In this black and white photograph of a nude woman, a slender female subject lounges cat-like among the dramatic shadows of palm fronds. The line created by her body and her extended leg and forearm echoes the spine of the palm frond shadow that cuts diagonally through the bottom of the frame. The individual leaflet shadows create tiger stripes on her body, further reinforcing her feline appearance.
The subject’s pageboy haircut is mussed, short dark hair covering her eyes and nose but leaving her lush, open lips visible as she turns her face towards the viewer. Her forearms rest flat on the ground, with her shoulders over her elbows in a posture similar to The Sphinx. Her left leg is folded across under her body with her knee bent, while her right leg extends straight all the way through her pointed toes.
The shadows of the palms form a series of triangles of sunlight, providing a deep contrast on the smooth, tiled surface of the ground. The subject rests in the largest triangle of sunlight, while the points of the leaflet shadows create a dynamic rotational symmetry around her form, leading the eye in a circular motion.
Her pose precludes the nude photograph from being explicit, although it is still erotic and sensual. Her seductive pose invites the viewer into an interaction, although her hidden eyes and slack mouth suggest indifference to the viewer’s opinion. She looks as though perhaps she was awoken from a catnap in the shade and is investigating the interruption, or maybe she is preparing to warm herself on the sun-baked tiles.
The black and white photograph of a nude woman is essentially monochromatic, which makes the contrast between the shadows and sunlight that play over the subject’s body and the ground all that more dramatic. No colors are present to distract from the appreciation of nude woman’s shapes and lines: her lithe curves, the spiny shadows, and the grounding grid of the tiles.
~Written by Cat Carol
Considerations: The visual treatment image is a slight departure from highly detailed photographic representations of the body. In the shadow areas, detail gives way to faintly gritty dots and grains. This can be seen by examining each product image close up.
This image was photographed at Harbour Island, The Bahamas.