Photography by Jim Doty

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Photo by Frans Lanting

Galen Rowell
August 23, 1940 - August 11, 2002

Barbara Cushman Rowell
January 29, 1948 - August 11, 2002

Wilderness photographer Galen Rowell and his wife Barbara died in a plane crash early Sunday morning, August 11 near their home in Bishop California.

Galen's writing and photography had a significant influence on my own development as a photographer. When I decided I really wanted to improve  my photography, his book Mountain Light was one of the most helpful. I have recommended it for years to my students at the Art Institute, and more recently on this web site.

Each month I would look forward to his column in Outdoor Photographer magazine, and I enjoyed his work as it appeared in National Geographic and other publications.

Galen was a purist in his work. No double exposures, no digital manipulation to add or subtract from his images.  He wanted absolute trust in his body of photographic work. What you see in his prints and books is what he saw through the effort he made to be where he was at, and to capture part of the scene with his remarkable photographic vision.

Several of his images are among my most favorite. If you are not acquainted with his splendid photography, go to his web site at and look through the galleries.

This is a tragedy for the family and a serious loss for the world of outdoor photography. They will be missed. It is a sad day. We are blessed that they left behind such a remarkable photographic legacy.

I had always hoped to meet Galen some day, either at his gallery or on one of his workshops. I regret that I never told him via letter or e-mail how much he helped and influenced my own photography.

Grace and Peace to all who knew the Rowells and  appreciated their work.

Jim Doty, Jr

"Two Rocks" by Holly Blumenthal, a poem written in tribute to Galen and Barbara Rowell

August 13, 2002
Updated Aug 20, 2002

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