Interview With Jack Dykinga

Jack Dykinga was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from NANPA. In this interview with Tiffany Reed Briley, he discusses his award, his lung transplant, the importance of having your own style, and authenticity in the art of photography

Congratulations on the recent announcement that you are going to be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from NANPA. What went through your mind when you received that news?

Well, I’ve known about it for a while. You know, it’s nice to be recognized, especially by a group that I had a hand in starting. A bunch of us got together and thought it would be a good idea to start such a group. Franz Lanting and I talked about this very early on in the process. It’s nice to be honored by the same people. It’s very gratifying. People will say that it doesn’t matter, but it does matter.

It’s interesting because the makeup of the organization is largely amateur. One of the things that disturbs many of us old guys (as old pros) is that we grew up in a time with bi-lines and having an established mentor or two or three that we patterned our lives after. Increasingly, with their younger demographic, things are so fast and quickly thrown away; there doesn’t seem to be as much attention paid to the fine art aspect of what we do.

Let’s stay on this for a second. Perhaps you’re right, my generation might not look for mentors. What do you think you lack by not having that legacy or accomplished photographer, who has gone before you, feeding into you?

There is so much. It’s basically the depth of knowledge. Things as basic as a color wheel and what’s complimentary along with contrasting colors. It’s also which filter to use because we don’t use color filters anymore. In digital you can ...

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