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

January 15, 2013

Getting Vocal with Voelkl -a picture is worth a thousand words….

If this is a taste of the year ahead, I’ll be needing more memory cards. A 4-day shoot for Voelkl skis kicked off my 2013, in conditions that were about as perfect as we were going to get in the Alps. Quite a contrast from last years avalanche dodging and jib-tastic escapade. I was given the services of international backcountry freestylers Dylan Hood and Dash Longe from the USA and Flo Wieser (austria) and PA Chedal (France) to try to nail all the images needed by Voelkl to launch a brand new flagship backcountry ski at next month’s ISPO trade fair. Hmm, not that there was any pressure or anything.

The nerdy bit: It also gave me the chance to try out my new Nikon 70-200 f4G lens.. the new lighter (850g), but one stop slower counterpart to the usual 70-200 f2.8 I lug about. And when I say “lug” I mean. Lug. The f2.8 is a back-straining 1500g. Add that to a D3s body (1240g), a 24-70 f2.8 (900g), a 14-24 f2.8 (970g), a 50 f1.4 (290g) and a few accessories, and you have some heft. I’ve been waiting for Nikon to emerge with the f4 since I first heard rumours of its development a year ago. It was one of the lenses in Canon’s amoury that I missed when I switched to Nikon from Canon 2 years ago, especially when hiking the backcountry. (I’ll be seeing how the D600 and 16-35 f4, 70-200 f4 combo goes down when Jeremy Jones/TGR start calling for the next expedition..).

So here’s a peek at what pleased Voelkl….

This spot rarely fails to deliver... nor does Flo's 720. Backlighting is my way, and while the new 70-200 f4 is sharp and no doubt autofocuses without hesitation, I actually manually focussed on the take off to allow a more relaxed composition.

This spot rarely fails to deliver… nor does Flo’s 720. Backlighting is my way, and while the new 70-200 f4 is sharp and no doubt autofocuses without hesitation, I actually manually focussed on the take off to allow a more relaxed composition. Nikon D3s, 70-200 f4, 1/1600, f.7.1.

I thik this was the 10th shot I have taken with the new 70-200 f4. yeah I'm happy. Dylan Hood sends a rooster tail that you normally see in snowboarding. Nikon D3s, 70-200 f4. 1/100, f/8.

I think this was the 10th shot I have taken with the new 70-200 f4. Happy? Yeah I’m happy! Dylan Hood sends a ski rooster tail that you normally see in snowboarding. Nikon D3s, 70-200 f4. 1/1000, f/8.

 

Seeing the skis can be a problem when shooting marketing shots in powder. Unless you have Dylan along for the ride. The base shot. Nikon D3s, 14-24 f2.8. 1/1250, f6.3.

Seeing the skis can be a problem when shooting marketing shots in powder. Unless you have Dylan along for the ride. The base shot. Nikon D3s, 14-24 f2.8. 1/1250, f6.3.

 

The evolution of skiing. Flo lays out a surf turn and gets barrelled. This was the last shot of the day, last shot of the shoot. I didnt know quite where he was going to lay out this turn on the bank, so kept the composition loose, the depth of field reasonable at f7.1, and tracked him in, adjusting my composition as he began the turn. Nikon D3s, 70-200 f4,@ 1/2000, f7.1, ISO 200.

The evolution of skiing. Flo lays out a surf turn and gets barrelled. This was the last shot of the day, last shot of the shoot. I didnt know quite where he was going to lay out this turn on the bank, so kept the composition loose, the depth of field reasonable at f7.1, and tracked him in, adjusting my composition as he began the turn. Nikon D3s, 70-200 f4,@ 1/2000, f7.1, ISO 200.

All work and no play make Dan a dull(er) boy. Not strictly part of the shoot, but a "free run" down the Rectaline couloir on day 4 allowed the skiers to get the new skis dialled, and me to try the new Nikon D600 body. You know "free runs" are going to be a little different whren the guide (stian) says  " take it easy at the pinch, its not a place to fall" and " and at the bottom of the coulir there is a 1m ice shelf to drop off so don't go charging through..". Nikon D600, 14-24 f2.8 @1/1000, f5.6. ISO 100.

All work and no play make Dan a dull(er) boy. Not strictly part of the shoot, but a “free run” down the Rectaline couloir on day 4 allowed the skiers to get the new skis dialled, and me to try my new Nikon D600 body. You know “free runs” are going to be a little “different” when the guide (Stian Hagen) says “..take it easy at the pinch, its not a place to fall… oh, and at the bottom of the couloir there is a 1m ice shelf to drop off so don’t go charging through..”. Nikon D600, 14-24 f2.8 @1/1000, f5.6. ISO 100.

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