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

December 18, 2013

Landing the Patagonia Winter covershot – by staying on the ground

Filed under: photography, snow — Tags: , , , , , , — danmilner @ 10:19 am

Just got this in my inbox. And I’m well chuffed. It’s admirable outdoor brand Patagonia’s new 2014 winter catalogue -just out- with my shot adorning its cover.

Forrest Shearer, splitboarding the Dolomites. Nikon D3s, Nikkor 70-200 f4.

Forrest Shearer, splitboarding the Dolomites. Nikon D3s, Nikkor 70-200 f4.

My near two-decades of shooting snowboarding has seen its twists and turns. I’ve shot in some of the world’s wildest places, flown in helicopters and ski-planes, dug snowmobiles out of trouble, dodged polar bears and camped through some less-than hospitable temperatures. I’ve shot for dozens of different brands and had the fortune to shoot with some of the world’s most legendary riders, from Craig Kelly to Travis Rice and more.

But seeing this image work for Patagonia is a highlight, and here’s why: It could be Patagonia’s more environmentally conscious approach fits better with my own lifestyle. It could be that Forrest is a very, very nice bloke to share time with in the backcountry and a talented rider to boot. It could be that having shunned helicopter trips for the last few years after questioning their role in our climate-challenged snow sports, this backcountry session, like so many in the last few years, was all about splitboarding. Or it could be that this images gets printed on over a million catalogues and everyone says “wow, that is a dope shot!” and I get more beers bought for me in the pub. The jury’s out.

Thanks Patagonia. Thanks Forrest.

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March 11, 2013

Hitting the Dolomites for Transworld

Ok stop pestering me. Yep, thought I’d share a taste of what the Dolomites dealt us over the last couple of weeks shooting a story for Transworld Snowboarding mag.

Milner_Dolo013_0766

Forrest Shearer visits the Gelateria. Chocolate sprinkles come free. Nikon D3s, 24-70 2.8 @ 1/1600, f 7.1 ISO 200.

Bundle together a Brit photographer (me), 1 jet-lagged American writer, 2 American pro-riders (Forrest Shearer and Blair Habernicht) each looking for different attractions the mountainscape can deliver, 1 American filmer with the biggest backpack of gear I have ever seen, and a lively, smiling Italian rider (Luca Pandolfi) used to riding crevasse-strewn Mont Blanc in the dark with his eyes closed and what do you get? Hmmm, an interesting trip indeed.

So the last 2 weeks of Dolomites wasn’t without its moments, but after an initial 4 days of stormy weather that left us with over 1m of new snow, the Italian sunshine made a slow but steady re-appearance.  Working the backcountry is never a walk in the park. Avalanche conditions, rapidly changing light and just simple access issues can make an idea become plain frustrating work. And for everyone but the smiling Italian, the Dolomites was new terrain (at least in winter), meaning a fresh set of perspectives to learn. Q. How big is that couloir? (A. 900m). Q. what aspect is that face? (A. South so the snow will be f*cked by now) Q. Will that one ever get light? (A. don’t think so) Q. How long will it take to get in there on a splitboard? (A. How much time do we have?) Q. How deep is the snow over theses very pointy sharp rocks ? (A. Not as deep as we’d like) Questions, questions.

Yep, we missed a couple of epic shots due to lagging at times (just a reason to go back next year though right?) but we nailed some bangers too. From my previous bike and TNF trail running shoots in the area, I know the Dolomites is one of the most spectacular mountain ranges on Earth, and hitting it in winter just re-affirmed the belief.

Blair Habernicht has meatballs. Nikon D3s, 70-200 2.8 @1/1600, f 7.1 ISO 2

Blair Habernicht has meatballs. Nikon D3s, 70-200 2.8 @1/1600, f 7.1 ISO 2

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