Philip Hyde Artist’s Statement

Compiled and Edited by David Leland Hyde from Range of Light, Slickrock, Drylands and Other Books, Articles, Posters, Interviews and Portfolios

I found my spiritual home in the Sierra high country as early as 1938 at age 16 on a Boy Scout Backpack Trip. Though I studied under Ansel Adams, Minor White and Edward Weston, I find my work and philosophy evolving past the hard and fast definitions of early training. My intent is not to awe, but to stimulate empathy and love. I am not interested in pretty pictures for postcards. I feel better if I just get a few people to see something they haven’t seen before. I rarely wait for light or for some missing element, partly because I wish to avoid pouring nature into a mold, but also because waiting for something to happen may well mean missing something else. Black-and-white is excellent experience for color work because it encourages sensitivity to form, texture, tonal gradations and the quality of light. Color photographs that lack these qualities and rely too much on the shock value of color alone will not sustain interest. I begin to see when I leave the car behind. People are ever hurrying over the increasing highways that penetrate lovely country and either lacerate it or pass it by unseen. A mind at peace may be found in any individual or people who have kept touch with what the land is saying and who lack the benefits of instant dissemination of the human troubles that make news. After reading Gandhi, I see that what we need now is a peaceful environmental revolution. The Earth will survive, but will man survive on the Earth?

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