Above is a scene from the upcoming film ‘Fred Lyon – Living Through the Lens’.
If you are going to San Francisco via the SFO International Airport before May 31st 2013, you have a great chance to see Fred Lyon classic images on exhibit. Click here for details.
-With a tight deadline for a magazine story on SF, I needed a fog shot, but fog failed to materialize day after day. One evening in Sausalito my landlord was about to pour cocktails for me and my new bride when I spied wisps of fog sweeping through the Golden Gate. “No time for drinks now! Get in the car. I’ll buy drinks as soon as I get a picture.” The romantic couple are my wife, Anne, and my landlord: “For God’s sake, Fred, hurry up and take the picture, We’re freezing to death and dying of thirst.”
I discovered Fred Lyon‘s work when I was researching my first artumentary film ‘Eugène & Berenice – Pioneers of Urban Photography’. Mr. Lyon has been photographing the urban landscape of San Francisco since the 1940s, his images are nothing short of incredible. Something about his pictures makes me miss my old home town. Fred started doing photography in the Navy during WWII since he has amassed a beautiful portfolio from a career that spans seven decades – including images that have appeared in Vouge, Glamour & LIFE Magazines. A true working photographer Fred, much like Eugène Atget & George Brassaï manages to mix an artistic eye with a ‘popular’ appeal. To my eyes Fred’s work really makes that ‘San Francisco-Europe’ connection, he shares much with the great European photographers of the 20th century such as André Kertész & Robert Doisneau it is as though he was born and raised in Paris or Berlin but no! Fred is a fourth generation San Franciscan! There is no doubt that if you’d like to ‘feel’ San Francisco, explore Fred Lyon’s oeuvre – it is without a doubt one of America’s most beautiful urban photographic exposés. (Fred & I exchange emails – the quotes above his images are from our recent correspondence).
-Walking into the waiting room of my doctor’s office I walked to the window and shot one frame that I didn’t look at for another fifty years.
-In San Francisco’s Chinatown firecrackers are illegal, but each year at Chinese New Year they magically appear in the hands of youngsters.
These image are only the tip of the iceberg. For more of Fred Lyon’s photographs go to Fred Lyon . His exquiste book ‘San Francisco Then’ is available from Modern Book. For a real treat visit Fred’s B/W Gallery(Flash required), it is unbelievable… merci bien to Fred for his help on this blog post.