If you don't know who Fred Lyon is, you're not alone. The commercial photographer flew under the radar for much of his career, explains Michael House, the director of the documentary film Fred Lyon: Living Through the Lens, which screens at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts on Sept. 29.
But in addition to seven decades as a commercial photographer, the 88-year-old Lyon (who is still working, by the way) quietly produced one of the finest collections of documentary photos of San Francisco and the Bay Area that I've ever seen. In addition to hauntingly beautiful city shots that could be stylized stills from the Maltese Falcon, Lyon documented the city's postwar growth. He helped tell a key part of the tale of the region we call home, but until now, nobody had told his tale.
Enjoy this trailer from the documentary, and if you're so inclined, buy tickets for the Sept. 29 screening here.