Featured Photographer – Bob Miller (2014)

Bob Miller

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Bob Miller has been a fixture in the Arundel Camera Club for seven years. His travel photos from Africa to the Galapagos are the envy of many club members. Bob has won many awards within the club including the monochrome photographer of the year in 2012 & 2013; the digital photographer of the year in 2011 & 2012; the photograph of the year in 2012. Bob has a gold certificate in monochrome prints and a silver certificate in color prints.

ACC: How long have you been into photography?

BM: I believe I started in photography with my first film SLR around 1974. Right from the start I was hooked. Being a middle school science teacher left little free time but on the weekends and summer days I spent most of my free time roaming Annapolis doing B&W street photography. I took several classes at the Md. Institute of Art where I fell in love with the darkroom. Soon our bathroom was doubling as a darkroom and negatives could be seen hanging up in the shower. Somewhere around 1998, I went digital with a state of the art Olympus 2.5 mega pixel camera. Since retirement in 2005, I have been spending time doing photography every day….either shooting, processing, or reading. It is my passion! My wife Dawn and I love to travel and we make sure to plan at least one big photo trip a year

ACC: What equipment do you shoot with?

BM: I am a Nikon shooter. I currently own a D3s (best camera ever), a D-800, and a D-300s. My favorite lenses include the 200-400mm f4 , a 500mm f4, the 28-300mm, 105mm macro, and 16-35mm wide angle. I also enjoy shooting available light with my 50mm 1.8.

ACC: What are your favorite subjects?

BM: I shoot all kinds of subjects but my favorites are wildlife (especially birds in flight), macro (especially flowers ) and landscapes. I also very much enjoy doing portraits of strangers when I am not in one of my quiet moods.

ACC: What are your favorite techniques?

BM: My favorite techniques include Long exposures and available light. I also enjoy focus stacking and blending exposures. Rather than doing HDR I usually prefer to shoot one exposure for the highlights and one for the shadows and then blend them in a layered program like Photoshop. For post processing I use Lightroom for most of my work (love the new radial filter in LR5) and then send it over to Photoshop for things like blend modes and selective color adjustment layers. I also do a session of tweaking with plug ins like color efex (esp tonal contrast, and detail extractor) and topaz detail and clarity. Recently, I have developed an interest in compositing photos to create imaginative fantasies. Two plug in programs I am fond of for helping to create these fantasies within PS are flood and fractilius.

ACC: How long have you been in the Arundel Camera Club?

BM: I believe I have been a member since 2007.

ACC: What photographers have inspired you?

BM: I am largely self taught but have taken workshops with and been inspired by Freeman Patterson, John Shaw, Derrel Gulann, and Joseph Rossbach. Through reading I have been inspired by Robert Frank, Ansel Adams, Brassi, Steve Mccurry, Walker Evans, Edward Weston and many others. I have long been a fan and collect books by Jerry Uelsmann.

ACC: How would you describe yourself and your photography?

BM: I would probably say I am a bit obsessed with photography in a good way. Photography has enriched my life in so many ways. It has taken me to places I would probably never have gone to and given me experiences I never would have had. It has given me the gift of noticing things that most people overlook. It helps me to appreciate the visual beauty of the world and then to share it. I have found it is the best way for me to experience the energy that accompanies the creative process.

ACC: Noteworthy accomplishments?

BM: I have developed two photography classes. I currently teach in the adult education programs at Washington College, and Chesapeake Community. I have won numerous camera club awards, I have been published in B&W magazine several times, and have had two shows in Chestertown. But then, I have always believed the biggest rewards are in the journey.