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.)