Life in the Past Through Stunning Color Photos Captured by Fred Herzog

Reader spruce, 1959.

Fred Herzog was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1930. Losing both his parents during and after the war, he immigrated to Canada in 1952 and settled in Vancouver the following year.

Herzog studied photography magazines while working for the CPR steamship line and later was employed as a medical photographer. By day he earned his living at UBC, on evenings and in his spare time he walked through Vancouver with his camera, observed and documented the daily life and soul of the city.


My room, Harwood Street, 1958.

Throughout his career, Herzog produced a considerable amount of colour photographs, focusing on urban life, storefronts, second-hand shops, neon signs, billboards, vacant lots, cafes and crowds of people who have populated the streets over the years. Herzog’s use of colour was unusual in the ‘50s and ‘60s, a time when fine art photography was particularly associated with black-and-white imagery.

Two men in fog, 1958.

Furthermore, Herzog was known to photograph almost solely with Kodachrome slide film, which was very much difficult to print. It was not until the mid-seventies that printing technology eventually caught up, allowing him to make archival pigment prints that matched the colour and intensity of the Kodachrome film.

Family, 1958.

U R Next, 1959.

Magazine man, 1959.

Girl on steps, 1959.

Howe and Nelson, 1960.

Girl with handbag, 1960.

Boy with box camera, 1960.

Coca Cola & 7 Up, 1960.

Carnival, 1960.

Granville Street, 1960.

Newspaper readers, 1961.

Jackpot, 1961.

Hastings & Seymour, 1961.

Red stockings, 1961.

Satellite Radio, 1961.

San Francisco, 1962.

Chinatown, San Francisco, 1962.

Bookshop main, 1963

The muleteer, 1963.

Guatemala, 1964.

Commerical hotel, 1966.

Empty barber shop, 1966.

New World Confectionary, 1967.

Lucy, Georgia, 1968.

Arcade, 1968.

Airshow, 1968.

Mom’s shoes, 1969.

Curtains, 1972.

Orange cars Powell, 1973.

Lady in red, 1975.

Pink door, Kansas City, 1979.

Crossing Powell 2, 1984.

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