Inspirations – Daniel Milnor

© Daniel Milnor

Hasselblad 503CW 80mm lens Plus-X film

This image was made near Menlo Park California. I was in the area visiting family, including my nephew-in-law, who at the time was probably around three years of age. His parents mentioned there was a kite flying contest happening at a local park overlooking the bay and we all thought it would be a great thing for the little guy to see. I had never photographed kite flyers before, or even thought about how I would do it given the opportunity. At the time I was working on another project using Hasselblad and black and white film, Plus-X, coupled with a nine stop neutral density filter so that I could shoot longer time exposures during peak light hours. Seeing as I was in the routine of working this way I decided to use this technique with the kites.

The difficult part was finding at least one person who WASN’T moving, combined with several who were, with kites above. This method of working is very slow, very methodical. I probably made a total of about thirty exposures over a two hour period. In addition I made exposures, without the filter and tripod, and shot a more fluid style image, still with the black and white square. I was fortunate to find someone wearing an interesting hat who was situated right below the top of a ridgeline. Several of the folks flying kites had them tied off to heavy ammunition cases, so the kites were in essence flying themselves. I worked my way up and down the hillside. Many of the images I like the most are from a distance, allowing for a sense of place.

I remember the specific moment I made several of these images, but what I remember the most about this day was having to lie down in the brush to make several of these photographs. I didn’t know it at the time, but the brush was filled with tiny, biting bugs of some kind and by the following morning my entire body was covered in red welts. It was lovely. ~daniel milnor


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