Everyone has had the experience of déjà vu, the feeling of seeing something that you could not previously have seen, of being somewhere you could not possibly have been, or experiencing something you really have not experienced. For most, it is a curious, slightly uncomfortable sensation that is quickly forgotten. For photographer Martin Miller, it is the source of an aesthetic, an inspirational but elusive "butterfly" that has the power to evoke strong visual responses from ordinary subjects. He likens the response to the physical phenomena of resonance in which favorable circumstances can magnify sounds or light. He suggests that it might be possible that certain forms and textures could be resonating with deep evolutionary experience encoded in our DNA, just as instinctive behavior is encoded in a manner that we cannot yet decipher. Such a mechanism would act outside our consciousness and normally be masked by the conscious meaning ordinarily associated with the subject.
Regardless of how plausible one may regard such speculations, Miller's explorations of these evanescent experiences over the last fifty years have produced an extraordinary body of photographic art, created through the contemplative discipline imposed by large-format cameras and stunningly reproduced here using advanced stochastic half-toning for amazing detail and tonal subtleties.
—Bronze Medal Winner, Fine-Art Book Category, 2022 PX3 Prix de la Photographie, Paris
Martin Miller has been doing high-resolution photography since 1970, first with 4x5" and 8x10" view cameras then, more recently, with digital cameras in a technique called stitched mosaics. In 2003 he retired from a 31-year career as a research physicist with the US Army Research Laboratory to devote full time to his photography. In 2006 his oeuvre shifted from nature abstracts first to the heavy implements of war and then to weapons of mass destruction, including a major multiyear substudy of the production facilities of the Manhattan project.
Intimations is Miller's fourth book. The Neutron's Long Shadow: Legacies of Nuclear Explosives Production in the Manhattan Project (2017), Weapons of Mass Destruction: Specters of the Nuclear Age (2017), and Triumph and Tragedy: The Evolution and Legacy of 20th Century War Machines (2021). Neutron received an Honorable Mention in Documentary Book Category of the 2021 Tokyo International Foto Awards. Weapons of Mass Destruction received the Bronze Medal in the Documentary Book Category of the 2021 Tokyo International Foto Awards. Triumph received the Silver Medal in Documentary Photography Book Category of the 2021 Tokyo International Foto Awards, the Silver Medal in Documentary Book Category at the 2022 PX3 Prix de la Photographie of Paris, and the Bronze Medal in Oversized History Book Category at the 2022 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards. The three books together won the Bronze Medal in Non-Fiction Book Series Category at the 2022 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards. In addition, Miller has received international recognition for his achievements in fine-art photography, architectural photography, abstract photography, and portraiture. He is currently represented by Galerie Gora in Montreal and Galerie Sakura in Paris.
"Looking at Martin Miller's C.V. as a long-practicing physicist, one wouldn't imagine that he has the spirit of a poet and the eye of a visual artist. But this remarkable volume of his photographs, made over the past half century, prove that the two mindsets are not at all incompatible. Maybe, in fact, the physicist's quest to discover nature's mysteries with mechanical instruments and formulas is exactly matched by an artist's manipulation of words and images. In any case, this stunning collection of black-and-white photographs of nature (rocks, plants, trees, and water) along with striking images of man-made machines and structures, as well as amazing macro-photographs of disease and other microorganisms provide an endless source of pleasure and stimulation. The variety and visual power of the photographs in this book make it unique among most similar collections of an artist's work." - Robert Morton, former chief editor of Abrams Art Books