Another Saturday came and I am dedicating this lovely afternoon to a very interesting photographer about which I have never heard before. His name is Fred Herzog (1930 September 21). In De Montfort University library, I came up with this monograph and tried to look and get deeper with his works. This photo album with artist essay and interview can be easily bought from Amazon.
Fred Herzog had a hard childhood because during his early childhood he lost his both parents, abandoned school and moved to Canada from Germany. Eventually, he established in Vancouver and straight away started taking photographs in the streets because he felt particular interest in taking photographs with people..
While spreading pages through the book, only then I realised that he is one of the first 35 mm colour photography pioneers. During the 50s, 60s serious organisations such like Magnum and many other photographers were shooting entirely on Black and White films because it seemed to be more appropriate at that era, not that distracting and much cheaper. Colour Photography during those times were related with special occasions or travel snapshots. To make prints from color slides were not only difficult to produce around 60s but also they were very expensive and often chemically unstable.
Fred Herzog wanted to intimate journalism in a city environment and felt that someone has to do it, because people in the future would only be able to see how people looked at those time in Life or Time magazines…
Personally, while looking at the pictures I couldn’t believe of such great quality colour images taken with the film camera around 1960s. Most of them looks like photographed with Digital camera. Another quite interesting thing which I have noticed looking at Fred’s images is that he also tended to photograph and capture neon lights at night, shop display windows, cars, various companies signs, all the suburbs and back yards with interesting stuff. (There are some similarities to another very famous still living street and fashion photographer William Klein works.)This year while taking photographs in the streets I became interesting in familiar subjects and, perhaps, for the next year, I will dedicate one module for Urban Landscape theme.
To sum up, Fred Herzog is very interesting and talented photographer who is still living and I reckon, that every photographer should take a look to his works. It is uncommon chance to see early 50s and 60s America in colour!