Galen Rowell (1940-2002) was a pioneering mountain climber turned adventure and landscape photographer. Born and raised in Berkeley, California, Rowell was at the forefront of the 1960's climbing revolution in Yosemite Valley and beyond. His climbing talent led to a National Geographic assignment in 1972 which landed Rowell the front cover. That kickstarted his legendary career which spanned several genres.
In addition to being a renowned world adventurer, Galen Rowell in latter years focused on more traditional landscape photography in his own unique style. With a move fast and interactive style of photography, Rowell coined his style as "Participatory Photography". The photographer is not just a passive observer in this style but an active participant in combining the elements in a photo together that wouldn't have happened if not for pre-visualization.
In the early 2000's, Galen and his wife, Barbara, relocated their San Francisco Bay Area office and gallery to the small Eastern Sierra town of Bishop, California. Located in a former bank building, the Mountain Light Gallery was an ideal venue to showcase Rowell's best work. I had the pleasure of visiting the Mountain Light Gallery several times over the years and easily spent over an hour in there each time. A notable point about Galen Rowell prints is that they were made from 35mm slide film. Photo prints from 35mm are not common due to the small size of the film and noticeable grain when blown up to exhibit print size. After initially utilizing traditional photographic print processes, Rowell discovered digital printing (continuous tone Lightjet prints on Fuji Crystal Archive paper) in the 1990's which is what the bulk of the prints at Mountain Light Gallery consisted of.
Galen and Barbara Rowell tragically passed away in a plane crash just outside of Bishop in 2002. Mountain Light Gallery carried on for another 15 years before closing up in late 2017. I had the pleasure of purchasing a large Galen Rowell print prior to the gallery's closing and this print now hangs in my home office. Galen Rowell was my photography idol and one of the main inspirations for me.
Galen Rowell limited edition prints are listed for sale on mountainlight.com. Some of them are priced modestly as well so they can be a bargain in my opinion. The more rare prints however can command at least a five-figure price tag. To be honest, I'm not sure if the contact info listed on their gallery website is still accurate since it still lists their old gallery location though it closed more than a year ago. If you're interested in purchasing a Galen Rowell print then I suggest going to the website and trying to reach them through there. If not, then I'm sure some of Rowell's former associates could put you in touch with the appropriate contacts. There are a number of former Galen Rowell associates that are working photographers today so they're not hard to track down.
If you're looking for something a little bit different, then consider purchasing my fine art landscape photography and nature photography prints. Galen Rowell was a big influence on me but our styles of photography are quite different. I'm more into making unique interpretations of accessible scenes and locations whereas Rowell was more into mountain adventure and climbing. Some of my top photos were made at the local beach down the street from my home for example. An artist doesn't necessarily need to travel to the ends of the earth to make meaningful art.