|Greetings from the critique club.
This is a good Low-key shot. I definitely think that the black and white was the way to go on this one. I am able to get a sense of who the man is through this picture which makes it a successful portraiture.
The choice of this super tight composition is a bold one. It is certainly thinking outside the box a little and that is good. My eye is drawn, however to the lower right corner where there is something white, I presume a wall. This is the brightest portion of the image and it is very distracting to me. I like that his face is at a slight tilt, making a straight-on head shot into something a little more interesting.
This technique is a wonderful way to derive passion from your subject, and this photo demonstrates the technique fairly well. I would suggest two things. The first is that the light could be a little softer. The subject’s cheek has some… “texture” that perhaps could have been dampened by a slightly softer light source. You could use a soft box, or if you aren’t using professional lights, you can just go to your local photo store and get a diffuser gel to affix in front of your light source. This will also make the light spill over onto the face in a more dramatic way. The second suggestion is to work just a little more on the placing of the light. Your effect is good, but I am a little distracted by the reflection of the light in the subject’s left eye. The eye itself is a little too dark for my taste, and that reflection just accentuates that. I usually end up raising my light source higher to eliminate those things, but you can move it any direction you want to remove the reflection. More than anything, just be aware of the reflections in your photo, especially in the eyes.
Nicely done. The post processing in this photo (other than the desat) is not obvious, and that is what I try for in most pictures. You have done a tasteful job of enhancing your image, but not drawing attention to the enhancements. Short of using a diffused light source, you might have done a slight blur on the face itself as outlined in this tutorial.
Nice picture. Good emotion. And that is what counts.