Sierra Starlight: The Astrophotography of Tony Rowell

Paperback, 9 x 8,
96 pages, with over 50
full-color photographs.
ISBN: 9781597143134.

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By Tony Rowell; Foreword by Kenneth Brower

Tony Rowell, son of wilderness photographer Galen Rowell, has created a compelling world in his “astrophotographs” of nighttime landscapes awash with light from the cosmos. This new book showcases iconic Sierra Nevada landmarks, both natural and manmade, against the spectacular night sky. The Milky Way illuminates a fleet of boats in the harbor at Lake Tahoe; the old Methodist church at Bodie looks both inviting and spooky against the expanse of the night. At Mono Lake, spectral tufa towers stretch up to meet Leonid meteors; and farther west, water from Yosemite Falls cascades into a lunar rainbow. Accompanying several of the photographs are Rowell’s stories of achieving a particular shot, stories that often include arduous feats such as carrying heavy packs of camera equipment at over 10,000-foot elevation and filming all night in subfreezing temperatures.


Tony Rowell’s award-winning photos have been published in books, calendars, and many magazines. His astro time-lapse videos have been featured on the National Geographic Channel, and his astrophotography has been chosen as the Astronomy Picture of the Day on NASA’s APOD website. Rowell’s photography expeditions have taken him from the Arctic Circle to the mountains of Tibet, and his work has been exhibited at the Yosemite Museum, the Marin Headlands Visitor Center, and the Mountain Light Gallery in Bishop, California.

Kenneth David Brower is the oldest son of the pioneering environmentalist David Brower. His first memories are of the Sierra Nevada and the wild country of the American West. His father drafted him into service as an editor at nineteen, and under that leadership he wrote or edited fourteen volumes in the Exhibit-Format Series of photography books produced by the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth. In his mid-twenties he departed his father’s shop to become a freelance writer, and his work has appeared in The Atlantic, Audubon, National Geographic, Canadian Geographic, The Paris Review, Reader’s Digest, Smithsonian, Sierra, Islands, and numerous other magazines. He is the author of the books The Starship and the Canoe, Wake of the Whale, A Song for Satawal, Realms of the Sea, The Winemaker’s Marsh, Freeing Keiko, and many more. He lives in Berkeley, California.