Author Archive

Delighting in the Details

June 19th, 2015 28 comments
Vase Impression #1
Vase Impression #1

You might notice that in my photographs I often take pictures of a small portion of something much larger. I lift the “details” out of the context of a larger subject which allows me to accomplish a number of goals for my photography… and my life!


I’m a high energy kind of person. It is not a slam-dunk for me to be thoughtful and still. I am doing, moving, taking action, setting goals, and checking off boxes on my to-do list all day. I doubt if anyone would argue with the idea that there is benefit to slowing down and reflecting. Some folks do it by meditating. I find that taking photographs is a way to slow down and let go of the clamors of life. And I seem to step out of time when I look at the details that surround me.


When I zoom in on what is here right now, close at hand, in my environment… I see the amazingly ordered, the impossibly complex, the deceptively simple, and the highly purposed arrangements of the natural world. I can’t help but be reminded of a higher intelligence, a creative spirit in the universe. My life’s ups and downs start to get right-sized. I gain perspective, and humility about humankind’s influence. I reconnect to my ideas about God. I can do this anywhere, anytime I want to.

Palm #18b

Palm #18b

Be Positive

This feeling that “life is good” sneaks up on me whenever I slow down and look around. Seeing, feeling and thinking about what attracts me to a scene and making decisions about how to capture the image all work together to lift me into a calm, pleasant, introspective zone. Thoughts about puzzling or troublesome life events or situations recede. I don’t even remotely think that I can represent reality, the total experience of being present to what surrounds me, through a photograph. But I want to try.


When I look at the results of my best efforts, I have a grateful heart and that prompts me to share. If just one person looks at my photograph and is uplifted, then I feel like the work I did was totally worth it. I have given back a little bit of the experience!


When I am overwhelmed with information, with too much to do and too many commitments, the beauty of the colors, the shapes and patterns, the textures, and the interactions of nature and humankind and time to be found in the world immediately around me are relaxing and inspiring. Writing about this reminds me to: Slow down. Smell the roses. Be grateful. Look at the clouds. Savor the flavor. Feel the texture. See the rainbow. Keep it simple. Pass it on.

Life is good!

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What’s in a name?

July 26th, 2013 No comments

When I first started putting artwork into a show setting, I was faced with a dilemma. What should I name this piece? What about that one? I envisioned that I would be spending the rest of my days making images that are very often removed from reality. So I felt pressure to come up with a “way” of deciding on a name for each piece. Wall #98 To understand what I came up with, you have to understand how I see my images. I do not look at them and see a wall with a faucet. I imagine what it COULD be, not what it is. For this image, on some days, I see a small forest in the lower left and a smoking mountain on the lower right… Other days I think about the slow process of time and nature changing mankind’s footprints. To name this piece for the imaginings of one day, would make me dissatisfied on the next day. And it might even keep me from seeing the image in a new way. It would become that “one” story encapsulated by the name I chose. I thought about naming my images with just a number, but somehow that seemed too detached. I finally decided to describe very dispassionately the material or source of the image in one or two words and to then add a random number to the title. So in the case of the image in this post, it is titled Wall #98. This naming convention does give away a part of the game if you look at the title of the image before you look at the actual image itself. It tells you at least at a high level what you are looking at. It really has not been an issue in gallery shows, because the little tag that identifies the name of the piece is usually small enough to escape the viewer’s notice for a few moments while they absorb the image and start telling themselves a story about what it is. I recently had someone tell me she felt disappointed to see the image names on my online web portfolio images because then she had a context for the shapes, textures, colors and patterns. Not my intention! So I may have to change the online display to make the name very small so I can produce the same experience for my online viewers as they would get in a gallery show. One of my very favorite parts of showing my photography is hearing from a viewer what they see when they look at an image. Each person brings their own history and personality into how they interpret the photographic image and I get to know them a little better by hearing their story. To me, this viewing experience is like being a kid again, lying in the grass with a couple of friends looking up at the clouds and pointing out the fantastic duck in the sky over here, and Thor’s hammer over there… as we allowed our imaginations to run wild! The three images in this post will be on exhibit for the whole month of August at Gallery 1855 at the Davis Cemetery district. The show open house is on Sunday, August 11th, from 1pm-4pm. Hope some of you show up to look at the work of seven Yolo County photographers!

Metal #45
Hull #460



Gallery 1855 at the Davis Cemetery District
Anne Miller Photography

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