It does look a bit blurry to me, but it's still a nice shot. The colors look good together IMO--the background complements the subject. I'd ask the guy to square up his shoulders next time. But that's just his pose. Nice portrait!
The focal point is on the eye. Perhaps what happened is I got a little too much local contrast when I developed it in Affinity Photo. I tried softening it a bit with a gausion blur layered on at a low opacity. The original full res file looks ok but that will be something I take into account.
Ok I fixed it, so it should be less blurry. But does anyone know how to get rid of the patterns that show up in the background? The full size original has a smooth blue background but when I export it, the patterns show up...? Every once in a in a while this comes up.
It's also an extremely shallow depth of field. The pupil appears to be in focus, but not much sharpening has been applied.
It's better without the added blur.
The image is quite dark. Based on the histogram, you could bring up the exposure quite a bit. He's got a lot of red in his hair and beard, and you could emphasize that against all that blue.
The light is nice and soft, and I like the position of the light. How big was the softbox?
Posture and shave the neck.
Banding of solid colors is always a problem. The question is, is it there in the original RAW file? What step in your PP causes it to show up? Start with adjusting the overall exposure and see what happens. We all have to learn to deal with this sort of thing in these types of shots (clear blue skies suffer from the same challenge).
Thanks for the critique. I had a pretty rudimentary setup, just a speed light pointed at the wall. I had to get a shallow enough depth of field to blur the wall texture but but not shallow enough to blur the beard.
The banding happens when I export to JPG from Afinity Photo. I suspect it had something to do with its compression algorithm. I also see it happen with its RAW development. Maybe someday I’ll upgrade to photoshop.