30K Lost and Found Surf Photos Bring Back The ‘70s Surfing Culture To Life

Image Source: The Lost and Found Collection

In 2007, Doug Walker, a long-time surfing enthusiast and amateur photographer, went to Rose Bowl flea market in Los Angeles, and stumbled upon file boxes containing discarded film negatives from Surfing Magazine. This is how The Lost & Found Collection Volume One, a coffee table book featuring the works of some of surfing’s famous photographers, came about.

Walker, who is a commercial film editor, decided at that time that he needed a new surfing project to work on. It had always been something he was passionate about. After a long time of being away from it, he felt that need to reconnect, and that day, fate brought him to the Rose Bowl flea market where he found a gem.

Image Source: Design Trends

Image Source: The Lost and Found Collection

How the film negatives from the 1970s ended up in the flea market boxes wasn’t so clear, but Walker suspected they were discarded during the Surfing Magazine’s transition from film to digital photography in the early 2000s. Walker bought a few sheets and became so curious that he returned to the flea market to buy the rest of the collection for a total cost of $800.

Image Source: Design Trends

Image Source: The Lost and Found Collection

During the process of digitizing the images from the films, Doug instantly recognized several of the photographers’ names, and so his journey of reconnecting with the photographers behind the discarded surfing photos began. It lead to the publication of The Lost & Found Collection Volume One.

Image Source: Design Trends

The book features the work of surfing’s most prolific photographers including Bob Barbour, Lance Trout, Shirley Rogers, and Larry “Flame” Moore. When he was trimming down the number of images from 30,000 to a number that would fit in the book, Doug Walker focused on selecting photographs that best captured the surfing lifestyle. The finished product of his project is a 168-page book that brings the Surfing culture of the 1970s back to life in a detailed and defined manner, allowing today’s generation to get a glimpse and appreciate the surfing life back in that era.

Image Source: The Lost and Found Collection

Image Source: The Lost and Found Collection

Following the success of the first volume of the book, Walker is hoping to produce a second volume soon, and it is likely going to focus on the work of a single photographer. Walker also recorded footages of his interviews with the photographers throughout the process of creating the book. He also has plans of turning the recorded footages into a documentary soon.

Image Source: The Lost and Found Collection

Here’s some of the interviews he made:

Aside from the book and the upcoming documentary, Walker also created a blog of stories related to the project. Walker’s passion and effort put into this project reflects the value and respect he shows for the photographers, the surfers and the surfing lifestyle of that decade; a piece of history of the sport that many of us fell in love with.

Image Source: The Lost and Found Collection

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