My Favorite Photographs of 2015

December 29th, 2015 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

Jim Goldstein at JMG Galleries Blog has once again put together his blog project for hundreds of photoblogs to show a selection of photographs from the year. Last year I labeled my review blog post, “Best Photographs of 2014.” For that year, “Best” fairly described my picks because I did review every image in each genre and ran them off against each other to select what were best in my opinion. However, “Best” does not always apply to images that you choose yourself. Perhaps a stock agency or a magazine or a gallery would choose “better” images than you would yourself. Whether it is a stock agency, magazine or gallery doing the choosing, may be more the point. Each of these uses would chose different images that would be “best” in its particular situation. Different uses demand a different selection.

In a year like 2015 where I approached 10,000 total exposures, there may be several “10 best Photographs,” lurking within the 10,000 made, depending on the project and purpose. Therefore, this year I have called these “My Favorites.” Early in 2015 I gathered more images of the Northern Sierra, specifically Eastern Plumas County, to round out my Sierra Portfolio that will split into a Northern and Southern Sierra Portfolio as I begin to assemble portfolios and build a new website for my own photography. Currently I have just two portfolios on PhilipHyde.com after the 25 Image Portfolios of my father’s well-known photography that influenced more than one generation of landscape photographers.

My old friend Topher called me to announce he would marry Kori on the Blue Moon at the end of July on the white sandy shores of Lake Michigan at Meinert Park Beach. I decided to drive up to the West Coast of Michigan for the wedding and continue to photograph barns around the Midwest as I had started to do in Northern California. Every country is only as strong as its heart. I traveled to the heartland to take our pulse as a country and to photograph barns, farms and the dying small farm culture that is leaving small towns heartless across the land. Industrial cities are also in ruin in the midwest, but besides ruin and decay, hope, rebirth and rebuilding are also evident across our agrarian and rust belted center. My trip filled up with obstacles and small and large disasters, to the point where “A Drive Through the Heartland” makes a good travel narrative, currently in progress, as well as a series of informational blog posts about various sections of my trip or stories I discovered along the way. As soon as I have one draft of my travel journal, I will get back to directly working on my book about my father’s life and work in conservation photography of our national parks and wilderness.

Near the end of the year back home in California I photographed more landscapes for my Portfolio One and other portfolios, as well as more historical barns and round barns to upgrade my California Barns Portfolio to be revealed in 2016 with my new website. In 2016, I plan to take the emphasis off of making photographs and put it on marketing them more.

Misty Sunrise, Millpond, Graeagle, California by David Leland Hyde.

Misty Sunrise, Millpond, Graeagle, Eastern Plumas County, Northern Sierra, California by David Leland Hyde. Photographed this sunrise on the way to the Lakes Basin Recreation Area, but got caught here a bit too long and missed the best light up at Lakes Basin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D. H. Day Barn From North, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan West Coast by David Leland Hyde.

D. H. Day Barn From North, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Michigan West Coast by David Leland Hyde. Most people photograph this barn from the south or from the southwest near the national park service road. It varied from pouring to steady rain. I wore my rain gear and managed to keep my camera dry long enough to walk all the way around the field to make images from all sides.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Round Barn Near Conroy, Iowa by David Leland Hyde.

Round Barn Near Conroy, Iowa by David Leland Hyde. This barn is usually hard to find, but fortunately I asked at just the right building, when I first arrived in town. I made it to the barn in short time. The owner even drove up near the end of my photography session, just in time to give me publishing permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Cowgirls, Harlan Ranch, Indian Valley, Plumas County, Northern Sierra, California by David Leland Hyde.

