It would seem that Anne McCauley's essay on Henry Fox Talbot and his "Rouen Window photograph is designed to establish Talbot as an artist. It is through the descriptions of his photographs that the author conveys her thoughts of the way the images are composed in comparison to early French photographers. Seemingly the French were more interested in documenting historical monuments, places, etc where Talbot's interest rested in his ability to capture what a person might see at any given time during the course of the day. Where many French photographers would keep objects in the foreground, Talbot wanted the subject to appear unobstructed and was known to redirect his camera lens in something appeared or there was too much movement (creating an apparitional effect).
Another way McCauley tries to establish Talbot as an artist is by comparing his "Rouen Window to a painting that is similar in nature by Friedrich. While the compositions of the images are quite similar it is quite difficult to say that Talbot was going for the artistically inspiring image or the philosophically deep representation of the eye's window as portrayed. Meaning of photographs is something that seems to have been overdone since the beginning of the form; each person that views an image will have a different feeling or idea of what the photographer was trying to convey. Is it not entirely possible that a picture can be taken solely for it's aesthetic value or can a picture not be taken just for the sake of being taken? It is important to remember that in the early days of photography exposure times were extremely long and it was important for photographers to find objects that were quite stationary in order to record a clear image.
McCauley also uses 17th century philosophers/scientists like Locke and Westwood as a means of comparison, thought the way this portion of the essay is written is barely c