Technology is an astounding thing. It evolves and grows almost as a living creature. Tempted as I am, I don’t purchase every techno-toy that is generated out of the inventive minds and manufacturers. Some items find their way to me through gifts (e-reader, Bluetooth); some I have always tended to stay current (home computer, home theater) and some I dabble a bit into the leading edge (smart phone, blu-ray). The last of those prompts our discussion today.
When I made the much-debated decision to upgrade my big screen projection TV into an even bigger flat screen TV, I saw a need to upgrade my home theater as well, in order to match the capabilities of the new TV. One of my main focuses was streaming internet capability. Though the TV also carried this function, I prefer the home theater to drive my various source choices. Having already experienced the convenience of wireless speakers, that was also a factor. Finally, I thought to dabble in the latest visual technology, blu-ray.
My previous TV had been HD (though last generation), so I was familiar with the greater crispness and detail available with this “new” technology. The leap forward with both the TV and the blu-ray combined, however, proved shocking (in a good way). The picture was so real; I could swear I would be able to pluck a blade of grass from the screen.
After an initial orgy of blu-ray movie buying (including my favorite comedy of all-time, Blazing Saddles, which was amazing in its clarity, considering its age), I settled down over the next few months to watch a movie here and there (along with a large smattering of HD programs). An alarming fact became noticeable almost from the start. These pictures were unbelievably sharp. So unbelievably sharp that the actors looked…er…ugly.
Well, perhaps ugly is too strong a word, but they certainly didn’t hold up as well in the makeup department on the close-ups. It’s one thing to be staring at a screen 70 feet away in a movie theater or to be viewing same movie on a reasonably sized screen in your home. But combine a large HD screen with the acute clarity of blu-ray and somehow those close-ups don’t look so glamorous anymore. Skin doesn’t look as smooth, facial imperfections are now noticeable and teeth…well, let’s just leave that one alone.
I wonder if this will create a whole new industry in Hollywood for makeup people and manufacturers to become as equally inventive to combat the Frankenstein-like development of these incredibly high definition pictures.
Personally, I find it more humanizing to see these “real” features on our beloved actors. Stunning good looks stand up to such inspection and, if anything, become even more impressive when those looks seem less like a makeup trick and more like a bountiful physical gift.
I have a long history of avoiding cameras. Still, I did allow a few pictures of me over time (my picture on the website is my only acknowledgement of some requirement for my countenance to be shown…you won’t find one on the books). If today’s technology had existed all along, though, I’m certain today’s blog title would have been my “theme song”.