Lost & Found: Someone’s Family Photos

“He held his breath to hold your hand, to walk the stair steps in pairs. Climbing up a slippery slope I’m in love, love I hope. Don’t go home Angelina. Stay with me, hanging around in the lost and found.” ― Elliott Smith, In the Lost and Found lyrics

I’ve had some vintage photographic slides I bought at a thrift store years ago that I’ve always wanted to do a project with. The slides are from 1954-1960 and document one middle-class American family’s life. I found it touching that all of these unique images, each a personal window into this family, were ultimately just donated to a thrift store. Why? Did the last family member die? Did the remaining family member(s) not care about these old memories?

I decided to commemorate this lost family history by creating a patchwork composite of 30 of my favorite slides. I placed each of the slides on a light table and photographed them with a macro lens. I restored the faded Technicolor transparencies and balanced the image tones to fit into a group in post-production.

Some of the slides have handwriting on them that is almost illegible, but I was able to decipher the following text: Mt. Hood, OR; Nature Group, Devil’s Gulch; Duck and Geese; Tide Pool – Ducksbury Reef, Bolinas, CA; Jet Show; Tractor; Scotia Lumber Mill, Humboldt County, CA; Klamath River.

Below are two of the slides I photographed with their frames visible.

5 thoughts

  1. This is a project that can touch us all. Memory is unique and universal at the same time. I would like to see this in a larger version, I am fascinated by the story and your work!

  2. Beautiful project! Well done restorations. I true look into one middle class family from those years. I sure can relate to those times. I have tons of old family photos. But American life from a similar, yet different, perspective. Brought back find memories for myself. So young then, life less complicated then. Thank you for always sharing!

  3. Roger you are the absolute best, thank you!!! I’d love to see some of your old family photos. Life was definitely a lot simpler back then. Thanks for your support of my work, it means a lot to me!

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