Welcome to the Found Film (or lost pictures) archive

I want to say a big welcome to anyone who has discovered the Found Film site – a home for lost pictures,  and say a few words about the reason it has been created.

These days it is common practice to share photographs we take with the world via social media. Millions of us everyday snap pictures on our cameras and smart phones and share them with our friends and family, and sometimes publicly on sites like Flickr and Facebook.

Autumn Trees - an example lost photo
Autumn Trees – an example lost picture

However, photography didn’t start twenty years ago when these social media sites became popular. Photography has been around for 150 years and has been popular with the mass of the population for at least 100 years. Millions of pictures have been taken which have been sitting in drawers and cupboards, waiting in dusty albums and unprocessed on rolls of film yet to be discovered. Thousands of boxes of colour slides, the serious amateur’s medium of choice from the 1940s to the 1990s, are discarded and sold in car boot sales and house clearances, and even, although it pains me to say, thrown into the rubbish.

Which is why I created this site – to try to save these lost pictures and give them a home. Any photograph which feels unloved or unwanted, is very welcome to have a home on this site. They will be lovingly scanned and preserved for eternity (or at least while I can afford the hosting) so that future generations can gaze upon them and wonder about the scenes portrayed, the people featured and the fashions, furniture and lifestyle displayed.

As well as the actual image, each picture has a set of data associated with it which describes the type of film, the film format, what the subject matter is etc. Using this data I hope to build an historical archive of pictures taken by ordinary people, using ordinary cameras and recording their life, work and leisure.

How do I find photos I might be interested in?

I’m glad you asked that.

There are several ways to view the photos on found-film, but the easiest way if you are looking for something specific is to use the ‘Find a Photo’ page which is linked in the menu above and in various other places on the site.

With the find a film form, you can select photos which match a particular criteria, or search for phrases which appear in the description associated with the photo. Once you select something from the form, or type a search phrase, the main page will refresh with any photos in the archive which match the subject you are looking for.

This all sounds interesting – how can I help?

Well the most useful thing anyone can do is contribute to the database by seeing if you know any of the places or scenes shown in the photos. I’ve been able to locate some of the pictures – mostly by text written on the photos themselves, but there is a huge amount of information missing. Have a browse through the pictures – if you know anything about any of them let me know by filling in a comment so I can amend the notes. It would be great if we could build up the knowledge behind each picture so it could be an historical archive and social history.

If you want a bit of fun you could try the challenges page where photos are scanned with higher resolution and provided with a magnifying option – see if you can identify any of the places in those pictures.

One last thing which would help is to share the site on any social media sites you use – the more eyes we can get looking at these photos the more potential information we can gather.

Content

At the moment I am adding pictures which I have acquired from two sources – either films I’ve found when I’ve bought vintage cameras and discovered undeveloped film in them, or colour slides which I’ve recently started to buy and collect. I’m trying to add new pictures every day, so if you find nothing of interest on your first visit please bookmark the site and pay another visit a few days later – there may be more interesting lost pictures the next time you visit found-film.co.uk.

Oh by the way – I also have another site which does the same thing for vintage home movies called, unimaginatively, Vintage Home Movies, so if you want to see the same sort of thing but moving, why not pay it a visit?

One last thing, if you want to be notified when new content is added, please consider subscribing to found-film using the form in the side bar.

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A software developer by profession, I've always been interested in photography and vintage photography in particular. This site is one of several I run which is dedicated to film, photography and photo equipment.

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