Miller’s first camera was a Boyscout Camera in Jr. High. His first real photographs were shot during the Sproton Layer era (1969), where he would document the adventures of the three brothers and their friends. During this time he also took his first abstract images (c/u of a melted igloo at night w/flash) and images with open-ended implications (a ladder at a rocky part of a creek which was eroded at the bottom and the top).
Being a practical man, Miller knew that really getting into photography cost money. He kept his costs as minimal as possible. By the time Burma was in action, his favorite camera was an $8 Ansco, which charmingly warped many of the images taken. His first published photographs were on the cover of The Horrible Truth about Burma, with the images suitably pulled at the edges. The photograph series used on the Wrong Pipe 45 (Roger and Clint on Remora Records, 1993) is among his favorite from this time period: extreme close-ups of the inside of waste baskets, to the point where one does not know what one is looking at.
In the early ’90’s, cameras were perfected enough so that the cheapest cameras were no longer interesting. Since he had no interest in shelling out money for good cameras, he stopped taking pictures for a number of years. Finally, when he was a Slate Journalist in 2004, they gave him a digital camera to take photos for the week-long journal he was working on. These new digital cameras, while not extremely unique, were a vast improvement over the last batch of cameras available. And (as everybody does after going digital), he could take as many photos as he wanted. Hence, an interesting series could produce 2 or 3 really good, interesting shots, and any idea was fair game.
When he began shooting a lot again around 2004, his primary interest was in the abstracted – images that are difficult to place, or identify the source, but are very evocative. See above for photograph of an American Flag, the reflection of light off a nut can top, and others.
Miller is not taught in any way as a photographer, and in certain respects is quite naive. However, his general interest in visuals (see FROTTAGE/DRAWINGS page) allows him to “see potential” and, on occasion, to capture it well in a camera.
He has been in a few photography shows, and often includes photographs in the art shows he has been involved in.
Published photographs include:
The Obliterati album; The Horrible Truth about Burma ablum (2); Gun to the Head album; Wrong Pipe 45 (2); Snapshot EP; …and Here it Comes 45; Dawn of the Cycads CD (3); With Magnetic Fields Disrupted (2); as a Slate Journalist (10).