Three Cowgirls, Harlan Ranch, Indian Valley, Plumas County, Northern Sierra, California by David Leland Hyde. I was happily photographing the Harlan Ranch Barn from the road, when two young cowpersons who had been riding a horse in a nearby corral approached me and asked if I would photograph them. Their mother nearby saw more or less what was going on. I made close to 20 frames of the girls, who also recruited their friend to total three cowgirls in most of the photographs. Talking with their mother afterwards, she said she liked the photographs and the whole idea as it kept the girls entertained for a little while.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moving Moment In Hansen Wedding Ceremony, Lake Michigan, Meinert Park Beach, West Coast of Michigan by David Leland Hyde.

Moving Moment In Hansen Wedding Ceremony, Lake Michigan, Meinert Park Beach, West Coast of Michigan by David Leland Hyde. The wedding photographer was also present and doing a great job getting the “money shots” of the main players in the wedding. I meanwhile focused on either the whole wedding party and audience, or the whole scene including the setting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dogs, Farm Hand, Horse, Overlees Farm Near Franklin, Nebraska by David Leland Hyde.

Dogs, Farm Hand, Horse, Overlees Farm Near Franklin, Nebraska by David Leland Hyde. During my entire 10,000 mile, 14 Midwest State journey, I worked to incorporate not just picturesque barns, but the land, people, animals, equipment and overall culture of small farms and dairies. This was one of my better successes with the surrounding culture, which seemed to come and go out of my images depending on how much I focused on getting more than just the barns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Children on Shore of Midsummer Pond Near Oberlin, Ohio by David Leland Hyde. At one farm, the lady at the house said I could photograph the barn, even though she was not the owner. She went back in the house and left me, a complete stranger, with her children. They followed me around while I tried to photograph the barn. At first the kids were a distraction, but then I just told them to go ahead and play between the barn and camera, which produced a number of great images. With no encouragement at all from me, they led me down by their favorite ponds and played while I made a few more images of them and the ponds. After about 45 minutes, I walked back by the house and the woman waved from inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amish Teenage Brothers and Horse Cart Near Holton, Michigan by David Leland Hyde.

Amish Teenage Brothers and Horse Cart Near Holton, Michigan by David Leland Hyde. Amish people do not pose, nor will they give permission to photograph them if they are asked for it. However, if they happen to be passing by and you capture them going about their regular routine as part of another photograph, they do not object. These boys with whom I exchanged names upon meeting them, were all under 18 except for the oldest. I mentioned what I had learned about photographing Amish. They said they could pose if they wanted to and that it was up to each person to interpret their faith in that regard. While they drove by, I photographed and made a number of good images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cloudy Sunset, Olsen Barn, Lake Almanor Near North Fork Feather River, Chester, Northern Sierra, California by David Leland Hyde.

Cloudy Sunset, Olsen Barn, Lake Almanor Near North Fork Feather River, Chester, Northern Sierra, California by David Leland Hyde. I drove to Lake Almanor four different days and stayed into the evening waiting for a good sunset, but this one from the first evening after the Feather River Land Trust day tours, turned out better than any from subsequent nights. The Feather River Land Trust used this photograph of Olsen Barn in their campaign to acquire the land and begin to restore the barn. The FRLT completed the land purchase transaction in October and by November we had the first meeting for a stewardship committee to research how best to restore the barn. I am researching the pros and cons of being on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barn Skeletons in Soybean Field Near Oslo, Minnesota by David Leland Hyde.

Barn Skeletons in Soybean Field Near Oslo, Minnesota by David Leland Hyde. I was on my way off the main US Highway toward another historic barn when I looked back and saw these barn remnants dappled by late sun through the trees. I made a number of exposures at different focal lengths, but chose this one as my favorite as it includes all three barns and some of the setting, but also gives a sense of the immense size of the large barn.

Stage From Balcony, Historic Eastown Theater, Detroit, Michigan by David Leland Hyde. Alas, the iconic theater is no more. It was demolished this year. My photograph may become historically significant someday, especially if I am one of the few to make prints.

