He employed as adjunct professor at State University of New York College at Purchase, New York in 1980, he worked as director for the Museum of Modern Art, Department of Film, in New York City from 1965 to 1973. He has been self-employed for most of his life, and also worked as film director for the U.S. government during World War II. Van Dyke served as president of International Film Seminars from 1965 to 1972, president of Screen Directors International Guild from 1960 to 1962 and president of the New York Film Council in 1947.
Working almost entirely with 8x10 contact prints, he creates portraits and rural and urban landscapes in both black-and-white and color.
In the 1930s, Van Dyke, Adams and Weston created a group they called f.64, after the lens opening providing the sharpest focus. The three developed a revolutionary photographic technique that depended on both sharp and deep focus, rather than on manipulation of a print to make it look like a painting.