OCA Photography Two: Documentary barry511915. Assi one Exercise Two. Transparent Pictures:

Exercise Two

Read the first three sections (pp.1–8) of the essay ‘Transparent Pictures: On the Nature of Photographic Realism’ by Kendall L Walton.


At the time of writing the essay, most cameras used film this as we know was used to make representations of things and people. If we were looking at an image of a long-dead relative, we would know that it was an accurate representation of that family member because we knew him/her. But on the other if we were looking at an image of a relative that we didn’t know and was only told it was a relative, would the image hold the same weight as the first, It all comes down to trust in the information we have at the time of viewing.

The transparency of the image depends on the trust we placed in the information being represented. The transparency is only in the imagination of the viewer if it were a wax dummy of the relative not distinguishable from the real thing It would still be a representation of the relative but unknown to the audience it would be fictional.

Again, it all comes down to correct information. Does it matter if it is fictional are not as long as we have the information to realise the Image’s limitations? The picture of the lock ness monster was a picture of the monster until we learned it was fictional by gaining the correct information.

The wax dummy mentioned earlier representing the relative is not the relative the same way the picture is not the relative. In the digital age, the picture is a lot of square pixels arranged to represent the family member, in the same way, a painter puts paint on a canvas we now put dots on the canvas, but now we have a way of doing it very well and fast electronically.

The transparency of a picture is only a truly transparent if the source of the Image can be verified and even then we are not sure what has been left out that could have had a bearing on the information being portrayed.