This is Grandpa, otherwise known as Stephen Clarke. He was great at so many things. One of those was being a Grandpa. He was a WWII Air Force navigator, a husband, a Dad and we also discovered he was a great photographer. Grandpa worked his way up in numerous management roles to be a buyer at a small jewelry franchise in Australia called 'Prouds Jewelers'. In this job he was lucky enough to go overseas a few times to visit suppliers. Along the way he'd always take his trusty Voigtlander camera. Each time he returned home he'd give the family a slideshow of the photos. Then the slides were put in a box in the back of a cupboard.
The Photos
A few years ago Grandpa had to go into a nursing home. It's such a sad thing that happens to many of us but he needed full-time care. We all pitched in to help clean up his house after he left. I was lucky enough to find the box of slides in the cupboard and have been talking about them ever since. I had the slides scanned and took them to show him in the hope of some of those special Grandpa stories. And to give him more to talk about than catheter bags or who gave him a shower that day. He was happy to see them but he couldn't remember where any of the locations were. Grandpa appreciated that I liked the photos but never really believed that the photos are something special. He never saw himself as a great Photographer. With everyone's help I'm hoping to prove that wrong.
The Site
This site has 100 of the best slides that were found in that cupboard. I included some of the family slides, mainly as many of those are great too. The aim was to tell Grandpa's story and find as many of the locations in his photos as possible. I had always hoped that I'd be able to show Grandpa all the love his photos received online and prove to him once and for all that he was great a photographer. It wasn't just his Grandson saying so, it was literally thousands of people. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to do that. Sadly, Grandpa passed away before I was able to show him. He was gone. But working on this project, talking about him everyday, imagining him wandering around Europe was, in some weird way, keeping him alive for me. So I decided to keep going, do more.
After I put this website up online I was lucky enough to get lots of great press about Grandpa's photos. People sent it around and Grandpa's photos were being admired all over the world. It was a pretty amazing time. I tried to keep up with the hundreds of emails I got each day. These emails were so kind, so helpful. In less than a week most of Grandpa's photos had been found. And by this I mean that someone from around the world had identified exactly where the location was in Grandpa's photo. I was receiving emails with google street view links to the photos daily. The work some people went to was incredible. I'll never be able to thank them all enough! Thanks to everyone who emailed, commented and cared. And thanks to all the news outlets, blogs, sites, magazines and TV shows that featured Grandpa's photos. We wouldn't have found them without your help.
Here are just a few of the press links that helped connect so many people with Grandpa's Photos - Fast Company Magazine - Huffington Post - Pop Photo - Its Nice That - Complex - Lomography - Petapixel - The Daily Mail UK - Bustle - designtaxi - Yahoo Travel - Die Zeit - Germany - La Republica - Italy - Swide - Laughing Squid - Goodnet
The Trip
Most of the photos were found within a week of the site going live so I decided to quit my job in New York and travel to as many of the places in Grandpa's photos as I could. I found the same model Voigtlander camera that Grandpa used many years earlier, 3 other cameras and jumped on a plane. My whole world now in one bag.
I can't even start to try and express how it feels to find one of these photos and follow Grandpa's footsteps, learn more about him and just imagine him, young at heart and traveling the world. The Trip was a whole new way to travel and a once in a lifetime experience. The photos as a sort of treasure map. In 'The Trip' on this site you can see all of the 17 cities I went to, across 7 countries. I was able to stand where Grandpa stood and retake almost all of the photos. You can scroll between Grandpa's original shot and my new shot. Plus read a little about each one. Go to The Trip.
The Grandson
I'm Stephen Clarke's Grandson. My name is Dave Tomkins. I'm an Art Director by trade but I quit working full time to work out how to make this site and get Grandpa's Photos into the world. It's one of the best decisions I've ever made. Pure happy accident. Quitting and doing something you're passionate about is definitely worth it if you're able. Any new photos, new clues, questions about the site / problems with the site, press enquiries, or just Grandpa appreciation feel free to email me at
What's Next
There are a lot of plans for what's next. A lot of hopes and dreams. I'm not sure if I'll be able to get them all done but it's a lot of fun trying.
A photo book to share Grandpa's photos with more people, an exhibition would be great, helping other people with their Grandpa type stories and even using all the footage I took on the Trip to make a documentary. I look forward to being able to say I was able to be a part of any, hopefully all of those.
Thank You
Thank you so very much to everyone who helped, shared the story and even just took the time to look through Grandpa's beautiful photos.

Feel free to contact me at especially if you have any new clues for the Missing photos, even comments on the found photos. If you are nearby one of the locations (here's the map) Grandpa took a photo please continue to send me your version of his shot. Every single one makes my day.

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Please check out all 50 of Grandpa's photos and all 50 of
Grandpa's family photos.

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And please, call your Grandpa.

All photos are © The Photographer - Stephen Clarke. 1966. Please credit when sharing.