At the beginning of section 4, ‘Reading photographs’ for my course, ‘Context and Narrative’, I have been asked to try to think of any photos that may be produced that are not intended for expression or communication.
Assuming that the photo hasn’t been over of under exposed to a degree that the image is totally white or black then the short answer is no. For surely all photos either express something or communicate something.
However, my first thought as to a possible contender would be a photo taken for say quality-control to record that something was made or fitted to a set standard or requirement. components in a nuclear-power-station that once fitted can not easily be inspected or checked and therefor are photographed during installation. But this still communicates a detail of information that may at a later date be referred to.
I can only suggest that a live picture from a CCTV that is both unrecorded and un-viewed comes close to this description, for as long as no one is watching the monitor screen then the images communicate nothing nor do they express any meaning. There existence has little point. Perhaps a philosopher can take this observation and apply it to any photograph arguing that for as long as no one is looking at a picture, the picture communicates nothing and nor does it expresses anything until there a pair of eyes to look upon it. This argument may be stretched to argue that without cultural / or use of a humans recognized visual language then any photo may not make sense to the viewer. For example as viewed through the eyes on an insect, domestic pet or a Martian.