From the moment I downloaded the SOOC photo of Sammy onto my computer, I knew I really wanted to amplify the extreme contrasts of light and shade. However--and this is rather embarrassing-- I cannot for the life of me remember exactly how I edited the original image, so I've retraced my steps in Picnik and I think I've got it mostly figured out.
1. Ran my version of a clean edit and manually adjusted the highlights to bring out more of the details.
2. Under the advanced settings tab, I selected curves and ran the Tri-X 1600 setting at 100% color override and 0% fade.
3. Cropped the photo.
4. Using the clone tool, I removed some of the white patterns from Sammy's pajamas, leaving an all-black background.
Here's a slightly closer look at the after:
I love how the light highlights the delicate curves of his cheek and nose, the subtle turn of his lip, the natural texture of his lashes and brow. If you'd like to revel in the majesty of Sammy's ridiculously long lashes, click on the photo above, which will take you to my flickr photostream where you can view it larger. Seriously--why is it that boys always have the most beautiful eye lashes?
And don't forget--if you'd like to learn how to make your photos go from good to wow, be sure to check out what's going on over at Jill and Ashley's blogs: