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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The "Inner Passion" of Galen Rowell
If you're a serious photographer (amateur or pro) and find your interest in shooting lagging occasionally, Rowell's enthusiasm might be contagiousness enough to provide a cure. This man was passionate about photography and went to extraordinary ends to get the shots he visualized. The majority of the book deals with his philosophy of photography and how he accomplished...
Published on May 11 2003 by J. Franck

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Galen Rowell laid his first egg here
I have read all of Galen's books, God rest his soul, but I was really disappointed with this book. It's a collection of things about how good a photographer he is. I already know he was a great photographer but what I wanted is some ideas how I could get better. After 200 pages or so, I gave up reading the rest. Some info. is useful but 90% of the 280 pages were just...
Published on Jan. 21 2003 by Jim G


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The "Inner Passion" of Galen Rowell, May 11 2003
By 
J. Franck (Madison, WI United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography (Hardcover)
If you're a serious photographer (amateur or pro) and find your interest in shooting lagging occasionally, Rowell's enthusiasm might be contagiousness enough to provide a cure. This man was passionate about photography and went to extraordinary ends to get the shots he visualized. The majority of the book deals with his philosophy of photography and how he accomplished what he did. There's also much excellent technical advice. The book's only shortcoming, from my very personal perspective (take it for what it's worth), is the undercurrent of Rowell's ample ego. Were the personal pronoun "I" deleted from the book, its page count would be reduced considerably. Nonetheless, I still strongly recommend "Inner Game" for the highly passionate and very personal account that it is - an extraordinary photographer's testimonial to a life totally devoted to the art of photography and love of nature. It makes you want to climb a mountain and take pictures!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Galen Rowell laid his first egg here, Jan. 21 2003
By 
Jim G (Wyncote, PA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography (Hardcover)
I have read all of Galen's books, God rest his soul, but I was really disappointed with this book. It's a collection of things about how good a photographer he is. I already know he was a great photographer but what I wanted is some ideas how I could get better. After 200 pages or so, I gave up reading the rest. Some info. is useful but 90% of the 280 pages were just plain boring.
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5.0 out of 5 stars serious photographer inspiration manual., Feb. 21 2010
This review is from: Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography (Hardcover)
Galen rowell was a very spiritual human being. Photography was for him a way to communicate that. He understood where he lived before he traveled. He appreciated the potential and chance he had where he lived.(we can all do that)The best photography book i own.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I have much to learn., Jan. 29 2003
This review is from: Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography (Hardcover)
People that purchased this book thinking they will be instructed on how to insert TAB-A into SLOT-B will be very disappointed.
People that purchase a book on electrodynamics to tell them how to change a light-bulb will also be disappointed.
Let's be very clear about this: This is not a How-To book. If you're looking for a How-To, there are people lined up around the block to tell you what to do.
This is a book about capturing emotion, feeling, and energy in a photograph. Most importantly, this book discusses the need to be able to communicate these feelings and energy to other viewers. Without this, your photograph has failed. This is how to put parts of yourself (not physically) into the images you've captured. This is book that explores more the philosophy of photography than anything else.
I've certainly gained a much greater appreciation on what it takes to capture those elements from this book. It's not a be-all-end-all to photographic discussion, but it has made me think. The first part of the text has probably been the most valuable, but each section thereafter ties into elements of the first section in quite interesting ways.
This book is not only humbling, (as are most books written by professionals and read by amateurs,) but it is uplifting. It has both inspiring me to start down the path to being a better photographer, and has shown me with frightening clarity how my habits could turn that path into the road to mediocrity.
It's sad that Mr. Rowell's voice and shutter have been silenced, but I'm glad to have been introduced to his work and writings.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Different point of view, Nov. 19 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography (Hardcover)
Galen Rowell's photographies speek for themselves (marvelous illustrations!!!). This book provides the intellectual background (basically a compilation of more or less independent essay from "Outdoor photographer"). Just like other outdoor photographers Galen Rowell states that being a promissing (or talented) outdoor photographer one basically needs to be a naturalist.
Hence this book is short on technical advice (that's why I rated it only with 4 stars), but if advice is given it's precious (fill flash and flash compensation, aerial "wisdom" etc.). IMHO it is a backdraw that it sometimes reads like a Nikon advertisement.
After the more technical first part the rest of the book primarily deals with ethical (e.g. altering of digitized images, overcrowded tourist ressorts etc.) topics and major experiences.
Although Rowell sometimes sounds a bit snobbish, always being the first, the last, the only one, the most patient, the best informed etc. (which he probably was), it's exciting to read throughout the entire book.
I'm gratefull for new insights and the inspiration to focus on human perception when composing images (actually the book deserves some more stars for this). This book encouraged me to think about composition rather from the viewers perspective than from the photographer's. Rowell gives some book recommendations, but I started with Richard Zakia's very readable "Perception and Imaging" for it was the most recent on the market.
Throughout the book Rowell emphazises that well made photographies convey a particular spirit from the photographer experiencing the situation towards the viewer whose only chance to capture the mood is to find it in the photography.
Rowell tells you what it took him to take his pictures and, besides just interesting anecdotes, encourages to commit to the situation.
If you're searching for technical advice look for something else (e.g. John Shaw's Nature Photography Field Guide which is simply brilliant). Sooner or later you'll come across Galen Rowell and you'll find out that it's not just handling your gear.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A superb read for any photographer, Sept. 20 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography (Hardcover)
This is a review that I have been meaning to write for some time, but with the recent, tragic death of the author in a light plane crash, its time to put pen to paper.
Galen Rowell was one of the outstanding adventure photographers of our time. A major proponent of "participatory photography", Rowell's unique approach was based less on equipment and technique, and more on vision and philosophy. Participatory photography is an approach where the photographer is not a passive observer of the subject, but someone who is interacting with the environment and the subjects. Rowell was an active participant, and as such was a noted mountain climber and hiker, skills that allowed him to get a unique perspective that most photographers don't even get close to.
Most of us have seen those photos of a climber hanging delicately from a cliff face, and marvelled at the extreme situation in which that climber has got themselves into. Yet few of us stop to think about the photographer, who is right there in the same place taking that photo. Many times that photographer was Galen Rowell.
His remarkable photographs have been featured in National Geographic, Outdoors and Outdoor Photographer. He wrote 18 books; some of them coffee table books, others more instructive about his approach to photography, and some of them about climbing.
The Inner Game of Outdoor Photography is one of Rowell's most recent books. Inner Game is a compilation of various articles that Rowell has written over the years for Outdoor Photographer magazine.
Clearly underwater photography is a form of participatory photography - it is difficult for the photographer to be passive. Although not known for underwater images, Rowell's philosophy and approach is one that underwater photographers should consider. Few other photographers become so much a part of their environment as underwater photographers!
As a matter of interest, Rowell did in fact do some underwater photography, and some of these pictures are published in Inner Game. When you look at these, underwater photographers may notice some backscatter - a curse that most land based photographers never learn much about. But the composition, the organisation of the elements within the photo and the technical exposure are up there with the best, as you would expect. His landscape and adventure photography are without equal.
Many underwater photographers have an extensive library of books on our subject. Many of us read up on photographic fundamentals, landscape photography, macro photography and so on, due to the parallels between topside and underwater techniques. This book is different - it focuses on the philosophy and approach. These are aspects independent of environment.
The Inner Game of Outdoor Photography is a superbly written and beautifully illustrated book. I would recommend this book highly to underwater photographers, landscape photographers, and indeed to any photographer who understands the importance of vision in image creation.
...
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books on photography I have ever purchased, Sept. 13 2002
By 
T. Tom (SF Bay Area, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography (Hardcover)
It is quite sad and unfortunet that Galen Rowell and his wife were killed in a plane crash recently. The world has lost a truly visionary photographer. The results that Rowell achieved with 35mm film are truly breathtaking.
I paid full price for this book, which is something I don' t do very often. In it, Rowell proves himself a very generous and inspiring person. He shows an uncanny ability to not only make amazing photographs, but to also talk saliently and make cogent statements about them too. He shares with us all his thoughts, stories and techniques for his photography. I'm not sure many other other photographers would be so willing to do so.
As a photographer myself, I found it interesting to learn and understand what went through Galen Rowell's mind while making photographs. Oftentimes one sees a photographer's results (his images) yet knows nothing about the journey of work it took to achieve the results. This book fills that gap beautifully. You don't have to be a landscape photographer to enjoy this book. You only have to be interested in photography in general to get something from it.
The book is easy to read and the size of it is just about right (ie. not too big and bulky).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sad day for photography, Aug. 12 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography (Hardcover)
Get this book while you can. As you may know, Galen and his wife were killed recently (8/11/2002)in the crash of a small plane in which they were passengers. It is SO sad to see such a great talent pass. I have this book - haven't read it yet but it will be a precious keepsake. As it is a compendium of his OP articles, I know it will be a good read. In fact, I'll probably check it out from the library to read so I can keep my copy 'uncreased.'
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5.0 out of 5 stars Woderful collection of essays on photography and philosophy, June 27 2002
By 
Anton (Summit, NJ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography (Hardcover)
This book is a collection of essays Rowell has written for "Outdoor Photographer" over the years. The book, however, is more than a mere collection of articles -- it brings to the fore Rowell's vision and philosophy as an artist. Topics range from very practical, e.g. suggestions on what equipment to bring, to esoteric, e.g. physical and ppyshological aspect of light. I highly recommend this book both to photographers and to readers interested in the arts and adventure travel!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for advanced novice and above, May 29 2002
This review is from: Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography (Hardcover)
"Galen Rowell's Inner Game of Outdoor Photography" is a collection of articles written for Outdoor Photographer magazine organized into four broad categories. Interspersed between the articles are sections of photographs. Each article is cross-listed with relevant photographs, and vice-verse. This cross listing is an effective device; coming back to various photographs as I read the essays forced me to really think about them.
The first section deals with "creative and cognitive processes." These range from the inner desire needed to go out and get that shot to an almost scholarly examination - complete with annotated bibliography - of the processes involved in human sight and the differences between what people see and what film records. I found this section to be the strongest aspect of the book as well as the most useful and interesting.
The second section consists mainly of technical material ranging from how to pack your gear to ways to use flash in outdoor settings. It is pitched at a higher level than an introductory photo guide, suitable for an advanced novice like myself.
The third section is primarily a collection of travel stories, often only tangentially touching on photography. However, these articles provide the context in which many of the photographs in the book were taken. Arguably, context is the crux of photography. As Rowell points out, photographs are used to tell a story - though maybe not the one intended by the photographer.
The last section conveys Rowell's view on the positive and negative effects that photography and outdoor travel have on the natural environment, as well as on the art of color outdoor photography vis-à-vis fine art photography. These essays are thought provoking and, like the rest of the book, very well written.
I had feared from the title that I was in for a bunch of pseudo-spiritual babble, but instead I found a fairly deep, if meandering, discussion of the spectrum of what outdoor photography involves.
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Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography
Galen Rowells Inner Game Of Outdoor Photography by Galen Rowell (Hardcover - June 28 2001)
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