Setting aside the fact that it has since become a cliché, why do you think this iconic photograph was, and remains for many people, so popular? [LINK to the picture which is too contrasty, and 'black/white' -- in good print copies you'd see softer tones and a warmer, olive tint] How important do you think the black leaves directly over (reaching towards; threatening?) the tops of the children's heads are? What part does the black, torso-like thing (rock) on the lower right side play (cover it with your fingers and see how its absence changes the picture). What about the little girl's hand? What about the degree of tone in the white/bright parts of the picture and the nature of the stuff that's there (semi-out-of-focus)? You can read W. Eugene Smith's own comments about the picture here. [LINK] Some background info; Smith took this picture immediately after he had recovered from a severe injury incurred while covering WWII (he was hit in the head by a mortar shell). Smith first submitted it to the magazine for which he was on-salary and it was rejected. The editor said he rejected it "because the two children were walking away from the camera it would not receive and hold the interest of the reader." (Smith) You can probably tell from my questions above, that I think the background is key to the effect of the picture. Nevertheless, I also think that the overall soft lines of everything about the two children are also of great importance. They are corner-less, fluid. What makes this seemingly ordinary picture special?