Question of the Week: 3/8-3/14/21

Have you seen the animations of historical photographs that have been appearing on social media? Love them, hate them, or not sure?

10 Responses to Question of the Week: 3/8-3/14/21

  1. People – maybe especially Americans – seem to have a deep need for novelty and entertainment, so the “animations” are appealing. I prefer that historical portraits speak for themselves – just as they are.

  2. Instead of actors portraying historical figures on film, it will be computer generated caricatures inserted into the scenes. I’m anxiously awaiting the dramatic adaptation of the seduction by Earl Van Dorn of Dr. George Peters’ wife and the General’s consequential death at the hands of the cockolded doctor. That meets both the sex and violence requirements of current Hollywood productions.

  3. I think it’s in there with holograms of actors and singers who have passed away. Colorization of old black & white photos enhances our ability to relate to figures of history, but this isn’t comfortable for me. But Charles Martin may be right; next will be movies taking this technology to new levels, maybe even converting portraits of those who were never photographed into computer generated “actors”.

  4. Not for me. But I do appreciate that there is enough interest out there that 1) someone figured out how to do this and 2) lots of people are having fun with them.

  5. I think they are great! There is one of Lincoln on smilemuseum on tictok that I think is stunning. I have asked her to do one of Robert E Lee. It’s a picture of Lee as a young man with his son standing at his shoulder.

  6. “The camera never lies.”
    This was confirmed to be a myth when dead bodies at Gettysburg were moved around the battlefield to allow photographers “to capture the right image.” But the genie was let out of the bottle with advent of motion pictures: now Civil War Generals walked, talked, and “did things and said things” that were historically incorrect. During the “distant ancestor” craze of the 1950s and 60s, negatives of images from 100 years earlier were printed reversed, and enhancements added to “prove” relatives had been involved in Historical moments that may or may not have been true. Today, it is the colourized photograph; and the “moving” colourized photograph…
    As long as viewers of these “novelties” are aware that what they are seeing are “creations” and not actual period records of reality, there is no harm done. But, just like counterfeit coins, the problem arises when the attempt is made to pass them off as genuine.

  7. I’m suspicious. Doesn’t that kind of animation involve much speculation as to demeanor, body language, words spoken, etc.?

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