Photo: First American selfie was taken in Pa. in 1839


the_first_selfie_Robert_CorneliusRobert Cornelius of Philadelphia captured his own image in 1839, in the first selfie.

He used a cumbersome camera. It wasn’t until the Kodak came out in 1888 that the snapshot was born.

“A game even emerged called ‘snapshooting,’ a sort of photographic version of tag: You tried to escape while someone raced around trying to catch you on film, Clive Thompson writes.

Read more about how snapshots changed the way we see the world here.

This Just In looked at why smiles are so rare in the oldest photos here.


Daughter’s globe-trotting tribute goes viral


parisPhotoByJinnaYang“I took a lifesize cutout of my dad around the world to celebrate his life & bring peace to my family,” Jinna Yang posts on Instagram.

Her dad, Jay Kwon Yang, was only 52 when he died of cancer in Virginia in 2012.

After her parents split up when Jinna was 7, she writes on her blog, it was her mom who moved out. Her dad worked 12-hour days, six days a week in the family dry cleaners while raising her and her younger brother.

By the time her dad receives his diagnosis, his dreams are unfulfilled. “He’s never been to Europe or Africa. California. Florida,” Jinna says. “He never got to travel because he sacrificed his life for our family.” Continue reading


Time-lapse video: Fireflies turn Ozarks into enchanted forest


“Is there anything cooler than firefly light reflecting in still-water?”  asks Vincent Brady, a photographer who used “every trick” for his first “whole-hog” time-lapse video.

He shot the footage at Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, where his family gathers, and around Grand Ledge, Mich., his hometown.

“We call them fireflies or lightning bugs, but they aren’t a fly or a bug,” Brady notes on his website. “They are beetles, and there’s over a 1,000 different species of them.”

You can visit Brady’s Facebook page here.

h/t Smithsonian’s SmartNews


Mothers once hid in plain sight


Hidden Mother

The Victorian images of a shrouded adult behind a baby may look creepy to us, but evidently they were the norm when it took nearly 30 seconds to take a picture of a squirmy tot.

“In America, it was common practice for the mother … to hold the child steady during the long exposure, since any wriggling would blur the image,”  says Linda Fregni Nagler, an Italian-Swedish photographer who has collected a thousand of these photographs in The Hidden Mother. “Yet at the same time, the mother was expected to hide any sign that she was actually in the frame,” she tells the Telegraph. Continue reading