New Portfolio: Yosemite And Sierra Black And White Prints

August 30th, 2011 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

New Portfolio Added To Yosemite, Kings Canyon And Sierra Nevada Vintage Black and White Prints

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.  –John Muir

McClure Meadow, Evolution Valley, Kings Canyon National Park, Sierra Nevada, California, copyright 1970 by Philip Hyde. Deardorff 5X7 Large Format Camera. Widely exhibited and published including in “The Range of Light” with quotes by John Muir. Still available as an original vintage darkroom black and white print. Three 8X10 vintage prints left available for sale at this time. Other original vintage black and white prints in the “Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sierra Portfolio” also available in limited quantities. Please inquire for details.

(See the photograph larger: “McClure Meadow, Evolution Valley, Kings Canyon.”)

In his preface to The Range of Light, with Selections from the Writings of John Muir, my father pioneer landscape photographer Philip Hyde wrote about choosing photographs and John Muir quotes for his book. To read more about The Range of Light see the blog post, “Philip Hyde’s Tribute To John Muir.” Philip Hyde described his process in the Preface to The Range of Light:

It was a labor of love rereading John Muir some fifty years after my first reading. In searching for quotations to use with my photographs, I found the same inspiration and delight I recall feeling in the past—more, really, since my love for the mountains has only increased with the familiarity experience has given me… I wanted to go out again, to go in further, to explore all the places I had missed, and I wanted to improve on the pictures I had made to illustrate the heightened savor I was finding in his words. In nearly a lifetime of returning again and again, I began to feel I had barely scratched the surface. But over the life of the project, my view began to shift from unfulfilled desire to gratitude. I was coming to see that I would never satisfy my thirst for wildness and mountains. I could never make all the definitive photographs of them. But hadn’t I already had more than most men’s share of them? In general, the matching of quotations with pictures should be understood as equivalents—some descriptive, some expressing an experience of feeling that seems to parallel in some way one which John Muir describes. Others are visual equivalents of the words in less direct, more personal ways. There was a basic purpose in all this: my hope to somehow discharge a little of my debt to John Muir for his keen observation that informed and sharpened my own; for his words that amplified my feeling and experience, and colored them both brighter; for his boundless enthusiasm for Nature; for his clear vision that it would not be enough, living in an exploitive culture just to love Nature, but essential for Nature’s continued existence unimpaired, that one work to carry those “good tidings” to others who would, in their turn, work to protect Nature.

In 1938, just before he turned 17, Philip Hyde first visited Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada. On that trip he made his first photographs with a Kodak Readyset 120 camera that he borrowed from his sister. He brought the camera along thinking he would photograph his Boy Scout friends, but when he had the film developed, he discovered that most of the photographs were of nature rather than people, a tendency that stayed with him throughout his career. For more on Philip Hyde’s early trips to Yosemite National Park, see the blog post, “Lake Tenaya And Yosemite National Park.” His wilderness photographs participated in more environmental campaigns than any other photographer of his time and helped to establish the genre of landscape photography as a recognized art form while his photographs served as the backbone of the groundbreaking Sierra Club Books Exhibit Format Series. The Exhibit Format Series, invented by Ansel Adams, David Brower and Nancy Newhall, became known for popularizing the coffee table photography book and helping to establish many national parks and wilderness areas of the Western U. S. Beginning with participation in the first book in the Sierra Club Books Exhibit Format Series, This Is The American Earth, Philip Hyde went on to publish more photographs in more volumes in the series than any of the other photographers, including Eliot Porter, who was known for illustrating the best selling book of the series, In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World with quotes by Henry David Thoreau. To read more about these photographers and the development of the Sierra Club Books Exhibit Format Series see the blog post, “How Color Came To Landscape Photography.”

