Vampires and Photographs

Write of Passage

The current novel I am reading is about a vampiric private investigator. True to common lore, she does not show up in mirrors. And she does not show up in photos, either, but that may or may not be part of lore. Let me explain.

Vampire mythology appears to have been popularized after the introduction of mirrors, but long before the introduction of photography. Earlier cameras took images by using a series of mirrors to focus light. Digital cameras, however, don’t rely on mirrors (as far as I can tell), so the idea of a vampire not appearing in modern photos no longer makes sense. Perhaps without realizing this, Charles Stross addresses the camera-ready vampire in his Laundry Filesseries by allowing his vampiric characters to dress and primp using laptop cameras even though they do not appear in mirrors. I honestly don’t remember if he ever went into this…

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