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Thanks cameraclicker.  I think it looks great -much better and honestly, more true to the real colors of his shirt.  The original was edited with an action.  I do use PSE 9, but to say I’m a novice is even overstating my skill level (which is why I think I sometimes lean on actions but really should invest in a class).   I was experimenting since they aren’t “clients” just my family and the more I look at mine – the less I like it.   I genuinely appreciate the time you took to give me an example.  I’m grateful to learn whenever/wherever I can.

@Sarah – you are probably right.  I should have picked a different time of day (it was about an hour before sunset and we were behind a line of trees so there wasn’t much light coming in), but had rented  lens for the weekend and that was my last chance to use it.  While I was not completely happy with the sky, I was happy to have those images of my son.  I didn’t notice when I was shooting them, but when I opened them on the computer, I noticed.   Currently, I don’t own an off-camera flash.  It’s on my wish-list.

My response kind of sounds like I’m full of excuses, but in all honestly, I am a mom of 4, grandma to 1, work full-time and have two other businesses on the side (w/my hubby) so finding time to sneak in learning and taking pictures really is a struggle for me and I have to make time for it when I can.  I genuinely love it though, so I keep trying and even though I make lots of mistakes, I look at them as a chance to learn and grow.

Great tips and advice.  Thank you!