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Galen Rowell Photos Discussion

dave.gt

Well-known member
Wow, just now finding time to check out other forums that may be of interest to me. I am somewhat dismayed to see that this forum has so little activity!

So, let’s try a little discussion on one of my favorite landscape photographers.

I am looking for some great sources (books, prints, videos, etc.) of Galen’s images.

In the past, my only access was to occasional magazine articles and then online photos through his website which apparently no longer exists. I would love to find the best sources of Galen’s remarkable work.

Can we have some discussions? I am sure that I am not alone in having an interest in his work.:):):)
 

KC_2020

Active member
Dave here is a good resource for Galen Rowell's books and other publications.

I appreciated his work and enthusiasm for many years. Unfortunately his gallery closed in 2017, 15 years after his untimely death. I wonder how well he'll be remembered.

Two things I remember about him. He used graduated NDs extensively, with much success IMHO. Also over the years he moved from large formate to 35mm, not the typical transition of landscape photographers. In the later years of his career he used Nikon FM and FE bodies which you may appreciate.
 

dave.gt

Well-known member
Dave here is a good resource for Galen Rowell's books and other publications.

I appreciated his work and enthusiasm for many years. Unfortunately his gallery closed in 2017, 15 years after his untimely death. I wonder how well he'll be remembered.

Two things I remember about him. He used graduated NDs extensively, with much success IMHO. Also over the years he moved from large formate to 35mm, not the typical transition of landscape photographers. In the later years of his career he used Nikon FM and FE bodies which you may appreciate.
Fantastic!!! Thanks so much!

I was always stunned by Galen’s work and of course, he was talented and skilled in so many ways, I remember his articles well and was in awe of how he could possibly do what he did.

Thanks for the link! I need a few of his books.
:):):)
 

4season

Active member
I purchased an EverColor print from Rowell's Emeryville gallery in the early 1990s. Briefly met the man himself, and he shared a couple of tales of how the photos were made, before he had to dash off somewhere. An old golden retriever had the run of the place, though mostly he(?) snoozed during my visit.
 

dchew

Well-known member
Dave,
Galen was a mentor of mine. I still remember seeing his Karakoram images for the first time in the 1970's. I lived in the Bay Area in the '90s just when I was starting to dive into photography and my office was in Emeryville at 6400 Hollis, 2 blocks from the MountainLight studio. I was lucky to not only attend several workshops, but had and many discussions and impromptu lunch gatherings with him and his staff. I even got to piggyback on The New Lab's pickup service. I could call them when I got to work in the morning, they would pick up my undeveloped film and drop slides back off by 5pm the same day!

Although I moved away from the FF format, so much of my approach to photographing in the field has Galen's signature all over, both literally and figuratively. I still use his Photoflex chest pouch to this day! Everything from how to change a lens to the obsession with keeping my kit "pragmatically light." Galen's love for the landscape and his participatory photography was infectious. Dewitt Jones described going somewhere with Galen akin to "sitting next to a nuclear reactor." On the hunter/fisherman scale, Galen was definitely a hunter; he attacked the landscape.

If you enjoyed his articles in Outdoor Photographer, then there are two books that feature those articles and many of his well-known images:
Galen Rowell's Vision
Galen Rowell's Inner Game of Outdoor Photography

These are both collections of his articles with groups of pages dedicated to images relevant to the articles in that group. "Inner Game" is the second book. Neither of these are big coffee table viewing books; they are small format books meant as dog-eared resources. If you want books for display and image viewing, then Mountain Light and the Retrospective are probably the best.
Mountain Light
Retrospective

Ciao,
Dave
 

dchew

Well-known member
Two stories, one Galen would appreciate, one probably not. ;)

One great thing about Galen's workshops around the Bay Area was that you turned in your film at the end of the day. The above-mentioned New Lab would pick up all the film that night and process it overnight or early the next day. In the morning, after our early morning shoot, your slides would be there for you to review and edit. You picked out 8-12 slides to go into a carousel and be shown that afternoon with Galen critiquing. He felt many workshop attendees' photos were shot too wide, so he sat in a "director's chair" with two corner pieces of mat board. We always called them "the evil framing squares." Someone's image would come up on the screen and Galen would pause, then stick those angle pieces in front of the projector in a way that cropped out a wonderful image from the mediocre full version. That has been so engrained in my brain that to this day I don't shoot very wide. Probably because those Evil Squares are in my subconscious! Those critique sessions were one of the most valuable things I've ever experienced.

Second story: Anyone who traveled with Galen knew he was, well, an efficient driver. He would hop in one of the two Suburbans and tear off like a bat out of hell. No hope of keeping up if you weren't in that Suburban with him. One evening we were headed to Rodeo Beach. We arrived in the "other" Suburban some minutes after him. He was pulled off at a turnout on the roof of the vehicle with a long lens. He turned to us and gave us the "shhhh" finger, so Jerry Dodrill shut off the Suburban and we waited. Galen had spotted a bobcat in the distance and was shooting away. After a few minutes, he looks down at his camera, slams his fist on the roof and you can see the f-word clearly on his lips from 100 feet away.

No film.

Happens to the best of us!

Dave
 
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