A farewell in photos: Bertram, Garrison share the best of 45 years

Two photojournalists who guided the Lexington Herald-Leader’s visual reporting for the last four and a half decades are retiring. But before they go, Ron Garrison and Charles Bertram want to share with readers a few of their favorites from the field.

Garrison, 67, grew up in Louisville and began working at the Lexington Leader in 1973, while he was still in college. He made a special study of horse racing, photographing every Kentucky Derby during his tenure. In 1995, he was named director of photography for the Herald-Leader, and has since guided dozens of budding photojournalists.

Under Garrison’s guidance, the Herald-Leader photo department was named Newspaper of the Year by the Kentucky News Photographer’s Association many times, including one seven-year run.

Bertram, 62, grew up in Lexington, was hired by the Herald in 1977 also while in college and worked alongside Garrison as well as a photo staff that once numbered nine.

Bertram has six times been selected Photographer of the Year by the Kentucky News Photographers Association, among his many honors. He loved working with natural light and specialized in wildlife photos that captured herons, eagles and more; sports including University of Kentucky football and basketball; and breaking news, including fires and weather.

He often worked with reporters on special projects, including on horse farms, bourbon, snake handlers, marijuana growers and Zach Pickard.