Lost & Found: Vintage Surfer Magazine Photos Featured in New Coffee Table Book

While perusing the Rose Bowl Flea Market in 2017, photographer Doug Walker came across a vintage goldmine.

Now a San Francisco resident, Doug Walker frequently returns to his hometown of Los Angeles, especially to visit the popular Rose Bowl Flea Market that happens once a month. A surf enthusiast and amateur photographer, Walker’s artful eye noticed a box of 30,000 discarded film negatives from iconic Surfer Magazine.

In a story published by Digital Trends, Walker, a commercial film editor, shared that his wife had given him a camera so he could find a new surfing project and reconnect to his passion. “The real beauty behind the whole thing is the story,” he says. “Here I am in S.F., got kids, plugging away at life. I come home one night and my son is filling out college applications. Where did life go?”

The camera got him to Los Angeles and that box of negatives. But what now? The photos all dated to the 1970s, likely a casualty of the digital transition in the industry. Walker bought the whole lot for $800.

“While digitizing the images, Walker immediately recognized several of the photographers’ names, including Aaron Chang. Walker had cold-called Chang one year prior about an idea for an unrelated collaboration. He decided to call him again.

‘When I told him what I found, he said, ‘Come on down for a surf.’’

So began Walker’s journey of reconnecting with the photographers behind the discarded photos. It culminated in the creation of the The Lost & Found Collection: Volume one, a coffee table book that features work from some of the sport’s most prolific photographers, including Bob Barbour, Lance Trout, Shirley Rogers, and Larry ‘Flame’ Moore. As the book’s description reads, it “tells the story of an era that can never be duplicated.’”

You can view more images from the book and learn how Walker chose his final images here.

All photos courtesy of The Lost and Found Collection