Though the various book projects influenced a generation of photographers and brought his work acclaim, Philip Hyde himself said, “I didn’t want to be distracted by fame.” He was more apt to spend his time working on any of many local environmental campaigns around the West, rather than talking to photography galleries, museum curators or photography agents. Although the best art museums and collectors did take interest in his work, often through recommendations from mentors such as Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Minor White; Philip Hyde, until recently has been less well-known than some other leading landscape photographers. Now for the first time in more than a decade, Philip Hyde’s vintage black and white prints, as well as his original dye transfer and Cibachrome prints are offered by a select number of the world’s best photography galleries. To read more about the galleries who carry Philip Hyde’s work see the blog posts in the category “Galleries for Philip Hyde” or go to “About Vintage And Black And White Prints.” A limited number of his vintage and original prints are still available for viewing and acquisition on the Philip Hyde Photography website. As we scan Philip Hyde’s original vintage black and white prints and film, a few new images, and on a few rare occasions a whole new portfolio is added to The selection of photographs chosen for the new “Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sierra Black and White Portfolio” were carefully reviewed by many experts in the art world, in photography galleries and by other professional photographers. Please enjoy and write me as you have questions.

What writers, artists or other influences helped you connect to a place?



  1. pj says:

    First of all, wow. What a combination — Philip Hyde and John Muir. Great excerpt by your father, and “I didn’t want to be distracted by fame” is classic.

    I devoured Muir’s writings years ago. I’m probably about due to revisit them. A few others who have influenced me over the years include Edward Abbey of course, Lao Tzu, and a guy named Sigurd F. Olson. He lived and breathed the canoe country wilderness of the north, the area I grew up in, and wrote eloquently about it in several books. Well worth looking up if you’re not familiar with him.

  2. Thank you for your suggestions and feedback, PJ. Your list of Edward Abbey, Lau Tzu and Sigurd F. Olson is an unusual mix. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey I consider to be required reading for anyone interested in nature. I haven’t read The Monkey Wrench Gang, but I remember Dad getting a big kick out of it. I’ve read a number of Edward Abbey’s excellent essays and of course Slickrock that he did with my dad. Are there other Edward Abbey writings that you liked? I believe it was around 15 years ago I hunted down any and all classic nature writing and ran across Sigurd F. Olson then. After finding him I found out that Dad knew who he was too. I bought one of Sigurd F. Olson’s books. I’ve skimmed it, but I haven’t really read it. Probably need to dig in deeper. I’ll put it on my list of must reads.

  3. pj says:

    I agree — Desert Solitaire should be required reading. I’m actually in the middle of it again. Monkey Wrench Gang is a gas, though I’ve always preferred Abbey’s nonfiction to his fiction. Two of my favorites books by Abbey are ‘The Journey Home’, which was actually one of his least favorites, and ‘One Life At A Time, Please’. One essay in One Life is called ‘A Writer’s Credo’ and that too should be required reading for anyone who presumes to be a writer.

    As far as Olson goes, my favorite book of his is called ‘Reflections From The North Country’.

  4. Hi PJ,
    I appreciate you returning. I will have to find those Edward Abbey writings that I don’t already have and look for the Sigurd F. Olson book too.

  5. An intriguing and very beautiful monochrome photograph, David.

    As when reading many of Philip Hyde`s letters,
    this part of the The Range of Light preface was
    very inspiring. Also, it made me realize that the
    deep emotions and thoughts that many of us get by either first-hand experience in Nature or by looking at art based on subjects found in Nature, will probably always stay the same in the future. Emotions and thoughts that was first described and depicted so well by Philip Hyde, Ansel Adams, John Muir and others in the past.

    Thank you for sharing, David!
    A great start of a new day.

    Best Wishes
    Seung Kye

  6. Hi Seung, Thank you for visiting. I appreciate your point about deep emotions. Certain great writers and artists of the past expressed them in a way that we can all look to as a guide to learn from.

  7. I have always enjoyed reading your father’s letters and quotations. They offer us the opportunity to know him in a way that is seldom possible with those who we admire and take as an example. So thank you very much for sharing them with us. I take a great deal of encouragement from his words.
    I have started to reread “Desert Solitaire” some 30 years since my first reading. It is a totally new experience to read it after all this time has passed.
    I can re-read Aldo Leopold’s “A Sand County Almanac” repeatedly without tiring.
    I enjoy Bernd Heinrich’s books very much as well.
    And, of course, John Muir is timeless.
    In addition to your father’s work, Eliot Porter, Edward Weston and many contemporary photographers are so inspiring. The Hudson River School is also a great source for vision.

