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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Framing the Moment: An Oral History with Santa Cruz Photojournalist Shmuel Thaler


For over thirty years, Santa Cruz County residents have opened up their copy of the Santa Cruz Sentinel each morning and seen their lives reflected in Shmuel Thaler’s photographs. From triathlons to earthquakes, from clam chowder cook-offs to murder trials, from burning brush to breaching humpback whales—Thaler’s images record the dynamic nature of this unique Central California coastal community that we call home. His photographs fuse a recognizable artistic, graphical aesthetic with a driving documentary impulse. This oral history photobook based on interviews conducted by the Regional History Project at the University of California, Santa Cruz Library captures the trajectory and philosophy of Shmuel Thaler’s photographic career. See the supplemental material link here for the unedited transcript of this oral history.

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