Photo Montana Takes On Sacred Cows

September 20th, 2010 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

Reader Recommendation: PJ Finn’s

Lower Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Montana, 1986 by Paul Johnson/PJ Finn. 35 mm Kodachrome original.

PJ Finn of said he likes to “challenge Sacred Cows.” He likes to test assumptions, challenge clichés, philosophize and post excellent photography. Landscape Photography Blogger recommends to readers PJ Finn’s photo blog at PJ Finn, known offline as Paul Johnson, also blogs about environmental issues at PJ challenges a few sacred cows in his blog post, “That Which Can’t Be Said,” and regularly in other posts such as, “Uniqueness” and “Saturday Morning Blog Notes.”

PJ offers his opinion in such a way as to stir up comment. He invites discussion on his blog and generally sets the example of how to attract a loyal following by running an informative, professional, insightful, inspiring blog.

What PJ Finn Says About Philip Hyde:

Philip Hyde was a master landscape photographer.  When I first got involved with photography in the mid 1970′s, I’d come across his work now and then in books and publications devoted to nature and wilderness photography. It usually stopped me right in my tracks. It was superb. It’s easy enough to throw the word ‘master’ around, but in the case of Philip Hyde it truly applies. In addition to his photography work, Philip Hyde was also a strong voice in the environmental movement and in wilderness preservation efforts.

What PJ Finn Says About Himself:

I’m originally from Minnesota, and moved here to western Montana in 1983 to roam the wilderness and make my mark as a photographer. The mark was small. I found out over the years that I wasn’t really wired for professional photography, and have since re-claimed my amateur status, and wear it with great relief.

I’m getting notoriously cranky and contrary with age. I don’t shoot professionally, I don’t accept assignments, and I don’t shoot for pay. I shoot what I want and make no apologies.

I do however make a select few of my photos, both from the past and new ones, available for sale as prints. You can see them here at PJ’s gallery site. You can also find some of them here at redbubble that are available as notecards and postcards.

When I first seriously picked up a camera in the mid 1970′s, I went through the inevitable phase that I imagine most photographers go through. Everything in front of you is fair game for the camera. The ‘Wow! Click…’ phase. Most of that is useless for anything but memory triggers. They can still be fun to look at, but they don’t amount to much else. As I went along I found my vision becoming more selective, and I was building a body of photographs that I was pleased with. During a divorce about ten years ago I had my stuff in storage while I was getting myself situated again. A storage disaster ruined much of what I had except for a relatively small handful of usable negatives and transparencies.

I am digitizing the few that I think are worthy and using them here on my sites, but essentially I am starting over, and doing it digitally and on the internet rather than on film and in the darkroom. In short, if I want to build up a body of work, I need to get out and do it, and that’s exactly what I intend to do with the second half of my life.

Stop by to see PJ Finn. It will be well worth your time. You will learn something by viewing his photographs and it won’t hurt to breathe a bit of Montana sky, relax and enjoy the journey a bit. Read what PJ or Paul Johnson said about Landscape Photography Blogger at Read more about PJ Finn’s Buzztail Blog in the blog post, “Monday Blog Blog: Buzztail Blog Shakes And Makes A Difference.”



  1. pj says:

    Thank you David. I appreciate the kind words. It’s good to know I’m not just sitting here talking to myself. Your comments, and those of the others who stop by and chime in, make blogging about photography a very enriching experience. Thanks again.

  2. Thank you, PJ for opening good discussions, sharing photographs worth talking about and sprinkling in a bit of wisdom and humor to leaven your fine offering to the landscape photography blog world.

  3. I’ve enjoyed Paul’s Saturday morning rants, I mean posts. I agree he does “offers his opinion in such a way as to stir up comment.” And, he’s got a great gallery of images.

  4. Hi Monte, thank you for your input about PJ. Your blog is another I plan to do a recommendation on when I get a chance.

  5. Derrick says:

    In addition to great images, PJ is always good for getting the brain working on the weekends. 😉

  6. Thank you for the comment Derrick. Reading PJ is like a good cup of coffee, but Monte is more likely to show you a photograph of a cup of coffee.

  7. The photograph accompanying this article is just stunning. I’ve spent some time this afternoon in PJ’s blog and will definitely return – some good reading there.


  8. Hi Sharon, yours is another blog I plan to recommend when I get a chance. Well, this is a less official recommendation now. Click on Sharon’s name or on Monte’s above or on the Landscape Photography Blogger blog roll and check out some of these blogs any time, though this is PJ’s moment and I’m glad you wrote to say you enjoyed browsing his blog, Sharon.

  9. Richard Wong says:

    Sorry about the storage loss, PJ. That would be one of my greatest fears short of losing a loved one due to a disaster.

    I also like these periodic posts you do, David. Good stuff.

  10. Thank you, Richard, I need to do more of these recommendations. I just get caught up in my list of blog posts to come and time gets away. Good point about PJ’s storage loss. That moved me too when I read it in “About PJ” on his blog.

  11. Greg Russell says:

    Fantastic post, David. I think PJ and I met through your blog, and I’m appreciative for that because of all the reasons you mentioned above. I always enjoy PJ’s photos and thoughts, and I appreciate his thougths on my blog.

  12. Hi Greg, thank you for the compliment. I am happy to hear you met PJ through Landscape Photography Blogger.

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