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Fred Lyon
Fred Lyon

Fred Lyon

Country: United States
Birth: 1927 | Death: 2022

Lyon has been called "San Francisco's Brassaï ," and has also been compared to Cartier-Bresson, Atget, and André Kertész, but with a San Francisco twist. The lifelong San Francisco Native happily admits his debt to those icons. Now 88, his nonstop career reaches back to the early 1940s and embraced news, fashion, architecture, advertising, and food. In the golden years of magazines his picture credits were everywhere from Life to Vogue. Lyon still maintains a lust for life, and is now combining his extensive picture files for galleries, publishers, and print collectors.

Source: Peter Fetterman Gallery


Fred Lyon is a time traveler with a camera and tales to tell. This former Life magazine photographer and fourth generation San Franciscan has an eye for the city and stories to match. We showed photos from Fred's books San Francisco, Portrait of a City: 1940-1960 and San Francisco Noir, and images spanning his diverse career. In conversation he'll discuss his art, work, and life; recollections of old friends like Herb Caen and Trader Vic Bergeron; and more. He shared his unique perspective after nearly a century in San Francisco.

Fred Lyon's career began in the early 1940's and has spanned news, architecture, advertising, wine and food photography. In the golden years of magazine publishing his picture credits were everywhere from Life to Vogue and beyond. These days find him combing his picture files for galleries, publishers and print collectors. He has been called San Francisco's Brassaï. That's fine with this lifelong native who happily admits his debt to those icons.

Source: The Interval


Fred Lyon, a fourth generation San Franciscan, has accomplished a lot over his seventy-year career with his trusty mechanical film cameras and he continues to explore the medium to this day. Lyon has worked alongside photography greats while creating a name for himself, becoming known as San Francisco's Brassaï. He got his start at age fourteen as an assistant at Gabriel Moulin Studios and studied under famed landscape photographer Ansel Adams. When asked why he initially wanted to get into photography, he grinned and explained that, "Cameras were cool and I thought it would be a good way to get the girls. Guess how that went?"

After a stint in the Navy as a press photographer, working directly with Roosevelt's office, he went on to photograph fashion in New York City. After a trip back to the San Francisco Bay Area, he decided to return permanently to the city that holds his heart, and luckily for us, he never left. His professional career spanned decades and his work has been seen in Time Magazine, Life, Vogue, and countless other fashion, home and garden magazines.

Source: Leica Store San Francisco


 

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In 1927 their son Manuel was born and they opened a photography gallery in their Mexico City home. The couple played a vital role in the cultural circle that included artists Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Rufino Tamayo, Maria Izquierdo, and David Alfaro Siquerios. Lola continued to take photographs but her work always came second to Manuel’s development as an artist. They separated in 1934 and Lola turned to photography to support herself and her seven-year-old son. Stubbornly independent, her camera became both her livelihood and her means of portraying what she explained as “the life I found before me.” She traveled throughout Mexico photographing people in everyday circumstances with honesty and respect. Her assured formal aesthetic, which often bordered on the abstract, included strong compositional elements, crisp details, and the play of light and shadow on surfaces. Most often Lola Álvarez Bravo eschewed posing subjects or staging situations. 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