Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Selfie

Did you know the first photographic self-portrait was taken by Robert Cornelius in 1839? 
Today the Oxford Dictionaries announced their word of the year for 2013 to be “selfie”, which they define as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” Although the rampant proliferation of the technique is quite recent, the “selfie” itself is far from being a strictly modern phenomenon. Indeed, the photographic self-portrait is surprisingly common in the very early days of photography exploration and invention, when it was often more convenient for the experimenting photographer to act as model as well. In fact, the picture considered by many to be the first photographic portrait ever taken was a “selfie”. The image in question was taken in 1839 by an amateur chemist and photography enthusiast from Philadelphia named Robert Cornelius. Cornelius had set his camera up at the back of the family store in Philadelphia. He took the image by removing the lens cap and then running into frame where he sat for a minute before covering up the lens again. On the back he wrote “The first light Picture ever taken. 1839.”
I don't often see people in their 60's taking selfie's and wonder if I would take one if my kids or grandkids would be embarrassed if I took a selfie or two.  They don't seem to be embarrassed when I take a picture of myself and a friend.  So what might the real difference be between a selfie and a twosie?

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