Digital Photo 150 at Napa Valley College

Images by Philip Hyde

List of Images by Phillip Hyde to be discussed:

Steamboat Rock, 1955


Cathedral in the Desert

Virginia Creeper

The Image by Philip Hyde:  Steamboat Rock

CAPTION:   “Steamboat Rock, Echo Park, Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado” is under the image but in the text description, the state is Utah… I will get online and try to clarify that  conflict of location…

Matted and framed, the cost is $1350… 8×10 black and white is $250.
Sourcing text online at the Web site:   ” Steamboat Rock, Echo Park, Confluence of Green River and Yampa River, Dinosaur National Monument, Utah, 1955. Participated in the book, “This is Dinosaur Echo Park Country And Its Magic Rivers” edited by Wallace Stegner, published by Sierra Club. The first book made for a conservation cause. Given to all U.S. Congress members, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and other Washington D.C. leaders. Helped David Brower, Executive Director of the Sierra Club and leader of the coalition of conservation organizations fight the flooding of 98 out of 104 miles within Dinosaur national monument. Coalition members lobbied, wrote letters, and ran advertisements adding a new brand of activism to conservation ideals and birthing modern environmentalism.  Congress eventually voted against the building of two proposed dams at Echo Park and Split Mountain inside National Monument boundaries.  David Brower used 9th grade math to prove to Congress that Glen Canyon Dam could store more water than the dams on the Green River and Yampa River, but regretted sacrificing Glen Canyon later, when he explored the little known beauty of this canyon paradise before the dam filled Lake Powell .”

My Own Comment:
[and covered Glen Canyon in over 100 feet of water for over 100 miles on the Colorado river, and cut off water to wildlife in Grand Canyon.] The Grand Canyon was literally dying because of Lake Powell… so later, a court action stipulated that water had to be released from the Glen Canyon dam before energy needs, to keep up with the needs of the Grand Canyon wilderness area.

This image helped convince Congress to save Dinosaur National Monument in Utah, but at the cost of Glen Canyon being flooded for over 100 miles, and the cutting off of needed Colorado River water from the Grand Canyon.  “Lake Powell” was not actually a lake until the Glen Canyon dam was built there.  – Now years later, with drought, over-allocation of water, and the court mandate about releasing water back into the Grand Canyon, water levels of Lake Powell in Glen Canyon, Utah have fallen enough, that clean-up and restoration of Glen Canyon has begun.

Some of the restoration work  of Glen Canyon on the Colorado is documented in a book: Resurrection Glen Canyon and a New Vision for the Amercian West by Anete McGivney with photography by James Kay.

An early explorer of the area of Glen Canyon wrote in 1869
“On the walls, and back many miles into the country, numbers of monument-shaped buttes are observed. So we have a curious ensemble of wonderful features – carved walls, royal arches, glens, alcove gulches, mounds, and monuments. From which of these features shall we select a name?  We decided to call it Glen Canyon.”1
~ John Wesley Powell, 1869

Hence, when flooded, the Lake was named after him.

In Summary, when you look at the image of Steamboat Rock, you see a master photographers rendition of a very unusual shape and this image has come to represent the  saving one of one thing at the sacrifice of another.  Steamboat Rock was in the first book made for a conservation cause… but they (Congress) didn’t get it right,  in their thirst for dams on rivers, when they flooded Glen Canyon.

For Further Information:
The Place No One Knew  Glen Canyon on the Colorado by Eliot Porter, a Sierra Club book edited by David Brower, Executive Director of the Sierra Club and leader of a coalition of conservation organizations… humbled by the flooding of Glen Canyon and so sorry that no one knew of the beauty of the place before it was sacrificed to keep from building dams in Dinosaur Monument., Utah.

Source for the John Wesley Powell quote:  Publishers Faceplate page, preceding title page, The Place No One Knew, Glen Canyon on the Colorado by Eliot Porter, copyrighted by Sierra Club in 1963, 1965, 1968.

Page 75 of Eliot Porter book has image “Waterfall and wet wall, Cathedral in the Desert, Escalante Basin”   Lithographed by Barnes Press, Inc., New York, NY.
The name “Cathedral in the Desert” is a geological location and  is not, should not be, a proprietary name of any single image.

A color view of Dinosaur National Monument (park) from the RV park

This is a recent image, not by Philip Hyde, who died in 2006, but by a traveler, who publicly posted this image of Dinosaur National Monument for us to enjoy and share.  This depicts one of the rivers which would have been dammed in the 1950’s had the Sierra Club and other conservationist organizations not voiced their disdain to Congress with the blitz of books of photography of the area.  This rock does seem to have a similar shape to Hyde’s black and white image of “Steamboat Rock” of 1955.  The river bends are sharp due to the rock formations in the area.  In this image, the shadow of the rock is thrown onto the mountain behind it.

Dinosaur National Monument at Wikipedia.


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