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Monthly Masters' Discussion - Jack Dykinga's "Stone Canyon"

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:29 pm
by minniev

This month we will look at Stone Canyon, an image by Jack Dykinga, a modern master in editorial photojournalism and environmental/landscape genres. Like last month’s Modern Master, Dykinga (born in 1943) is of the same generation as many of us. Like many modern photographers, he began his photographic career with the newspapers: he worked for both the dailies in Chicago, and in 1971 was awarded the Pulitzer for his features on the treatment of mentally ill boys in Illinois institutions (link below). He relocated to Arizona in the 1980s, worked for the Arizona Daily Star, then moved gradually into landscape photography, with work published frequently in National Geographic and shown in galleries around the world.

“Stone Canyon”, above, was chosen as one of the 40 best Nature Photographs of all time. Dykinga made this photograph as part of a campaign to create National Monuments in both the Paria Canyon and Escalante Canyon drainages. He had tried on six separate occasions to make this image following seasonal rains, dissatisfied each time with the quality of the reflections in the standing water. His final effort paid off after driving south from Salt Lake City and arriving near Paria Canyon around midnight. Dykinga camped at the mouth of one of the side canyons and began hiking in around 3:30am in order to arrive on location in time for dawn and calm water. This time he got the image he was looking for.

Questions to Consider:

Please review some of the materials linked below for more information about Dykinga, his history, and the other work in his portfolio. Then share your own thoughts about this image, and answer any of the questions below that you’d like to, and of course feel free to make any other comments on your views.

1. What do you think of the composition? The color? Does it have visual impact? Would you want it on your wall? Why or why not?
2. Dykinga made 6 nighttime trips to camp on-site in order to get the image he visualized. Have you ever made that kind of commitment? If so, was it successful? If you’d like, share an image that you had to make repeated or difficult trips to “get it right”. Our equipment is smaller/lighter than what most photographers used until very recently. Has that made us more or less likely to make these kinds of commitments to getting images in difficult circumstances?
3. Think about a photographer making a move from editorial journalism to landscape photography. How does visual story apply to each? Same or differently? In what ways? Refer to Dykinga's Pulitzer images for reference.
4. Beautiful, colorful landscape images abound on websites like 500px and many others. What makes this image of Stone Canyon stand out?
5. Many landscape photographers worry that sharing the locations of wilderness places like this will lead to over-use and damage. Others are concerned about intellectual piracy of image concepts as copycat photographers seek to capture their own version of the image. Do you share either or both of those concerns. Why or why not?

Links for Further Study ... -year.html ... his-career ... ck-dykinga ... -interview

Re: Monthly Masters' Discussion - Jack Dykinga's "Stone Canyon"

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 3:22 pm
by Psjunkie
I briefly glanced at some of his landscape stuff minniev...I'd put some of yours above his..He does wonderful work no question, I just wasn't blown away with his stuff like I thought I might be. I did find it funny that he has a couple of different versions of the same images..not unlike us, hard to make up your mind what you want to for the image shown I find the stick competing for dominance and think it would be a better image without it..........

Re: Monthly Masters' Discussion - Jack Dykinga's "Stone Canyon"

Posted: Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:25 pm
by PietFrancke
I am thinking that some of these strata images have become cliché..

I can like them, or I can leave them. About copyrighting stuff and ideas .. some of that is just plain ridiculous. I just went to the copyright site and got a copyright on "most watched - least trusted". I hope I can become rich when they need it!!!!