Photography on TV.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 2:58 AM
I was watching True Blood tonight, (arrgh... so addictive) and there's the scene where the mayor gives Bill a photograph of his family in, like, 1867, and I thought as I heard this aw, crap, another TV historical photograph FAIL. But, actually, I was pleasantly surprised. The mayor gave him a tintype, in a case, and whoever made it did their research. There was period-specific mats, and overmats, and there was even a photographers inscription on the brass. It was cool! And, it even looked like a tintype. And, best of all, Tintypes are the proper photographic medium for the time, and location. I was impressed!

On the other hand, there's this episode of Torchwood, when they end up back in WWII, and Tosh needs to leave a message for the team in the future, and so she's trying to find something that will last through time, and they imply this is a big challenge. So, they find a Polaroid camera, and take a photo of the piece of paper that they need to last, and then put that Polaroid in a metal box OUTSIDE exposed to the elements, and it's miraculously there in 2008.
Now, this is really stupid. 1. because it's only 50-odd years in the future. Plain old paper and ink can last that long, no problem. 2. Because, really? putting a photograph in a box outside will make it fade fifty million times faster then in a stable environment. and 3. because Polaroid is one of the LEAST stable photo materials, ESPECIALLY in the 1940's. If Tosh is supposed to be such a tech genius, she'd know that.

grrr. do your research people.

(and yes. I'm nitpicking about photographic historical accuracy in TV shows that include time travel, aliens, and vampires. So what? I have an imagination, but I'm a smart girl too.)

1 Responses to Photography on TV.

  1. Emma Says:

    This is one of the reasons I have a lot of trouble watching things that involve time travel - lack of historical research. That and lack of reasonable theory of time travel.

    Actually, the total disregard genre fiction gives to the complexities of time travel really bothers me in general. Not that genre fiction has ever had a track record of being well researched - but it could be! People, we could be doing so much better here! Why can't I read a decent piece of contemporary literature that involves gnomes? Why?

    Okay, semi-relevant rant is over now. Sorry.