A Question for Thom Hogan on the Late Galen Rowell

Started May 20, 2008 | Discussions
NikonConvert
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A Question for Thom Hogan on the Late Galen Rowell
May 20, 2008

Hello Thom

I really enjoy your writings and have a lot of respect for you.

In your article, "Rationalizing Lenses", you have made a few references to the late Galen Rowell, and his light kit for hiking.

I recall that in one of his articles in Outdoor Photographer, he mentions that over 80% (or 90% or most, I don't exactly remember now) of his images could have been captured by a 24 mm and an 85 mm (or might have been 105 mm, I don't exactly remember this one either).

It must have been an honor for you to have spent some time with the great man, and I wonder if you could comment on the above?

Thanks,

Take care,

Thom Hogan
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Re: A Question for Thom Hogan on the Late Galen Rowell
In reply to NikonConvert, May 20, 2008

NikonConvert wrote:

I recall that in one of his articles in Outdoor Photographer, he
mentions that over 80% (or 90% or most, I don't exactly remember now)
of his images could have been captured by a 24 mm and an 85 mm (or
might have been 105 mm, I don't exactly remember this one either).

Probably true, though Galen almost always used his 20mm f/4UD at the wide end.

It must have been an honor for you to have spent some time with the
great man,

Yes. See http://www.bythom.com/chasing.htm for my elaborated thoughts on Galen and Barbara.

and I wonder if you could comment on the above?

Galen always had a wide and a moderate telephoto with him, even when he was running, climbing, or levitating (sorry, just seemed like he could ; ). His mantra was to "put the body where the picture is" rather than the usual "I think I can take a picture from here" that most people use. I give one such example in the article I referenced above, but I can rattle off many. One other well respected photographer I studied with once said of Galen that he was a "triple threat." By that, he meant that Galen could write well, could photograph well, and he could put his body in places the rest of us couldn't get to (I know, I tried ; ).

But he also studied hard how to best use his favorite lens. Wide angle never really sunk in well for me until one day at 16,000' in the Andes where I was struggling with a shot. Galen came over and taught me about "middles." (Nears and fars are easy with wide angles, but getting the eye through middles with a wide angle is usually the thing that separates the great, dramatic depth shots from the deathly dull flat shots.)

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Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)
http://www.bythom.com

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ebsilon
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Re: A Question for Thom Hogan on the Late Galen Rowell
In reply to Thom Hogan, May 20, 2008

But he also studied hard how to best use his favorite lens. Wide
angle never really sunk in well for me until one day at 16,000' in
the Andes where I was struggling with a shot. Galen came over and
taught me about "middles." (Nears and fars are easy with wide angles,
but getting the eye through middles with a wide angle is usually the
thing that separates the great, dramatic depth shots from the deathly
dull flat shots.)

-- hide signature --

Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)
http://www.bythom.com

First, thank you for a nice read on choosing lenses. Seeing all the magnificent photos taken by a super-wide angle, I just ordered a 12-24mm muyself and hope to learn to master it. So I'd be very grateful if you would care to share exactly what Galen Rowell taught you about "middles", "nears" and "fars" - maybe you have some articles about using wide angles on your website already?

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Eirik ----------
. n
[]O]

Visit my gallery at http://eirikbs.smugmug.com/

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NikonConvert
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Re: A Question for Thom Hogan on the Late Galen Rowell
In reply to Thom Hogan, May 20, 2008

Thom Hogan wrote:

NikonConvert wrote:

I recall that in one of his articles in Outdoor Photographer, he
mentions that over 80% (or 90% or most, I don't exactly remember now)
of his images could have been captured by a 24 mm and an 85 mm (or
might have been 105 mm, I don't exactly remember this one either).

Probably true, though Galen almost always used his 20mm f/4UD at the
wide end.

It must have been an honor for you to have spent some time with the
great man,

Yes. See http://www.bythom.com/chasing.htm for my elaborated thoughts on
Galen and Barbara.

and I wonder if you could comment on the above?

Galen always had a wide and a moderate telephoto with him, even when
he was running, climbing, or levitating (sorry, just seemed like he
could ; ). His mantra was to "put the body where the picture is"
rather than the usual "I think I can take a picture from here" that
most people use. I give one such example in the article I referenced
above, but I can rattle off many. One other well respected
photographer I studied with once said of Galen that he was a "triple
threat." By that, he meant that Galen could write well, could
photograph well, and he could put his body in places the rest of us
couldn't get to (I know, I tried ;
).

But he also studied hard how to best use his favorite lens. Wide
angle never really sunk in well for me until one day at 16,000' in
the Andes where I was struggling with a shot. Galen came over and
taught me about "middles." (Nears and fars are easy with wide angles,
but getting the eye through middles with a wide angle is usually the
thing that separates the great, dramatic depth shots from the deathly
dull flat shots.)

-- hide signature --

Thom Hogan
author, Complete Guides to Nikon bodies (18 and counting)
http://www.bythom.com

Many thanks for your kind, generous and prompt reply and insights, Thom. I will review your article in a little while.

Yes, nears and fars are easy (relatively speaking) with wide angles, and I have had difficulty in seeing the middles. An article by you on this on your website will be useful, unless you've already touched upon it in an article I have not seen.

Thanks again,

Take care,

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NikonConvert
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Thom, I just read your tribute to the late Galen Rowell, and shed a few tears
In reply to Thom Hogan, May 20, 2008

Thom Hogan wrote:

NikonConvert wrote:

It must have been an honor for you to have spent some time with the
great man,

Yes. See http://www.bythom.com/chasing.htm for my elaborated thoughts on
Galen and Barbara.

Thank you so much, Thom, for the wonderful tribute of the Rowells. I shed some tears at the end.

Great job!

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