How You Shot It is a series where you show us how you shot an image. Many who use our presets love to share their special processing recipes. You can join the SLR Lounge Textures and Presets group on Facebook and share your favorite images and recipes as well!

Today’s post comes from Greg Plunk, a photographer from Tennessee.

gregplunk2014_(2_of_2)24mm F2.8 1/125 ISO400


Why I Shot It

Frenchy’s Barber Shop has been a fixture in the small town of Millington Tennessee since 1962 and while Frenchy passed away a couple of years ago, the shop is still in operation to this day and stands virtually unchanged by time from when I was a child in the late 60s. Passing by the place in January, I decided that it would make a great subject and planned to come back soon with my gear to make an image that would capture it in a timeless fashion.

I felt like a lot of people in my community would connect with the picture as many people my age had their first haircut here including my children and many of the older generation had visited here on countless occasions getting their haircut, visiting Frenchy and catching up on the latest happenings around town. Frenchy loved his customers and his customers loved him!

I am a senior, family, and wedding photographer, and like many of you, finding time for personal projects is hard sometimes, so a couple of months passed by before I finally got the opportunity to go back and capture the shot.

How I Shot It


There was a new winter storm beginning to roll in on the evening, I chose to make my capture giving me the dramatic sky that I needed. The two external lights on the exterior of the building were perfect accent lights, and I just needed a little additional light to the left of the door because the light on that part of the building was not working.

I ended up triggering a Canon 600-RT speedlight set to ETTL on that part of the building with my Canon transmitter giving me the lighting balance I wanted and I was so glad the lights inside were left on because it balanced perfectly allowing the viewer to observe the inside of the shop as well.

I made several exposures and this one that I ended up choosing was a single exposure shot at 24mm F2.8 1/125 ISO400.

Post Processing

The post processing was quite simple thanks to the great preset system that SLR lounge has developed. I started with a base preset, 37b HDR Heavy Grunge B&W which immediately got me to the timeless look that I had envisioned with one click of the mouse.

From there, I brightened my exposure by 3/4s of a stop and used my adjustment brush and SLR Lounge’s dodge & burn presets to lighten and darken areas of the image to my taste, ie. the flag, store signage, different areas of the building until I had the image and its areas that I wanted to draw the views attention to, just like I wanted it. I pulled a slight gradient diagonally in the area of the sky to add drama before finally adding the SLR Lounge preset 11b Light Film Grain to add the look of film.


My last steps were to pull the image into Photoshop and remove a couple of distracting elements such as the vertical power line and the bright spots on the building next door, finally taking the image back into Lightroom for a final crop. Using the adjustment brush, I enhanced the shadows in the clouds and brightened the whites on the flag. All in all, I spent around 10 minutes on the entire image.

I love the simplicity of the SLR lounge preset system! It allows me to take an image to the place I have envisioned it in a small amount of time compared to adjusting everything myself and the time saved allows me more time to spend on those personal projects that I think is so important for us photographers to find time for. I ended up with a shot that I and others in my community connected to, as well as many from other communities that had experienced that small town barbershop in their own town. By giving it a timeless look, I hope it helps connect the viewer even more, no matter their age.

About the “How to Shoot It” Series

This educational series highlights amazing images from our writers as well as our community. The goal is to not only feature inspirational work but to provide valuable education for our photography community. If you would like to submit your work, please click here for more info on writing for SLR Lounge.