Photographer Answers 'Why Go Out?'

Jul182014

Photographer Answers 'Why Go Out?'

 

mrm_120An a reception with photographer Martin R. Miller highlighted an exhibition of his landscapes Tuesday at the Lansing Community Library.  The show, 'Why Go Out?', seeks to answer that question with a series of stunning photos of the Finger Lakes, New York City, Viet Nam and Thailand, among other locations.  Miller says that is what pulls him away from the addictive lure of the computer.

"Photography gets me away from the computer and that distraction," Miller says.  "Being outside is, to me, much more calming, much more peaceful.  Even if it is in New York City or a busy urban scene I still feel like there is a singular focus and I can isolate what I want to see.  That's what the camera does for me."

martinrmiller_whygoout_01Battery Park, Manhattan, 40°42’10” N 74°0’59” W by Martin R. Miller

Miller says he loves to tweak the pictures after taking them off the camera.  The results are dramatic, whether they depict a ferris wheel on Coney Island or a water fall in Thailand, or a canal in Viet Nam.  Many have a painter-like quality, and all have a strong focus and point of view.

A native of Austin, TX, Miller grew up and went to college there.  When his brother moved to New York City to go to college Miller went with him.  He worked as a graphic designer for a company and as a freelancer.  That left him plenty of time to explore the rest of the state, and a trip to the Catskills led him to photography.

"I went fishing," he explains.  "I had a job that was three days a week, and then I had four days.  I went fishing for four days and just drove around New York State.  I started to stand in rivers and marvel at the scenery all around me.  Slowly the rod was replaced by a camera."

Eventually Miller and his wife decided they wanted to move out of the city, and began looking at various locations around New York State.  The scenery around Ithaca attracted them most, and two years ago they moved to Ludlowville.  Miller established his own business here and decided to incorporate professional photography into his graphic design work.

"As a graphic designer it's a really exciting concept for me to say how can we include images?" he says.  "How can we bring your story into the design of whatever we're creating, using photography.  I can then tell the story with a whole 'nother level of tools."

martinrmiller_whygoout_02Downsville, New York, 42°4’53” N 74°59’45” W by Martin R. Miller

He concentrates on landscapes, family portraits and events.  Working with digital cameras only gives him the freedom to tweak the pictures, not an unfamiliar way of working for a graphics designer.

"I'm all digital," he says.  "I don't shoot film.  I had a film camera as a kid, but once I decided photography was what I wanted to do it was a digital camera that got me started.  A digital camera is so much faster.  I didn't have enough patience with film to see it through the process, but with digital I am able to see it right away and decide whether it is good or bad, what can I learn from it, and move on to the next picture."

Martin R. MillerMartin R. Miller

But despite that love of doing visual work on a computer, Miller says it's important to get out and appreciate the beauty of nature, and that's what his exhibit is all about.

"I think it's really important that we find ways to turn off and see what's out there," he says.

'Why Go Out?' is on display in the downstairs gallery in the Lansing Community Library now and through August 27.  The title card for each photograph has the location's GPS coordinates as well as an OR Code that viewers can scan with their smart phones to learn more about the location the picture was shot in.

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