Rotate Right 90 degrees, Spot Healing Brush, Auto-Levels, Auto-Color Correction, Master Opacity Change, Duplicate Layer, Accented Edges, Multiple Layers (with some blended at Overlay, Screen, Lighten, Luminosity,) Multiple Opacities, Stamp Visible, Glowing Edges Blended at Overlay with a Master Opacity Change, Quick Selection Tool to Highlight a large blown-out spot on the hat to another layer, Selected the tone next to the section and used paint bucket to fill the section, Free Transformed the layer to make it look a little more logical IMHO around the edges, Used the Smudge Tool to further smooth out the edges, Stamp Visible, Duplicate twice, Converted both of them to Black & White with one as a Newspaper version and the other one...Infrared, followed by Multiply blending on both layers at 33% & 28% respectively in an attempt to further sharpen the photo (Sharpness remains the greatest bane to my existence photographically,) Stamp Visible, Spot Healing Brush on the chin, Straighten Tool twice so he wouldn't look so much like he was lying on his side, Cropped, Warming Filter at 14%, Despeckled, Dust & Scratches, Reduced Noise, Adjusted Sharpness, USM, Resized, USM, Saved for Web...
Place: 82 out of 91 Avg (all users): 4.6395 Avg (commenters): 4.7000 Avg (participants): 4.4500 Avg (non-participants): 4.6970 Views since voting: 760 Views during voting: 284 Votes: 172 Comments: 13 Favorites: 0
Without seeing the original I can't really say, but from the appearance of this photo and your comments, it appears to me that the picture was overprocessed. Lighting and contrast are good. Saturation is good. Color appears a bit yellowish to me. Perhaps it is he hat influencing the skin tones, as the shirt white areas are clean and bright.
The angle is different and interesting, but after a bit it appears almost as if he is toppling over. Sharpness in the area of the face, especially the cheeks is acceptable. What I believe that makes the picture look overly soft is the bark on the tree. The eye knows bark is rough, the boy is up against the bark. So if the bark looks soft, I think the mind transfers that mood to the boy's image.
I think had he been further from the tree, the eye would have seen it as a shallow depth of field and not at out of focus.
This shot has a lot that is "right." The angle is great, and his expression really sets the mood of the shot. Also, the tree bark background gives it a nice outdoorsy context. The lack of focus is a bit bothersome. It looks like the shutter speed was a hair too slow, and there was some camera shake.