Featured Photographer – Nathan Milner

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Tell us about yourself. When did you first start in photography and what other things do you enjoy doing apart from photography?

I’m 24 years of age, currently living in Melbourne Victoria.

I’ve always had a love of art. Painting, drawing, graphics but it wasn’t until mid high school (2007) that I really got into photography, learning the darkroom process and how to handle film cameras really sparked my interest. I started to experiment with digital photography outside of high school when I left in year 11. I loved experimenting with different types of portraits which lead me into fine art and conceptual photography, bringing a story and an idea to life just feels natural to me. Being able to create a world within an image that one would not normally see and tell the viewer a visual story.

I love going to new places and exploring nature. Nothing makes me feel more at peace then wandering through a forest, climbing along rivers and rocks, exploring secluded cliffs and beaches. I mainly shoot on locations so location scouting for me is hunting for the perfect spot for future shoots but also a personal pass time of mine. Getting lost and discovering beautiful places without any means to is just so fun.

What is your camera and brand of choice? Why do you use it and what do you most like about the product and brand?

I use a Canon EOS 5D Mark II

When I first started out in digital photography I had a little Olpmyus (can’t remember model) camera, it served it purpose well for a few months then I started researching DSLR’s, having learnt film in high school I was already aware of the benefits of using a SLR. My parents brought me a Canon EOS 400D for my 17th birthday and this was the first DSLR that I used for several years.

I made the upgrade to the 5D Mark II because I wanted to get my hands on a full frame camera. The main thing I like about Canon is the user friendly systems, I have nothing against any other brands but personally I like the canons interface.

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What’s your favourite lens? 

My favourite lens would have to be the nifty fifty.
Canon 50mm f/1.4 It’s hard to pinpoint my favourite photo I’ve captured using this because I’ll very rarely shoot with anything else unless I need a wider angle.
I like this because of the aperture, its small and compact but powerful and has always performed in almost every situation I’ve shot.

Is there a camera bag your could recommend? What’s so good about it? Does it have any advantages or disadvantages?

I use a Lowepro camera back pack, I don’t know what make it is I got it off eBay not long after I had upgraded to the 5D Mark II.
The bags great, I’ve had it for many years and theres nothing wrong it even after put through a lot. I’m able to fit nearly all my camera gear I need in it for a shoot excluding tripod, stands etc.

I’m actually looking to buy a smaller backpack, I’ve found myself having too much room and lugging around a fairly large backpack for most of my shoots when I’m only using one lens and a tripod gets a bit tiring.

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We’re all on social media these days, but which one do you use?

Like most, I’ve got an account for a lot of social media sites.
Some I haven’t fully gotten into others I’ve been using ever since I started photography.

Flickr would have to be my main choice. I used to use it as a type of blog for my photography, I did a 365 project (taking a photo a day for a year) and I posted all my photos to flickr with little decriptions about them and my life. I find it wonderful because I made friends who had the same interest and were doing similar projects to me as well as reciving feedback on my work and being able to see my growth while having the freedom to experiment and take photos of whatever I wanted.

I do use Facebook a lot to showcase my work, do print give aways and connect with more of the general public.

Whose work or personality really inspires you to go out and take photos? How did you first come across their work?

This is a question I always get embarrassed at when I’m asked.
Simply because, I am terrible at remembering names. Even people I look up to and respect as artists I can never recall any names. It’s stupid I know.

I tend to draw more inspiration from everything around me (corny as it sounds)
Being able to see the light and dark within anything and letting my mind run wild with ideas.
I’m constantly inspired by nature.

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When was your favourite moment? What happened? Did you manage to take a photo or experience something? Tell us about it.

My favourite moment/s would have to be going out to a location with everything planned to arrive, get set up and ready to shoot when the weather takes a dramatic change and for some would ruin the whole shoot.
I’ve found myself more than once in situations where things that are out of my control like the weather change and make me think, how am I going to still shoot my idea but work with the challenges I’m now faced with.

Another favourite moment is shooting out at locations where you come across wild life. It’s got nothing to do with taking photos but having those moments which make you truly feel more like you are a part of nature are wonderful.

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We’ve all been there, but when was the last time you had a bad day? What happened?

When I was using my Canon 400D I was trespassing out in some paddocks I had never been to before, I had shot not far from where I was quite often and always looked over at this location but never knew if I was able to get there. It was an open field with a small forest of trees in the middle which was completely fenced off and one day I finally said to myself it’s time I go there.

I had to jump over several fences and gates to make my way through the field and as I got closer I ended up needing to jump one more, I thought trying to climb over it with all my gear was a good idea. I was completely wrong. This fence turned out to be extremely electric. I had my camera in my left hand, my right hand grabbing onto the fence then my tripod under my arm which also made contact to the fence. I was shocked backwards hitting the ground and my camera went flying, in the opposite direction over the fence crashing on a large rock. I had to carefully pull the camera back along the ground with a branch.
Thats the reason why I upgraded to a newer camera as well.

If you could go anywhere in the world to take photographs where would you go? Does this place have any significant meaning to you?

I would love to explore Alaska. I have a massive thing with forests and lakes.
I’ve never shot in the snow before and it’s something I really want to do.

There are many many places I could name but it’s a lot easier to say if it has a beautiful forest, rivers and creeks, open plains and fields then I’ll fall in love.

Last book read? Well it could be a magazine, ebook or any other written form, but what was the book about? Would you recommend it?

I’m currently reading a book I read when I was a lot younger called ‘The Spooks Apprentice’
I love fantasy and if I ever do read it’s always going to be a fantasy tales of some sort.

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Coffee or tea of choice? Spill the beans we want to know!

I’m a tea drinker.
My main choices are most green teas and white teas.

Food of choice?

It’s childish but I love mac and cheese.

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Finally any advice to others? Everyone has a little bit of advice to give, so what is it?

For quite some time I struggled to find myself, I struggled to find my voice in photography.
Honestly, I’m still searching but I’ve made so much progress with my direction and goals that I now know what to focus on.

Best advice I could give to someone is stay true to yourself and your ideas. Shoot what you love, go in the direction that you choose with your work.
We are the ones to hold ourself back more than anyone else so we need to learn to let go, take risks and not be afraid.
First and foremost, shoot for you, create for you. Make yourself happy and you’ll make others happy along the way.

To view more of Nathan’s work check out any of the following links:

www.nathanmilnerphotography.com
www.flickr.com/photos/na-th-an_photography/
www.natbook.com/nathanmilnerphotography

If you’re interested in being featured on F Stop Lounge like Nathan click here.

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