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At the Barber's

By EveLine1  
This photo was taken last year during my second trip to Fez (actually 3rd) and is part of a barber series I've started. I could have avoided cutting off the right side of the cuckoo clock (a gift from a german/swiss client??) but I opted for a quick snapshot and kind of like it anyway. Thanks for dropping by and for any comments Smile!

Tags: Photo journalism Travel photography Marocco Fez working men

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banehawi Plus
18 2.9k 4333 Canada
11 Feb 2019 1:27PM
Nice to see you back in the critique gallery Viola.

Ive download this and tried various crops; the main issue I see if you did crop the clock out is that you cant do it without also cropping the top off the barbers head.

Its an environmental shot, - the place as it is, and I done see a compelling reason to remove it.

There will be other suggestions coming Im sure.

Meanwhile I uploaded a minor tweaked version.


paulbroad Plus
15 131 1294 United Kingdom
11 Feb 2019 2:01PM
The image, for me, is the chap in the foreground. He could do to e rather larger and thus more dominant. As it is I find myself looking at the background and trying to figure out what is going on. In other words, the background is brighter and much more complex, thus becoming the dominant feature.

I would crop off the whole top half and concentrate on the profile.

11 Feb 2019 3:43PM
Thanks Willie for the tweaked version. It is an improvement to the overall impression.. The light is more balanced.
Hi Paul: I do have another picture of only the guy in front with his interesting teeth, but here I wanted to show the inside of a Moroccan barber shop and cropping the scene with its neon lighting, 60's mirror and cuckoo clock would have meant losing a lot of information..
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1966 England
11 Feb 2019 5:37PM
The man in the foreground looks a bit like my late father-in-law: the nose, the macintosh, the lines... If he was as sweet-tempered and gentle as well, he'd be a subject for many more pictures!

Paul is right that the foreground is overshadowed by the brighter background, but we need the background to have context - and htis picture is all about the place and hte people, plural. Not just one man (wearing a hat, so we don't know if he has dread locks or just needs a polish with an oily rag...)

Willie's lightened the man with some dodging - I'll see if I can do soemthing else to bring out more obvious detail...

It's a shame you didn't use a slightly wider zoom setting: it often pays to have a little bit of cropping to do in processing, rather than regretting how tight things are.
pamelajean Plus
16 1.8k 2275 United Kingdom
11 Feb 2019 7:05PM
I'm having trouble with this one, Viola.

My first thought was to crop off the top because it's very busy and detracts from the man in the foreground, assuming he was your subject.
However, it seems from your title that you want it to depict a barber shop.

The difficulty I find is not seeing any signs of it being a barber shop. Without your title, I would never have known. If the barber, so well captured in that mirror, had been cutting somebody's hair, I might have got the message that the man in the foreground was waiting his turn.

I wonder if you took some more pictures at the same time, and if one of them has the barber being a barber. Also, if you have one that doesn't have the red cloth directly behind the man's profile.
I know that's a little thing, and you may not have had much time to get this great expression, but it's something to watch out for next time.
You say you have another picture of this man, and I think I would stick with that, or this one, because he's a great character.

On the other hand, it may just be because this isn't a typical barber shop as we know it in the UK, and it may very genuinely depict a Moroccan one, which is what you wanted. And, if presented with other barber shop scenes, it would obviously be seen as part of the series and accepted as such.
I know.............I've contradicted myselfBlush.

mrswoolybill Plus
16 3.5k 2563 United Kingdom
12 Feb 2019 8:27AM
This is delightfully quirky, to start with. The man is in his own world, the details above him could be thought bubbles. The frame is cluttered, but it's about a cluttered place. And I do like the balance that the cuckoo clock gives. Plus - a cuckoo clock in Morocco???

Having the barber reflected in the mirror is a happy chance. Reflections add another dimension to reality. But I can't help wondering what the composition would be like if you had ducked down lower, to get the mirror nearer to level with the man's head. A different reflection, of course...

This is classic travelogue / reportage, and it's timeless. So my mind sees it in b&w. Mod uploaded.
dark_lord Plus
18 3.0k 835 England
12 Feb 2019 9:20PM
There's a lot of visual information here nd it takes a little while to assimi;late it.
The guy in the bottom of the frame looks rather squashed in, so going a bit wider with your lens would avoid that while still being in a position to record the reflection and show the clutter. Perhaps capturing a bit more of the essence.

As part of a series, that sounds good.

13 Feb 2019 12:51PM
To all: thank you so much for the time you took to analyze my photo and write your comments/upload your modifications, I genuinely appreciate it !! I've uploaded two alternatives, one is a portrait of the guy on the left and one is a black and white version taken horizontally, with a wider angle. The problem I had was avoiding having another camera in the way. The place was very small but unique, and I believe that the first version I uploaded looks more spontaneous and less set up than the others, particularly as the barber/hairdresser/beautician is not smiling into the camera in front of him on my first photo.. I agree with Moira that ducking would have given an interesting angle to the scene. I will try to keep that in mind.
dudler Plus
19 2.0k 1966 England
13 Feb 2019 5:50PM
I really like the wider view: it gives a real sense of the place!
pamelajean Plus
16 1.8k 2275 United Kingdom
14 Feb 2019 6:38PM
I love your Version 4, Viola. I could look at it for hours. The characters are animated, perhaps chatting to someone over to the right, and those mirrors are a photographer's dream not only adding depth to the small room, but also nicely reflecting all that's going on. It takes a while for the eyes and brain to separate them from actuality. Having said all of that, if the man in the white coat had been cutting someone's hair, there would have been no doubt about it being a barber's. But it isn't always easy to lead your actors.
I do, however, with this wider view, spy a few bits and pieces that give the viewer a clue or twoSmile.


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