In Vancouver, we have been privileged to have two such photographers who told the story of our city as it appeared in earlier decades. This is a city that seemed more like a town, with an interesting mix of cultures. From Little Italy, The Drive, Chinatown and more, our city is populated with immigrants and locals who blend together in the downtown byways.
Following is the front cover of a book of 'city' photographs by Fred Herzog. It's in our library and is rich with scenes which are now gone forever. The streets have changed, and so have the people.
|Fred Herzog's book of Vancouver Photographs
Herzog wanted to show the real city life, not the shiny and the glittery, but instead, the greasy spoon cafes, the once popular areas starting to decline, but most of all the people on the streets living in that moment of neon signs and bright lights. He showed the wet streets in the rain, the shadowed storefronts and the sunny days when women took the little ones for a stroll. . .
Another man of the streets, Foncie concentrated his talents photographing the people of the city, capturing moments in their lives as they strolled by in front of his camera. If you wanted the photograph, you could drop by his shop and purchase it for a minimal amount. He chose the subjects. He enjoyed the act of taking the photos and accumulated an impressive amount of them. From sailors on leave, to mothers and their children, to pals going to lunch after shopping, he caught them all if they happened to walk past his camera lens.
In Foncie's Photos we see Fifties fashion and a time captured when 'going downtown' meant hats and suits for men, and hats, heels and gloves for the women. In the early and mid-sixties he captured the casual trends of youth and the British influences in hairstyles.
Following are a couple of shots taken in the 1950s to illustrate, and many more were featured in a retrospective at the Vancouver Museum in 2013. Here was a man who liked people and who had an affinity for composition and the skill of capturing the essence of the moment. Foncie's Photos was known to almost everyone who lived in Vancouver, and most families have a few of his images in their possession.
A mother and her sons. . .
|Image 1 of DG Hudson's collection of Foncie's Photos
A ladies' outing. . .
|Image 2 of DG Hudson's collection of Foncie's Photos
Is there someone who's known for documenting your city or a photographer associated with capturing the history of your favorite place? OR Do you photograph elements of your city for posterity? Do you know of a repository of city photographs in your area (an archives)?
Please let me know you were here by leaving a comment. I'll try to get back to you when I can. I'm very limited at present as to visiting, but I do lurk about. I'm considering the April A to Z Challenge, but would need to prep in advance. I'm currently only able to maintain a minimal blogging presence.