Depending on your point of view that title might amuse one. With the particular props and wardrobe that's typically on view in photographs here any subtlety is out the window right? Well not really. One of the things I regularly experiment with is exactly how much to put various things into the foreground or background or how much to emphasize what. I'd guess far above 50% of any approach experiment I mess around with has to do with that notion and that alone, if not then in large part.
Take the image above as a starting place. Putting it out there at full browser width on a desktop browser still leaves one no clues as to what's what here at first glance. Sure there's enough skin to argue that on whole there's no subtlety. Not at all what I am talking about here but also important. The specific central prop in the chastity project is small in the frame, dark, out of focus to a large degree, and the point of view is such one has to look relatively hard to tell what's going on here. Especially since it competes with a large, contrasty. mostly in-focus human face.
How about now? Less subtle for certain. What about below? Similar or less so based on size in frame and other complexity of detail or environs? The same? Melanie'sface is smaller to so there's less tendency for it to dominate. Extremely similar points of view and less than two feet different.
These are considerations I have not landed on with any degree of certainty for this particular project. Not just a peripheral consideration, it's central to what I am looking for. It gets far more difficult when I start introducing more complexity into the scene with a lot more going on and a lot more moving parts. I needed a placeholder to start to serialize some of my thoughts on this since I've played with it so much.
Melanie actually messing with it hangs a lantern on the prop doesn't it. Especially with nothing else to look at and the lack of other wardrobe. It's interesting that most conversations regarding composition don't go anywhere near what could be considered the crux of why talk about composition at all. All of these kinds of things which you just cannot make rules about. Not only that but talking about compositional elements and motives in isolation is purposeless. Maybe even worse than purposeless. Like talking about melody out of context of rhythm. Interesting abstract academic endeavor I guess but nonsense in that you can't have one without the other.
Obviously not subtle in any particular point of view but think about this. What if everything about the above image was pushed into the background and took up less than 20% of the frame with a lot of other moving parts in the foreground. Dollars to donuts that only about 1 in 10 people would even notice it in the background. I still have a lot of work to do on this particular aspect of how I want the chastity project to play.
All pictures made with the Fuji XPro-2 and Fuji 18mm f/2 R. Processing via Lightroom CC with VSCO FILM 05 BW400CN applied on import.