Portland photographer’s vintage pictures make people ‘less sad for what they’ve lost’

PORTLAND, Maine — When John Duncan, 69, starts spinning stories, there’s no telling where he’s headed. Duncan tends to ramble but it’s only natural. Having lived an extraordinary life of travel and adventure, he’s earned the right.

Many of Duncan’s best tales flow from the thousands of pictures he’s made throughout his nearly seven decades. He’s been all around the world, worked more jobs than he can accurately count, seen amazing sights — and has the photographs to prove it.

But as a photographer, Duncan is best known for the simple, black-and-white images he made at home, on the streets of Portland in the 1970s. In recent years, Duncan’s been combing through his archives, scanning old negatives and posting them online. The positive response has been intense as his pictures transport viewers back in time, to a city that no longer exists.

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