More on FAQ #223

223. Why does TCQ say that photos are now “claims rather than facts”?

That’s a natural consequence of regarding photographs as “subjective” interpretations rather than “objective” documents or “facts.” (A lot has changed since the 20th century!)

Now that billions of people carry cameras with them every day — with millions of tourists often photographing the same sights millions of times over — the public has learned from personal observation that the same subject can be portrayed in very different ways by different photographers.

As a result, there’s much more awareness of the “subjective” nature of each photograph.

Thus when a photographer puts forth a photograph with the hope that it will be trusted, a public that sees photographs as “subjective” rather than “objective” will increasingly regard that offering from the photographer as “making a claim” rather than “stating a fact.”

That’s true regardless of the subject of the photograph; it does not only apply to “news” photographs.