Tony Hertz has been mentioned in this blog before.
He was a staff photographer for the Tribune from 1977 – 1988 and is a freelance photographer and Cuesta College faculty member.
His work, “Centered,” photographs of the Central Coast, will be on display from May 30 to July 6, 2008 at the San Luis Obispo Art Center. Daily gallery hours are 11 a. m. to 5 p. m.; the gallery is closed Tuesdays.
I learned a lot from Tony, Ken Chen and Wayne Nicholls when I interned at the paper in the early 1980′s. Tony’s lessons here are that good images follow from being curious and ready for the moment. Move the camera a little bit and your whole perspective can change.
Here are some images from his career at the then Telegram-Tribune and his comments.
Car in Window:
Sat/Sun Dec. 20-21, 1986
I heard this on the police scanner in SLO and responded to the supermarket in AG. After over 15 minutes of driving to the scene I knew that time would be short to photograph. I preset the camera’s shutter and aperture for what I thought would work in the store. I parked next to a tow truck that was about to pull the vehicle from the window. Once inside the store I decided that a high vantage point would show the wreckage best. I got on top the littered store checkout counter and fired off several shots. The store manager then came up and asked me to leave – which I did. I was trained in photojournalism school to shoot first and ask questions later. In this case, it worked well or I would of missed the shot.
Stor-Lok: March 16, 1979
This image was made while I was looking for features in San Luis Obispo. I cruised through the Stor-n-lok lot noticing the repetition of the doors. It was just after a rain storm and I noticed a large puddle in the lot. I held my camera about one inch above the puddle to replicate the scene.
Cops: July 30, 1980
I heard on a police scanner in my car that car thieves were going to be
stopped by the police on lower Cuesta Grade. I was in the area and got there
in time to photograph the arrest. The window door frame aided in composition while shooting with a wide angle lens. This arrest happened very fast.
Jack: May 3, 1982
I photographed Jack LaLanne the day before at his home. He had just moved to
Morro Bay and the Tribune was doing a feature on him. I wanted more photos,
especially photos that would show him connected to San Luis Obispo somehow.
I asked him questions about his routines and what he likes in SLO and Morro Bay. He said he’s been swimming in Morro Bay each morning at dawn. I arranged to meet him at dawn by Morro Rock. I arrived at dawn and found him just getting out of the water. He was carrying his wetsuit. I asked him to stop and he struck a pose holding his wetsuit in one hand. I dropped to one
knee so that I could get better composition with the rock and his body. He
didn’t stay still long.
This was a photo of a Paso Robles school class in a jump-a-thon.
They were jumping for hours on end to raise money for the Heart Association.
After several photos, I could imagine that the rope was blending into the scene and wasn’t standing out. I wanted to tell the visual story that this was a class jump roping. I asked one child to step forward and start jump roping while I set the camera close to the ground. This made the rope stand out against the open sky while the rest of the groups jumped in the background.
This image was made while I was on my way with reporter Tom Fulks to cover the Mid-State Fair. While driving to the fair on Riverside Avenue I noticed this scene. I quickly parked the car and photographed over the front yard fence. The man looked menacing but the scene was too interesting to pass up. Besides, I knew that I was in my legal right to photograph into his yard from the street and walkway. After I made the shots, I asked the man
why the boys are standing against the wall. He smiled and started telling me the story while I approached his porch. He said that his sons and friends were not supposed to be playing in the back of his pick up truck. Gasoline was stored there and so they were being punished by facing the wall.
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