Steamboat Art Museum

Rod Hanna: A 50 Year Photography Retrospective

During the late 60’s and early 70’s, he was an advertising and sports photographer in the Kansas City area, including being the official photographer for the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Photo Gallery – Click To Enlarge

A 50-Year Photography Retrospective


06/01/2012 – 10/14/2012

Rod Hanna began his journalism career in 1962 as a reporter at the Davenport (IA) Times-Democrat newspaper after graduating from Morningside College with a major in philosophy. Learning from the photographers at the newspaper, he was soon getting his photographs published in the newspaper.

Within a year, he moved to the photography department and knew he had found his passion. After several award-winning years there, he was recruited to the Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal—one of the top picture newspapers in the country—in 1965. By 1967, he was promoted to chief photographer, a position he held until starting a freelance career in August, 1969.

During the late 60’s and early 70’s, he was an advertising and sports photographer in the Kansas City area, including being the official photographer for the Kansas City Chiefs. In 1975, he moved to Steamboat Springs and began a 25-year career in marketing for the Steamboat Ski Resort–announcing his retirement as Senior Vice-President of Marketing in 2000. As time allowed during his business career, he continued to be active as a photographer—including ten years as official photographer for the Denver Broncos. Living in the beautiful Yampa Valley, his interest turned to nature and landscape photography, and began to show his work in art shows and galleries in the area.

Since the mid 1990’s, he has been working with digital fine art prints. His images start with digital photographic images he has made or scanned from film originals and then imported into a Macintosh computer, then processed with the use of software tools, layers, and filters. Finally, they are rendered on etching paper with pigment inks using a state-of-the-art digital printer. Lately, he is printing images on an archival metallic paper which has incredible saturation and luminance. His work has appeared in numerous art shows and exhibitions, including the Opening Exhibition at the Steamboat Art Museum. He is currently represented by Wild Horse Gallery in Steamboat Springs.

Rod has been very active in local visual arts activities—as a long-time supporter of the Steamboat Springs Arts Council, serving as president in 1984-86, and until recently a board member of the Steamboat Art Museum. In 1985, he started and chaired the Photography At the Summit photographic workshop for its eight years in Steamboat Springs, featuring staff photographers from National Geographic Magazine.

Over the years, Rod’s photographs have appeared in virtually every major magazine in the United States—including Sports Illustrated, People, National Geographic, Time, Newsweek, and Travel & Leisure. His photographs of games in the National Football League have appeared in numerous books published by the NFL, and in the DVD “America’s Game—the Super Bowl Champions" about the 1969 Kansas City Chiefs.

His first individual book—a compilation of over 30 years of photography of Northwest Colorado, was published in November, 2007. “Seasons of Light—Impressions of Steamboat Springs and the Yampa Valley," is a 192-page hard cover book with a foreword by Verne Lundquist and text by Tom Ross.  In 2010 he published his second book, “Seasons of Gold,” a 220-page hard cover book portraying the splendor of fall colors on Colorado’s Western Slope.

The 68 pieces in the exhibit document his early work as a photojournalist, his freelance period doing sports and advertising, the transition to documenting life in the Yampa Valley, and his most recent endeavors in nature and landscape photography.