have already noted, the photo is a little too greyscale. Good punchy black and white would no doubt improve it. There is a Photoshop tutorial on how to get a good black and white picture here. If you don’t have Photoshop, simply increasing the contrast would improve things too.

The last thing I would do is to add a touch of sharpening. The 'unsharp mask' tool is best for this. But it's controls are a little tricky to use. If you you have some image editing software, just give the regular 'sharpening' tool a go.

Hope this helps!


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