New Releases Time & Prints Running Out

November 17th, 2010 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

All 2010 New Release Specials Will Increase To Regular Prices On January 1, 2011…

Below see also the story of the making of “Pioneer Basin, Fourth Recess, John Muir Wilderness, Sierra Nevada High Country, California, 1970″…

Base Of Havasu Falls, Havasupai Indian Reservation, Arizona, 1968 by Philip Hyde. In 2010, we printed this image for the first time since the late 1960s. It took over a dozen hours of restoration work taking red-orange splotches out of the water all over the raw tango drum scan. The damage is caused by ongoing degradation of the early Kodak Ektachrome E-3 film that can only be halted or nearly halted by a very expensive particular method of deep freezing.

There is still time for Holiday shopping. However, the photographer authorized archival fine art digital prints by Carr Clifton and David Leland Hyde are also running out. Only two archival digital prints are left at the New Release Price of each of these photographs:

“Base Of Havasu Falls, Havasupai Indian Reservation, Arizona, 1968”

(See at left and full screen Click Here.)

“Pioneer Basin, Fourth Recess, John Muir Wilderness, California, 1970”

(See below and full screen Click Here.)

Four new releases for 2010 were lowered to special sale pricing on June 28, 2010, effective through the end of the year. For details, figures and number of prints available through the special see the blog post, “New Releases Now At Special Introductory Pricing.” After the New Releases go up to regular prices after five of each image sell or January 1, 2011, which ever comes first, the New Releases will go up every time 10 prints sell just like all of the other Special Edition archival fine art digital prints. For more on archival digital prints go to About Archival Digital Prints or go to and About Archival Digital Prints under the INFO tab.

The Story Behind “Pioneer Basin, Fourth Recess, John Muir Wilderness”

This photograph was never printed or published before 2010. My father Philip Hyde made the photograph on August 15, 1970 on his 49th birthday with a Hasselblad 2 1/4″ camera. The Pioneer Basin High Sierra Pack Trip started on Sunday, August 9, my mother Ardis Hyde’s 45th birthday, just two weeks before my fifth birthday. My father earned his place on the trip by making photographs for the Sierra Club. Mom paid for her trip by working on the kitchen crew. In my mother’s words:

Pioneer Basin, Fourth Recess, John Muir Wilderness, Sierra Nevada High Country, California, 1970 by Philip Hyde. Never published or printed until 2010.

The Commissary woke up before 6:00 am. We served breakfast and then moved gear and cars over to the Pack Station where we left them. Philip got a ride to Mosquito Flat Campground while David and I waited for our horses. They put David on a child’s saddle with stirrups that his feet reached to and fit in. David’s horse was named “Friday”and mine was “Pugusee” meaning fish in Paiute…. We were 11 guest riders led into the high country by a cowgirl at each end of the string… We passed Philip on foot well up the climb to Morgan Pass. Flowers appeared everywhere along the path until we reached timberline. The Pass was at 12,643 feet elevation and well above any trees. On the way up we looked down into Little Lakes Valley, a long string of lakes, and up the head of that valley to Bear Creek Spire. Flanking the East wall of the glacial valley rose Mt. Morgan and Morgan Pass… Our route seemed to be skirting a contour around Mt. Starr and over Mono Pass. It was like a high altitude desert. Below the granite peaks the soil consisted of all course granite sand with no flowers visible except one small hidden garden of columbine among some boulders…. Scarcely any snow on the pass…steep decent to Golden Creek and into timber again. When we arrived at Pioneer Basin base camp, Philip had already made it before us, as we had stopped for lunch and on several other occasions. Mountaineer Norman Clyde, age 85, had arrived in camp also ahead of the pack train with other hiking guests and the staff to set up…

The travel log described the base camp, day hikes, day packs to satellite campsites, all among mountain meadows, streams, granite boulders and walls, wildflowers, waterfalls, me playing with sticks and rocks, in the streams and tarns and with the other children on the trip. On Saturday, August 15, Dad’s birthday, we had stayed in base camp with about eight other travelers. My mother continued:

