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Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:18 am
by boyblue

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:39 pm
by mrchad9
I've been pretty surprised when I've been in a gallery. The pictures look great in books or at a distance... but so many of the images blown up and framed look blurry and fuzzy. It is like he is taking 7 MP photos and blowing them up too big. Either needs a better camera, better processing, or something...

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 12:46 am
by Tom Kenney
mrchad9 wrote:I've been pretty surprised when I've been in a gallery. The pictures look great in books or at a distance... but so many of the images blown up and framed look blurry and fuzzy. It is like he is taking 7 MP photos and blowing them up too big. Either needs a better camera, better processing, or something...


WHAT?!?!?!

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:52 am
by lcarreau
Chad's right! The gallery has a minstrel, and the dude needs to take a few photography classes. At least according to Jethro Tull ...

"The minstrel in the gallery looked down upon the
smiling faces.
He met the gazes --- observed the spaces between the
old men's cackle ..."

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:36 am
by boyblue
mrchad9 wrote:I've been pretty surprised when I've been in a gallery. The pictures look great in books or at a distance... but so many of the images blown up and framed look blurry and fuzzy. It is like he is taking 7 MP photos and blowing them up too big. Either needs a better camera, better processing, or something...


Yeah, I suppose, Chad. But, I stilled admired his talent for composition and technique while taking into consideration the limitations of the technology at the time. I know I've personally been frustrated with using Kodachrome 25 for enlarged images and web viewing.

But, wait! I think I may have just been trolled by the great mrchad9 after all these years! Now, I'm a true member of Summitpost! :D

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:13 pm
by clmbr
boyblue wrote:
mrchad9 wrote:I've been pretty surprised when I've been in a gallery. The pictures look great in books or at a distance... but so many of the images blown up and framed look blurry and fuzzy. It is like he is taking 7 MP photos and blowing them up too big. Either needs a better camera, better processing, or something...


Yeah, I suppose, Chad. But, I stilled admired his talent for composition and technique while taking into consideration the limitations of the technology at the time. I know I've personally been frustrated with using Kodachrome 25 for enlarged images and web viewing.

But, wait! I think I may have just been trolled by the great mrchad9 after all these years! Now, I'm a true member of Summitpost! :D

The gallery now features other photographers work as well who use newer technology to capture and print images.

Galen Rowell, however, used only 24x36 mm Kodachrome and later Fuji Velvia (excellent for landscapes) film to capture images and then his tiny slides were blown out to incredible sizes onto photographic paper. If the image is directly transferred from the slide onto photographic paper, there is not much control to manipulate it (that’s why he used tricks in the field). If, however, the image is scanned first (or digitized) on a highest quality drum scanner and then printed out, there is much control to enhance it but you still can only deal with the captured information.

For large printing photography at that time at least 6x6cm (middle-size) cameras were used or even so called large photography gear (e.g. Ansel Adams) to get more details, less grain and sharper lines, plus other optical characteristics.

Nowadays it looks like GoPro is the best choice camera for adventurers. Why...? Obviously we can see on YouTube why (as well as in this and other forums). :lol:

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:09 pm
by mrchad9
I'm not trolling at all lol. Those blown up pictures look terrible up close. But not bad at all from across the room. Ok maybe old technology but if that is the case then stop blowing them up! Or at least charge reasonable prices for them considering the blurriness and lack of focus.

Sounds like other guys like Ansel Adams went through the effort to use better cameras. Guess I am saying that as a result their work is a lot better. Maybe that is why the place needed to close... because it was not the right format for Rowell.

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 4:12 am
by MCGusto
This is absolutely the worst. I don't care how pixelated the images seem, Rowell was amazing. Every time I'm in Bishop, I use the Museum of Light as an axis to direct new-comers to the Eastern Sierra, saying you should at least pay homage to those before you whom paved the path...

If, truly, this institution is lost, it will will be a loss to the mountain community on a whole.

Hoping for intervention...

Gusto

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:32 am
by ROL
Galen Rowell, however, used only 24x36 mm Kodachrome and later Fuji Velvia (excellent for landscapes) film to capture images and then his tiny slides were blown out to incredible sizes onto photographic paper. If the image is directly transferred from the slide onto photographic paper, there is not much control to manipulate it (that’s why he used tricks in the field). If, however, the image is scanned first (or digitized) on a highest quality drum scanner and then printed out, there is much control to enhance it but you still can only deal with the captured information.


Fuji Velvia transparency was (is) also known as Velveeta among landscape photographers for its (cheesy) high saturation/contrast properties. Rowell preferred it because of his human eye – contrast theories as well as its fine grain. Sometimes the results speaks for itself, sometimes not. If memory serves, Rowell was admittedly not much of a (photographic) printer. Much control over the enlarged image is possible by a talented printer. While his early work was optically produced using traditional photographic enlargement processes, he later championed machine produced digital prints scanned from his original positives (i.e., slide film). He favored the relatively small 35mm film format because of its portability, and the format likely also reflected his comfort level with the photographic tools of the time. His choice of a fine grained film allowed him to enlarge well past the sensibilities of many fine art photographers.

For large printing photography at that time at least 6x6cm (middle-size) cameras were used or even so called large photography gear (e.g. Ansel Adams) to get more details, less grain and sharper lines, plus other optical characteristics.