  8. Hi Steve, I appreciate your perspective and your inspiration list. I have never read any of Bernd Heinrich’s books. Thank you for suggesting something altogether different. As far as the Hudson River school goes, what authors, artists, or writings would you recommend there?

  9. Steve Sieren says:

    Thanks for sending out the email David. I thouroughly enjoyed see the new collection!!

    I do recall Carr photographing the same scene and a few other newer photographers as well. I wonder if the trail leads most hikers to this point of where the photograph was taken?

  10. Hi Steve S., thank you for sharing your knowledge. You seem to always have a sense of who has made what photographs. Your question about Evolution Valley has me wondering now too. FYI, my father always talked about “Evolution country” as some of his most beloved terrain. I guarantee you Steve that it is a place you would find rich with landscape photography opportunities. I believe it takes a day or two to backpack in, but you of all photographers would certainly have a field day up there.

  11. Hi David
    Bernd Heinrich’s books detail a very different environment than that of the Southwest. He is a Biology professor and writes about nature in the North Woods. His list is quite long, but my favorites would be “The Trees in my Forest”, “A Year in the Maine Woods” and “Winter World”.
    The Hudson River School was, I believe, the first American art movement to depict the wilderness. Possibly you would be familiar with Albert Bierstadt who painted in the West. Frederick Church and Thomas Cole are also very well-known, but included humans in their depictions of the wilderness as they felt wilderness and human spirituality were closely knit. As a photographer, I enjoy the way light was used by these artists.
    Here is a Bierstadt example:–Mr–Rosalie-large.html

  12. Hi Steve, I recall the Hudson River school, but forgot who all the artists were. Thanks for the reminders. It is great to see their work again in context with landscape photography. Richard Wong said that in “Mountain Light” Galen Rowell wrote about the Hudson River School as having influenced landscape photography. I’m not sure if Galen Rowell was the first or the only photographer to say so. I’ll have to look into it.

  13. Sharon says:

    Hello David, I love the phrase – The Range of Light. Isn’t that an awesome expression and could have so many meanings. I’m so glad you created this blog. It is inspiring and meaningful and every landscape photographer should read it (in my opinion).


  14. Hi Sharon, John Muir had such an incredible way with words. There are not many who could praise nature and praise nature the way he does and keep it as interesting as his prose is. Thank you for the compliments too, Sharon. Maybe through sharing the work of leaders such as John Muir, my father and others, the awe and beauty of nature, and the awe of the beauty of nature can find expression here.

  15. Mark says:

    “In general, the matching of quotations with pictures should be understood as equivalents—some descriptive, some expressing an experience of feeling that seems to parallel in some way one which John Muir describes.”

    I really love this statement David. I think it highlights why so many of us are drawn to place quotations with our photographs.

  16. Greg Russell says:

    Hi, David. Things have been busy on my end lately; my apologies for being so late to comment on this wonderful post.

    As was discussed above, Edward Abbey is one of the most placed writers I know of–I’ve read Desert Solitaire more times than I can count. In addition, I really enjoy reading Wallace Stegner, John McPhee, Terry Tempest Williams, and Tom McGuane. There are so many excellent authors out there; they all help me put into words my own feelings about the landscape, which in turn helps to foster creativity in photography.

    Although I consider myself a desert rat, I have to admit that there’s a certain draw of the Sierra, unlike most other mountain ranges. I know I’ll be exploring them for many many more years…


  17. Lydia says:

    I am doing my final exam on Philip Hyde and was wondering what types of cameras he used for his black and white Images.

  18. Hi Lydia, during photography school at the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute, under Minor White, Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, Dad used a large format 8×10 Deardorff and a 5×7 Deardorff. Later he phased out of the giant 8×10 camera and used a 4×5 Baby Deardorff more, as well as a medium format 2 1/4 Hasselblad. In the 1980s he dumped the Hasselblads and switched to Rolei SL66 6×7 centimeter cameras. He also made a small number of 35 mm black and white photographs too. With color he made very few images larger than 4×5. He did have a few color 5x7s, but generally he adapted his 5×7 Deardorff so that it had an interchangeable back. He kept black and white film in the 5×7 film packs and custom made an adapter for a 4×5 film back. That way he could carry one view camera and switch from color film to black and white fairly easily.

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