You could probably say that renowned American photography master Fred Lyon’s photographs of mid-20th century San Francisco, California is a love letter of sorts to his beloved hometown.
Lyon has made a name for himself in the 1940s as a photographer working in the fields of advertising, architecture, food, travel, and interior design, with his works appearing in various prestigious titles such as TIME, LIFE, and Fortune magazines. But aside from these, Lyon’s most beloved subject turned out to be the bustling city of San Francisco between the 1940s and the 1950s.
The photographs above are part of a collection showcased in his book, “San Francisco Then”. Regarded as “San Francisco’s Brassaï,” Lyon’s work has also been compared time and again to that of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eugène Atget, and André Kertész, “but all with a San Francisco twist.” What’s amazing is that until today, at 89 years old, Lyon continues to capture in photographs the beauty and diversity of his city.