Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Creative writing: Picture no. 18 series Clouds and nostalgia

These two pictures show the athletic oval and the Main Building of Rizal High School, Pasig City, Metro Manila.

In the 1990’s the Guinness Book of World Records credited the school as the largest high school in the world, with its enrollment reaching a high of 26,000 students at one point in time.

I took the sepia-toned picture in 1995 and the colored picture in 1996. If you are a beginning photographer wondering how you can get great cloud shots, you can simply fit a filter (polarizing or graduated) on the lens of your single lens reflex camera.

Way back in 1969, I was a first year student in Rizal High School. Back then it was better known as the Rizal Provincial High School. Anyway, what I remember most about those youthful days was the Field Demonstration held annually in the oval. The most popular song in the Philippines at that time was Joni Mitchell’s song “Both Sides Now.” Some of you may be familiar with the famous lines from that song:

Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, I’ve looked at clouds that way.
But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone.
So many things I would have done but clouds got in my way.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall.
I really don’t know clouds at all.
I don't know about you but for me, sepia-toned or black and white pictures can evoke nostalgia better than colored pictures. Posted below are some quotations about nostalgia:

Owens Lee Pomeroy: “Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect!”

Author Unknown: “People seem to get nostalgic about a lot of things they weren't so crazy about the first time around.”

Bill Vaughn: It’s never safe to be nostalgic about something until you're absolutely certain there's no chance of its coming back.

Florence King: “True nostalgia is an ephemeral composition of disjointed memories.”

Lou Reed: “I don't like nostalgia unless it's mine.”

Ted Koppel: “It becomes increasingly easy, as you get older, to drown in nostalgia.”

Doug Larson: “Nostalgia is a file that removes the rough edges from the good old days.”

Will Rogers: “Things ain't what they used to be and probably never was.”