At the Barber Shop

Latest Posts Photography Forums The Shark Tank At the Barber Shop

This topic contains 23 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  Kent DuFault 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #400949

    Kent DuFault
    Participant

    I took this photograph yesterday at the local barber shop. I really like it. The candid moment appeals to me as well as how the black and white conversion worked out. I’m curious what you sharks think…

  • #400950

    Kent DuFault
    Participant

    After I posted this I thought… someone is going to say something about the line on the mirror by the man’s head. I went ahead and took it out. But, there is a part of me that has some misgivings about it. When Photoshop first came on the scene, I really embraced it. I was amazed that we could now fix anything in a photo. But now, 25 years later, it feels like we over-fix everything, and in that process our photographs carry less truthful meaning. Just a thought…

    • #401007

      Graham Hart
      Participant

      I like it Kent. Barber shops intrigue me as places for photography simply because of all the damn mirrors everywhere. The place I go to has a wall mirrors in front of you and a wall of mirrors behind you. Last time I went there I tried to take a pic but no matter where I stood, I couldn’t NOT be in the pic in infinite repetitions into the distance.

      I really get the feeling that all this pic needs is someone visually connecting directly with the guy in the chair. If that other barber was looking at him instead of his phone, the story would be stronger. Apart from that I like the tonality throughout. It’s a good subject for B&W. I’m also a wrap for PS and it’s abilities. Embrace it now ‘cos soon we’ll all be holograms anyway!

      • #401057

        Kent DuFault
        Participant

        Thanks for your comment Graham. I love your humor.

  • #400952

    Richard Barnard
    Participant

    I like your b&w edit although I would be inclined to reduce the clipping / burnt highlights around the barbers elbow and upper arm.

    To be honest Kent I am not seeing the candid or defining moment that would elevate this photograph from a fairly straight forward documentation / record shot. ‘Barber trims sideburns of man with wistful gaze’ isn’t quite compelling or distinctive enough in my view.  Aside from the obvious act of cutting his hair I wonder why this particular moment? What was it that you wanted to convey?

    In terms or the composition I think the lowered viewpoint and wide angle view have created a distorted perspective and also given undue prominence to the boots in the foreground which seem to me not to be a critical part of the story.

    Rather than add to the story the mirror reflection of the barber frame right becomes an additional distraction, particularly as he appears to be using his phone rather than engaging in activity that would add to your narrative.

    A closer crop may help to simplify this shot but the image is still going to lack a compelling ‘moment’ in my view.

    • #401059

      Kent DuFault
      Participant

      Thanks for your comments Richard. I did try cropping the boots out, but I liked it better with them in there. You’re the 2nd person that suggested that the 2nd barber was fiddling with his phone. He was actually adjusting a razer… not that it matters. I liked him in there because he adds to to the ‘flavor’ of the place. You’re right. It’s not a super compelling story.

  • #400954

    Preston
    Participant

    I like this shot Kent.  I’ve always wanted to take a barber shop picture, but I never take my camera or phone with me when I go.  You have a nice perspective in this one.  Makes me feel like I’m right there waiting to get my hair cut.

    That being said, I have one sticking point.  I’m drawn to the customer’s left eye.  It looks a bit dark and gave me the impression that there’s a hole in his head.  I’d try lightening it just a tad to alleviate the “void feeling”.  Other than that, good job.

    If you didn’t mention the line, I would have never noticed it. But, I agree with your thoughts on Photoshop.

     

    • #401060

      Kent DuFault
      Participant

      Thank you Preston. I’ll check out that eye.

  • #400962

    Lenny Wollitz
    Participant

    Hi Kent.  “over- fix” is a great description!  Too much spray and pray and over-fixing and not enough having fun and making good photos in camera. Leave the line. I haven’t seen the inside of a Minnesota (or USA) barber shop for 15 years and enjoy letting my eye wonder around the photo… I like the guys reflection in the mirror and the olde timey cash register. I like the wide angle distortion and the prominent boots but it might be nice to see all of the cut off boot. I don’t think I would hang it on the wall but it’s worth a 2nd and 3rd look.

  • #400988

    billyspad
    Blocked

    Seriously love those big boots Kent! Gives it an amusing slant. Its like Herman Munster gets a trim.  Apart from that I have to agree with Richard its just a picture of a guy getting his hair trimmed. Whatever you saw or thought at the time has not translated well in the shot. Just like most “stories” it exists just in your head mate. Its a little dark for my personal taste with further detail available by the look of it.

