Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ancient art of a selfie

Sunday, October 26, 2014
oldbearnews editor
Selfies -

 you just can't escape them.  People from all over the world are taking selfies. They then upload them to Facebook or Twitter or any other of the myriad of social networking sites.
And you see Joe Public  in front of - well - anything anywhere.
The word is this is the latest craze.  Prior to film of course people had to use ink or chalk.  It is rumoured that Leonardo DaVinci painted the Mona Lisa from a reflection in his bedroom mirror - a very ancient way of taking a selfie.  Go further back and we get into cave paintings - but that would be taking things a bit too far . . . . . . .
Even Politicians get in on the act. I wish I got a Dollar for every selfie taken with our New Zealand Prime minister John Key during the recent election campaign!! I could retire I'm sure!!!
Actually I was positive that after the now famous Barack Obama selfie with the German Chancellor, it would die a natural death - but seems not so.
One of the reasons why I think they do not make good pics is because your arms are not long enough away from subject (your head) and most people are more worried about getting it right - thus not looking relaxed - or fake! The very LATEST trend is to have an ski pole type gadget that lets you extend your grip of the cellphone - and some weird release mechanism.  Actually come to think of it - what is wrong with asking someone to take a pic of you ?? 

Oh well - each generation to its own - not that this is a NEW thing.
Far from it.
Long before cellphones, we had creative ways to take a selfie.
As far back as Nov 1983 I owned a SLR camera and one of its great features was a timer button. Basically you selected the time and it would count down internally and then go click - took the picture.   Great for hoping onto the bed and looking all relaxed!! Way before that I had 2 other cameras - nothing flash like a SLR and I got VERY creative with the release mechanism.  It involved some tied down gear - a thin pencil type object and lots of string and weights and; well - a rather involved set-up with release mechanism that would - or ought to have - taken a pic of me.  Suffice to say that never really took of.  Poor Instamatic - it took a battering.
The other thing - in THOSE days we had film - nothing digital then and so you got your negatives and one set of prints after about 7-10 days of lab work.  Nothing of the instant sharing we have today.   A roll of film came in 24 or 36 exposures and cost  quit a bit - so usually you took time to set up your images - especially with focus and lightning and so forth. 
So I tossed round some ideas of how to take a picture of me and my new room and - eventually rigged up (well - moved across) a large mirror and - well - you see the result - :)  

Not much I could do about the late afternoon sun.  Hey come to think of it - I still had hair back then!!
I did print several copies and then snail-mailed them back to Austria from New Zealand. That took about 6 weeks via ship, till delivery was complete.

Now - these days nearly everything is digital and nearly everything has a lens attached and I was very fortunate to be given a hand-me down cellphone that did have a camera with it.  So on 1 Aug which is also International wear your scout scarf day - I wore mine and decided to be *cough* a modern man.
I took several photos and deleted 99% of them - till I got to this version. 

This folks - will be my first (in the modern digital age ) and my last  e v e r  selfie.
Not a great shot
In fact I would rate this as a louse picture and would be severely disappointed if this was on film!!

I did take one before - but it has been pointed out this is chaeting

ah well - have fun

  bear print

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