There are a raft of reasons I ought not be posting this:
- I am suspicious–at best–of close-ups (let alone extreme close-ups such as this)
- It’s heteronormative in a way which really goddamned irks me
- The above image has been cropped from the original (which I would’ve posted if it didn’t feature an intensely intrusive, dumb watermark).
All that BS aside, there is something not if not exactly substantive then I guess ‘considered’ about this. I don’t mean the polished gloss of it–although it certain supersedes that of quotidian porn.
What catches my eye is the extremely shallow depth of field–which allows both out of focus bits in the foreground and background.
Image makers are frequently obsessed with the flattering effects of so-called bokeh to isolate and emphasize the subject of the composition. But bokeh centers on rendering the background out of focus. Out of focus elements in the both the fore- and back- ground is more commonly associated with cinema–where due to the scene playing out of thousands of frames shifting focus can be used to guide who or what within the frame the audience is supposed to attend to. (I’ve written about this before.)
In the above image the point of sharpest focus draws attention to the act of genital penetration. In this crop, the action still manages to be ever-so-slightly off-center. No matter how pretty the soft focus, the image would’ve crumbled given knee-jerk dead center placement.
What’s interesting is in the uncropped version, everything shifts left and down. It’s a better frame by miles but I don’t think I’d have necessarily realized what I have about the image and why it appeals to me without comparing the crop and the original–although not strictly compliant, there are absolutely points of correlation with the composition and the Golden Ratio. (I recommend opening the diagram and the original side by side.)