Friday, May 23, 2014

Feature - The Whale Got Away

When a photograph is abandoned or lost, some of the story within it goes too; some, not all. A photograph travels through time stuck in the pages of a book or at the bottom of a shoebox, in a wrinkled old wallet or carefully stuck to the black pages of an old album. When it arrives in our time, it is without provenance. While we must guess at facts like the actual date of the photograph or the model of camera or the location, there is often a rich story left in the image itself.

For a few weeks on Fridays, LOST GALLERY will examine a photograph or two, let them tell their own story.


Today we have a snapshot of two children at play.


It’s still morning on a grey day. The family’s up and fed. Dad’s already in the field. Mom has the wash on the line and a stiff breeze is doing its work.

The children are engrossed in an adventure on the high seas. Sitting in a wheel barrow, their “’tend-like” boat, with two of dad’s old fishing rods, they cast their invisible lines for the sun perch and catfish that swim in their aquamarine imaginations.

Conversing as if they were acres apart, they navigate the high seas or Johnson’s pond. Their loud play helps Mom keep track of them.

Mom watches for a moment and then gets dad’s camera from the closet shelf. The light isn’t good but the old box camera doesn’t care anyway. Snap.

Now, decades later we can’t help admiring these two energetic children, inventing a world of their own, challenging and harmonizing, exercising their minds and muscles in pursuit of their day.


The most popular photographs most popular, Family Group, An album of the most requested photographs in the Lost Gallery.

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Don't take my picture! Oh! You DID didn't you! completely unaware of the photographer This is a collection of photographs that disappear on the way home from the photo processing shop.

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All images are the property of Lost Gallery and the author. Permission must be granted for their use. All rights reserved.

THE KIDS Lesson one. It is always a mystery how a photograph of any of these precious children could end up lost or abandoned. Here are a few. You will probably say "Ooh..." at least once.

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Neiffel and Helvetica Typehigh

"What are they doing?"


  1. A good fishing story and I look forward to more lost photo tales.
    I did a story two years ago about this same idea of "lost and found". It was fun because I was challenged to do a bit more digging and I succeeded in putting a name to a face,

    1. Thanks Mike Brubaker. Yes, researching old, abandoned photographs can be quite rewarding. I have worked with a few over the years. Several times I have been able to find a descendant or family historian who welcomed the photograph's return. Sometimes I find lots of information but no living family. I enjoyed your post from 2012 because I recognized the effort and methods you used from my own experience.



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