Thursday, August 23, 2018

Galen Rowell

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Photo Courtesy: Ron Kauk
    Galen  Rowell needs no introduction to the photography community, This great photographer would have been 78 years today.   A cruel twist of fate took him away on August 11, 2002 in a plane crash.
 Though Rowell was primarily a landscape photographer, he was not averse to other forms of photography as well. He spent long hours waiting for the right light for his photos. Living in California, the nationals parks like Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon were his back yard  including Owens Valley in the Sierra Nevada and  it is here that he did some of his most splendid work.

A Rowell photo has a distinctive stamp on it and if you are familiar with his work you would probably recognize the photographs. Some of Rowell's quotes are below:

 "If your artificially lit shadows are as bright as your naturally lit highlights, the resulting image will always appear overlit."

"Is is hard to believe the sense of liberation that comes from debunking the notion that serious photography requires a seriously large tripod."

"I chose 35mm as my sole means of photographic expression because I wanted to be relatively unencumbered. I tried larger cameras , but the bottom line is that my imagination more directly connects with the final image in 35mm."

"I can't wait to go out in the field and search for examples of chaos in clouds, trees and turbulent waters to juxtapose against the more predictable and immutable patterns of nature."

"We usually pass over a photograph devoid of emotional reaction to its subject and say ' This doesn't do anything  for me. ' Of course it doesn't! The photographer didn't have his or her heart in it."

“Photography was a means of visual expression to communicate what I had seen to people who weren’t there. At first I was disturbed that 99 percent of my images didn’t look as good as what I had seen. The other one percent, however, contained some element–a beam of light, a texture, a reflection–that looked more powerful on film than to my eye. Without this I never would have been drawn toward photography as a career. I became fascinated with trying to consistently combine photographic vision and a visualization in my mind’s eye to make images that exceeded the normal perception before my eyes." Galen Rowell


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