In 1963 Nathan was a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.
Lyons studied at Alfred University in Alfred, New York, United States. He became a Bachelor of Arts.
Nathan was a professor of art and director of the Program in Photographic Studies at State University of New York, Buffalo, United States. Also, he was an adjunct professor at Rochester Institute of Technology and at Suny, Albany, New York, United States.
From 1950 to 1954 Nathan worked as senior photographer for the U.S. Air Force. In 1957 he worked at George Eastman House. In 1969 Lyons founded VSW.
Currently, Nathan holds a number of positions: director of Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, New York, United States (and editor of its publication Afterimage, since 1972).