Galen Rowell's Mountain Light Gallery
Has anyone been to Galen & Barbara Rowell's Mountain Light Gallery?
Bishop, CA, is about a 4 hour road trip for me, and I before I head back east this fall, I thought I might take a day trip up there. I've recently become a very big Galen Rowell fan, and would love to see some of his prints in person.
Is this worth the trip? I imagine there are a number of APUGers who have been there.
First off, i'm a big fan as well. Not so much of his prints but of the way he went about his work. Most of the prints are big as the trend in today's color photography work seems to be, if you don't believe me go to Photo LA. The work is impressive but the huge prints from 35mm scans are a bit over worked in my opinion. It's also proof of the power of 35mm film. His wife has some nice images on display as well. They have a guest section which sometimes has some nice work as well. The work on display doesn't change much so if you don't make it this time you'll catch it on another trip.
If you haven't read his Inner Game of Outdoor Photography" book, check it out.
If you are only 4 hours away it's worth the trip, IMO. Just combind your trip with some shooting. The gallery is really nice and as expected the photos are too. I visited the gallery 2 weeks after Gallen and Barbara's death and the mood of the gallery was a bit somber. Never the less my experience was enjoyable.
Originally Posted by Shawn Rahman
Bishop is just a great little town...EC
YES! I've been several times and I think you should work this in. There is always a guest artist and I have seen the work of Larry Ulrich, Carr Clifton among others. While you're in Bishop you should also visit Vern Clevenger's gallery, also on Main St. You'll see gorgeous 4x5 work there.
Also as noted, you should plan to do some shooting, too. If you can swing it, plan to spend an overnight (or 2) in Bishop. If you're there in the fall(late September-early October) the aspens will have turned and there will be color. You're also only an hour from Mono Lake, which is one of my favorite places.
"At either end of the social spectrum there lies a leisure class."
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I wouldn't personally drive all that way to see Galen Rowell's prints - or those of the others I've seen in that gallery. But if you can time it right and combine aspects like Death Valley, Alabama Hills, Mono Lake, June Lake loop, Convict Lake, maybe Bodie etc you could put together a nice short or medium length trip with Bishop and the gallery thrown in with no trouble. You might think about visiting quirky little places like Keeler and Randsburg en route. The last time I was in Bishop- in late April 06- the entire area up around Lake Sabrina was the centre of an enorous project for water or electricity or both and it didn't look to me like that was going to look nice again anytime soon. Otherwise the immediate vicinity of Bishop, and the town itself are not particularly spectacular IMO. Still, taken as a total the eastern Sierra can be particularly nice in late spring with snowy mountains as a backdrop ( and the possibility of more snow than you'd ideally want on some roads) or in autumn.
Unlike most of the people responding here, I'm not a Rowell fan; and neither do i think a lot of the other landscape photographers I've seen displayed there whose work I think to be oversaturated and gaudy. I'd drive a few hours to photograph in the Alabama Hills though!
I have never been to Bishop, but would love to if the opportunity arose. I signed the guestbook shortly after Galen and Barbara's death and visit the website often. I just got a bunch of Galenobilia, four older OP's, the June 1974 Nat Geo, High and Wild, Yosemite and the Wild Sierra. I got Retrospective for Christmas last year. I love his work.
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I was just there on Thursday night---Is it worth a 4 hour trip to Bishop??? Hummm not really--but a drive up 395 with a camera or two and no deadline to be anywhere--that's a worth while trip. I have done lots of shooting on the "eastside" I just spent a week in Death Valley shooting and came home through Bishop. Got 31 rolls of MF film to develope, thought I only had 28 but found 3 more in film backs. Then while is Bishop stop by the Gallery and also don't miss Schat's Bakery (thats worth 4 hrs of driving).
Sounds like a road trip is in order.
Regarding Rowell's gallery, it's quite nice and shows very well what is possible with 35mm chromes. More importantly you will see how connected he was to nature. And indeed Bishop is a nice town. Don't try to do it in one day, you'll regret it! I'd definitely turn it into an overnight stay, and while you're in the area, head into the hills near Lone Pine for a phototour of the bristlecones. I had a lot of fun doing some shots of those and would love to go up in winter if it's possible.
I always have regretted not taking our string of government mules to Bishop and competing in the Mule Days. Everyones' mules are turned loose in the arena, you have a pile of your pack saddles and gear, and when the fun starts you have to catch your mules, saddle and load them up and then lead them thru a gate.
But it would have been a couple days driving each way (or more if the truck or trailer broke down) then time there...and that time I needed to work on our trails in the wilderness (Yolla Bolly Mountains, CA). It would have been a waste of gov't money, but it sure would have been fun! Plus the fact I would have probably made a complete ass of myself, seeing that I was only a hippy gov't packer competing against real packers.
Mule days would be a great photo op for those interested in that sort of thing.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.