My Favorite Photos Of 2010

January 7th, 2011 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

Mirror Lake, Mist, Winter, Yosemite National Park, Sierra Nevada, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

For the next 10 or more years, in some ways the rest of my life, I have my work assignment: representing my father, prominent Western landscape photographer Philip Hyde. Also, you may or may not notice from this blog, but I consider myself a writer first and a photographer as a sideline, at least for quite some time to come.

Edward Weston’s Darkroom, Wildcat Hill, Carmel Highlands, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

My secret to making it into print in the past was to edit several more times than I do when I write blog posts. However, I haven’t made any print or online magazine submissions recently.

Fall Color, Summit County, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

Even though I am still interviewing people for my book, I hope to get a chance to do more regular magazine writing this year. Perhaps I will even write about other interests besides my father, his photography and life, as is my focus here and during the majority of days.

Mission San Miguel De Arcangel, Paso Robles, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

Meanwhile, I have been inspired by photographer and fellow blogger Jim M. Goldstein, who seems to have instigated nearly every photo blogger in the photo blogosphere to post their “Best Photos of 2010.” To see more “Best Photos of 2010” from all around the web see Jim M. Goldstein’s blog post, “Top 10 ‘Top Photo Lists.'” Also, the Nature Conservancy just posted a great slide show of its, “Best Nature Photos of 2010.”

Neighbors, San Francisco, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

I am discovering that I greatly enjoy the photography blogosphere. The community is diverse yet generally friendly and helpful to each fellow blogger. Each photo blogger benefits from the network and contributes as well. Each blogger has something to teach and something to learn. Like minds tend to come together and those who differ widely also cross-pollinate methods and ideas and friendships develop. Through the process I am catching a more serious case of the photography bug all the time. I make photographs in my spare time, about five minutes a month.

Reflection Detail, Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

I photograph a combination of subjects and do not limit myself to a certain genre or type of photography like many “experts” suggest. My father knew how to specialize. His type of landscape photography was ideal for him. His work was also part of one of the biggest changes in photography to come along, besides perhaps what is happening now and when negatives changed from glass plates to film. Digital photography today, besides being much easier than film, is also more freeing, providing the flexibility and opportunity to pursue various branches of photography and often combine them in new ways.

Fast Food Traveling Band, Travel Stop On Interstate 5, Northern California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

The Road To Mt. Hough, Northern Sierra Nevada, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

I was fortunate to grow up in the wilderness. I find because natural surroundings are my roots that I naturally photograph the natural scene. However, I also notice that I am drawn to photograph people, and people in nature. I am attracted to social activism as well as environmental activism. If I were to pursue photography full-time rather than writing, or more than writing, the ideal life for me would be as a freelance photojournalist. I would be on the plane as soon as news broke of the BP Oil Spill, down there right in the oil slick with the workers and dead birds. Or I could see photographing inner city poverty and homeless people, or the dot com collapse, hurricanes, earthquakes, environmental disasters, as long as I wasn’t sensationalizing other people’s misfortunes, but doing something to help them.

Colorado Cleanup Demolition, Downtown Denver, Colorado, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90.

These photographs show where my vision is at this time after making digital photographs for just under two years and film photographs off and on for most of my life. Most of the images here are camera raw or close to it with only a few minor adjustments. One of my favorite photography quotes not by my father is, “To see color as form means looking at the image in a new way, trying to free oneself from absorption in subject matter.” –Cole Weston. This quote is part of what I’m about in my photography and will substitute for my own artist’s statement until I write one.

Summit Sunset, Loveland Pass, Rocky Mountains, Colorado, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90. I remember the evening I made this photograph. I had just that morning been commenting that sunsets are cliche and voila: one of the most amazing sunsets I have ever seen was waiting for me just as I emerged from the Loveland Pass Eisenhower Tunnel. I was in the fast lane and literally skidded to a stop in about a foot of snow and flying powder on the center median to make this photograph. Fortunately I was in my 4X4 truck or I would not have made it back onto the pavement without a tow.

“Freeing oneself from absorption in subject matter,” is nearly the opposite of what my father was doing with a camera. His photography was primarily about place and as Emerson put it, “the integrity of natural objects.” I would expand my statement to include the integrity of all objects, as well as the breakdown, disintegration and rearrangement of all objects. Not to mention the celebration of place without attachment to place or to subject matter in the photograph.

