Sometimes you can make people try harder — look harder — at a photo by interfering with the subject in some way. You can fool around with focus, blur, exposure, filters, and a zillion other ways of "messing" with the picture. And very often these "degraded" images are much more interesting to the viewer. (This site looks at a number of ways of interfering with the image, including the infamous Lens Baby.)
In this case we decided to build a sequence where we got more and more in the way of the subject in order to think about interference.
Bottom Line: Making the subject harder to see may involve the viewer more actively in the seeing.
70mm, f22, Speedlites