Quote Originally Posted by Claudia Moroni View Post
Wow, I can't believe I've just gone through 8 pages of people faffing about the kid in the photo with hardly any comment about the photo itself!
What a waste of time.
You're going to talk about photographic aesthetics and composition in the Photographic Aesthetics and Composition forum? HERESY!!1! :-)

Anyway, going back to the topic of this thread (the photo, in case someone forgot it), on my screen the photo looks quite contrasty, the blacks don't have any details and the highlights looks blown out, especially on one side of his face, where the skin looks white, without details. Someone may argue that it works with the subject matter of the picture (a goth kid, according to the title), and I could agree with that but I'm not a fan of how we completely lose the right eye in a pool of black and how his legs seem to merge with the black seat.
On the other hand, it might just be my monitor, it's hard to judge a print online.
I see the blowout but not the lost eye (our right, his left), so there may be a monitor difference in the shadow handling. Contrasty for certain, and I agree, "too much exaggerated contrast" vs. "works with the subject matter" is largely a matter of taste. To me the eyeliner saves it by making his eyes prominent against the exaggeratedly white skin.

The vagueness caused by the loss of shadow detail at the bottom just brings attention to the face, IMHO. It might help that effect to crop the bottom a little tighter.

Now I've looked at the shadow on his face too closely for too long, and all I can see is "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield". (Link SFW.)