I’ve been thinking about the pinhole effect. That darkening halo around the image brings to mind a number of not necessarily overlapping impressions.
One is that of being older or dated which probably comes from a simple association with pinhole being a common sort of very old photographs. The second is that it implies memory or dream – an otherworldy feel and the third is a variation on that – a sense of not being of this world. And fourth, and also related to the otherworldly in not being quite right is just a touch of the sinister.
But it really must come down to that border. In the first picture we have an artificial border but it mimics a window onto reality. In the pinhole, there is the window but then that darkening infers that one is descending yet another level.
The object at the centre is being singled out at the expense of the context.