Nestled in the rock formations of the Alabama Hills in Californiaâ€™s Eastern Sierra lies an ancient granite arch that some photographers call Galenâ€™s Arch after my father Galen Rowell who captured a stunning photograph of the arch several years ago. Over the years I have made several trips to photograph the area during the day and even at night. This nighttime image however, was more challenging and required the use of an off-camera flash with a diffuser to evenly illuminate the arch during a single 20 second exposure to capture the countless stars of the Milky Way Galaxy above.
The Alabama Hills are a "range of hills" and rock formations near the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains in the Owens Valley, west of Lone Pine in Inyo County, California.The Alabama Hills are a popular filming location for television and movie productions, especially Westerns set in an archetypal "rugged" environment. Since the early 1920s, 150 movies and about a dozen television shows have been filmed here, including Tom Mix films, Hopalong Cassidy films, The Gene Autry Show, and The Lone Ranger. Classics such as Gunga Din, Springfield Rifle,"The Violent Men" (1955 film), Bad Day at Black Rock' (1955), the Budd Boetticher/Randolph Scott "Ranown" westerns, How the West Was Won. Though geographically considered a range of hills, geologically they are a part of the Sierra Nevada mountains.