the dan milner photography blog: tales of an adventuring photo chimp

February 29, 2012

Human flypaper: Further comes to Europe

Filed under: snow — Tags: , , — danmilner @ 5:59 pm

Cold. So cold the oil lubricating the diaphragm blades in my 300/f4 lens started going sticky. That’s cold. I know. Shooting a sequence of Jeremy Jones riding a line that looked like human flypaper, every 3rd frame is underexposed by 3 stops. The aperture just wouldnt open up quick enough in succession to match for the 8 frames per second shutter. Sticky oil. Cold.

I just spent 3 weeks in Austria shooting with Jeremy, Mitch Toelderer and Bibi Pekarek as part of the 2-year TGR Further film project. Our session saw us camping for 6 days straight through one of the coldest snaps Europe has had in 50 years. -23C day and night with no let up can be testing at times, and saw the very real of frost bite in temps that prevented the 4-season gas from burning in our stoves. It wasn’t all a grimace though, no, there were moments of levity. My how we laughed the morning when we discovered Chris had forgotten to unlace his damp snowboard boots the night before and now they had frozen so solid he nearly broke his ankle trying to get his foot inside. The mental picture of him hopping about screaming in pain as he tried to force a foot into the unrelenting boot will make me laugh for decades to come. And then there was the almost daily challenge of trying to hack slithers off the frozen cheese for sandwiches. We had to use a wood saw. Happy days.

Human flypaper: Jones rides a nadge tech line that is usually reserved for summer climbers. We split 13 Km towing our gear on sledges to camp here. Nikon D3s, 300f4, f9, 1/640th.

The snowcamp session and subsequent winter-hut  session that followed drove home how tricky some of these “expeditions” can be, logistically, physically and mentally. Ironic that we were only 10 miles from an Austrian city of 100,000 people, and so much easier than our Svalbard arctic mission last April. So close, yet so far. Thats what it takes sometimes to get into mountains that offer faces that have never been skied/filmed. Willingness to get cold.

Week 3: our cosy winter hut. All we had to do was find it at 7.30 pm in the dark with headtorches in a blizzard after a 6-hour splitboard into the zone. Nikon D3s, 70-200 2.8, f5.6, 1/1000th

The feature will grace a number of snow titles next winter. I may have even thawed out by the time they go to print.

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1 Comment »

  1. Sounds like quite the adventure. Can only imagine how cold it was out there. Looking forward to seeing the film. Deeper set the standard. Glad to hear of Europe taking centre stage in Further.

    Comment by Adam — March 8, 2012 @ 1:57 pm


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