|This thesis focuses on the analysis of a specific type of analogue photography that, as it endorses and exposes qualities that result from the camera’s mechanical nature, complies with but also departs from a straight, documentary approach. Therefore, this thesis does not want to present a theoretical stance on the discipline of photography in general. Instead, it attempts to individuate the ways in which a specific documentary mode, epitomized in the works of the three photographers surveyed in this thesis, William Eggleston (1939), Rineke Dijkstra (1959) and Jeff Wall (1946), acknowledges but also challenges the aims and ethos of traditional documentary photography. More specifically this thesis assesses the impact that Eggleston’s, Dijkstra’s and Wall’s works have on the viewer, thus the beholder’s private and personal experience triggered by the photographs, rather than evaluating the influences that documentary photography exercises on the broader society and culture. The photographic works by William Eggleston , Rineke Dijkstra and Jeff Wall stand as examples of a photographic approach that maintains the realistic, transparent aesthetic and objective tone of straight documentary photography by fully relying on the camera mechanical functioning. However, I will argue that the viewer of these artists’ works experiences a sense of loss of the analytical ability of understanding and conveying a definite meaning or an absolute truth on what she/he is viewing beside the clarity and realism adopted in the depiction. Instead, the beholder undergoes emotional, perceptual and affective reactions that cannot be reduced to a solid ground of interpretation. In this regard a photographic mode, such as the one embraced by Eggleston, Dijkstra and Wall, questions more traditional views on documentary photography, while maintaining an aesthetic and an approach to image making reminiscent of the same.