Field of dreams: Rosemount photography collection highlights Miesville Mudhens
Black and white photographs of the Miesville Mudhens baseball team come to life in a new photo exhibit at Robert Trail Library in Rosemount.
Photographer William "Bill" Pringle Rodman likes to capture fine details and shadows that appear crisp via black and white photographs. He uses rolls of black and white film that is now making a comeback, he said.
"For more than 25 years, I have pursued my interest in black and white documentary photography," Rodman said. He uses a retro Leica Rangefinder 35mm camera. "The digital is so much easier to use but I have known a number of digital photographers who started out digital, and have now discovered film."
Rodman, 69, of Minneapolis is retired now and has hours to devote to his hobby. During his medical career, he worked as an ophthalmologist who treated eye diseases and performed eye surgeries. A person could say this retired doctor has a good eye for spying a good photograph.
"I was always interested in it (photography) from the time I was in college. I did a little bit of studying in the early '90s, and that was what really got me focused on black and white film," he said.
Rodman develops the film in a darkroom set up in his basement and prints the photographs himself, he said. The hobby takes patience and time to discover a worthwhile photo. It may take rolls and rolls of film and developing to find a photo worthy of printing, he said.
"It is nice to have my own dark room because if I have a free hour, I can go develop my own film and see my pictures," he said.
Field of dreams
Rodman attended a Miesville baseball game with friends to watch their son play an opposing team from Wisconsin. That was the night Rodman fell in the love with the pristine nature of the baseball park and its setting.
"The field is a real source of pride for the community and it is beautifully manicured, pristine and they really take care of it," Rodman said. "As you can see from the photos, an atmosphere of family characterizes this team and their ballpark. I was drawn to the pregame rituals and warmups, the player, fans and the light," Rodman said, giving a tour of his 22 framed photos hanging on the back library wall.
As a baseball fan who played as a boy and is a Minnesota Twins fan, Rodman said he loved watching his three children play baseball or softball as youngsters. His father was an amateur photographer who dabbled in taking photos.
Capturing everyday work
Besides baseball games, Rodman has taken photos of people working in factories and even Catholic nuns.
"For me, I enjoy photographing people and over the years I have done mostly people — I photographed three orders of nuns who still wore habits a few years ago, and that was an interesting one," he said.
Rodman took photos of workers inside the manufacturing plant at Faribault Woolen Mills, a candy company, the Minnesota Bundt cake pan manufacturer in St. Louis Park and Red Wing Shoe.
"For me, it was about showing people at work and making it interesting to look at as far as composition and lighting and to me it is very satisfying," he said.
In January through March, his exhibit called "Street Photography" was showing on the first floor of the Rosemount Steeple Center.
"When I am not working on a project, I take to the streets with my camera to pursue ordinary life and events, and I am drawn to the streets and my camera," Rodman said.
The public is welcome to attend an artist's reception spotlighting Rodman from 2-3 p.m. Sunday, June 23, at Robert Trail Library. The photos will be on display until the end of July sponsored by Rosemount Area Arts Council. To see more of Rodman's photos, visit www.pringlerodmanphoto.com.
This showing is part of ArtBlast community celebration festival that offers daily events June 22-29 across Rosemount. To view a list of events, visit www.Rosemountsarts.com.