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The Art of Adventure

The Art of Adventure. Galen Rowell. Collins Publishers, San Francisco, 1989. 166 pages, 127 color photographs. $45.00.

There is no doubt that Galen Rowell is one of the great photographers of the world. This is clearly apparent in this new and gorgeous coffee-table book. The superb composition of each photograph, the clarity of detail, the excellent quality of the reproductions all contribute to making this an exceptionally beautiful volume. The 10 by 14-inch format makes it possible to show many of the pictures double-paged, increasing their effectiveness.

Galen Rowell combines his skills of photography with being one of the outstanding American mountaineers. For that reason, climbers will find this album of particular interest, for it is primarily in the mountains or in mountainous areas that most of the photographs were taken. The mountain scenery and the climbing shots are outstanding. Many are what might be called “mood shots” taken at sunrise, sundown or in threatening and inclement weather. However, some of the ones which are most striking are incredibly natural shots of animals in the wild. His pictures of mountain peoples show a great feeling of sympathy with them. In his many years of photography, Rowell has been in many unusual and out-of-the-way places. Represented are photographs taken in his native California and other parts of the “Lower 48,” Alaska, Canada, China, Tibet, Pakistan, Nepal, Africa, Patagonia. This is indeed an anthology of the “best of Galen Rowell.”