On the banks of a North Carolina river, this depiction of feminine sexuality is sophisticated and anything but restrained. A flagrant display of uninhibited summertime heat and impulse, “Summer Fling” is a tribute to rewarding relationships and indulgences that endure in our memories. There is a warmth from within. Our recollections seem too lucky to be true; the recipe for nostalgia includes a dash of longing. The monochrome treatment of erotic black and white photos bolsters a sense of reminiscence.
It was the end of a wonderful summer and the sun was getting lower in the afternoon sky. The stream water and breeze in the cool shade caused her to shiver and she laid on the warm rocks to soak up the sun’s glow before the opportunity was gone.
Despite its direct message, the image has more subtle aspects: the light reflected off the rocks in the shadows of the face and torso; the points of light in the dark water; and tiny bits of detail that punctuate each texture. The predominant lines of the composition are diagonal from the upper left to lower right. The undulating contours of the nude body roughly parallel the striations in the rock. A dense triangle dominates the upper right of the image, balanced with approximately equal amounts of shadow in the remained of the composition.
The treatment of the woman’s face is unorthodox in several ways. Her face is only partly visible, the angle of view showing the underside of her chin and hints of her features. The majority of her face is in shadow. Regardless of these factors, her beauty is evident.
The departure from traditional photography is small but distinct. What appears to be a purely black and white erotic photograph is punctuated with tones of browns and blues. Unsharp details at the periphery alter our perception of depth, giving the composition a fairy-tale quality.