One Man’s Story (Visual Sociology #002)

Michael-Miller - taos alone

“Taos Alone” (1982) Photo by Michael V. Miller, University of Texas at San Antonio.

Taos alone

by Michael V. Miller

The title of this work is “Taos alone”. Shot by Michael V. Miller with telephoto lens on Pentax 35 mm SLR at side of mission church in Taos Pueblo, northern New Mexico, June, 1982. He showed the image this semester in class, and asked students what they thought it suggested. Their common reaction was that the subject conveyed a strong sense of alienation and isolation. As one student noted in a post on the class wiki: “It depicts so many emotions, yet tells the viewer nothing about the man’s story. Leaves us guessing.” Thirty years later, Miller reports he still regrets not approaching the man to get “his story,” and that the image speaks also to the alienation and isolation of the picture-taker at that time in his life.  

Michael Miller is a sociologist at the University of Texas at San Antonio, where he enjoys learning and sharing about all things related to visual sociology. He advocates a systems approach to the instructional integration of multimedia, and his most recent work examines online video clip repositories as a growing instructional tool. Please feel free to contact him at

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Categories: Research Profiles, Visual Sociology

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