Blog Intro: Hello World!

January 15th, 2010 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

Indian Creek Below Indian Valley, 2009 by David Leland Hyde, hand held, Nikon D90.

An Introduction to the Blog, Blog Post

Brand spanking novel, fresh and original here it is…

The leap is in motion, off into the open space wilderness of the wild west internet with the other yahoos. Hope you enjoy the ride. It will be WILD. And as you may have heard or read Henry David Thoreau, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Henry David Thoreau and the Transcendentalists, we will talk about them. Here’s one blog post, “Ralph Waldo Emerson On Henry David Thoreau.” The transcendentalists were some of Philip Hyde’s favorite writers, along with John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Edward Weston, Alan Watts, Edward Abbey, Mahatma Gandhi and others–see recommended reading below.

Technorati, the search engine for blogs, lists over one million blogs. When you search the blogs for “landscape photography,” 784 blogs come up. About half of these are guides for photographers about the latest trendy techniques and gadgets. The other half are photographers sharing their photographs, how they made them, where and why. As far as I can see there are NO OTHER BLOGS LIKE THIS ONE… This is good news because for all of the new fads and slick methods, there are just as many people who would like to go back to quieter times, to explore the classical, to learn from the masters, the famous photographers who pioneered the medium, and to get back to the basics of what makes a good photograph. Contrary to what you may read on some sites, it is NOT necessarily mastering the latest version of Photoshop or following a list of speedy sure-fire tips. We will look at why in later posts and discussions, talk about the RAW movement and other directions. Would it not be appealing for a blog to be geared toward both photographers and others who are not photographers but interested in photography? Or interested in early day outdoor adventures, conservation and the birth of modern environmentalism? Read on…

This blog is for the art lover, the dreamer, the wilderness sojourner who listen for chickadees in the Spring or smells the bark of pine trees, the admirer of beauty, the listener to silence, the person who understands that we cannot keep exploiting the Earth forever, but must somehow come into harmony with our planet’s ecosystems or perish.

This blog is for you. Please post comments: Tell me if you could discover new inspiration and information related to, or explore any aspect of, landscape photography and the environment, what would you enjoy reading about?

Here are some general post subjects and categories:

…Ardis and Philip Hyde Travel Logs

…Other Philip Hyde Writings

…From My Book In Progress 58 Years In the Wilderness


…Straight Photography

…Landscape Photography

…Documentary Photography

…Fine Art Photography

…Photography Collecting

…Famous Photographers On Photography

…Conservation History

…Environmental News and Issues

…Green Economics

…Nature and Wilderness Philosophy

…Living Lightly on the Earth


…Book Reviews

…Green Technology Reviews

A few blog topics:
Dinosaur National Monument and The Birth of Modern Environmentalism
-Philip Hyde’s first river trip down the Grand Canyon in his own words
The History of Straight Photography and Group f.64
The Debate Over Digital Reprints
-An excerpt from Hyde’s Commentary in Slickrock: The Canyon Country of Southeast Utah
About Slickrock, Edward Abbey and Black Mesa Defense Fund
-Visiting Edward Weston
Ardis and Philip Hyde meet for the first time
Working with my Father
-The making of Time and The River Flowing, the book that saved the Grand Canyon
A photography class with Minor White
Photography collecting tips from experts
-A river trip down the Klamath River with eminent river guide Martin Litton
Philip Hyde on Glen Canyon
The Hyde family goes to Paris for Leland Hyde to attend L’ Ecole De Beau Arts
Fine Art Photography tips from the pros
Wallace Stegner: The Wilderness Idea
Interviews with Philip Hyde and other famous photographers working today
Environmental News and Solutions
-Excerpts from my book in progress: 58 Years In The Wilderness
-Much more

Recommended Reading (All Philip Hyde Favorites):

Slickrock: The Canyon Country of Southeast Utah by Edward Abbey and Philip Hyde
Drylands: The Deserts of North America by Philip Hyde
The Range of Light by Philip Hyde with Quotes by John Muir
Island in time: The Point Reyes Peninsula by Harold Gilliam, photographs by Philip Hyde
Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
My First Summer in the Sierra by John Muir
John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir
A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
Let the Mountains Talk, Let the Rivers Run by David Brower
Encounters with the Archdruid by John McPhee
The Daybooks of Edward Weston
The Portfolios of Ansel Adams
Photography and the Art of Seeing: A Visual Perception Workshop by Freeman Patterson
Illusions by Richard Bach
The Essential Gandhi by Mahatma Gandhi
The Ecology of Commerce: A Declaration of Sustainability by Paul Hawken
Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nature and Other Writings by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Miracles for the Earth by Sandra Ingerman
Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life by Marshall Rosenberg
The Grand Colorado: The Story of a River and Its Canyons by Wallace Stegner and others
The Pursuit of Wilderness by Paul Brooks
The Good Life by Scott Nearing and Helen Nearing

