Steamboat photographer Rod Hanna releases book documenting 6 autumns
September 2, 2010
Steamboat Springs — The quiver of an aspen tree in a fall wind might seem a minute movement compared with the motion of a Denver Broncos running back on the turf of Mile High Stadium. But to photographer Rod Hanna, the nuances of change in nature can be just as fluid and every bit as difficult to capture.
"Everything changes from minute to minute," said Hanna, a former Broncos sideline photographer who has turned to landscapes. "The light, the clouds, the wind … you've got to be very patient."
This week, Hanna announced the release of his second book of nature and landscape photography, "Colorado's Seasons of Gold," an exercise in the art of patience.
A 220-page study in autumnal hues, the book consists of 172 digital photographs taken throughout six years during the brief peak in the aspen and cottonwood trees' annual transition to winter.
Steamboat Pilot & Today reporter Tom Ross wrote the text for the coffee-table-style book, which will be available during First Friday Artwalk and beyond.
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Hanna will sign copies from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Wild Horse Gallery and from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore.
Hanna traveled all across the Western Slope on just the right weekends each year, looking for just the right location with just the right gold colors and glittering sunlight.
"It's a very narrow window," he said. "It's only really two to three weeks, and you have stormy days and days when the light isn't right … it's all about chasing the light."
Hanna has been a professional photographer for 45 years and began his career as a news photographer in Davenport, Iowa. His work for the Broncos has been published in Sports Illustrated.
He worked for Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp. for 25 years, retiring in 2000 as the senior vice president of marketing. However, he claims he "flunked" retirement. His first book, "Seasons of Light," published in 2007, jump-started a second photography career.
The second book holds new sentimental value to Hanna.
The foreword was written by longtime friend and former Denver Post outdoors editor Charlie Meyers. Meyers died from cancer in January, but his words still help bring the pictures to life.
As a student of nature himself, Meyers understood how light, and waiting for it to be just right, is at the heart of capturing the beauty of nature.
"A vibrant cloud," Meyers wrote in the foreword. "An ethereal burst of light. A mist that shrouds the forest in a haunting grasp. Always compelling, ever-changing, these are the building blocks of an artist's life."
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