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

July 8, 2014

This Life Aquatic – hauling bikes on boats in Scotland

Filed under: bike, photography, video — Tags: , , , , , , , — danmilner @ 6:45 am

Sometimes ideas for features take a while to come to fruition; like my Argentina railway bike epic in March, and like this slightly out there adventure I shot in Scotland in May. The idea: take some sea-kayaks, pack with overnight camping gear and throw our bikes onto inflatable dinghies towed behind.

Putting new meaning to the word 'floater'. Shot with GoPro HD3+

Putting new meaning to the word ‘floater’. Shot with GoPro HD3+

Combining bikes and kayaks like this might seem a bit like mixing water with electricity, but there was an inner voice that nagged me over the last couple of years to try it (the same voice that leads me to places like Afghanistan to shoot bike features it seems). After all what can go wrong?

Sea kayaks are great for covering distance on water. Sleek, fast, efficient. Add a floating ‘trailer’ of an inflatable dinghy with the displacement dynamics of a barge, load it with bikes and the equation gets interesting. Especially if the wind is against you. And finding a suitable stretch of water to try this 2 day, 2 night escapade presented another challenge. So we teamed up with Go-Where Scotland to help with location logistics and Sea-Kayak Highlands to provide the boats and then we hit the deepest loch in Scotland, Loch Morar, a loch with its own legendary monster. Apparently.

Dont stray form the paths lads. Leica M9, Zeiss 18/4

Dont stray from the paths lads. Leica M9, Zeiss 18/4

So armed with the Pelican-case packable Leica M9 and a couple of GoPro HD3+ cameras our idea finally came to fruition. No it wasn’t quite the miles-from-anywhere-Alaskan-wrestle-bears-for-your-dinner insanity that many now come to expect from me, but it was an authentic little adventure, right there on our doorstep with its own set of challenges and rich rewards. It shows that sometimes you don’t need to travel too far to put the ‘escape’ into escapade. You just have to be willing to get out there, ride some bikes and paddle 20+ miles in whatever weather nature throws at you, and do it with a dinghy in tow.

The feature will rear its monster head in MBUK and other bike mags around the world in the next few months, but in the meantime, here’s the EpicTV episode from the trip. It’s a little… err, different. Click image below to watch.

Click to watch film episode

Click pic to watch film episode

 

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May 9, 2014

Me? Scared? Well, you can see my legs trembling 3 minutes in.

Filed under: bike, video — Tags: , , , , , , , — danmilner @ 12:57 pm

Want to see how our recent Argentina railroad epic with Hans and Tibor looks on video? Well, here it is.

Screen shot 2014-05-09 at 1.53.16 PM

March 22, 2014

A little yellow bird told me – shooting Canaries

Filed under: bike, video — Tags: , , , , , , , — danmilner @ 3:08 pm

Yeah I know, it’s been a while, I’ve been busy. And one of the busy moments recently was shooting an MTB traverse of the magnificent island of Gran Canaria, following the advanced route of the TNF Trans Gran Canaria. It’s an idea I have had for a while, and finally it came to be. Three days, 4500m of up and downhill, and 95% on trails carrying our own gear (I used my F-Stop Kenti pack) this trip was a blinder -and the island’s incredible landscapes was a bonus. One of the best MTB adventures I’ve done & shot in over 30 years of MTB adventures (some would call them moments of madness). So here’s the photo for the month of February..

Read the print story in MBUK and Bike Magazin Germany any time now.

Railing one of the best, and little ridden trails on the island. Leica M9, Zeiss 50/1.5 @ 1/1000, f8

Railing one of the best, and little ridden trails on the island. Leica M9, Zeiss 50/1.5 @ 1/1000, f8

And the unique GoPro video episode that goes with it (video opens in new window).

Screen shot 2014-03-22 at 14.59.02

December 26, 2013

Latest GoPro episode.. with a smile

Filed under: bike, The Mangina chronicles, video — Tags: , , , , — danmilner @ 3:27 pm

Sometimes it’s too easy to get wrapped up in the business side of the sports that provide my livelihood. It’s too easy to be glib too, and pretend that it’s just a barrel of laughs. My work takes me to places that are scary, environments that are unfriendly, and under deadlines and budget pressures that can sometimes take the edge off what is a ‘dream job’. So in case you’re wondering where I stand, here’s my latest GoPro episode -from one of my favourite bike destinations-  from the monthly series I produce for EpicTV.com. Sometimes a smile is what it’s all about. Oh and a damn big royalty cheque from the boss.

Trail Ninja Kirroughtree

October 14, 2013

Santa Cruz -whatever!

Filed under: video — Tags: , , , — danmilner @ 5:35 pm

Occasionally I venture out without a conventional stills camera. The results are , err, a little different. Here’s the latest in my EpicTV GoPro series that sees Santa Cruz, California get a shoe’ing. A new episode coming out in a week… so watch this while you can.

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.

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