Lost & Found: Someone’s Military Photos


“Go ahead and hate your neighbor, go ahead and cheat a friend. Do it in the name of heaven, you can justify it in the end. There won’t be any trumpets blowing come the judgement day. On the bloody morning after one tin soldier rides away.” ― One Tin Soldier lyrics by The Original Caste

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 the 1950s and document one middle-class American family’s life. The slides I used for this project were taken by the husband during his military service in Korea and Japan. These images are a part of the unknown family’s slide collection used for my last project, “Lost & Found: Someone’s Family Photos”.

I found it interesting that all of these unique images 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 unearth this lost personal military history by creating a patchwork composite of 30 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.

4 thoughts

  1. Maybe the photos were left in a house or the marriage broke up. I have lost many photographs over the years. Wish I had many but not all of them.

  2. Ooooooh, you’re so right! And very funny about not wishing you had all of your photos. I know the feeling. I did lose a great stamp collection that I wish I still had, though!

  3. What a beautiful project! Well done. The military photos tells a lot. And the quote I remember from the theme of the movie “The Legend of Billy Jack”. You truly found a treasure of someone’s pics. Thanks for sharing, along with your amazing skills, for presentation, Keep it up!

  4. Roger, thank you so much for all of your kind words! I’m glad you remember that song, it’s one of my favorites. These slides are definitely a visual biography of an anonymous soldier. Here’s to peace, not war! Thanks again, Rog!

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