OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

Wilderness photographer to speak at OSU

04/21/1998

CORVALLIS - Jack Dykinga, who left a successful career in photojournalism to promote wilderness preservation through his photography, will give a talk at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 29, at LaSells Stewart Center in Corvallis.

Dykinga's appearance is sponsored by the OSU Convocations and Lectures Committee and is open to the public without charge. In his lecture, "A Personal Photographic Journey," he will show the evolution of his photographic work from news to nature.

In 1971, while at the Chicago Sun-Times, Dykinga won a Pulitzer Prize for feature photography for photos taken at the Lincoln and Dixon State Schools for the Retarded in Illinois. He later moved to Arizona and began to photograph the deserts of the Southwest.

"As a news photographer, I thought a photograph had to have a human in it to be successful," Dykinga said. "Now I've gone the opposite direction, concentrating solely on the environment and using photographs to communicate the importance of saving wild areas."

Critics have noted that his photos merge a documentary style with a strong sense of design and the clarity of large-format landscape photography.

Dykinga has been a successful advocate for wilderness. His book "The Secret Forest," helped persuade the Mexican government to designate the Sierra Alamos in northern Mexico as a national park and United Nations Biosphere Preserve.

Closer to home, his most recent book, "Stone Canyons of the Colorado Plateau," influenced President Clinton's executive order that created the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah.

His other photography books include "Frog Mountain Blues" and "The Sonoran Desert." His photographs have appeared in such magazines as Backpacker, National Geographic, Nature Conservancy, Outside and Time. He has photographed calendars for Audubon, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Arizona Highways and the Wilderness Society.

In addition to the deserts of the Southwest, Dykinga has photographed wilderness areas in Montana, New England and the Olympic Peninsula. He is working on a book about the Mojave Desert.

Dykinga will sign copies of his books after the lecture. His talk will be interpreted for the hearing impaired.