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Black and White . . .     by Brian Auer

Two men playing a game of chess in Santa Monica near Muscle Beach
© 2008 Brian Auer. All Rights Reserved (see policies). Contact for Use.

Not only is the photo black & white, but there are several other references to these colors and the concept of opposites and contrast. The chess pieces are black and white. The clothes on the two men are black and white, and they match the colors of their chess pieces. There’s also a contrast between the two men — one young and one old. Not only that, but the older fellow is wearing the white, which is generally associated with age. Their hair is black and white, respectively.

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14 Responses »

  1. Very well seen and thought through. I had to look closely to see all the details you noted. I also like the contrast in tension here. The older man seems calm and relaxed. The younger man seems wound up and tense. Good thing there were not others at the other tables because it would have broken the attention. This is great.

  2. Beautiful capture. More than just the picture, you have captured the story of life. Very well done….


  3. The title works on so many levels from visual to philosophical. Great shot.

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone! This really is one of my favorites from the archives.

  5. I truly love this shot. It is one of the best photos I’ve seen in years. I’d buy a print of this one.


  6. I love all that is in the picture but I also feel a warmth when viewing it. It isn’t a stark picture of just your subjects but the way it takes my eye to the background gives me the feeling of depth. love it.

  7. Indeed, a great photo and good explanation. Just wondering what it would be if you included both men’s body or took by landscape, not portrait (just like many others would do in this case).

  8. In fact, I think I did take a few in a landscape orientation… but this one seemed to have more impact. It may be that cropping out their backs puts more emphasis on their fronts and the interaction between them. Plus this made for a more interesting background with the tables trailing off at the top of the frame.

  9. what a great shot – The tight framing works very well for me

  10. Really cool shot!! I love it.

  11. Excellent shot, good composition and great black and white.

  12. I had to go back up and look at the picture after I realized you took it! I thought this was a modern painting or something with all the contrasts you mentioned. The demeanor of the two men, like another reader mentioned, is another contrast. Contrast is the key to art in many forms. As a guitar teacher I always tell my students to make their imporvisations more interesting by using contrast to guide you when you run out of ideas. I love contrast and I have to say you have an eye for it.

  13. This is a beautiful shot, did you realize the contrasts before shooting, was it arranged?

  14. Absolutely Perfect! Im a beginner and learnt a lot from this pic. Well done


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