Taken out of context, yes, it does appear contradictory, but this is a discussion forum, and, certainly, Michael's background formed part of the discussion. But, just because I know why he kept the photo dark doesn't change my personal reaction to the photo - i.e. it's still too dark.
This discussion doesn't take away from the fact that a photograph must stand on its own. After all, one can't possibly be in front of every framed work explaining it, thank goodness (both for the artist and the viewer!). But you knew that already.