Monday, November 2, 2009

Eye C Beauty - The Photography of John Miller

When you talk about photography, there are those that simply take a picture and stand back to let the image speak for itself... but very rarely does one happen to come across a true photographer in every sense of the word that can easily put a thousand words into one's mind, or one's mind's eye; so to say. And that photographer is none other than John Miller, whom is a very talented professional that I just so happened to meet recently at a live music venue that I very briefly attended (and oddly enough--- even participated in on a few occasions; as evidenced by these photos below).

Gnoyze Live Jam Session Image 1    Gnoyze Live Jam Session Image 2

Shortly a little after these live jam sessions were over, I kept on hearing about just how these photos came out, and I was really eager to see them for myself. Of course, John, being the cool cat that he is simply stated something to the effect of: "There's more coming... you'll see them soon!" Never, for one minute, letting on about how great they all were. So then I started noticing a couple of tagged photos starting to surface all over Facbook, and I was completely amazed (literally just floored) by the fluid sharpness of each of these shots. What really impressed me the most was how he managed to take a near dimly lit stage and use the random colored house lights to his advantage. To put it metaphorically, (or better put; as a simile...) it's like watching a master painter make a masterpiece out of just a few strokes.

Everybody in the business knows that when you're good, you don't need to do a thousand shots before deciding which one is best. John, on the other hand, knows exactly when to aim, shoot, take a breather, and go on to the next shot. He's a brilliant artist, and a master one at that! The mark of a true artist is when they can easily adapt themselves into the likes of any medium, whereas John's medium is the shutter, a roll of film (digital and/or otherwise), and a subject. He takes stills and brings them to life, right before your naked eye. So without any further ado, here's a little Q & A session that I was fortunate enough to do with this remarkably gifted artist. Enjoy!

PS: Where are you originally from, and if you're not originally from Florida, what prompted the move over here?

JM: I'm from Detroit, Michigan. I moved here to pursue photography, the weather, go to the Art Institute and still be within a couple of hours of the family.

PS: What would you say do you like best about the South Florida scene in general?

John Miller Photography Image 1
Dated: November 1st, 2008

JM: What I like best about the South Florida scene is the weather and South Beach.

PS: How did you get into photography?

JM: I had a little camera when I was very young but I really started to read, study and experiment with photography when I was 11 and my dad got a Canon AE-1 and I'm pretty sure that I used it more then he did.

PS: What artists, be they visual, literary, musical, and/or otherwise would you say have the most profound influence on your work as a photographer?

JM: My influences and inspiration have come from my favorite photographers like Helmut Newton, Ansel Adams and Gordon Parks.

PS: Do you feel as though your style of photography is a highly evolved art form, or do you view it more as just a down-to-earth/gun-for-hire type of picture taking?

JM: I feel that my style is highly evolved, since I've been developing it for over thirty years...

PS: Just about every photographer/artist/musician out there has their own style or branding that sets them apart from the rest... what would you say best typifies a John Milleresque type of photograph?

JM: How can you tell it's a John Miller photo? I can photograph the simplest of things and then enhance the color and the beauty. So, it will be rich with color, unless it's a black and white, and beautiful... Simple.

John Miller Photography Image 2
Dated: April 25th, 2008

PS: Which method of photo development would you say that you prefer more? The more traditional type of photo development (i.e. in a darkroom with a sink or tub full of water to develop the picture) or the new era of digital photography where it's just a matter of choosing an effect setting, pointing, and taking the right shot? And can you also give us an explanation as to why you would prefer to use one specific means instead of the other?

JM: Growing up I spent a lot of time in the darkroom, I even built my own in the basement when I was in high school. So, my background is in the traditional method of processing. However, I have become a fan of the speed, convenience and flexibility of the digital age. Instead of shooting, processing the film and then printing the images, you can instantly see if you have the right angle, lighting, composition and overall look your seeking.

PS: Are you of the mindset that vintage photographs fair a lot more on the art market as compared to today's digital age, or would you say that this new technologically influenced genre could in fact compete just as well with more traditional photography? Would it be right to compare the two styles with each other, or would you say they're two entirely different approaches?

JM: It's not really fair to compare the vintage with the technology, they are worlds apart. I believe vintage images to be more valuable since they probably can't be duplicated for whatever reason.

PS: What's your opinion on the art scene down here in Florida? Do you think it's still struggling to establish some worthwhile notoriety, or would you say that it still has a long way to go before it can be on par with say... the scene in New York and/or Los Angeles for that matter?

JM: It seems the Art Scene is growing but it needs more than the once a year Art Basel, which I believe has helped a lot.

PS: And as a follow up to that question, what in your opinion do you think can best be done to raise awareness of the striving arts community down here in Florida?

JM: Raising awareness is a process, another event or two like Art Basel would do the trick.

For more of John Miller's work, please visit his website at WWW.EYECBEAUTY.COM or Check out his work on Facebook.

This has been P.S. Elliott (AKA: Dr. Gonzo XXVII) reporting for the disassociated press, that is... The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

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