After a leisurely breakfast and late start we decided to walk around the East side of Pioneer Basin. Philip took his Hasselblad only and planned to photograph until the late afternoon and then start back. Philip’s first pictures were flowers at a stream’s edge in a meadow where David picked a dead fish carcass out of the stream and cherished it a long while before throwing it back in. It didn’t seem to smell at first but his hands did. He said he would not do that again. We climbed a little and came to a beautiful little tarn with trees, reflections and a grassy edge. Everywhere wafted the scent of Lupin and housewort growing together. After Philip made a photograph with distant mountains in the background, David undressed except for his shirt and played in the water. Clouds began to obscure the sun and a breeze made it cool. David and Philip played a game of throwing rocks in the water. David would throw a rock in and then Philip would quickly without being seen echo David’s rock. David loved it of course and kept it going. We ate an early lunch and Philip left to climb to another larger lake above. David and I napped as the sun came back out and it got much warmer. Nice views with lakes or tarns in foreground and peaks heading the Recesses beyond. Philip said he heard and then saw quail above. I think that is what I saw at our little lunch lake too.

Dad made the photograph from the lower small tarn with the Lupin and housewort blooming,  and with the reflections and small trees. The stories behind the other Special Releases in blog posts to come…

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  1. pj says:

    The Pioneer Basin photo is a classic. Timeless. It seems strange that it sat unused for forty years.

  2. Thank you, PJ, I’ll take part of the compliment on that because I dug it out of the files. I’ll have to double-check, but I don’t think Dad even had it marked as a select. I had it drum scanned and had passed it over then too, favoring some of the others scanned at the time. For printing, Carr Clifton didn’t like much of the group I had scanned but thought “Pioneer Basin, Fourth Recess” might be good. I kept going back to it and looking at it for many months before finally deciding to run with it. This was before I had the whole archive back. I only had the 35mm and most of the non-select 2 1/4, but not the large format to choose from as easily. I wanted something from the High Sierra and the other options were not as strong. Times and tastes change too, but as you say, “Pioneer Basin” is timeless and would have been good in any era. It seems that there are usually a few gems a photographer passes over out of his own work. I have had good mentors advise me about that in going through my own photography and my father’s. The challenge is that with some images you know right away on a light table, but others you just don’t know until you have them worked up and see them printed at least to 11X14. Some landscapes look fine as 8X10s, but don’t start to hit you until you get them enlarged at least to 16X20. That’s the problem with judging photographs online, in Photoshop or on the light box. They just aren’t the same as a good print. Though on the light table 4X5 and 5X7 color transparencies tend to look better and often can never be equaled as prints. It works both ways with large format transparencies.

  3. David, your childhood sounds so wonderful. I love reading about your trips.

    The Pioneer Basin picture makes me wish I could sit and talk to your dad about using color in compositions. He was the master at that.


  4. Hi Sharon, thanks for the comment. He did have a gift in seeing color. He also excelled in seeing forms, textures and patterns too, which is what made his black and white landscapes so good. What I wouldn’t give to talk to him again now, maybe travel through time and have a talk with the younger Philip Hyde before he lost his eyesight, when he was still strong as an ox in his 70s.

  5. Derrick says:

    I can say with quite a bit of certainty that both of these prints look fantastic “on paper” and are a very nice addition to one’s collection. 😉

  6. Hi Derrick, thank you, yes, I appreciate that you can say it with certainty. That’s Fuji Crystal Archive Paper from the Lightjet printing process.

  7. Steve Sieren says:

    David, you took the easy way up, must have been the two cow girls. The sierra passes are a desert in the sky but good thing they all lead to a beautiful lush paradise such as this one.

  8. Hi Steve, thank you for the comment. My mother wrote in her travel log a few days later that they ran across a man on the trail who said he felt Hopkin’s Basin surpassed Pioneer Basin. I don’t remember and didn’t read far enough this time to see if we thought he was right. More for another blog post.

  9. Steve Sieren says:

    The scenery never ends up there.

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