“A photograph passes for incontrovertible proof that a given thing happened.” 

Mitchell, W.J., (1994)

And that it does. ‘Photographic evidence’ would also cease to exist.

Although, “a clever deceiver can take advantage of such ignorance.” – That being of the gullible individuals viewing images they perceive to be as truthful. Like when “an Italian cement factory was passed off to American television networks as being footage of the damage reactor” at Chernobyl nuclear power plant after the explosion in 1986.

Without seeing photographs that are assumed to be of the power plant, I wouldn’t have imagined it to have looked like this. Would you?


“Since few people had any idea of what a Soviet nuclear reactor might look like”, how was anybody supposed to know the ‘proof’ of this was actual proof? Especially if “photographic manipulators do not necessarily have to do a very good job in order to fool us.”

“Photographs furnish evidence. Something we hear about, but doubt, seems proven when we’re shown a photograph of it.”

Sontag, S. (2010) Susan Sontag On Photography. Available from: [Accessed 25 February 2015]

Why do some people doubt that man actually landed on the moon?

A person being anywhere bar Earth would sound pretty suspicious in the first place. BUT, it all changed when exclusive photographs of Neil Armstrong, first ever man on the moon surfaced. Something we heard about but kind of doubted was, for some people, proven.


Some may be aware of the disbelief that was thrown at the fact a man had actually landed on the moon. I’ve read more articles than I should have on reasons as to why this could all be one big stunt. The most recent one is this: 

I feel that this is when this quote becomes relevant;

“If we cannot find grounds to conclude that a given image is a true record of a real scene or event, we can take the opposite tack and attempt to demonstrate that it could be a true record.”

Why? If others who are like myself, find themselves unsure of what to believe even though this isn’t the type of thing that keeps you up at night, we always have the ability to “take the opposite tack”. News articles, papers, magazines, books, websites and footage are all in favour that Neil Armstrong did actually land on the moon. But almost anything has the power to manipulate individuals. So, instead of letting whether it is real or not eat at my conscience, I suppose I’ll let everything I’ve seen, heard and read “demonstrate that it could be a true record.” For now.


Mitchell, W.J., (1994) Intention and Artifice. In: The Reconfigured Eye: Visual Truth In The Post-Photographic Era. Cambridge Mass: MIT Press, pp22-57


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