At Red Rock Center: Area photographer on display

Fairmont native Terry Thimesch displays a pair of his outdoor and wildlife photographs that will be on exhibit through March 23 at the Red Rock Center for the Arts.

A stint in the Photography Club at Fairmont High School sparked a lifelong interest for a 1976 graduate. Terry Thimesch credits the club’s advisor, Mrs. Murphy, for encouraging her charges back in the day when all pictures were taken on black and white film and developed into actual prints, but it was another student’s simple photo that ignited Thimesch’s passion.

“I saw a picture of an empty Dr. Pepper can in the grass in the horseshoe (driveway). I just thought that was the coolest thing. I don’t know why, but it got me going,” Thimesch said.

He dabbled in his hobby over the years, even taking a decade-long hiatus from photography, but a few years ago, the purchase of a new Sony camera provided an incentive to start shooting again with a focus on outdoor subjects. His amazing photos are on display through March 23 at the Red Rock Center for the Arts, 222 E. Blue Earth Ave. A meet-and-greet event for Thimesch will be held from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, with an artist talk beginning at 2:30 p.m.

About a year ago, Thimesch and his wife, Dawn, moved from Fairmont to Bemidji to be near their daughters, but he still travels to Fairmont every Monday to spend the week working with Fairmont Fire Systems.

“I do so much driving so that’s why I focus on the outdoors,” Thimesch said. When he and Dawn switch off driving, his wife is familiar with the routine. “When I say ‘photo op,’ she just pulls over and stops. She knows. She’s just gotten used to it.”

In spite of possessing a repertoire of outstanding photos, Thimesch bemoans the shots that he has missed.

“I have learned, so now I take my camera with me 90 percent of the time,” he said.

He is persistent and patient.

“I will sit for four hours in the cold, waiting for a duck to come in,” he said. “I love it. It’s just a lot of fun, but people have no idea. I bet I take 500 duck pictures just to get the one I want. I just get lucky sometimes too. You take enough pictures, you’ll get a few good ones.”

Sometimes, he just stumbles upon a great photo, like his close-up of a bee, but other subjects remain elusive, such as the skittish rooster pheasant or an eagle in flight.

“I’ve got certain trees that I know the eagles land in all the time. I’ve been trying to get a picture of an eagle flying, and I finally got one this week,” he said.

Barns, ducks, deer and docks, all photographed at the ideal angle, have provided endless subjects for Thimesch, whose snapshots freeze nature for a moment in time.

“There’s always a sunrise, and there’s always a sunset. You look for that ‘wow’ factor,” he said. Whether he’s standing on a friend’s dock on Hall Lake or along the shore of one of the many bodies of water in the area, Thimesch captures the angles, shadows and light, often framing the photo with surrounding vegetation.

“I just really enjoy the outdoor stuff. I can’t wait until spring,” he said.

Thimesch, whose show is sponsored by Tech Builders, estimates the display will feature about 75 of his photos, all of which will be identified by location.

“I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but of the thousands of pictures I have, I can tell you where each and every one was taken,” he said.

And if you see one that catches your eye, all of the photos are for sale.

The Red Rock Center is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, and evenings and weekends by appointment. For more information, call the center at (507) 235-9262.