IC - Week 2 - Authentication and representation

Some conclusions in regards authentication and representation:

  • Photographic record authenticates the existence of the specific configuration of physical matter in a particular space and time. The record is an representation of that scene. It is an intrinsic nature of the photographic image to be an evidence and representation of something existing for real. ’Every photograph is a certificate of presence’ (Barthes).
  • Visual characteristics of that representation depend on multiple factors like conditions of light, time of exposure, focus, parameters of the apparatus, etc.
  • The photographic representation of the particular scene is not an objective and comprehensive source of information about it; it’s only an excerpt from its continuously changing state.
  • The interpretation of the photographic record depends on the knowledge and mental model of the receiver.

"Photography furnish evidence. Something we hear about but doubt, seems proven when we're shown a photograph of it." (Sontag p.5)
"The picture may distort; but there is always a presumption that something exists, or did exist, which is like  what's in the picture" (Sontag p.5)

Cyanotype (1 of 1).jpg

The fact that the photograph authenticates the existence of some particular settings of the physical /real space is very important to me. Even if that record is very simple, like a photogram or cyanotype, it is still a trace of reality and that has a value itself for me. It is actually one of the main reasons I want to deal with the photographic medium. Having the record I can always change it/manipulate to match my aesthetic expectations/concept but it doesn't change the fact that the image originated as a record of light reflecting of some physical object.


  • Barthes, Roland (1993) "Camera Lucida", Vintage Classics
  • Sontag, Susan (1979) "On photography", Penguin