Photographer’s Library : Galen Rowell

Photographer’s Library: Galen Rowell

I’m not entirely sure where to start with this one. This will be a multiple review, as I do own quite a few (5) of Galen Rowell’s books.

Galen Avery Rowell (August 23, 1940 – August 11, 2002) was a wilderness photographer, adventure photojournalist, and climber. He tragically died aged 61, with his wife Barbara in a plane crash in California. Galen was the most famous outdoor photographer in the world, regularly shooting features for National Geographic during a life spent travelling in remote countries around the world.

National Geographic Picture of Galen Rowell standing on the Chang Tang Plateau of Tibet
Picture of Galen Rowell standing on the Chang Tang Plateau of Tibet

I will start by saying that Galen Rowell’s work influenced me a lot. When I started to take landscape photography more seriously, he was one of the first photographers I looked up to. His pictures shot on Velvia 50 inspired me to start using Fujifilm Velvia 50 slide film.

The books:

 A Retrospective
Rowell, A retrospective
Rowell, A retrospective

A Retrospective is the biggest of all the Rowells book I own so I will start with this. It is a very nice book and probably the best starter for somebody who would like to explore Galen’s work.A Retrospective includes more than 175 images representing all phases and dimensions of Rowell’s singular career, chosen by the editors with whom he worked most closely, overseen by his family and studio colleagues, and reproduced to the highest standards of lithography from digital masters of his 35mm frames. I personally love this book and returning to it for inspiration very often. If you want to own a Galen Rowell’s book this is the one to have. 

I bought mine from here: Galen Rowell: A Retrospective

 

Galen Rowell Retrospective
Galen Rowell Retrospective
 
 
 Mountain Light (In search of Dynamic Landscape)
Rowell Mountain Light
Rowell, Mountain Light
Mountain light is a book for true landscape photographers. Rowel’s searching for what he called “Dynamic landscape” is massively celebrated here. The book is full of inspirational photos. But this book is not just another “picture” book. It is packed with a great amount of information and tips on landscape photography, as well as a short history of Galen Rowell’s own photographic development.Mountain Light is split into Exhibits and Chapters. In chapters, you can find a lot of various aspects of Rowell’s work. Also, you can take a journey through Galen’s mind; his approach to photography, how he looks at composition, light, equipment and pretty much everything else you could ask for. It is absolutely great reading for any landscape photographer and full of useful info.
      In Chapters, you can find a lot of various aspects of Rowell’s work. Also, you can take a journey through Galen’s mind; his approach to photography, how he looks at composition, light, equipment and pretty much everything else you could ask for. It is absolutely great reading for any landscape photographer and full of useful info.
     In Exhibits Rowel is analyzing each photograph in great depth. I like this part of the book very much.Although it is very wordy, it’s well worth to read.
In conclusion, I have to say this book sits proudly in my library and every time I pick it up I’ll learn something new. I believe this book should be part of every landscape photographer library.
 
 
Galen Rowell Mountain Light
Galen Rowell Mountain Light
Inner game of Outdoor photography
Rowell, Inner game of Outdoor Photography
Rowell, Inner Game of Outdoor Photography
This book is a compilation of various articles that Rowell has written over the years for Outdoor Photographer magazine. And it’s great. Divided into 4 parts Gallen is talking about Vision, Preparation, Journeys and Realization. Again, this is a very inspirational reading for photographers. Not just film photographers but text applies to every outdoor photographer. 
It is a lot of text to read through, but it never gets boring or uninteresting to me. You can open the book in any chapter and just read…
 

If you interested to read this book you can buy it here: Galen Rowell’s Inner Game of Outdoor Photography

 

 

 

 
Galen Rowell’s Vision and The Art of Adventure
Galen Rowell's Vision
Galen Rowell’s Vision
Art of Adventure
The Art of Adventure

Those two books are smaller than previous three books I have talked about.

The Art of Photography is full of magnificent photos. The text is minimal, it gives you just enough to appreciate the lengths to which the photographer has gone to bring us those shots. It will make a great present to ay landscape photographer.

Get your copy of the book here: The Art of Adventure

Galen Rowell’s Vision, on the other hand, is a much more wordy book. There is a lot more text than photos. Same as in the Inner Game of Outdoor photography, this book is a compilation of texts which Rowell did for various magazines. I would say if you own Inner Game.you can give this book a miss. But the quality of the text and pictures is amazing so I would recommend the book nevertheless.

You can buy this book on Amazon: Galen Rowell’s Vision

 

To conclude this review I would say that if you don’t have Rowell’s book go ahead and buy one. Galen Rowell is truly one of the masters of landscape photography and you will be inspired. If I have to choose one book, I would go for Mountain Light.This book has everything:  amazing photos and great text.

Although above books are aimed for film photographers, there is a lot to learn for digital shooters.Chapters about preparation, composition are universal and I can guarantee that you that everytime you open the book you will learn something new…..

What is your favourite photo book? Leave us a note below.

My previous book review is here.

 

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