A. Aubrey Bodine: Baltimore Sun pictorialist

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The Baltimore Sun has a rich history of photojournalism, employing a long line of award-winning photographers. One of the most notable photographers through the years has been A. Aubrey Bodine. A man known for his prickly personality, Bodine’s traits were only outdone by his beautiful photography.

From 1927-1970, Bodine’s pictorialist style earned him numerous awards and a worldwide reputation. In 1965, he had a show in Moscow that was the first exchange of one-man photography exhibits between the U.S. and Russia. In a 1949 contest by the magazine “Popular Photography,” Bodine’s picture of a Choptank oyster dredger was selected as first prize for best black and white photography, beating out more than 51,000 entries. He received a $5,000 savings bond for the award.

He was notoriously exacting, drawing on everything from seasonal light patterns to tidal charts to choose the right moments to shoot. He was fanatical, driving 30,000 miles a year in his car and dropping everything if he saw a good scene.

Bodine passed away on Oct. 28, 1970 after suffering a stroke in his darkroom.

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