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Tag Archives: steven l. miller

Gestures communicate. They tell a story without words. I think the best images capture physical movements that document a feeling or action. As you shoot, look for the little things because, over time, they are the BIG things.


I typically shoot to tell stories. But, I also make images to record memories. I normally remember broad things about travel, like seeing The Great Wall of China. My photographs, though, bring back the nuances of my experience. As a technical point, I find that color photographs fade faster than B&W. The key, though, is to keep your pictures out of the sun so that BOTH your memory and photograph don’t fade over time.

As with all things in life, balance is important. Digital cameras let you shoot without regard to expense SO sometimes people shoot without really thinking about composition. Shooting with a sense of freedom and fancy is not a bad thing, but I think there is a balance: shoot what interests you; try to frame a great shot; shoot until you get what you want.

“Imagination is more important than information,” according to Albert Einstein (author of the theory of relativity).If that is true, and I believe it is, how do we nurture our ability to be imaginative? For me, I try to be a aware of my creative process. I seem to go through cycles of dormancy followed by a palpable “tension” that often results in spurt of creativity (usually in the waking hours of the day. How about you?

One of our most admired presidents was known for his honesty. And honesty in photography is an ongoing discussion especially in light of PhotoShop. With one action, you can overlay a sunrise behind a DC monument- turning a bland image into one that commands attention. But is it honest? Does it still qualify as photography OR has it morphed to to “visual art.” Most times shooters agree that whatever you could do in the old darkroom(burn, dodge, crop, tint, etc.) can be done, “in all honesty” in digitally created images. Adding a tree…or taking one out…moves you towards “visual art.” Do YOU agree??

In my photography classes, I teach people to “see differently.” One way is to GET CLOSER to what is around you. I found this image on a faded wall in Viet Nam. Only about 18 inches wide, I cropped it further so viewers would not see what it really was: an old soft drink ad!