The barber shops of Inwood are busy, vibrant centers of the community, so I wanted to photograph one of them. The head barber agreed, let me in, and I snapped a few shots.
Looking at the photos on my computer, I realized that the expression on the man’s face – direct, level, strong but not antagonistic – was the most interesting thing about the picture.
Following the rule of thirds, I cropped the original shot to put the guy’s head at one of the points of interest.
Giving me this, a nice improvement over the original. But still, my eye is drawn to that yellow bottle over on the right.
But the barber shop is full of colorful bottles, signs, tools, mirrors, etc., all distractions from the man’s powerful face. So, make it black-and-white. His expression is just as hard-hitting, but the distractions fade into the monochromatic background.