Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

I’ll admit I’m suspicious of nostalgia. When people look back on the past, in my opinion it tends to be with a rosy optimism. I’m ok with that as long as you realize what you are doing. I’m just not really sure the “good old days” were anything more than fine, kind of like now, there is a lot going on that is bad and plenty that is good too.  This past weekend we went to Bletchley Park, which is a museum space dedicated to code breaking during World War II.  It was fascinating; if you are interested in history, science, math, or people, I would recommend going.  Plan to make a day of it, you’ll be both inside and outside, so dress accordingly.  This photo was taken in one of the work areas they had set up:

ISO 320 4.3mm f/2.7 1/30

ISO 320 4.3mm f/2.7 1/30

The sun was shining brightly and so I knew that this would be a light saturated image, perfect for a feeling of nostalgia. Lightroom is kind enough to have a setting called “Aged Photo” so I started there. I took a look at the various sliders and the settings Lightroom had selected and then did some modifications from there.  I added some grain and made the vignette a little stronger.

Th museum itself is a fascinating look at what can be best about human beings, our ability to think and create. But it’s set against the backdrop of World War II.  The death toll from that war is just appalling, really reflecting the worst we are capable of as human beings. To me just that is enough to stop thinking of this time in any sort of nostalgic way.

How about you? Do you tend to look back in a more glass half full sort of way? How do you like the editing I’ve done to the photo? Have you also noticed the nostalgia-related filters in your editing software? I’ll admit, I tend to like the results, even if I do then edit them further.

Cheers!

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23 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

  1. Pingback: Nostalgia: Beach | What's (in) the picture?

  2. Beautifully done, and there is a kind of historical-era feeling about your image with the sepia-toned filer that you used. I haven’t experimented much with filters in Photoshop – usually I like to keep my editing simple and I have yet to master what the many sliders mean (and a lot of the terminology in Photoshop). But I like it how you can adjust how much filter you want with the sliders. If not, then filters would be harder to work with.

    I tend to look back wistfully. What’s past is past, and the memories I will cherish.

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  3. Love your work, Amy. When I visit these museums, I sometimes wonder if I would have loved living in the past. Then I remember we are the lucky generation, with so many medical and technological advances 🙂

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  4. I like your edit. I also edit mine further, just adding a setting in Lightroom is not enough.
    Yesterday I tried to watch a documentary about WW2, it was about the bombing of Germany. I thought it could be interesting to see it from the Germans side (we’ve been spoon fed the “allied version” throughout the school system and universities). After a while I turned it off because the documentary was just disgusting neo-Nazi propaganda about how evil the jews are…
    World Wars are disgusting.

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    • I agree, settings are just a starting point, rarely are they exactly what you had in mind with an edit. I also think it is important when thinking about world events to attempt to see things from multiple angles, but it can be fraught with difficulties. Propaganda can be nauseating, really anytime you attempt to write off a group of people you have to wonder about your own humanity.

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  5. I agree that the good old days were pretty much like today. In many ways, I think we have it easier now. Well, this is a great photo. I watched the show on TV about Bletchley Park and liked it very much.

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  6. Love your edit! It really captures a sense of the time. I used to live very close to Bletchley, at Gayhurst (which was requisitioned as accommodation for some of the women from Bletchley and also people from Hanslope Park). As is the way with things on the doorstep, I never visited Bletchley Park. 😦

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    • Oh, it’s too bad that you missed it. I really think that you would have found the stories of the people that worked there interesting. It seems to me that you have an interest in people’s stories, so that part of the exhibit would have appealed to you I think.

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      • Yes; I think I would love it. When I lived at Gayhurst House (near Newport Pagnell) in the late 1990s, a bus load of Bletchley women arrived one day as part of the filming of a documentary about their experiences. I was out in the grounds with my then infant son, and because babies are such a good icebreaker, got talking to some of the women. That really should have been enough to get me off my butt and to Bletchley Park, but babies are also quite time-consuming! Well, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

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  7. I would love to tour and see this recollection of WWII so thank you for sharing. There are times when you can’t help but compare the past with the current, but I don’t dwell on it or ever forget that nothing is perfect. I think years ago were maybe a simpler time and a time of more hard physical work than mental work. I must admit I do like keeping life simple and the satisfaction and good night’s sleep you get from physical work. 🙂

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    • Yes, I do think there is something satisfying about physical work although I do wonder if I would feel that way if that is all I did. This park was well worth the visit. There was just so much there that I may go back and have another look.

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