Another photographer, I don’t remember who, said something else I like that applies, “Photography is not about what objects look like, it is about what objects look like when photographed.”

Snow Cornice Detail Along Highway 50, Nevada, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90. Sometimes it pays off to be out driving across several states after a fresh snowfall. Amazingly, even though I drive back and forth from California to Colorado a few times a year, I still drive fewer than 8,000 miles a year, significantly less than the average American at just over 12,000 miles a year.

Whiz Burgers, San Francisco, California, 2010 by David Leland Hyde. Nikon D90. Something about fast food, the Catholic Church and all those electric wires powered by San Francisco’s electricity grid set me onto going for an apocalyptic sky look.

As long as I’m borrowing phrases from other photographers I will quote my favorite pioneer landscape photographer and hero, my father, from his Artist’s Statement to close this post. To me this is one of the wisest statements he ever made and part of what drives me, “A mind at peace may be found in any individual or people who have kept touch with what the land is saying and who lack the benefits of instant dissemination of the human troubles that make news. After reading Gandhi, I see that what we need now is a peaceful environmental revolution. The Earth will survive, but will man survive on the Earth?”

To read an introduction to what else I learned from my father see the blog post, “Memories Of Finally Working With Dad.” For more of my photographs see the blog posts, “David Leland Hyde Archival Prints Pre-Launch” and “Best Photos Of 2011.”




  1. pj says:

    As much as I enjoy your postings about your dad’s work, and some of the history of his time, I’m delighted to see this post that’s more about you and your own work. I can relate to much of what you say, particularly your thoughts on wilderness and on subject matter and on the photo blogosphere.

    I like your photos too, especially the Manzanita Lake reflection, the SF neighborhood, and the fascinating glimpse of Weston’s darkroom. It’s interesting to see your own unique visual take on the world around you. I hope there’s plenty more to come. I’ll be reading regularly. You can bet on that.

  2. Greg Boyer says:

    I have a short list of blogs that I read regularly, yours is one of them. Though I enjoy your writings about your father and his contemporaries, you have much to contribute from your own experiences. That’s what this blogosphere is all about….sharing with others.
    Thank you for your efforts.

    Best Regards,

  3. Hi PJ, thank you for your support and readership. I appreciate your participation here and the insights you have shared all around the photo blogosphere. I feel we are kindred spirits in that we share a high concern for environmental issues, which are truly everybody’s issues, particularly landscape photographers.

    Hi Greg, thank you for reading regularly and your valuable input here. Perhaps I need to share more of my own experiences. This will probably happen naturally over time. As I catch up the new generation on who Dad was, I will then have more space to share about myself and other photographers too, if it seems to be what interests people.

  4. Hi David, great post! I like the diversity you have shown – you go from Neighbors to Reflection Detail, Manzanita Lake. Wonderful!!!


  5. Richard Wong says:

    Very interesting shots, David. I like the randomness of that street band playing.

  6. Derrick says:

    David, there are some excellent images here! I’m so glad to see you post some of your own work. The fall color image particularly!

    And you posted a sunset image!! I’m tempted not to comment on it… but I guess I just did. 😉

  7. Hi Sharon, thank you. Its a bit too diverse to show as a portfolio. I would probably not show this set of images, but would just do winter landscape photographs, or just street photography, or whatever as a group. I don’t feel my work is where I want it to be to show anyway, so it doesn’t matter yet.

    Hi, Richard. I appreciate your feedback. I’ve made a good number of photographs of spontaneous bands of musicians. Some in downtown Boulder, Colorado, one in Reno at one of the high schools after school and a number of others along and around various highways, truck stops and coffee shops.

    Hi Derrick, thank you for the compliment. Interesting you like the Rocky Mountain photograph. I almost put another one in instead, but I wanted more Colorado landscapes in the mix. The sunset, well, it might not look quite as amazing here, but when it is printed large, I think it will knock the socks off people who like that kind of work. Even though my father said sunsets are cliche, he photographed a number of them, some of which have never been published or exhibited. Carr Clifton and others I confer with on image selection, don’t think I ought to produce the sunsets. Dad has too many amazing and unique photographs, or photographs of icons that he did first, to distract the public with sunsets. One of our primary objectives is to either show images that everyone has done that Dad did first, but mainly otherwise show only photographs that only Dad could have made. I am rebelling against our policies here by posting my own sunset. Ha. Edward Weston said rules are made to be broken; even rules about breaking the rules and even rules about going against the grain.

