Landscape photographer Galen Rowell
Galen Rowell (1940 – 2002) has created an inspiring art gallery of landscape scenery from around the world, portrait and still life photography. Though he is remembered as one of the best American landscape photographers, Rowell was actually a self-taught photographer. Galen Rowell enjoyed a long marriage with Barbara Cushman, with whom he lived in California and had two children. In 2002, 62-year-old Rowell and his wife were tragically killed in an air crash between Alaska and California. In 2009, Galen Rowell was posthumously inducted into the International League of Conservation Photographers, in an effort to recognize the great and intangible value of his body of work.
Rowell was born in Oakland, California, in 1940. The stunning locations in his home state gave him plenty of opportunities for developing a love of the natural world. He went on to enrol at the University of California, and spent two years engaged in studying physics. But at that point he decided to drop out – restless to spend more time climbing and enjoying the outdoors.
He dabbled in photography, with increasing enthusiasm, and began laying the foundations for a photographic career. By 1972 Rowell had become a highly accomplished photographer, and he sold his business to pursue a full time career in photography. In under a year he had completed a cover story for National Geographic Magazine: a photographic journey through the Yosemite National Park in California.
Throughout his prolific career, Galen Rowell published a total of eighteen books on mountaineering and photograph. Rowell’s conservationist and humanitarian concerns are evidenced by by his close involvement with various organizations, including the Committee of 100 for Tibet and the World Wildlife Fund.
It has to be noted that Rowell was not only a magnificent landscape photographer, but also a pioneering climber. His most significant achievements in the field of mountaineering include: the first single day ascent of Denali in Alaska, the first single day ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and the the first ever ascent of Great Trango Tower in the Pakistani Himalayas.