Nikon D700, 60mm macro lens at f8 and 1/125th,
ISO 800, flash in softbox on camera left
This was one of my submissions for our August assignment of Monochrome But Not Black and White. I had processed this image in both color and a neutral black and white (in Silver Efex) but when I thought about what I wanted to say with this shot, I found that the sepia toning was more dramatic and it allowed the skin tones of the father and baby to have more contrast and yet looked more natural and organic to me. I tried to emphasize the difference in the texture of the rugged, hairy arms of the father and the smooth perfect skin of the baby by adding a high pass filter and masking it off the baby's skin. The judges that night thought the baby should have been turned more horizontally, as a baby is often held in that position but the father was holding him vertically when I shot it and I just cropped out the father's face in the upper left. This was the only shot I took of the baby being held this way and I like how alert and awake the baby is, while being so safe and secure in his father's arms.
Another suggestion I got was that the baby's feet and the father's hand cradling them were distracting and taking attention away from the main subject of the baby's face. I tried that crop below and am interested if anyone prefers it to the full length of the image I submitted. I have to admit that I am biased and one of my favorite parts of this shot is the way those tiny baby toes are being cupped so gently and how the light is hitting the toes just peeking out.
I do like the crop, but it is a different image for me... I guess I feel that it does not tell the story that I wanted to tell.