Nod to Galen Rowell

When August rolls around every year, my thoughts eventually turn to Galen Rowell. He more than any other photographer, influenced my nimble ways.

Galen died in a small plane crash on Aug. 11, 2002. He was born on August 23, 1940. Galen was an outdoorsman who climbed mountains and photographed what he saw. At a time when large and medium format photography dominated fine art galleries, he proved that 35mm film could produce images just as compelling. He often explored nature with just a DSLR and a couple lenses.

August is a charged month for me. It's a time when I find myself outdoors with a camera, immersed in the beauty of nature. It's also the month my mother was born, and the same month when my mother-in-law passed away. There's a lot to think about this time of year.

But right now, two days before the anniversary of Galen Rowell's birthday, I want to say thank you. It meant the world to me when you appeared at that camera club meeting in Santa Rosa and helped me understand exposure. You introduced me to the graduated filter. But most importantly, you fueled my courage to push beyond "the accepted way of doing things," so I could find my own path.