Medium Format = 4.5cm to 9 cm in film length. Not "so called large photography gear". Large Format = 4"x5" to 20"x24" film.

Nowadays it looks like GoPro is the best choice camera for adventurers. Why...? Obviously we can see on YouTube why (as well as in this and other forums). :lol:

Agreed. GoPro is the bomb for immediate digital broadcast. The skill level of its use is no longer in the taking of images, but in the editing of the resulting gazillion pixels to adrenaline satisfying proportions. Fix it in post!


I was just wondering when I passed the gallery last on my way home from TTITD, how it had managed to stay in business this long after Rowell's passing. Most, if not all, contemporary "art" is sold on the strength and uniqueness of the artist, not the art itself. Still, the closing is a predictable shame, I think.

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:52 pm
by clmbr
ROL wrote:. . .
clmbr wrote:For large printing photography at that time at least 6x6cm (middle-size) cameras were used or even so called large photography gear (e.g. Ansel Adams) to get more details, less grain and sharper lines, plus other optical characteristics.


Medium Format = 4.5cm to 9 cm in film length. Not "so called large photography gear". Large Format = 4"x5" to 20"x24" film.
Not sure how you interpreted my writing and what was your point but just in case here is a bit more detailed (although still very minimal) angle for more demanding audience. However, I doubt you did not understand.

Small size (35mm performed "roll" film; typical frame size: 24x36mm): e.g. Cannon, Leika, Nikon, etc.
Medium size (120 or 220 roll film; typical frame size: 4.5x6cm, 6x6cm, 6x9cm): e.g. Bronica, Hsselblad, Roleiflex
Large size (anything above of the above sizes; frame size: e.g. 4x5”, 8x10”): e.g Linhof

The importance of the film size (and type) was not just the captured image resolution but death of field, camera’s speed (shutter, not film), and camera and its associated equipment portability, to name a few.

To view large size prints properly you need a distance like with a large size TVs, for instance; otherwise, you would see grain/pixels and other imperfections. One of the tricks to overcome 24x36mm limitations, however, was to make a dub on 4x5” or 8x10” transparencies and then blow it up to large format prints. The photographic paper and (printing) film also had different qualities such as color spectrum, contrast, and “sharpness” as well (different light sensitivity too).

Enlargers to expose prints had only three basic filters to manipulate (or balanced) colors, YMC. In digital world, besides the old method, we may access separately and individually YMC and RGB (plus whites, neutral and blacks or shadows and highlights) and modify each independently without altering other (opposite) colors. In Fact we may access and modify every pixel separately or any desired image area (based on any need) if there is a reason and time for that. However, so called “fixing in post” is a bad assumption and attitude?

ROL wrote:Fuji Velvia transparency was (is) also known as Velveeta among landscape photographers for its (cheesy) high saturation/contrast properties. Rowell preferred it because of his human eye – contrast theories as well as its fine grain. Sometimes the results speaks for itself, sometimes not.
The different characteristics of various film were just features available to photographers who could make choices based on their perceptions and the final work purpose, for instance, portrait, architecture or landscape. Fuji Velvia was excellent for landscape photography to achieve vivid colors and contrast (and fine grain) which was important in large printing. However, everything is based on perception and preference. If you want to sale it, it’s the perception of your audience to buy it.

Nowadays all these features are build in and ready to use in cameras as well as in post production software. So what’s left to photographers beside right moment, target, compassion and framing? Lighting! And Galen Rowell knew how to take advantage of it.

BTW, his large prints (regardless of technical limitations and imperfections) show more details and tell more story than their small equivalents; however, way too large and too expensive for an ordinary person. Photography has never been valued as much as even crappy painting.

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2017 7:20 pm
by mrchad9
You can download one of his thumbnails off the internet and blow it up to 40 inches and it will be the same quality and detail of what is hanging in that gallery... and a lot cheaper. That is why it is closing.

How many people who lament the gallery closing have actually bought a print from there?

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:49 am
by Marcsoltan
mrchad9 wrote:How many people who lament the gallery closing have actually bought a print from there?

Good Point!

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2017 6:35 am
by Sunny Buns
Galen took his photos while participating in his outdoor adventures. I doubt he used a tripod very often since most climbers don't carry one. That would be another reason for less sharp images. Most cameras did not have image stabilization in those days.

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:42 am
by boyblue
mrchad9 wrote:You can download one of his thumbnails off the internet and blow it up to 40 inches and it will be the same quality and detail of what is hanging in that gallery... and a lot cheaper. That is why it is closing.

How many people who lament the gallery closing have actually bought a print from there?


Never. But I still enjoyed visiting. I guess it's going to be Laws and various souvenir shops from now on.

Re: Galen Rowell's "Mountain Light" Store to Close

PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:01 pm
by mrchad9
boyblue wrote:
mrchad9 wrote:You can download one of his thumbnails off the internet and blow it up to 40 inches and it will be the same quality and detail of what is hanging in that gallery... and a lot cheaper. That is why it is closing.

How many people who lament the gallery closing have actually bought a print from there?


Never. But I still enjoyed visiting. I guess it's going to be Laws and various souvenir shops from now on.

Hotsprings!

Or if it is mid-day and 105 degrees then a dip in one of the creeks is awesome.