Sensual black and white photography must capture the viewer with it’s abstract composition to have aesthetic merit. Whether to content is pinup or something more contemplative, the arrangement of the visual elements is of primary interest.
Her eyes are closed, head tilted back, and her arms are folder around her head. This posture sets a quiet mood. Yet the sensual curve of her body is also apparent. Her torso is raised at the hips and ribs, making her extraversion clear.
It’s not apparent if she is asleep or resting. Her awareness of her surroundings is also left untold. Whether this moment is a prelude or aftermath; it’s adjacent to the main event. Her lips are parted only enough to see hint of pearly teeth. This imparts a sense of her casual state of mind. Something momentous has either just happened or is about to. The cropping is just close enough to confirm camaraderie.
Her face is rimmed by jet black hair. Another tuft of hair is visible below her arm. We see just one closed eye and one ear.
Warm tones that never quite approach black or white, dominate this sensual photograph. The abundance of midrange sepia-grays emphasizes the peaceful atmosphere. The top of the image is framed by a band of flowering vegetation. Points of light flowers dot the lower left, as well as the swath of foliage at the top.
This was created as a companion to Summer Fling. These identically-sized examples of sensual black and white photography can be exhibited as a pair. Side by side comparisons can be thought provoking. Each features a diagonal body, in a similar pose. Yet, the use of space is different.
Both images use similar tonal ranges and hues. Beach Matinee employs smoother gradations, especially in the shadow detail. In the angle of view, both suggest a familiarity with the subject.