It seems like I managed to lose much of the text from the original post. Anyway, I'd also mentioned that the Sunset was taken with the 24-105 lens and the last portrait of mother and daughter was with a 50mm lens. I really like the way it looks but the short DOF is difficult to manage. Taking lots and lots of shots helps I guess.
I realise the sunset isnt a portrait - but was trying out how to do a sunset with some slow shutter speeds. I closed the lens down to f22 - which is perhaps too far, but even then I couldnt get the effects with the water without completely blowing out the sky. I guess I need to go look at filters.
Rick - yes the wife really likes that one too as do I. It's always difficult to tell whether there is artistic merit / emotion in the picture when we know the subjects so well.
Kweide - I think you actually see them the way I do. thanks for the comments. You have made me think more about composition so will go back and take a look. Most of them have been cropped somewhat, the 3rd one was a close crop.
DenWil - the conversion was done in SilverEfex and I kinda like a few of the Film Noire presets it has - except for the excessive grain. They also come with the verification border - and you are right, I think it probably works better without it. Interesting that you point out the best image was at 70mm. I hadn't thought of that way of reviewing that way. I must go back and look at the rest - I have about 50 or so I like from the total of 650, and see if that holds true as a hypothesis.
NWCycle - I was trying to get the feeling of fun and enjoyment from the picture to convey what they were feeling at the time I took it. The image was reduced in size I think to get it into the gallery here, and then I think it is reduced further once you view it in this forum thread. The gallery version is somewhat better I think in terms of sharpness. In the first and second I was really looking to try to get as much isolation of the subject as I could against the background. The second one was to show excitement as she tried to jump over the waves as they came rolling in.