On Photography

Strictly speaking, one never understands anything from a photograph.  Of course, photographs fill in blanks in our mental pictures of the present and the past…Nevertheless, the camera’s rendering of reality must always hide more than it discloses….In contrast to the amorous relation, which is based on how something looks, understanding is based on how it functions.  And functioning takes place in time, and must be explained in time.  Only that which narrates can make us understand.

Susan Sontag. On Photography.