My Little Superhero
We traveled home to visit family this weekend, and on Saturday we had a little get-together at my aunt's house. Jason was delighted to find that several people had brought belated birthday gifts for him, among them a "Superhero Starter Kit" that included a bright red cape. We couldn't get him to take it off for the whole rest of the afternoon.
Technical info: Shot with a Nikon D40 and Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 DX lens, in manual exposure mode. Aperture f/2.8, shutter 1/1600, ISO 400. Post-processing in Aperture 3: first, I applied the Daylight white balance preset. The shot was taken in the middle of a very bright day, though in the shade. I was trying to get the exposure right for his face, but I missed a bit, so he was a little dark, while the highlights were very bright. So I bumped exposure (+1) and recovery (+1.5), then used a curve to further recover the highlights and boost the midtones. I did a strong burn (0.6) around the outside, then a lighter burn (0.2) to just the shadows over his face and chest. Then I applied a very light dodge (0.05) to his eyes. Finally, I desaturated the reds (-15.0) and brushed that in just over the cape.
Thoughts for improvement: The main thing is to get the exposure right the first time. The focus is a little soft throughout, so I probably should have stopped down to f/4 or f/5.6, which would have been no problem since I had a very fast shutter. I should also have remembered to re-set the ISO back to 200 after I came outside, instead of leaving it at 400 from when I was indoors. Despite the fact that all that stuff meant I had to do a lot more work in post, though, I still think this may be one of the best portraits I've taken of him, at least in terms of matching the styles of the portrait & lifestyle pros that I've been studying.