Working with Galen

Picture: Trees & fog at sunset, Berkeley Hills, California

Trees & fog at sunset, Berkeley Hills, California

The good folks at had recently asked me if I would be interested in writing an article for their web site. One of the topics they thought might hit a chord with their readers would be something about my near-decade long experience working with Galen Rowell. Those within the photographic community know Galen’s name immediately, but for those outside or unfamiliar with his name, Galen was a world-renowned outdoor adventure and nature photographer / writer, along with being a very accomplished climber and mountaineer.

My primary responsibility while working for Galen and Barbara Rowell was managing their photographic library, editing and sending submissions to clients, and licensing the use of his photos for publication around the globe.

It’s been eleven years since I left their company, Mountain Light Photography, to become a stay-at-home dad following the birth of my son, and eight years since the tragic plane crash that claimed their lives near their home in Bishop, California. In all that time, I’ve spoken with many people about my experience, but this is the first time I’ve ever been asked to write about it. (NSN) recently published the article while I was away on vacation in Hawaii, otherwise I would have mentioned it here sooner. (read: before the chaos of moving my office.)

The image above was shot on one of the very first Mountain Light Photo Workshops I worked at, taken amidst a line of five or six other photographers and Galen. Like many of the students, I barely knew what I was doing with my camera at the time. There’s no doubt in my mind, that aside from the privilege of knowing Galen & Barbara, being able to participate in the workshops while we worked and assisted students in the field was one of the great job-related perks.

Click here to read: Working with a Legend; Galen Rowell.

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5 Comments on “Working with Galen”

  1. Tweets that mention Gary Crabbe / Enlightened Images » Blog Archive » Working with Galen -- Says:

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gary Crabbe and Rick Anderson, Marc de Ridder. Marc de Ridder said: One of my fav photographers RT @enlightphoto: Working with Galen […]

  2. Richard Wong Says:

    Great article Gary. I would have given anything for such an invaluable experience. Classic image, btw.

  3. Russ Bishop Says:

    What a wonderful opportunity to have worked with Galen. As a climber and photographer myself his name was constantly before my eyes in both circles as I was honing my skills. Although his life was tragically cut short, I have often said that he still lived more than most people who will spend twice as long on this planet.

  4. David Leland Hyde Says:

    Hi Gary, I am the son of landscape photographer Philip Hyde and have considered myself very fortunate to be his son and be around him. I didn’t know much about Galen Rowell until late last year when I started reading more about him. In 2006, Ryan Baldwin, who used to run the Emeryville operation did some consulting for me for a brief time. Many photographers I respect including my father respected Galen’s photography and conservation efforts and what he was able to accomplish in both. Carr Clifton first explained to me several years ago that Galen essentially invented the genre of adventure photography, which today has become one of the most sought after categories for stock photographs. Over the last four or five months I have immersed myself in Galen Rowell and his work. I felt I ought to know more about this great photographer whose gallery my father’s work is exhibited in currently. I also wrote various articles, press releases and blurbs to promote the exhibition of Dad’s work at Mountain Light. It was the first time the two had ever been exhibited together. As you probably know, they are both honorary fellows of the International League of Conservation Photographers. I still have two queries out for possible magazine articles comparing different outdoor photography styles and using Dad and Galen as examples. I have read three of Galen’s books and many of his Outdoor Photographer and Sierra Magazine articles. I just read your article about working with him and saw your fine photographs. I learned a lot from your article. It is a wonderful inside glimpse of the man and his people. I wrote a blog post on my blog about the differences and similarities between photography styles of my father and Galen. You and your readers can take a look if you like: landscapephot...apher-style/ Of course I didn’t know him the way you did. I obtained my information from reading his writing about his process and talking to people who knew him. I wish I had found out about you and your relationship with him earlier. Thank you for the great insights into a great man.

  5. Evan Spellman Says:

    I just read your article on the late Galen and Barbara Rowell
    -just a big thank you for sharing your insights and experiences!

    Evan Spellman

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