Review: Images: Jack Dykinga’s Grand Canyon

Images: Jack Dykinga’s Grand Canyon is another photography book in a series from Arizona Highways. Unlike the Arizona Highways Photography Guide (reviewed here) which is instructional, this book is a work of art.

This 11-inch square book begins and ends with essays by non-fiction writer Charles Bowden and geologist and author Wayne Ranney, respectively.

Bowden’s opening essay describes the canyon with an almost holy reverence. It’s a beautiful tribute to a place the author describes as timeless. A place not for worship but for exploration and meditation that nourish the soul.

The closing essay by Ranney gives us a geologist’s view of the Canyon. It’s less poetic than Bowden’s but no less interesting (at least to me) as he shares insights into the formation of the canyon that made me marvel at the time and energy, virtually beyond human comprehension, required to form it.

And in between these short essays the book is filled with beautiful color photographs of the canyon by Jack Dykinga. From snow-covered plateaus, storms, and sunrise vistas, to gorgeous sunsets casting bright orange and red hues onto ancient canyon walls, Dykinga shows that he is an accomplished artist who has spent years absorbing the essence of the canyon. The matte-like finish and thick pages present the photos well—my only quibble is that I wish the book was larger. The two-page spreads are 22×11″ but many of the photos demand to be seen much larger. But, as suggested by the authors, perhaps it’s not possible to truly capture the Grand Canyon in any form as humble as a book, regardless of size.

Buy this book at

Have you read this book? Share your opinion in the comments below.

I have two copies to give away (one used for the review) courtesy of Arizona Highways. Please leave a comment if you’d like one. I’ll choose two commenters at random this weekend to receive them. Leave a valid email address so that I can contact you.

This book was provided to Photodoto free of charge for review.

By John Watson

John Watson is the original founder of Photodoto. If you're interested in what John has been up to, you can browse his personal blog.


  1. How interesting that you are discussing this book and the Grand Canyon. I will be visiting my sister in Flagstaff in a few weeks, and we plan to take several trips to the Grand Canyon at different times of the day. I want to photograph its beauty in different light conditions.

    I’ve been searching on the Internet for suggested locations at the Grand Canyon for photography. This book would probably be a great guide.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. I will probably buy this book soon.

  2. I’m slated to be an artist-in-residence on the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park in early 2009. I came across your review of ‘Images: Jack Dykinga’s Grand Canyon’ while looking for location info and people’s experiences with winter weather in the canyon.

    I must say, this looks to be an excellent book. I already have Dykinga’s ‘Stone Canyons of the Colorado Plateau’ and can’t wait to pickup a copy of this book.

    Thank you for the review.

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