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

January 3, 2014

Another 12 months of firsts – 2013 in pictures

Doing what I do, you’d think it’s easy to get blase about travelling to new places. You know,  “what a job… another month, another remote but beautiful location to shoot”. But in reality, it’s the unknowns of new places, their challenges and unexpected rewards that keep me doing what I do. And 2013 was one of those years –  a series of first time experiences, most unique, some incredible, some insane and some I’d rather not repeat. Whatever their lasting impression on me, whatever the pain, the scary-bits, the ‘too many hours in airport departure halls’, I’m glad I got the chance to go and shoot them all, from Arizona to Afghanistan.

So here’s a little look back at the places, people and things that through 2013 helped me continue becoming the worldly-wise, level headed pro-photographer I am today. Or maybe they just made me go a little more crazy. You decide. 2013 was also the year I started Twitter (follow: @danmilnerphoto) and got an iPhone, which can do most of the things photographers do. Apparently.

The year kicked off with the Voelkl team ski shoot. Epic snow always helps. Getitng the balance between aspirational, inspirational and just showing what the product can do is the photographer's challenge. Nikon D3s, 70-200 f4.

The year kicked off with the Voelkl team ski shoot. Epic snow always helps. Getting the balance between aspirational, inspirational and just showing what the product you’re there to shoot can do is the photographer’s challenge. Is there an app for powder landings? Nikon D3s, 70-200 f4.

Tales from the dark side. Nothing beats working with light like this. It's a popular misconception that today's photography is all about computer work, processing and instagram-like filters. Who needs them? Nikon D3s, 70-200 f4, @ 1/1000th, f1/8.

Tales from the dark side. Nothing beats working with light like this. It’s a popular misconception that today’s photography is all about computer work, processing and instagram-like filters. Who needs them when you have January winter light? Nikon D3s, 70-200 f4, @ 1/1000th, f1/8.

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June 29, 2013

If it’s Friday it’s 100F out there: Shooting the new Trek Remedy 29-er

Filed under: bike, photography — Tags: , , , , — danmilner @ 6:05 pm

Arizona has dodged my riding and shooting radar to date. At least it had until May this year, when I landed in Phoenix for a 4 day shoot for Trek bikes. The shoot, to capture the image needs of various assembled global mountain bike magazine editors, sounds like child’s play, but is in fact a tough call. Think: sunrise-to-sunset days, trying to juggle the artistic needs of both a company launching 2 new bikes and various magazine styles alike while attempting to stay hydrated in 100F desert heat, and you have an idea of what’s entailed. Something has to give. This time it was the hydration.

AMB cover designed and original shot, for your perusal. Nikon D3S, 70-200 f4, 2 speedlites & Pocketwizards, 1/1250 sync.

AMB cover designed and original shot, for your perusal. Nikon D3S, 70-200 f4, 2 speedlites & Pocketwizards, 1/1250 sync.

Great trails, great guiding and great catering back-up (thanks Skratch!) helped, but for myself and photographer Stirling Lorence the workload is heavy -joining breakfast after a sunrise shoot, then leapfrogging the group editors’ ride to try to capture the bulk of editor’s action needs before heading back out on a sunset shoot to nail the last of a specific cover shot hit list means packing in more hours than even the Arizona sunshine will allow in a day. But whatever.

So my first editorial from the job to land in print is this, the cover of Australia Mountain Bike mag, shot while on a planned 7pm sunset shoot. The shoot involved hiking/riding up a trail for an hour to capture the legendary Arizona golden hour of light. And whaddayaknow? As soon as the sun got low, the clouds moved in. My faved natural light approach had to be replaced by 2 speedlights, to add drama to a drifty corner, backlighting the rooster of dust and adding some sidelight to the subject. So the art guy at AMB has tweaked the light & contrast a little to suit their style, but my employees on this job, Trek, landed the cover. And none of us, me included are gonna complain about that. Now where’s my water….?

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