US & Canada

US photographer's quest to solve vintage photo mystery

Photograph from thrift shop find Image copyright Meagan Abell

A US photographer has launched an internet hunt to find two mysterious women pictured on an old roll of film she discovered in a second-hand shop.

Meagan Abell was sifting through a box of vintage photographs in Richmond, Virginia when she found four sets of "transparency slides".

She took them home to scan them and was "shocked" at the level of detail.

"I thought 'holy wow they are beautiful'. I'd love to find the women or the photographer who took them."

When were they taken?

Image copyright Meagan Abell

Ms Abell believes the pictures date back to the 1950s or 60s because of the way the women are dressed.

She has launched an internet campaign to track down the models - one of whom she believes could be "Hawaiian or bi-racial" - along with the owner of the film.

"I have had some pretty awesome leads," she told the BBC.

"I think they may have been taken at Dockweiler in Playa del Rey in California. A girl who surfs near that beach emailed me with some pictures.

"When I overlaid them with the images I found, they were a perfect match."

Who was behind the lens?

Image copyright Meagan Abell

Ms Abell is a professional photographer and regularly spends time raiding boxes of old photographs.

"I'm used to seeing old scratched up negatives. I'd never seen anything like this," she added.

The owner of the thrift store was unable to shed any light on the photographs' origins - but that has not deterred Ms Abell.

"I am absolutely excited," she said.

"Based on conversations I've had with film photography veterans, I would say it was a professional shoot for fine art imagery, or for a magazine cover or spread.

"According to the vets, it's highly unlikely an amateur photographer in that time period would use this type of film and shoot these kinds of images."

Ms Abell is urging anyone who recognises the women or the style of photography to get in touch with her.

Image copyright Meagan Abell

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