I just got back from a week in the field and today on my return home I stopped in to Galen Rowell’s Mountain Light Gallery in Bishop, California. I’ve always driven by at night on my way to my next shoot and today was the first time I actually could stop in.
I think its fair to say many photographers have been influenced by Ansel Adams, Galen Rowell and others, but today in viewing Galen’s images I felt photography.Â I’ve never consciously thought about Galen’s influence on my interest in photography, but today it became clear how much he has. Several images I matched title to image with out looking, recognized too many images to count that were published in Outdoor Photographer or National Geographic and well just found myself sucked in to the images as I looked at them.
Sure being out in the field and being in the mode of looking for scenes to photograph had me in a particular mindset when visiting the gallery, but I realized something.
Galen’s work was not just amazing but inspiring. I had looked at Ansel Adams images too many times to count growing up, but only in the past 8 years when I began to take photography much more serious did I find Galen’s images resonating with me. I came to think that I too could strive to capture nature in photos helping others realize the magnitude of beauty found around us. His style, composition, format and articles helped bring photography into focus for me.
After making it a third of the way through the gallery I couldn’t help but realize also how big of a shadow he has left on the photographic world. It leaves us all having to work even harder to show the beauty of the natural world in our own unique style.
Although I enjoyed viewing every single image in the gallery I left feeling incredibly sad and yet… driven. Sad that there will be no more new perspectives of nature from Galen and driven to keep the torch lit by sharing my own perspective of our natural world.
If you have yet to visit the Mountain Light Gallery you should. It’s an amazing experience even for non-photographers. I guarantee you’ll recognize many of his photographs.