Scavenger Hunt #32 – Hairbrush

Wooden manikin looking at a hairbrush, looking puzzled.

For the 32nd Scavenger Hunt, I had decided (even before the Hunt words were public!) to try to make a series with wooden manikins. Given the distinct lack of hair on wooden manikins, this made the whole concept of a hairbrush confusing… which is literally the theme I went to for this picture.

I took the shots of the composite on a week-end morning before my shower, which you can see with the use of my superb teal bathrobe 😉

Hand holding a hairbrush in front of bathroom tiles.
CameraPentax K-1 II
LensSigma 28mm f/1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF Macro
Focal length28mm
Exposure time1/6 s
Wooden manikin looking puzzled, standing in front of bathroom tiles.
CameraPentax K-1 II
LensSigma 28mm f/1.8 EX Aspherical DG DF Macro
Focal length28mm
Exposure time2 s

Is that mannikin standing on a piano stool standing on another stool? You bet it is. Was my bathroom full of photo material for a few hours? You bet it was. (It’s fine, we have two 😛 ) Especially since this composite turned out to be particularly tricky. I had not realized how very important it was for the hand of the manikin and the hairbrush to have “compatible” angles – and I realized my mistake after having worked quite a lot on the first version of this image. For reference, this is the first version:

Bad composite of a wooden manikin holding a hairbrush in a way that's not remotely realistic.

I was, to put it mildly, quite dismayed. (The words “I ABSOLUTELY HATE THAT PICTURE” were definitely uttered in multiple places.) But oh well – back to the shooting studio, I got way more careful with my angles, and I finally got something that worked better. I’m still not entirely happy with it: in particular, I have the impression that the difference in size between the brush and the manikin shows in the fact the brush seems sharper – I tried to correct it, I don’t think I fully managed it. And speaking of sharpness, the sharpness of the hand is debatable too – the DOF is probably a bit off / too shallow (Clearly, my bathroom is not large enough 😉 ).

But I did manage to get what I wanted with the picture, which is what matters! I’m happy I stuck with it and that I made the effort of reshooting, because it was well worth it. Note that extracting the brush hair was a pain, but I think I did well there. I’m also happy with the addition of the question mark: I would have liked it if hadn’t felt necessary, but “interrogative” is a fairly hard body language to make work without ambiguity – so I think this makes the intention clear without being incredibly obtrusive.

The complete Scavenger album is available here: the Hairbrush album.

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