Decades later on, Fred Herzog’s colourful street photography of Vancouver still resonates

When Tom Hsu 1st found the do the job of Vancouver-dependent street photographer Fred Herzog when finding out at Emily Carr College a decade in the past, just one detail that stood out to him was Herzog’s ability to seize “real human times,” he explained.

These include times like the glow of neon signs on Granville Street, a storefront providing merchandise, or people dining in a cafe.

Hsu, now a photographer himself, claims the way Herzog encapsulated the elegance of daily occurrences has influenced his very own do the job. Equally to Herzog, Hsu claims he likes to capture images to present what lifetime is like at certain occasions, pretty much like a diary.

“A person graphic can just take you right back to a specified memory,” Hsu stated.

Some of the photography that motivated Hsu can now be seen at Equinox Gallery’s new exhibit, Fred Herzog: East Vancouver. It can be element of the once-a-year Seize Photography Competition, which showcases lens-based mostly artwork at various venues across Metro Vancouver.

Photographer Tom Hsu, pictured in Richmond, B.C., claims street photographer Fred Herzog’s use of colour and capability to capture times of human link have impressed him throughout his own pictures career. (Ben Nelms/CBC)


Hannah Reinhart, Equinox Gallery’s exhibitions manager, suggests it is the initially time an exhibition of Herzog’s function focuses on a specific geographical region, and some never ever-in advance of-seen images will be on display.

She says the images, taken from around 1953 to 1975, share a glimpse of what life was like in neighbourhoods this kind of as Chinatown, Strathcona and the Downtown Eastside. 

“I consider it is really genuinely the kind of dynamic street daily life in these neighbourhoods that he retained returning to yr just after calendar year,” Reinhart reported.

Pioneer of colour street photography

Herzog, a German immigrant who moved to Vancouver in 1953, is most effective known for documenting everyday living in Vancouver in colour.

He was self-taught and labored as a health-related photographer at St. Paul’s Healthcare facility right up until 1990. Herzog passed away on September 9, 2019 at the age of 88.

Herzog used Kodachrome in his operate, a kind of colour film produced by photography business Kodak and recognized for demonstrating intensive colours.   

“He was genuinely regarded a forerunner of artists doing work in color images,” said Emmy Lee Wall, government director of the Capture Pictures Pageant.

Lee Wall states it was additional common at the time for photographers to perform exclusively in black and white.

‘Paris Cafe,’ shot by Herzog in 1959. Hannah Reinhart, Equinox Gallery exhibitions supervisor, claims Herzog usually photographed window shows, which resulted in numerous pictures in just the body. (Courtesy of Equinox Gallery )

Herzog captured intimate moments of people today likely about their life, and he also preferred to photograph window displays, says Reinhart, mainly because the viewer gets 3 illustrations or photos: what is behind the glass, the signage printed on glass, and the reflection of the street.

She provides that his work only became properly-recognised in that very last 15 several years because Herzog did not print a lot of of his images, as the colours did not show up the way he desired them to. 

But with developments in technological know-how, she suggests, he was ready to print his operate to his pleasure beginning about 2006. Lee Wall suggests the very first big recognition of Herzog’s perform arrived a year later, with an exhibition at the Vancouver Artwork Gallery.

This use of colour is an additional part of Herzog’s function that Hsu has found inspiring. 

Photographer Tom Hsu captured this graphic of a couple looking at a cafe menu in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 2013. Comparable to Herzog, Hsu captured people today heading about their lives while also highlighting the vivid colors of the building’s exterior. (Courtesy of Tom Hsu)

Hsu, 33, also likes to seize day by day lifestyle by street photography and portraits.

He says he began to experiment with images in significant university. When he determined to pursue an arts diploma, he says he was largely doing work with black and white pictures. 

But viewing how Herzog efficiently made use of pops of colour to draw notice to everyday life impressed him to photograph in colour, as well.

“You get so substantially vibrancy and depth with a colour image in comparison to black and white,” he mentioned.

Fred Herzog: East Vancouver is on display screen at Equinox Gallery in Vancouver till May perhaps 7, 2022.