These books are not required reading but recommended for sauntering through and good preparation for what is to come on this blog…


“Toward a Sense of Place” by Philip Hyde

And don’t forget to leave a comment as to what you would like to read in future posts…



  1. Please keep comments clean and if critical, also constructive. While heated debate is often instigated, obscenity and personal attacks on me or other subscribers will be deleted.

  2. Steve Sieren says:

    Great intro David, I’m excited and look forward to your next post!! That is some list you will be covering here in the future. Don’t make them wait too long.

  3. Thank you, Steve. Good advice, in fact I will be posting blog entries just about every day to begin with, but a day or two will slip by here and there, with the general goal of 3-7 posts per week.

  4. It looks like it will be a great read. I love the proposed topics.


  5. Al Knoll says:

    I am very much looking forward to the discussions that will follow.


  6. Thank you Sharon and Al. Let me know if you think of or have been wondering about any related subjects or questions you would like to see addressed.

  7. Richard Wong says:

    Hi David. I am looking forward to reading your future blog posts. I like the historical angle that you are taking for many of the topics. This is material that all nature photographers should study.

  8. I appreciate your words, Richard. Many gallery proprietors and professionals I’ve talked to feel that while there is more good photography all the time, the artistic merit of certain work may be decreasing. Not only is there a lack of knowledge of the history of straight photography versus salon and street photography, but it seems that some photographers today believe that churning out pretty pictures that sell well at tourist stops, makes them a master. The goal in this blog is for subscribers to benefit from the history, which will be the main emphasis for a time and always significant, but also as we get going, the goal will be to inspire through quality innovation by top professionals working today, rather than settling for what Dad called, “Roadside attraction landscape photography.” Those who aren’t photographers but are appreciators of photography can perhaps refine and further define what they like. Either can of course enjoy the environmental articles too. It is certainly commendable enough to photograph for the sake of art itself, though it adds richness and drive to the work if it has an additional purpose.

  9. David,

    Thank you for creating this blog in remembrance of your dad. I too came from the quieter side of landscape photography, learning the craft with a 4 x 5 field camera and color transparency film. Though I say often, that I’ll never shoot another piece of film as long as I live (I moved to digital over 5 years ago) I still miss the simplistic times when people didn’t question the legitimacy of my photographs. It seems, through many heated discussions, that the new breed of landscape photographers will do just about anything, with regards to manipulation, just to be noticed. There are no boundaries and they feel no need to disclose their degree of “Photoshop magic”. They almost unanimously use the term, I’m a landscape artist and not a photojournalist, to justify their motivations. The connection with the wild places seem to widen more and more every day and that goes for those that choose to work in it. Whatever happened to the term, natural history photographer?

    I look forward to coming back often to read your posts!

    Best regards,

    Jerry Greer

  10. Hi Jerry, I like where you are coming from with your photography. Your work is beautiful. I admire your passion for nature and your commitment to place, the Blue Ridge Mountains. I’m glad you are part of the discussion. I notice also that you are a member of NANPA, which also says something.

  11. Duane Polcou says:

    I first remember seeing your father’s
    work in “Slickrock” when it was published by the Sierra Club when I was about 10. What an eye opening experience. Not only in revealing places that I did not even know existed, but later in life as I struggled to learn the 4×5 view camera, I often thought about Philip Hyde’s ability to create a meaningful composition out of what at first glance appeared choatic.

    It took me time to fully appreciate his images as they so often differed from traditional color landscape photograpahy. He shot in harsh light, backlight, rain, and even occasionally ignored the “accepted” rules of compostion. Yet my favorite book of his, “Drylands” is proof that a masterpiece can indded be created by doing something different.

    Thanks for creating this blog. And a thank you to your late father, for without him the Grand Canyon might very well have gone the way of Glen Canyon.

