I really enjoyed this piece and how it addressed the complexities of studying photographs. An interesting point was how Edwards discussed the concept of studying photos outside of their original contexts: “In many ways a photograph denies history. A fragment of space and time, it defies diachronic connections, being dislocated from the flow of life from which it was extracted” (Edwards 8). Using ‘dislocation’ to describe photographs losing their context is a really powerful idea, as when a photo is removed from where it was taken and viewed as a historical object rather than a memory, it truly is dislocated.
Edwards further believes photos “have a rawness, uncontainability, resistance and ultimately unknowability” (22). Photographs as historical objects are interesting because photos aren’t capable of telling a full story, let alone a full story of even one moment. There are gaps even within photo collections - chronological gaps between the photos taken but also contextual gaps. Edwards points that one isn’t capable of fully analyzing a photograph through what it shows, only what it doesn’t show. This is a really interesting point - especially from a historical perspective. There is a more complete answer when the question being asked is what is left out of frame and why rather than asking what is being captured within the bounds of the photo.