The use of the Leica has traditionally been associated with photojournalism, street photography and photographic realism. Realism is usually interpreted in terms of the positivist understanding of knowledge as an edifice based on fact and observation, the objectivity claimed by foundational epistemology, and the universality of the view from nowhere or the God's eye view.
The philosophical underpinnings of this positivism can be found in photography's indexical relation, which is taken to distinguish photography from other forms of picture making. The inference drawn is that an image of the world is formed automatically, without the creative intervention of the human being. Consequently, images made by strictly photographic means are solely causal traces of the objects responsible for them.