“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.