A sucker for punishment - that's how some would describe me, considering the locations some of my assignments have taken me - from camping on the polar bear inhabited Arctic Svalbard, to photographing a pioneering bike trip in Afghanistan. But the itch to experience far flung places is one that I began scratching a quarter of a century ago during a seven month solo trip around Latin America. Then I learned a lot about a continent at struggle and about respecting local cultures. And I learned a lot about myself and about photography. Between war-torn Peru, a US-insurgent undermined Nicaragua and a Chile about to emerge from dictatorship, I recorded my experiences with a simple Olympus OM-1 film camera, and the itch to take interesting photos began too.
Two decades (and some) later I am still shooting pictures and I'd like to think they are still thought provoking, aesthetically pleasing, motivating or at least just simply interesting. Or perhaps a combination of all. I've had the pleasure of shooting with some of the snow and bike world's most legendary names —from Jeremy Jones, Travis Rice and Terje Haakonsen, to Matt Hunter and Hans Rey, and having carved out a niche in mountain and adventure photography, my images have appeared in some of the world's most respected mainstream press from Mens Healthand The Financial Times to Bicycling and dozens of specialist sport titles in between.
My time is split between the UK, the Alps, and wherever my latest assignment demands me to be, where I look to capture the story or shoot product in a genuine and aspirational way. While I have built a reputation for accepting more remote, uncompromising assignments, I see these as a way to photograph original content, not as part of a self-demented, sado-masochist urge to endure hardship. The hardship —from camping in sub 25C temperatures to shouldering bikes over 5000m passes— just seems to come with the job.
Wherever and whatever I am photographing, I like to think that some of that '89 Latin America trip's inertia is still with me. It manifests as both a desire to look beyond the safe, predictable and mundane, and to include a little thought provocation in my images and films.
I am proud to be on f-stop Photo Packs' Global Icon team, an ambassador for Yeti Cycles and to be supported by Mavic, LibTech Snowboards, Mountain Equipment and Shimano components from Madison UK.
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Stories featuring Dan Milner
Behind the Cover with Dan Milner
Catching Up with Dan Milner