I have been studying. A main point that stood out to me as obvious but sometimes overlooked is that the lightest area in a photo is where your attention is drawn. By squinting your eyes you can see those areas more obviously. In a portrait the main focus is most often the face and eyes. This portrait was snapped outside in the garden and it is busy. Busy colour, busy environment. In this instance I felt the environment framed the subject well, but distracted slightly from the face so I decided to make it black and white. I converted it to black and white in Photoshop then identified the colours that needed to be altered slightly to enhance the face region while retaining as much detail as possible and minimise the background. When I felt I found a balance I liked I used a high pass filter with a layer mask to sharpen the outer edges of the face to emphasise them from the background and that was that.
Here is the result. As always with my photography it is a work in progress. I would love to know your thoughts. Particularly any ideas for improvement. My own critique included less contrast to reveal more detail in the face next time. I find it difficult to work that out. Monitors seem to make them varying brightnesses etc. Ah, well, back to the drawing board.