Criticsm is allways welcome Steve, especially from someone who has become so accomplished at portraiture. So thanks. I did mellow them out with curves a bit, and I see where they are distracting. On the other hand, they bring in the tree she's standing under.
How would you suggest that I diminish their effect, but retain their presence? Blur on a layer?
Chris, I can see the shot now. You know, it wasn't that long ago that I didn't have a clue what high key meant. Now I can appreciate this technique (format? / paradigm? / mode?) when I see it. I even took some high key shots myself this week-end (didn't have much choice with heavily back-lit birdies).
I see what Steve means about the shadows on her neck, but I kind of like them. OTOH, a blurred layer would smooth them out well, and would allow you to dial in the smooting effect.