Lens-Artists Challenge #159 – Postcards

Junk, Ha Long Bay
Among the Karsts, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

“I’m just hoping we can keep the spirit of the humble postcard in mind while looking at people, places and things.”

Martin Parr

This week Ana has offered us a very interesting opportunity with her Postcards challenge. As I thought about my response, I remembered a set of old postcards I’d seen during a visit to Southeast Asia. Because so much of what we’d seen felt like time had been standing still, I chose to edit my images as I thought postcards might have looked long ago.

asian rice hats, fields, workers
Working the Rice Paddies, Vietnam

“The world before us is a postcard, and I imagine the words we are writing on it.”

Mary Pearson

Here in the U.S. we think of history in terms of hundreds of years while in Asia it is thought of in centuries. Seeing images of people and places there takes one back to times long before the appearance iPhones, digital cameras and the other modern-day technologies we use to capture scenes of local life. The simple postcard wouldn’t have been so simple at all “back in the day”!

Guardians of the Past, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

“Postcards chosen according to a passing mood begin to trace an itinerary, to map the imaginary country that stretches out before us.”

Chris Marker

I suppose there are many in our blogging community too young to remember a time when postcards were an important way to stay in touch with family and friends. We’d visit small shops displaying a myriad of cards, choosing just the right scenes for those at home. We’d purchase them for a few cents, add stamps for a few more, and mail them off knowing they’d arrive in a week at best, often after we’d already returned from our journeys!

Bicyclist, South Vietnam

“Why do you have to be out of town to write a postcard?”

Jim Gaffigan

I was fascinated by a world filled with people and places I’d only read about in books or studied in history classes. It is an amazing thing to experience how dramatically our perspectives change when we take the time to understand other cultures. We learn quickly that our similarities far outweigh our differences.

Casting Off, South Vietnam

“If you put two postcards in the same post box, they don’t necessarily come out in the same order you put them in.”

Vint Cerf

I’ll close with an image of Angkor Wat, an iconic site discovered in 1860 in the jungles of Cambodia that would surely have been featured in postcards of the past. Built in the early 12th century, It has since become a source of national pride, even finding a place of prominence on the Cambodian flag. Most recently, new technology has shown it was part of a large urban landscape with a sophisticated network of canals and dams controlling the flow of water.

angkor wat
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

“Your memory creates postcard images, but it doesn’t really comprehend the world at all.”

Olga Tokarczuk

Many thanks to Ana for her thoughtful challenge – be sure to link your response to her beautiful original post and to use the Lens-Artists tag to appear in our Reader section. We appreciate all of our Guest Hosts stepping in for us this month, as well as those of you who have participated along the way. We hope you’ll join us next week when we return to our normal schedule, beginning with Patti on her Pilotfish blog. Her challenge will be Your Inspiration – she’ll ask you to share with us a place, a subject, a person, a book – just about anything that inspires you. Until then, as always, please stay safe and be kind.

100 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #159 – Postcards

    • I love that question Marlene. It says I did my edits as I’d hoped. These are recent color images I made and edited using Nick’s Silver Efex 3 software. Thanks so much!

  1. A fascinating response to the postcard prompt, Tina! I love the B&W presentation. I do remember the days when every trip included a hunt for the best postcards and, yes, sometimes I’d get home before the postcards … lol. I still like to buy and send postcards, and I know a lot of people who still like to get them 🙂

  2. Nice photos. I’m so ‘vintage’ I remember the absolute first thing you did on vacation was buy your postcards. The goal was to get them in the mail and to their destination before you arrived back home. I can remember sitting and writing a personal message to each person. It was always fun to send them and even more special to receive one.

    • I’m clearly as vintage as you are Judy 😊, and I can remember struggling to find just the right message for each person. I’ll admit it wasn’t the FIRST thing I did but I also remember enjoying the shopping for them. I’ve probably perused thousands of them over the years. LOL

  3. These are just fabulous, Tina! Emanating the right feeling of olden days, B&W and graininess. (If you can put it like that…?) Gorgeous postprocessing. And sometimes the postcards never came home…I remember sending 52 cards from Nepal in 1986 – not a single one came back home.

  4. Pingback: Lens-ArtistPC-159-Postcards – WoollyMuses

  5. Beautiful pictures. I really like the treatment you’ve given them, they look a lot like the postcard collection I bought that gave rise to this challenge. They are photographs with a special charm, that take us to a previous time.

      • Thanks to you, Tina. I was a little afraid that there would not be much participation, for being such a specific issue, but I am pleasantly surprised by the responses of so many people.

  6. I still buy postcards. When I go on trips I sent one to myself and a few of my friends — especially those who have sent me postcards when they go on their trips. They’re so fun to collect!

  7. Oh, Tina, these are marvelous! I not only love the images of Angkor Wat that remind me of my one and only special trip there, but also I love the filter (or whatever it is called) that have aged these photos. A stunning entry for this week’s challenge.

  8. These are really very typical images from a time this area was called Indochine by the Westerns. They really show scenes fallen out of time. Well preserved memories of the past (well supported by the monochrome look) 👍

  9. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #159 – Postcards – AJ’s world’s

  10. Pingback: Lens-Artists Challenge #159 – Postcards – A.J"s WORLD THINGS.

  11. Excellent work transforming your images into vintage postcards, especially your Angkor Wat images. The Siem Reap probably could work as a vintage travel poster. 🙂

  12. Love the the vintage images, beautifully done. These remind me the old time when I was excited receiving those postcards from friends.

  13. A beautiful series Tina, I love the way you edited them to capture a spirit of timelessness and nostalgia 💗

  14. I remember in one of our old houses having a door full of pinned-up postcards – that wouldn’t happen anymore. Amazing selection you have shared here Tina, thank you

  15. Every once in a great while, I go into a Florida souvenir shop and there they are–carousel stands with a huge selection of postcards. Such a thing from the past, but they always bring a smile. Your ‘vintage’ postcards are beautiful, Tina.

  16. Beautiful editing on the postcards Tina! I loved the vintage look and how it enhanced the people’s personalities.

  17. I love how you captured that “old” idea of postcards, Tina. I had some images I could turn into a polaroid image but didn’t work for my SS theme this time. I think postcards are cool but hate the cost of stamps these days! Fun memories!

  18. I love postcards, but today it is difficult to find them. I teach kids and when I mention postcards I get blank look. There is nothing more exciting than receiving a post card in the mail. The post cards from the middle 1900s were the most amazing post cards. Stay safe and well. Peace.

  19. Loved seeing your photos of places we’ve traveled to as well. Linda Lum

    On Sun, Aug 1, 2021 at 6:01 AM Travels and Trifles wrote:

    > Tina Schell posted: ” Among the Karsts, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam “I’m just > hoping we can keep the spirit of the humble postcard in mind while looking > at people, places and things.”Martin Parr This week Ana has offered us a > very interesting opportunity with her Postcards cha” >

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