Stage From Balcony, Historic Eastown Theater, Detroit, Michigan by David Leland Hyde. Alas, the iconic theater is no more. It was demolished this year. My photograph may become historically significant someday, especially if I am one of the few to make prints.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hole Broken in Wall, Screw and Bolt Factory, Gary, Indiana by David Leland Hyde.

Hole Broken in Wall, Screw and Bolt Factory, Gary, Indiana by David Leland Hyde. I do quite a bit of street photography on the West Coast. I have always wanted to photograph the ruins of the Midwest and Eastern Rust Belt. Gary, Indiana was one of Lake Michigan’s thriving industrial centers for many decades, but has fallen into disrepair with loss of over half of its peak population at a rate exceeding 22 percent per decade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psychadelic Wall Mural, Chicago, Illinois by David Leland Hyde.

Psychadelic Wall Mural, Chicago, Illinois by David Leland Hyde. Driving past this wall along an elevated roadway in Chicago, all that meets the eye are murals as far as you can see. This one caught my eye with the bright variety of colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shawn Lee Opening the Door to Urban Renewal Through Art at Artist Village, Detroit by David Leland Hyde.

Shawn Lee Opening the Door to Urban Renewal Through Art at Artist Village, Detroit by David Leland Hyde. Shawn Lee said the ruins of Detroit are old news and overblown by mainstream media. He said the relevant story now is the rebuilding of Detroit. He took me to see downtown gentrification and thriving upscale neighborhoods, but showed me recovering middle-class neighborhoods too. Artist Village is one place that encourages artists occupying low rent studios and helping to re-establish neighborhoods. Recovery is evident on other fronts as well. All over Detroit, neighborhood gardens are helping to rebuild communities and economically reclaim the city street by street.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Racing Team Practice, Stanford Red Barn Equestrian Center, Stanford, California by David Leland Hyde.

Racing Team Practice, Stanford Red Barn Equestrian Center, Stanford, California by David Leland Hyde. Meanwhile, with the wealth of dot.com startups and new innovations in technology, the Stanford area will continue to grow richer for a long time to come, possibly until the land goes under the ocean due to climate change.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be Sociable, Share!
Advertisement

26 comments

  1. Richard Wong says:

    What a great year, David. There is a lot to envy here. Misty sunrise and dogs & farmhand would be faves. Nice to get a portrait of the Amish too as they can be elusive.

  2. Hi Richard. Thank you for your compliments and support. I sure have gained much in many ways from all of our conversations this last year. Hope your new year is as good or better!

  3. Greg Russell says:

    Wonderful images, David. I really enjoyed reading about your road trip this summer and really enjoyed all of the resulting images. I think it’s good to take on a project from time to time.

    Best wishes to you for an equally happy and productive new year!

  4. Thanks, Greg, for reading about my travels and appreciating my images. I hadn’t looked at your blog as often as I would like part of the time I was away and after. I am glad I keep checking in from time to time, as your writing and photography just keep getting better and more suited to the kind of work you’re doing. I was happy to see we see many things eye to eye as always, when I read a couple of your posts recently. We may be involved in different projects, but sometimes divergent paths wind up in the same place in the end. Hope you have a productive and rewarding 2016.

  5. Rachel Cohen says:

    Beautiful images David! I especially love the misty sunrise and all of the barns! Wishing you a wonderful and adventurous 2016! 🙂

  6. Hi Rachel, I have found much satisfaction and fun in our conversations on Twitter. I have appreciated learning much about how to manage that platform personably from you. Your abstract photographs are an unrealized inspiration to me and your landscapes around Michigan and common interest in farms and barns have also made interacting with you fun and rewarding this year. Many blessings for the new year! 🙂

  7. Mark says:

    Hey David, great photographs from last year. Glad to see Michigan had a significant contribution! 🙂
    Seems fitting to me …. 10,000 Exposures / 10,000 Miles – hmmm – good title for a book?

