Frank Oscar Larson was an auditor living in Queens back in the 1950s who had a passion for street photography. Every weekend he would travel around the city armed with his Rolleiflex camera, photographing the things that caught his eye. After Larson died of a stroke at the age of 68 in 1964, his photographs quietly sat in a cardboard box for 45 years before finally being discovered by his son’s widow in 2009. They offer a beautiful look into what life in NYC was like half a century ago. Read more…
Todd Bieber was skiing in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park after the recent blizzards when he stumbled upon a white canister of film hidden in the snow. He had the roll developed, and found photographs taken in the area documenting the blizzard — photographs that are quite good. He then decided to create this nicely narrated video in an attempt to locate the owner. If you recognize anyone in these images, you can contact Bieber via email.
In 2007, 26-year-old real estate agent John Maloof purchased a box filled with 30,000 negatives from an estate sale for $400. After being stunned by the quality of the street photographs, Maloof began digging and discovered that they were created by a nanny and street photographer named Vivian Maier. He then decided to purchase the other boxes of negatives, bringing his collection of Maier photos up to about 100,000 images. Now some are saying he might have discovered one of the greatest (and previously unknown) street photographers of the 20th century. You can view some of Maier’s photographs here.
Next time you’re at an estate sale, you might want to take a closer look at any boxes of negatives you come across.