A malfunctioning Polaroid SX-70 camera is the tool photographer William Miller uses to create vividly hued abstract art. The camera, found at a yard sale is as unpredictable as the images it spits out.
Miller explains, “it sometimes spills out two pictures at a time and the film often gets stuck in the gears, exposing and mangling the images in unpredictable ways. Over time I’ve figured out how to control and accentuate aspects of the camera’s flaws but the images themselves are always a surprise. Each one is determined by the idiosyncrasies of the film and the camera.”
Most people would have tossed the camera out along with the unrecognizable images it yields but Ruined Polaroids explores “the failure of a (photographic) process” and “the artistic value of chance”, says Miller.
The intriguing colors and shapes in Miller’s polaroids appeal to me, but what I like most about them is how such an uncontrollable “broken” process yields such interesting and beautiful results.
Visit Miller’s website to see more ruined polaroids and his work as a photojournalist.