Sure - I agree fully. BUT! The knowing the context and something about the Dust Bowl and the FSA and Lange (that WAS Lange, right? Or am I spacing out?) sure adds another whole dimension to the photo, don't you think?
That IS a good point though, B. I think that there is a tacit assumption of the author in every judgement of a photograph. That is to say, if someone sees what they consider a schlocky photo by Person X, then they'll try to generalize about Person X. If they see eight bad and one good, then they'll have a slightly different assumption. But that's just human nature, right? Generalization is a compression scheme we use to store information. Compression tends to be more efficient than accurate.