Elizabeth Edwards emphasizes several aspects of interpreting photography that I find noticeable and particularly interesting. One thing she argues is that photographs have the power to be about regain, empowerment, renewal, and contestation, rather than simply nostalgia and pastness. Instead of simply serving as a tool of reflecting and recording the past, it is important that photographs should have implications on the future as well. By capturing images that depict their struggles, their victories, and their everyday lives, individuals and communities can challenge stereotypes and reshape the way they are perceived by others. Purely confining the significance of photographs to the past is thus in some way an underestimation of its power to shape the future.
She also stresses that there are certain levels of subjectivity involved in the photographic effects, and to fully understand the meanings of the photographs require us to consider specific requirements of evidence within a given context. This reminds me of the controversy surrounding the 2017 Women’s March due to a photography taken by Getty images showing a crowd of people gathering on the National Mall. The image was widely shared on social media and different news outlets. However, it was argued that there was some subjectivity introduced into the image and was intentionally manipulated to make the crowd appear larger than it actually was. Since photographs, as mentioned above, have the power to influence the future, it is important to look at them through a critical perspective, not being fooled by the manipulation elements of the photographs.