Beamish – Vintage Pictures

As someone who has a young family and whose main interests include photography and history Beamish Museum is an amazing place to visit. This “living museum” in County Durham may not be the cheapest day out but it is one of the best value.

Beamish Colliery
Beamish Colliery – click to enlarge

Telling the story of North East England in the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s the site is so big that it is impossible to to see everything in one day which is why the entrance fee is even better value because tickets are valid for a whole year.

Beamish Bakery
Beamish Bakery – click to enlarge

Beamish is far from being a boring museum where you can look but can’t touch, as their advertising says this is a “living museum” where you are encouraged to interact with what is going on around you. The steam trains, trams and old vehicles are real and are used to transport you from area to area. There are shops, banks, a pub (selling real beer!), a farm, a school, a coal mine all of which you go into and interact with the staff whose costumes are from the relevant era.

Beamish General Store
Beamish General Store – click to enlarge

Armed with my Nikon FE and a couple of rolls of Kodak Tri-X Beamish offered opportunity after opportunity to take photos of how we used to live. One of the main situations in which I use my film camera is to try and take pictures which look as if they come from a bygone era and so all of the pictures in this post are film rather than digital.

Beamish Mahogany Drift Mine
Beamish Mahogany Drift Mine – click to enlarge

I’m sure by this point that you will have already noticed that some of the photos here have been post-processed and so are not “authentic” film shots. Some shots are “straight out of the camera” but on others what I have tried to do is give the photos a “vintage” or “aged” look.

Beamish - At The Office
Beamish – At The Office – click to enlarge

There are many ways this can be achieved using Photoshop and the internet is filled with tutorials demonstrating one method or another, some more complicated than others.I am not going to show you in-depth how to achieve this effect, other sites are far better at doing that than I am, but basically all I have done is merge a “texture” layer with the original photograph and then add some colour either by applying the sepia filter or a warming filter.

Beamish TheTown
Beamish TheTown – click to enlarge

There are thousands of free textures available just by searching Google – from creased paper, to coffee cup stains, to dust and scratches – all of which can help create that vintage look.

Beamish Railway
Beamish Railway – click to enlarge
Beamish Garage
Beamish Garage – click to enlarge
Beamish Transport
Beamish Transport – click to enlarge

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