Remembering Philip Hyde, Visionary Landscape Photographer & Conservationist

Ardis, David and Philip Hyde, Self Portrait, Waterpocket Fold, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, 1970. © Philip Hyde Photography.

Ardis, David and Philip Hyde, Self Portrait, Waterpocket Fold, Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, 1970. © Philip Hyde Photography.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the passing of Philip Hyde, one of the most influential landscape photographers of the twentieth century and a pioneer of conservation photography.

A student and friend of Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Minor White, Hyde’s career began in the heyday of the modernist transformation of photography and continued for nearly 60 years up to the beginning of the digital era. His contributions to the Sierra Club’s legendary Exhibit Format Series helped popularize the coffee table photography book and bring color to landscape photography, while guiding and informing the public about conservation efforts to protect America’s wilderness areas through his images.

Hyde’s son, David Leland Hyde, is actively working to preserve his father’s legacy, and is a talented photographer and writer in his own right. In 2014, we featured an article by David, “The Art of Vision”, in which he shares personal insights into his father’s beginnings as a professional photographer and his contemplative approach to the creative process.

For a fascinating look at the history of Philip Hyde’s work and a better understanding of nature photography’s “golden area”, photographer and OP contributor Guy Tal offers an incredibly insightful interview with David Leland Hyde on his website, which we highly recommend.

Photographer Richard Wong also offers an interview with David in which he talks about the importance of environmental conservation in Philip Hyde’s photography: “Dad was a conservationist first,” Hyde explains in this interview. “The photographers who are the most effective environmentalists know the current issues and know what campaigns might need the services of a photographer.”

Learn more about Philip Hyde’s contributions to photography and the conservation movement, as well as the effort David Leland Hyde is making to raise environmental awareness, at David’s website:

Wes is the editorial director of Outdoor Photographer. He joined the publication's staff in 1998.

His interest in photography began as a fascination with his dad's Canon AE-1 when he was a kid, and grew into a more serious occupation in college when he switched majors from communications to fine art. He graduated with a degree in photography from the University of California at Santa Cruz.