Thursday, November 28, 2002
Steamboat Springs It's true that Rod Hanna's name in Steamboat Springs is most commonly associated with the Steamboat Ski and Resort Corp.
First in public relations and then as the vice president of marketing, Hanna's 25 years with the corporation before retiring in 2000 is hard to ignore.
However, he beats that prolific mark with his work as a professional photographer, which adds up to about 30 years behind the camera.
Hanna was a photojournalist for the Davenport Times Democrat, was the chief photographer for the Topeka Capital Journal and has been published as a freelance photographer in a variety of magazines, including People and Sports Illustrated. He also was the staff photographer for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Denver Broncos. While working with the Broncos, Hanna drove down to Denver from Steamboat on the weekends to roam the sidelines and snap shots for the team.
Now in corporate retirement, he is putting more energy into photography, but not photography in the most traditional sense.
Hanna opens a show of his fine art photography today at the Mad Creek Gallery that will showcase his work in the field of Giclee printing, which refers to a type of print created from a digital image specially modified to produce longer-lasting, higher-quality images.
Hanna mixes the Giclee printing technology with his own style of digitally manipulating the photographs to create an almost surreal image. Up close, the prints may look like paintings; from a distance, they look like traditional photos.
He prints the images on a large printer in his office on special art paper called rag paper to finalize the look.
"I wanted to take it to the art paper and then take it into a different direction," Hanna said from his office downtown.
Hanna has logged in countless hours of working on the computer to perfect his image manipulation technique, which he hasn't named. On his desk in his office is a notebook with about 30 pages that document all of his experiments on the computer.
"I wanted to retain a certain amount of detail, but I also wanted to soften it up a little bit," he said.
The subject matter in Hanna's photographs is usually rural images.
Some of the photographs date back to the '70s, when Hanna covered Northwest Colorado cowboy Pat Mantle's annual drive of 1,200 head of horses from his ranch near Browns Park to the Craig area.
Along with familiar mountain scenes, Hanna also has captured rural images in the Midwest, where he grew up.
"The color, textures and shapes of the country are what really catch my eye," he said.
Hanna's show is titled "One Man Show." An opening reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Mad Creek Gallery, at Fifth and Lincoln. The show runs through Dec. 9.