Images as...

...representation.

Here the image must bear a certain degree of likeness with the original, whether conceptual likeness or visual likeness.  In the example of a floorplan or section drawing the likeness is direct but scaled. An architectural render attempts to be a direct likeness but many times is merely atmospheric, a conceptual likeness.  The markings used on a mechanical plan are symbolic representations. 

 

...speculation.

Images because of their ease of creation and ability for autonomy are the grounds for many speculations.

 

...aspiration.

For some the pages of Architectural Digest, World of Interiors, or Dwell reflect reality but for many more the images shown are aspirational and inspirational.  

 Are aspirations and inspirations the same? 

 

...documentation.

This image is created with the intention of recording things as they are, presenting a objective reality. 

Can documentary photography (etc.) truly be objective?