During the month of March, The Matthews will be hosting an original polaroid photography exhibit, “Zero Megapixels,” featuring the work of Roger O’Dea. The show is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m, Tuesdays-Saturdays, Mar. 3-31.
Roger O’Dea is intrigued by the raw imperfection that Polaroid photos offer. He is interested in capturing candid shots of people and places. In an age of editing and airbrush, Roger reminds us of the beautiful imperfections all people possess. His photos are full of character and each one has a story to tell. Roger has found that when he brings the Polaroid out, people seem to flock to it with questions and requests for photo opportunities. Keeping the theme of making Polaroids personable, Roger encourages people to pick up the photos and cameras he will have on display. He is hoping to strike a nostalgic chord or inspire people to give “pixel-less” photography a try.
“We were excited when Roger approached us about this show. He wants this to be a hands on display. People will have to opportunity to pick up the photos and cameras; not something that is normally encouraged in a gallery show,” remarks Katie Young, The Matthews gallery associate. “We will be able to catch a glimpse of the places Roger has been, as well as some of the characters he has met with these polaroids.“
The opening reception for the show will be held 5-7 p.m., Friday, Mar. 3 in the art gallery. This reception is free and open to the public.
Roger O’Dea is an award-winning amateur photographer and long-time Black Hills area resident. He started making photographs with a Kodak Instamatic in grade school and acquired his first Polaroid instant camera while at Belle Fourche High School in the early 1970s.
He became more serious about photography as a hobby during college at Black Hills State University and afterward while working as a disc jockey. This allowed him access to many opportunities for interesting “photo ops” behind the scenes and backstage at rock concerts and music festivals.
O’Dea joined the digital revolution with the advent of fully automatic cameras. He currently uses a digital camera primarily for outdoor photography and private commission portrait work, but still prefers 35mm film and instant photography mediums.
People might find Roger carrying both his vintage and modern cameras at Art Alley in downtown Rapid City, among the many popular (and not so popular) trails in Spearfish Canyon, or under a full moon where he looks to capture life in still images. Searching out the unique in the ordinary has always been his passion.
While officially remaining an amateur photographer, Roger takes his art seriously and continues to experiment with alternative photography styles and processes. He also enjoys collecting and listening to vinyl records in keeping with his penchant for all things retro.
Other creative interests include writing. His popular blog, “What’s Your Road,” is published by the Black Hills Pioneer.
Roger resides in Belle Fourche with his wife, Kris. They have one son who lives and works in New York City. For the past 26 years he has been employed at Spearfish GMC Cadillac–his “real job.”