29/09/2013

Say Cheese!


I always assume that when a camera is pointing at you, you either: 1. Dodge because you don't want to be in the frame 2. Smile, because you are the subject. Of course, in the era of selfies, the sky is the limit when it comes to what to do when you are in front of the camera. Food stuck in between your teeth? That's okay, let's take another shot.

It's hard to believe that just at the turn of 20th century, our forefathers frowned upon smiling, especially in portrait. I came across this interesting article in The Atlantic, which implores why didn't people smile in portraits (photographic and painting).

According to the article, it was a well-established fact in 17th century Europe that the only people who smiled broadly, in life and in art, were the poor, the lewd, the drunk, the innocent and the entertainment.

Here I was thinking everyone looked so glum because of the war, famine or the slow shutter speed/long exposure of old-timey photography technology.

I wonder what will Mark Twain make of the duck face today....


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