Outdoor Photographer Special Feature: Philip Hyde and the Art of Making National Parks

June 9th, 2016 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

Outdoor Photographer June National Parks Centennial Special Issue

Centerpiece Feature: Philip Hyde and the Art of Making National Parks by David Leland Hyde

Outdoor Photographer Cover, June 2016 National Parks Centennial Special Issue, cover photograph Mount Deception, Brooks and Silverthrone, Wonder Lake, the Alaska Range, Denali National Park by Carr Clifton.

Outdoor Photographer Cover, June 2016 National Parks Centennial Special Issue, cover photograph Mount Deception, Brooks and Silverthrone, Wonder Lake, the Alaska Range, Denali National Park by Carr Clifton. (Click on image to see larger.)

Outdoor Photographer magazine has come a long way lately. The magazine is under new ownership, Madavor Media, L.L.C. out of Braintree, Massachusetts. Wes Pitts, who worked for the previous owners for more than 17 years and apprenticed under Rob Sheppard, is the new Editorial Director/Editor. The articles and headlines now appeal as much to seasoned photographers as to beginners.

There are still many articles about gear and locations, but these are done more tastefully, while more articles about the art and craft of photography are appearing. Some of the best writers from the Rob Sheppard and Steve Werner eras are back like Lewis Kemper, Carr Clifton, James Kay, Mark Edward Harris, Art Wolfe and others. Columnists such as Amy Gulick, Frans Lanting, William Neill, David Muench and others continue to produce excellent advice and insight. David Leland Hyde has been named on the masthead as a Contributing Editor.

The reproduction quality still has a ways to go, but they are working internally on improving this and other aspects of the magazine to make gradual refinements over the coming months and years. The editor has expressed the objectives of bringing in more conservation photography and more quality coverage by the experienced professionals in the field.

Currently for June, the Outdoor Photographer editors and staff put together a National Parks Centennial Special Issue with cover photograph and personal experience feature article about the “Wildlands of the National Parks” by Carr Clifton. They invited David Leland Hyde to write the issue’s centerpiece feature article called, “Philip Hyde: The Art of Making National Parks.” Ben Horton wrote an excellent article about getting off the beaten path in the parks and long-time contributor William Sawalich wrote a fascinating feature profile of George Grant who, “Toiled in obscurity for nearly three decades as the first official photographer of the National Park Service.”

The Philip Hyde centerpiece feature immerses the reader in the conservation campaigns that made many of our Western National Parks. From Harvey Manning, author of the Sierra Club Exhibit Format Series book Wild Cascades: Forgotten Parkland, to David Simons, long-time resident, explorer, photographer and land conservationist in the North Cascades of Washington, from David Brower, Ansel Adams and Martin Litton to Eliot Porter, Point Reyes National Seashore, Dinosaur National Monument, Edward Weston, Minor White, the Bureau of Reclamation, Glen Canyon, Grand Canyon, Howard Zahniser, Edward Abbey, Slickrock, Canyonlands National Park, The Last Redwoods, Gary Braasch, Jack Dykinga, Backpacker Magazine, William Neill, Chris Brown, Lewis Kemper, Carr Clifton, Alaska: The Great Land and Wade Davis author of a new book, The Sacred Headwaters, this is an in-depth look at Philip Hyde’s career, his influences and those he influenced in the field of conservation photography.

The Outdoor Photographer June National Parks Centennial Special Issue is on newsstands now and is one of the best issues of Outdoor Photographer yet. Do not wait because the special editions of Outdoor Photographer often sell out. This is not just a sales pitch. You can go online now and read Philip Hyde: The Art of Making National Parks, but if you want the special issue in the paper version, I would get it as soon as possible. Find it at Barnes and Noble and other booksellers and magazine racks, wherever magazines are sold.

To read more about the George Eastman Museum Exhibition America’s National Parks, see David Leland Hyde’s guest post on the Outdoor Photographer Blog. To read an in-depth overview of the exhibit including special programs and lectures see Philip Hyde in Photography and America’s National Parks Exhibition–Programs and Lectures.

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  1. Richard Wong says:

    Its been awhile since ive read OP but sounds like an improvement over the past decade. Kudos for getting the feature David.

  2. Hi Richard, I appreciate the Kudos. I didn’t query Outdoor Photographer, the editor suggested the article to me at the last minute doubting I would take it or be able to pull it off that fast. I was enthusiastic to take the assignment because of Dad’s significant role in the National Parks, the possibilities for improving the publication and also because I was one of the few writers the previous owners paid fully in the last year they were in business.

  3. Richard Wong says:

    Yikes. I’ve heard a few complaints about that. Didn’t realize it was basically everyone.

  4. Thanks for your comments, Richard. I did not intend to imply that. I don’t really know for sure how many writers and photographers did not get paid. Word is the new company is paying on time now though.

  5. Penny Meyer says:

    Way to go David.
    Posted on my FB page.

  6. Thank you, Penny. I appreciate you helping to spread the word.

  7. Ron Schmidt says:

    Exciting, David. I tried to get a copy of Outdoor Photographer on June 1 at Books Inc. but sadly they don’t carry the magazine. I will pursue further … and congratulations! Your dad would be so proud!

  8. Appreciate your congrats, Ron. Did you ask at Books Inc if they carry it, or did you merely not see it? On June 1, it had only been released for one day. They might not have had the new issue yet and were out of the previous month’s…? Outdoor Photographer has a very large distribution. Usually in the past I’ve found that I could request it and most bookstores can get it in. I saw it this week at Barnes and Noble in Reno prominently in front and center of the entire two-shelf art and photography section.

  9. Michael Kim says:

    Outdoor Photographer seems to be a celebration of technically perfect mediocrity. I can’t decide if it’s a failure of imagination editorially or if it’s the small pool of mediocre unimaginative photographers that they choose images from. ..

  10. Thanks for the comment, Michael. Are you a photographer? I could not find you. Many photographers, including many of my friends and myself, have made similar comments about Outdoor Photographer magazine at different times. In my opinion, there have been improvements lately, but it is still not as good a magazine as it was when Galen Rowell wrote a column and Dad appeared in it more often. The present editor and others including myself, have a goal to make it better again now, which takes time and involves overcoming many obstacles and budgeting issues. Publishers across the industry are cutting back on reproduction and paper costs and sometimes they may not understand why a photography magazine needs to be handled differently from a magazine on woodworking, for example. How many issues have you read this year versus last year? Have you noticed an improvement in the content lately? I know we are always willing to listen to ideas of how it could improve. What needs to change, in your opinion, to make OP the magazine you would want to read?

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