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This 1993 composition, titled “Night Before Launch,” captures Endeavour as the sunset light matches the shuttle’s artificial lighting.

“It’s very dramatic. The shuttle roars at 100 miles per hour when it leaves the top of the tower,” Miller recalls. “It rises quickly, and after a few seconds, you feel the sound waves rumble in your chest.” Capturing moments like this, and creating visually arresting images of objects associated with the space program, has been Miller’s passion for the last 24 years. He’s photographed 78 shuttle launches, deactivated launch pads and the intricacies of space paraphernalia. His work has been featured in major exhibits and permanent collections, in venues ranging from the NASA Art Collection to the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Photography. Miller’s exhibit known as “The Space Shuttle” will be on display next summer at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla. The exhibit exploring deactivated launch pads, known as “Abandoned in Place,” has been on display throughout the country, including six months at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. Miller, a Chicago native who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in photography at Utah State University, is now dean of Communication Arts, Humanities and Fine Arts at the College of Lake County. Before that, he was a photography professor at CLC for six years and at Brevard Community College in Cocoa, Fla., for 14 years.

Miller’s fascination with flight began at age 16 when he took his Kodak Instamatic film camera to an Iowa hot-air balloon exhibition. “Pressing on to the next adventure, breaking the bounds of our environment: It’s what separates humans from other creatures, beyond opposable thumbs,” Miller said, explaining his passion. “We’re so lucky to be at this time in history to have the ability to leave Earth to other orbital bodies.” Miller’s work capturing images of the space program began when he taught at Brevard,

which is located near Cape Canaveral. It wasn’t uncommon for him to have NASA employees in his courses. One day, a contractor for the Air Force offered to show Miller an old launching pad for Project Gemini, the manned spaceflight program in1965-66. Miller saw not junk, but beauty and a piece of American history. “I said to myself, ‘I’ve got to photograph this stuff!’” he recalled. NASA granted Miller access to shoot more deactivated space launch and test facilities that were used in the 1950s and ‘60s. His work led to

A lighted flight deck offers a sense of being on a shuttle mission. 4 | COLLEGE OF LAKE COUNTY

College of Lake County Fall 2012 Alumni News  

The College of Lake County Alumni Association serves as a vital link between alumni and the college by sponsoring educational, social and cu...

College of Lake County Fall 2012 Alumni News  

The College of Lake County Alumni Association serves as a vital link between alumni and the college by sponsoring educational, social and cu...