  8. Derrick says:

    Well, way to break your own rule, I think it’s rather a pretty sight (the sunset) regardless. You gotta strike while the iron is hot and the mood hits you – even on those cliche’d sunsets – it’s not like something worth photographing happens at the end of each day.

  9. Steve Sieren says:

    David, I like that you keep it all open and photograph whatever comes to mind at the time. My favorite is the Whiz Burger sign, I’m a sucker for the old or vintage type of architecture. It was also nice to see Weston’s darkroom. I’ve been to the SM Mission, it’s sad to it in it’s condition and know the State Parks haven’t taken it in to their protection.

  10. Love your dads quote! I also like your images, David. I also like the 10 year commitment you’ve made for yourself, your dad and for us. Thanks!

  11. Greg Russell says:

    These are all fantastic images, David! Congratulations on a fine year!

    My personal favorite is the road to Mt. Hough image, but they’re all a great reminder to always have your camera ready. I almost never seem to have my camera when a fantastic candid moment comes my way. Alas. 🙂

  12. Hi Derrick, I agree with the striking of hot iron cliche’d sunsets or any other hot irons that are ready for striking. I’m not so sure there isn’t always something worth photographing every day though. Whether there is something worth keeping after editing your photos each day, that’s a different story, but I feel there is always something worth photographing. Edward Weston said he could look at his boot and find a good photograph. I’m sure his eye was more developed than any of ours, but the point remains valid in my opinion.

    Thank you also Steve, for adding your input about “Whiz Burger,” “Edward Weston’s Darkroom” and the missions. I am very partial to all of the mission. There’s an activism project for some photographer… The missions all need more funds. If only I could clone myself… I guess I wouldn’t because I am against genetically modified food and GMO people would probably be worse.

    Hi Monte, I appreciate your input, as well as your support regarding the 10 year commitment.

    Thanks Greg. I know what you mean about leaving the camera behind. I make that mistake from time to time. It is probably easier for me to remember to bring the camera than for a family man such as yourself who is just trying to make sure the various people and their stuff all make it on board.

  13. Hello David.

    A very interesting collection that invites me to look twice and all photographs have their own message, their own mood.
    I especially like the Mission San Miguel De Arcangel photograph. Without people in it, I start to imagine the people myself and hearing their sounds, their way of life.

    Best Wishes
    Seung Kye

  14. Chris says:

    I am glad that you still decided to click on the cliche sunset, that is a nice shot!

  15. latoga says:

    This was a wonderful collection of your own photos and introspection on photography. Thanks for sharing! I would be nice to see more of your own thoughts/images on the blog in the future…

    BTW: The quote about “…what objects look like when photographed.” is from Garry Winogrand. I would also invite you to add quotes from your father to the FocalPower photography quote archive. You are the ideal person to start his quote page…

  16. Hi Seung Kye Lee, thank you for your complimentary and constructive comment. Coming from an artist with your talent, I am grateful to get such positive feedback.

    Hi Chris, welcome to Landscape Photography Blogger. I appreciate your participation here. I hope you come back and get a chance to read some of the other posts by and about the masters of today and yesterday, from which we can all learn and become inspired.

    Hi Latoga, thank you for your comment. Welcome to Landscape Photography Blogger. I appreciate you wanting to see more of my own photographs and will do some of that while maintaining the focus on Dad’s landscapes. Thank you for the tip about the Focal Power Photography quote archive. Also, I am glad you could remind me who said the quote I mentioned.

  17. Thanks for the link to this post which I either missed or started visiting after it was made.
    It is a very nice selection and certainly does show your interest in a variety of subjects. As you might imagine, my favorites are from the natural world and are “Reflection detail, Manzanita Lake” and “Snow Cornice Detail Along Highway 50, Nevada.”
    Many people see photography as more about the capture of light than the actual subject and your quote from Bret Weston would seem to echo that sentiment. I think a successful photograph combines both the light, color and shapes/patterns as well as some sort of emotion.
    So I will now await your favorites of 2011.

  18. Hi Steve, thank you for visiting my photos from 2010 and your compliments. I agree completely with you about the importance of emotion as well as light in good photography. You are in excellent company: Ansel Adams talked more about emotion in his photographs than about light.

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