Photographer of the Week #115: Kaitlin Miller

Kaitlin Miller is a Brooklyn based artist whose practice investigates the human connection to landscape and the ways in which earth has evolved over time. She recently received her BFA in Photography from Parsons, the New School for Design.

In her series Subliminal Wanderings, Miller traveled across the US, visiting a total of 11 states, including Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. This road trip, however, was more than just an excuse to sight see, but an expedition to uncover and document our Earth’s history of geology. Over the course of three weeks, Miller trekked through open deserts, backpacked to high altitudes, and journeyed deep into the land’s rocky gorges, occasionally finding herself in precarious situations in order to make the perfect image. At one point, she spent four days backpacking rim to rim in the Grand Canyon. “It’s a strange feeling you get when there is nothing around you but nature, and your only way back to civilization is 14 more miles up at an elevation of 8,060 feet in 110 degree heat. That’s when you realize the only battle you really have is against yourself.”

Taking a distance with her camera, Miller is able to capture the whole scope of the landscape she surveys, sometimes capturing small figures in her compositions that undeniably demonstrate the size of her surroundings. Her work stresses a strong focus on scale; photographing a world in which human beings look drastically small within their natural environment. Her documentation of people in both known and sometimes entirely obscure landmarks, make her subjects feel almost alien to these visited destinations. The dramatic hues and textures of the formations she photographs make the landscapes she captures seem otherworldly as well, as if she is returning from another planet. Miller believes that every object of an environment has a history to tell. “Geology is an amazing way to learn about a place, there is so much variability across the US. The textures found within each scene can be telling of what that part of the world has been through.” Shooting on 120mm film, Miller’s photographs act as a reminder of the power embodied by the natural world.

Miller’s work has been exhibited at the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg Russia, as well as at Site 109 in New York City.

For more of Miller’s work, please visit her website.