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

July 23, 2012

Chalk and cheese: The diet of champions.

Filed under: bike — Tags: , , , — danmilner @ 12:30 pm

Two proud mag moments landed this month: the Singletrack issue 75 cover shot and a spread in the Bike mag photo issue. Nothing too out of the ordinary perhaps, but it occurred to me (okay was pointed out to me) that the two shots represent the opposite ends of the bike spectrum, or at least my own bike-photography spectrum.

And when we get home, you can eat all the sausages you want..” Mike and Diego get the wraparound cover. Leica M8, Voigtlander 15  4.5.

Take the Singletrack cover, featuring Mike and his dog Diego running alongside like a trusty-but-mute life-companion. “Something summery” is what Singletrack were after apparently, to offset the mind-damping deluge of rain that’s besieged the UK’s trails of late. In fact the shot was taken in Autumn, with typical late day sunlight filtering through the forest. It’s the kind of hour that makes us photographers tick and it’s the kind of shot that has my trademarks, well, perhaps a little more happy and sunny than many of my dark-tinged images. But its all there: the late sun, the aspirational feel, the singletrack trail riding.. the whole darn soulful feel. This is what I shoot.. stuff I hope makes people feel like riding their bikes again.

The Megavalanche slopestyle course was doomed as soon as the diggers misread the scale of the course designer’s 1:16 scale drawings.  Nikon D3s, 24-70 2.8.

On the flipside, there’s the DPS image in Bikemag, shot at last summer’s Megavalanche in Alpe d’Huez, France. This shot is full summer, though the absence of sun might make you think otherwise. In fact, give or take a few hills (and a big hotel called “Bel Alp..”) it could as well be Rhyl in North Wales. What makes it so different from the ST cover above is the subject matter and the time of day (that’s race courses and midday light). I’m not a big fan of shooting events, never have been. I find them amusing to watch, for a short time, but less than inspirational for images, especially if you’re stuck alongside a hundred other photochimps shooting similar angles. And I’ve never been a big one for shooting DH riding. I lack a full face helmet of my own and basically don’t identify as well with this kind of riding as the backcountry-style, all-mountain singletrack quests that occupy so much of my time. But strolling the qualifier course this shot jumped out at me. The juxtaposition between the body-armored rider and the crazy golf course (Rhyl) is what caught my eye, making it my favourite shot from 3 days shooting at the Mega.

All I can hope is that both inspire people to stop writing blogs and go and ride their bikes….

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