Monday, March 7, 2016
Against the grain
When I was scanning and posting cards for the 2016 Heritage post last week, I completely missed the graininess of most of the photos in the packs.
It took the comments -- which probably set an all-time blog era record for long-windedness -- for me to realize that, yup, graininess is a disease that has infiltrated Heritage.
I don't like it.
I don't like it because 1967 Topps was the opposite of grainy. Based on my limited experience with 1967 Topps, the photos in that set were the clearest and most vivid up to that time. And they stack up in clarity with many sets that followed. Add the wide expanse of space dedicated to the picture in '67 and it's as close to looking at your high-definition device until the advent of Stadium Club.
So, why this?
There's fuzz on my HDTV!
Now, it's not a deal-breaker or anything. I sometimes think that people get hypercritical over things like this, but it is still pretty evident and puzzling.
Some side-by-side examples:
Those might not be the best examples of '67 Topps' sharpness, but you can definitely see the graininess in comparison with the 2016 Heritage.
That's not to say every Heritage card suffers in comparison. Here's one that isn't too bad:
But the question persists, why are the Heritage cards grainy?
I'm not a photographer so I don't know if it has to do with the way photos are taken now versus then. But I doubt that's it because I'm told the actual photos used for the Heritage cards didn't feature any graininess. One of the comments on my earlier post implied that the graininess is purposeful, that Topps is trying to achieve some sort of effect, and has been doing that with Heritage for awhile.
Maybe I'm being exceedingly clueless again, but I'm lost as to what effect that would be. Are they trying to make the photos look old?
I need answers!
It's diminished my enthusiasm for this Heritage set a little. This is the only 2016 set that I can see myself buying more than a couple of packs of this year. This was going to be my default set for 2016.
But I'm not disgusted by it or anything. Make every card grainy and get rid of the 75 SPs and I'll enthusiastically collect the entire thing.
The Heritage set still captures one of my favorite aspects of 1967 Topps, that you can look at the photo and watch the scenery unfold behind the player seemingly for miles.
The '67 look is just too good to completely ruin.