23 August 2006

Chasing Rainbows

Galen Rowell is my favourite photographer. He would have been 66 today, if his life had not been tragically cut short in an airplane crash in August 2002.

My first introduction to his artwork was through the SRF calendar which I've used every year for over a decade. The more I learn about him only causes me to admire him even more as a human being.

He was an accomplished mountain climber who made his first roped climbs in Yosemite Valley at the tender age of sixteen. And over the course of his lifetime climbed mountains in Alaska, Africa and the Himalayas. Photography was not just how he made his livelihood it was a means to share his love for the beauty of the wild places on Earth. He excelled at both.

He won the Ansel Adams Award in 1984 and has been called the Ansel Adams of colour photography.

He said "My first thought is always of light."

He was also a hot-rod mechanic, who had a propensity for putting pedal to metal and is rumoured to have set a land speed record driving from Yosemite to Berkeley California in 90 minutes.

As importantly as anything else, he was an avid environmentalist who served on the Board of Directors of at least a dozen major environmental organisations protecting everything from wildlife in general to Yosemite Park to an endangered race of bighorn sheep, to youth education in the wilderness, and a number of other subjects.

In 2001 he and his wife Barbara Cushman Rowell opened Mountain Light Gallery in Bishop California. In addition to the gallery and giftshop, it hosts photographers' workshops as well as publishing and licensing businesses.

1 comment:

Lee Wind said...

Hey, stumbled on your blog. Love the images!
thanks for sharing it with us all,