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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May 16, 2013

The Birthplace of Mountain Biking gets some Milner movie madness

Filed under: bike, outdoors, photography, The Mangina chronicles — Tags: , , , , — danmilner @ 9:15 am

A few years ago someone asked me if I thought the (then) new D-SLRs with their HD filming ability would change the role of photographer. Would us stills-monkeys suddenly become overnight Spielbergs and of course be shooting both stills and movies while we’re out on location? It was an understandable question. After all you just have to push some buttons right? It’s a question that has popped back up time and time again, not least from clients wanting me to shoot and film expeditions simultaneously.

My answer remains the same. No. Of course it’s pretty much impossible to shoot stills and film at the same time. Each has its own set of skills and techniques and each focusses on different decisive moments. For filming it’s about 30 Frames Per Second (FPS) and needing a little motion blur to help the frames blend into each other, and tripods or steadycams. For action photography, it’s still about hand-held, high (1/1000) shutter speeds and focussing for maximum sharpness. You can’t do both at the same time. Simple.

Now sponsored by GoPro though, my job has evolved, a little, and now its rare for a trip not to be accompanied by the need to record it in moving image format, as is expected by the Youtube obsessed populace and employers alike. And so on the recent trip to the US while shooting mag features on Joe Breeze, Mark Weir and E*Thirteen with my Leica M9, I produced a few more episodes for my EpicTV Trail Ninja series with the GoPro HD3.

So here’s my fun trail guide to mountain biking in the the birthplace of the MTB  -Marin County, California.

Check here to see more.

May 15, 2013

P.O.M: March 2013

Filed under: bike, photography — Tags: , , , , , , — danmilner @ 8:54 am

Photo Of the Month: The E*Thirteen geeks show me Annadel’s finest.

Milner_L9992382

A lack of snow in Tahoe meant ditching my March snow-shoot plans with regulars Jeremy Jones and Mike Basich, and instead starting my mountain bike year early instead. A now annual trip to California included hooking up to shoot features with the legendary enduro rider Mark Weir, original MTB pioneer Joe Breeze and the geek-ish bods behind the tech-focussed brand E*Thirteen. The latter being based a stone’s throw from Annadel State Park, Santa Rosa (at least if you have a strong throwing arm) gave me a chance to revisit this great flowy riding spot and nail some beautiful shots for the forthcoming MBUK mag feature and GoPro video content for an EpicTV Gear Geek episode. Low, late light, amazing twisted trees and damn good riders always combine to get me inspired: all I had to do was dodge the cougars and poison oak as a scurried about in the undergrowth looking for the angle. Go geeks! Leica M9/Zeiss 18 f4.

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