  12. As a very new and not very experienced photographer, I am looking forward to reading through your blog thoughts! It would appear that there will be much to learn. I am frankly happy to hear that there are others who believe that getting the shot is more important than tweaking a marginal shot in Photoshop. I want to spend my time looking and seeing rather than playing with my pictures on the computer.

  13. These last two comments by Duane and Derrick put very well my thoughts and those of others about Photoshop and learning “techniques” of composition. When I first went to college, besides being a beer major, on the side I was a City Planning major at Cal Poly San Luis Obisbo in the School of Architecture. I took some of the nation’s best design courses. As I learned, the subtlety of the forms and compositions emerged for me out of my father’s photographs. Having the newly acquired background, I was most delighted by the ways Dad ignored the standard wisdom and still made the images work. He regularly quoted Edward Weston, who said, “Rules are made to be broken,” and “Composition is merely the strongest way of seeing.” Most landscape masters today would probably agree that there is nothing wrong with using Photoshop, it is merely a substitute for the darkroom. The overuse and abuse of it is what has become obvious to the discerning viewer. Ultra-saturated colors and everything looking too neat and clean with all the blemishes, ugly twigs and power lines removed, sterilizes the work and is unfortunately more and more common. Though some are sticking to straight photography too. Duane, it is an honor to have someone else raised on the Exhibit Format Series, particularly “Slickrock,” join this thread.

  14. Edie Howe says:

    Welcome to the photographic blogosphere, David. I’ll admit ignorance of you and your father’s work, and I’m looking forward to learning more through your blog.

    All the best!

  15. Hi Edie, Glad you are here and willing to admit not knowing about Dad, lots of people won’t. I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of me, but I am very glad you have now been “introduced” to Dad and his work. You are one of those I am looking to reach.

  16. Bud Turner says:


    It was “Slickrock” that got me into this vocation, avocation, and religion all rolled into one. Being a landscape photographer is a life-long love affair with the land, its geography, geology, weather, its feel, sound and taste.

    You have to get some grit in your teeth to live in and appreciate the landscape, and you have to “dance with the light” to really capture its evocative and mysterious beauty. And you cannot dance unless you hear the music, and it was your father, and your mother, who introduced me to the music; first through his magnificent images, one of which he printed for me of the Orange Cliffs from “Slickrock,” and second, through knowing both of them personally, their openness and loving approach to each other and friends–old and new.

    It was your mother, softly singing a tune whose melody I cannot remember, while doing dishes in her kitchen sink that taught me that it is the music that brings the magic to the moment. I have never met another person who sings while doing dishes–I certainly don’t, but that magical moment is with me for the rest of my life.

    I moved to Moab so I could live and dance in this magnificent sandscape your father introduced me to, but it was your mother’s singing that provided the music for this dance of life. Thanks for letting me ramble on…

  17. Wow, thank you, Bud. Such moving comments will help me illustrate what they were like. I have been meaning to call you to interview you for my book and still intend to do so. Many blessings.

  18. Sam Camp says:

    I just discovered this wonderful forum and have been to and love many of the places you talk about. I have been accumulating a quotes collection and would love to share some of those here. Landscape photography for me and I’m sure many others is somewhat like a religion or way of life. In the Feb 2010 issue of Outdoor Photographer there is an excellent column called “Timeless Moments” by David Muench which articulates a kind of holistic zen experience I’ve always felt about landscape photography. It’s a difficult thing to put into words, but Muench does it well….

  19. Hi Sam, thank you for joining in. We would definitely like to read the quotes you have been collecting. I appreciate your contribution here and the reference to David Muench’s article. Also I just looked at some of your galleries on your site and enjoyed your fine work. Your work exemplifies what I have written about in some blog posts now such as “Man Ray On Art And Originality.” You have successfully photographed some of the iconic locations and made some photographs that slightly resemble what we have seen before, but you have put your own unique twist on each location and way of capturing each subject. Your photography rather than copying, serves as a tribute to landscape photographers that came before you. I particularly like what you did with the Bristlecone Pines in the White Mountains. You have made some excellent photographs there that go beyond and are completely different from what has been done before. As you may know my father, Philip Hyde, was one of the first to ever photograph the Bristlecones in the White Mountains. I also like many of your Utah images. You photographs with upside-down reflections are not like any others. I find them interesting as that was something my dad did a number of noted times and Paul Strand did as well. You are doing great work that is not derivative but incorporates some elements from the greats before you, just as great artists have done throughout the history of art.

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