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Miles Bowers

words Zarah Cheng
All images are from Miles' portfolio.

Where are you from?

Eugene, Oregon


How would you describe your photography?

A bit of a mix between snapshots and heavy planning, dirty convoluted images and clean, simple ones. I've never been able to focus and stay on just one style, but I usually find myself going back and working off of ones I've tried before.


You experiment a lot with physically manipulating your photographs.  What are some of your favourite techniques? 

I love finding ways to alter film photographs and negatives because there are just so many options there. I think my go-to technique with film is standstill development, which is the process of letting a roll of film sit in extra-diluted chemistry for a prolonged amount of time. Sometimes if I'm looking for an extreme color shift or want to destroy a roll to the point where it doesn't show the person’s identity, I'll soak it in something acidic first like alcohol or limes. I learned most of my soaking recipes from my friend, Nathan Bobey, one of the best film chemists out there. More recently, I've been interested in experimenting with glitching scanners and cameras in a way that can produce the same random elements as analogue film, but I'm still working on that.


A lot of your images have an almost eerie, surreal quality to them. What draws you to this certain aesthetic?

I think a big part of it might come from how difficult it can be to verbally talk about ideas involving dreams and the supernatural. You still can't completely explain how something like a dream, hallucination, or experience felt using analogue photography as a medium, but there are tricks to use in the process that can begin to communicate those themes to people in certain ways.


Nature and landscapes are reoccurring subjects in your work. Have you ever witnessed any natural phenomena while taking photographs? 

Yes, I've seen all sorts! The weather, conditions, and seasons of the Pacific Northwest are incredibly dynamic. I've still never photographed the aurora borealis, which is high up on my list.


Describe the moment when you took your most memorable photograph.

It was probably the first time I saw the Milky Way in my camera after taking a long exposure. After I saw where it was in relation to me, I could see it so much better with my naked eye. Astrophotography as a whole has completely changed how I think about and interpret the night sky.


Who are you listening to?

The Fugees, Das Racist, Major Lazer, and Aaliyah


What creeps you out the most?

Driving dark highways at night for so long that I start to think I see people in the road.


You can check out more of Miles' work here.

Posted on April 22, 2015.