At age 90 Irving Penn, the dean of American potrait photographers, continue his work in New York City. As did Richard Avedon, Penn began at Vogue magazine in the Penn's portraits span time and subjects unmatched by any other photographer.
The ray of light peeking through the crack creates a blinding effect on the subject. The light is so bright that it blinds her vision, covering her eyes in the photo. The black and white filter makes the ray of light even more bright.