Five great tips Galen Rowell taught me

Story and photographs by Gary Crabbe

Editor’s note: On October 31 the photo gallery founded by Galen Rowell and lovingly managed by his wife Barbara Rowell called Mountain Light will close. The Rowells died 15 years ago in a plane crash near their hometown of Bishop, California, while returning from a photography workshop in Alaska. Author Gary Crabbe’s first real job was as a manager of Rowell’s 400,000-photo library for nine years. Now a successful photographer living near San Francisco, he offers five things he learned from Rowell that helped boost his career from amateur to professional.

It was 15 years ago last August that internationally renowned photographer Galen Rowell and his wife, Barbara, perished in a plane crash near their hometown in Bishop, California. They were on the very last leg of a long return voyage home after teaching a workshop in the Arctic. In a moment, we lost one of the best-known photographers who helped pioneer the genres of climbing and adventure travel photography and helped to elevate the genre of landscape photography with what he called the “dynamic landscape.” Continue reading

PHOTOGRAPHER PROJECT: A Really BIG Project

Story and Photography by Gary Crabbe

One of the more challenging photographic projects I’ve had the privilege to work on came about several years ago as a result of an assignment for an architectural design firm. It started off the same way most incoming assignments do, with me sitting quietly in my office when the phone rings.

When I answered the phone for this project, a gentleman on the other end told me that he had looked at some images of redwood trees on my website. He was working on an interior design project for a hotel renovation in the coastal town of Santa Cruz, California. The theme of the redesign was nature-oriented, and since Santa Cruz is situated more towards the southern end of the 400-mile-long habitat belt for the redwood trees, his design team wanted to include the redwoods as a predominant part of their plans. The registration desk in the lobby was going to be modeled after a fallen redwood tree, and they wanted to create a meeting room that would embody being inside a redwood forest. Continue reading

On Screwing Up by Gary Crabbe

Story and Photograph by Gary Crabbe

Morning light on sandstone cliffs reflected in the Colorado River at Horseshoe Bend, near Pag, Arizona

Morning light on sandstone cliffs reflected in the Colorado River at Horseshoe Bend, near Page, Arizona. © Gary Crabbe/Enlightened Images

Even professionals screw up every now and again. We may not brag about it in public, but rest assured, we make mistakes just like everyone else.

The photo above may not look like a total screw-up, but it is. It’s a multi-row, nearly 40-frame panoramic image shot with my Nikon D800. Continue reading