Thursday, October 17, 2002

I missed this sad news when it happened.

Adventurer and nature photographer, Galen Rowell, and his aviator wife, Barbara Cushman Rowell, died in a plane crash in August.

Galen Rowell's photographs in National Geographic magazine were always amazing, beautiful and inspiring. The books he published were moving, the text showing as much respect for nature, wildlife and the earth as his special images. My own endeavors in nature photography were weak attempts to emulate the magic he was able to create.

I met Galen in the summer of 1993 and had the opportunity to talk with him for several minutes after a book event in Palo Alto. I was excited about my upcoming trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. I was thrilled that I would have the opportunity to consult with a master photographer and get tips for equipment, shooting, composing, etc. Galen was patient and encouraging as I asked rapid fire questions. He answered all of my queries and then gave me the best piece of advice; the key tip that insured my Galapagos adventure was a photographic success. He looked at me and in a serious voice said, "Take plenty of film".

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