From the reality before him he could only choose that part that seemed relevant and consistent, and that would fill his plate.
He could show what was too ordinary to paint: the empty road scattered with cannon balls, the mud encrusted on the caisson’s wheel, the anonymous faces, the single broken figure by the wall.
Intuitively, he sought and found the significant detail. His work, incapable of narrative, turned toward symbol”.
Jonh Szarkowski The Photographer’s Eye.