Generations - student project

This started out as a colour pic of my Mum's hand that I took on a family holiday. This intrigued me because of the juxtaposition of my mum's aging hand against my toddler nephew's baby leg, and also because my mum is also wearing my Grandma's engagment ring; three generations in one picture, if you will. 

This image was taken with a 28mm f2 lens on a Nikon D600. This lens has something of a natural vignette, which I really enjoyed with this picture. 

As you ca see, the original was somewhat underwhelming and a little too dark. 

Generations - image 1 - student project

I began by converting the image to black and white and dealing with the slight underexposure.

Generations - image 2 - student project

I think brought up the contrast to +39 and the highlights to +5, as I think this sharpened the image. 

Generations - image 3 - student project

I then clipped the blacks (-14) and brought the exposure up another few notches. 

Generations - image 4 - student project

I then brought the clarity of the picture up to +23. I'm usually against high clarity as it can lend photos a sort of jarring, unreal sense, but in this context it worked to bring out the wrinkles in my mum's hands, and so enhance the "story" within the picture. My final export looked like this:

Generations - image 5 - student project

I'm very happy with it, but would also love feedback!