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Mountain Light

In Search of the Dynamic Landscape

List Price: $29.95

December 13, 2011 | Paperback | 9.25 x 12, 240 Pages | ISBN 9781578051922
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"One could call Mountain Light the classiest 'how-to' text on landscape color photography ever published. [It] will leave you delighted." —New York Times

No photographer was more deeply engaged with the transformative interaction of light and landscape than Galen Rowell. The preeminent outdoor photographer of his time, he spent his career chasing magic light in the high places of the planet. Into this landmark volume he poured all his insights gleaned from those adventures, assembling galleries of his most memorable images to illustrate them.

The photographs are arranged in eight exhibits according to the many qualities of light found in mountain environments. Rowell also shares the stories that went into their creation — what he was after and how he achieved it, from preparation and “previsualizing” to the physical challenges of being in the right place at exactly the right time. In addition to explaining how he worked with optical phenomena and natural light, the book traces his development as a photographer — in terms of both philosophy and technique — and recounts his adventures in some of the most remote, dangerous, and beautiful places on Earth.

A generation of photographers has learned from the experience, craft, and vision that Rowell passed on in this book, as will future generations. And all who respond to dynamic outdoor imagery will continue to marvel at his achievements. The acclaimed landscape photographer David Muench contributes an illuminating foreword to this new edition.

GALEN ROWELL, world-renowned nature and adventure photographer and explorer, was the author and/or photographer of two dozen books, including eleven titles published by Sierra Club Books. Photo assignments and climbing expeditions took him to both poles and on more than fifty other international journeys to the wildest mountain regions in the world. Rowell and his wife and business partner, Barbara Cushman Rowell, perished in a small-plane crash in the Eastern Sierra in 2002.


“One could call Mountain Light the classiest ‘how-to’ text on landscape color photography ever published. [It] will leave you delighted.” —New York Times

“Part personal and artistic biography, part adventure story, part outdoor photography manual, [Mountain Light] is a tour de force. The images are charmed, compelling, imbued with a love of the high and wild.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“Galen Rowell has a wonderful combination of qualities — eye, energy, intelligence, sensitivity, courage both physical and moral, and above all, heart. Very seldom have I experienced so clearly defined the connection between the artist and what he sees, feels, and does with the work itself.” —Robert Redford, American actor and filmmaker

“Combine a devotion to mountains and wilderness, a sensitivity to the special quality of its pristine light, and a desire to communicate the beauty of the natural world, and you’ll begin to understand what motivates photographer Galen Rowell…. In [Mountain Light], vision and technique are combined in one long paean to the marvel of the earth’s wild places.” —Popular Photography

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