    Re the photoshop issue if you want life with warts and a degree of ugly leave shots natural you want to make a good picture you use software. Why on earth reject technical advances if your aim is to produce a good image?

    • #401063

      Kent DuFault
      Participant

      Herman Munster that’s a name I haven’t heard for awhile. Although, I saw Fred Gwynne on an old Star Trek episode the other day. Thanks for the comment!

  • #401039

    Erik Fransman
    Participant

    The line in the mirror does not bother me at all. That it is out does not make a big difference and I certainly do not consider that as over fixing. The man with his phone can go, but that would not be over fixing either. IMHO that would just make it better.

    Over fixing only bothers me when it manipulates the image to tell another story or when it looks unreal.

    Long ago, when I was still in film school I did my internship at the Dutch Cinema News. Was no “news” anymore, that was taken over by TV, we did very short featured stories. Once we were at the Boat Christening. Our queen was there for the honors. We had two 35mm cinema camera’s. One was shooting the queen “throwing” the bottle of champagne, the other made a longshot of the vessel.

    After the queen had thrown the bottle of champagne she starts laughing. The reason why she laughed was that the champagne splashed over the uniform of the highest ranking naval officer. We did not get that shot.
    Back at the studio, the chief editor, an old navy guy himself, brought out his uniform, prepared a bucket of soapy water and made a shot showing the “champagne” splashing on the uniform. When the news item was shown in cinema’s the people who were present at the launch of the boat said,  “the cameramen of the cinema news are soo good, they were the only ones that got that shot”.
    The editor in chief was not bothered by this fake shot, he just called it “recreating reality”. I agreed.
    Fixed, but not over fixed.

    • #401065

      Kent DuFault
      Participant

      Interesting story! Thanks for the comment Erik. I appreciate your time.

  • #401503

    Frank
    Participant

    Reminds as a kid with my mother in the barbershop to stop the barber from using clippers especially when he used to run them up the back of my head!  Interesting comment on the eye. Would not have noticed it, but good suggestion to brighten it up.  Black and white helps with the vintage look.   Like that old cash register.

  • #401711

    Rob Eyers
    Participant

    Not a critique Kent, only an observation that I see another image within your photo. The guy’s gaze across the room at the picture on the far wall I find interesting. A barber shop can be a place of interesting conversation or place to be lost in thought.

     

    • #401715

      Kent DuFault
      Participant

      I like your version as well Rob. However, it becomes a completely different picture. Inj my version, it’s about the barbershop. In your version, it’s about the guy.

      • #401722

        Rob Eyers
        Participant

        I absolutely agree Kent. I really like the original. I just thought is was interesting that the image was strong enough to stand up even if it was segmented.

  • #401713

    Kent DuFault
    Participant

    I’m going to blow my own horn for a minute. There were several comments about this shot simply being a guy getting a haircut. When I read those comments… I was like… really? There are so many interesting things going on in this shot- so much more than just a guy getting a haircut. But, everybody sees things differently- I get it. Anyway, the picture won a little online award and had a really nice write up. That made me good, and I wanted to share it with you. If you’re interested you can see the post here: https://iphoneographycentral.com/apps-uncovered-21-4-2019-intimations-of-spring/

  • #401922

    Frank
    Participant

    Rob, I really like your crop that changes the story, but without Kent’s help, I am not sure I would have understood what we were seeing below the barber’s elbow…the back of the head and the portrait that was the reason for the glance.  I might have appreciated the original more, if the questions had been asked, “how many antiques can you find in the image?”   “What other elements brings it to a more modern time? ”  Maybe lesson learned:  Spend more time looking at images that include lots of detail and then try to judge their relevancy.

    • #401941

      Kent DuFault
      Participant

      Interesting thought, Frank. Before the Internet, I subscribed to virtually ever photo magazine that ever existed. Paging through them- when you looked at a photograph- you “really” looked at it. Maybe this is just me, but I would study every detail of the pictures in those magazines. I believe the Internet has taken some of the visual power out of photography, because we are so inundated with images that we just whip past them. Now granted, a shot of a guy in a barbershop chair isn’t going to appeal to some people, and that’s fine- we all have what we like and don’t like. It was just so curious to me that some minds only saw a guy getting a haircut- when there is so much more going on in the photograph. Anyway, thanks for the comment.

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