  8. Appreciate your comment, Mark and the reference to Michigan, which reminds me I meant to mention it in my introduction above. In my own home state of California where I lived most of the year, I only made FOUR of the top 15 above. Michigan claims FIVE of my top images. In comparison I only spent 23 days there, but that was twice as long and in some cases three times as long as I spent in other states. Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana were loaded with excellent barns, but none of them made this final cut, even though I made the majority of my best barn images there and in Michigan. Both Iowa and Minnesota get a spot here, but I only passed through these two states mainly on one highway and had far fewer images in them than in some of the others. I had a short and intense stay in South Dakota with more images made in less time than any other state, but this ended in getting smashed into by a giant three axle Silage Truck that ran a stop sign on a lonely dirt road crossing.

  9. Mark says:

    Yikes, did the van survive?

  10. The body work needed when I got back to Colorado and had it looked at was on the back corner plus a new bumper. The guy from South Dakota in the silage truck payed $1200 and I payed $2500, at that point in my travels. I had the Van repainted from the stripe down, got rid of all rust spots and had some mechanical maintenance work done too. It delayed my trip over three weeks and came close to costing me a major print sale, plus a lot of other business and time lost, but thank heaven everyone was ok and it was all fixable. Just expensive. I put $1500 into the A/C, plus $600 on a new stereo before leaving on the trip. Both died in the Midwest heat, plus my brakes had to be fixed in Montague, Michigan. All in all I spent over $5,000 on the van by the time it was over, although, it still is not over. I’m still having issues with the stereo, but that’s under warrantee.

  11. Excellent snippets of Americana Life, David. Great description is Heartfelt from the Heartland. 🙂

    That said, was surprised that one of my favorite iconic Heartland photos was the Sierra barn. Doh!

    Cheers & Have a wonderful 2016!
    – Gary

  12. Hi Gary, Glad you have been reading and enjoying my tweets and writing about the hearty Heartland. I made the Olsen Barn fundraising blog post after I had already started making the Heartland blog posts, that may have caused the confusion. I may have tagged it #heartland on Twitter also. I am continuing to tag anything related to my trip with that hashtag, including barns, farms, etc. Best wishes in 2016 yourself.

  13. Hugh Sakols says:

    Thanks for sharing. I look forward to this every year. I like the hole in the wall of the barn. I always grab my camera when driving across the central valley to visit my family in the bay area. I prefer to take secondary roads.

  14. Thank you, Hugh for looking. Back roads certainly pay off in looking for barns, as well as many other subjects. Before anyone else did, Dad built his entire career and stock library on back road and off road exploration.

  15. Russ Bishop says:

    This is a great slice of life from the Heartland, David. Personal projects can be both rewarding and liberating, and you clearly immersed yourself in the journey. Wishing you all the best in 2016!

  16. Russ, I appreciate you commenting and noticing how much I put into my Heartland project. May you have a happy and prolific 2016.

  17. pj finn says:

    Quite a year you had David, and I enjoyed following your journey. This is a fine selection with a lot of variety. It’s interesting how you’ve been branching out into different subject matter over the years. Good stuff.

  18. Thank you for following my winding journeys, PJ. It’s great to have you stop by here again like the “old days,” when we were starting out in photoblogging. Happy New Year!

  19. pj finn says:

    The last couple of years have been kind of a whirlwind for me with figuring out what I’m going to do, where I want to do it, and how I’m going to bring it about. I’ve decided that this low desert is where I want my home base and I’m getting situated here.

    I’m getting more active with blogging again, so I’ll probably be around to pester you more than I have lately. I’ve kind of missed those ‘old days’ — I always enjoyed the back and forth.

    Happy New Year you too. I look forward to reading about some more interesting travels.

  20. I miss the old days too, PJ. I enjoyed our exchanges. Well, if you’re in the desert during climate change, not that much will change. The difference between 105 degrees and 115 degrees is not as bad as being underwater or out of water when you had plenty.

  21. Great photo-collection and great stories!!

  22. Appreciate that, Nikolay.

Leave a Reply