milesmorganphotography

Miles Morgan

Airline Pilot. Dim witted. Obsessed with Chocolate Chip Cookies. Ever expanding waistline from aforementioned condition.

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It was too late in the season for winter images. It was too early in the season for wildflowers. But I had a free day and decided to do a little photography, so I figured I would try to rummage up an early season ice cave. It’s not smart to shoot in an ice cave alone (the entrance to one spot collapsed while we were scouting another area) so I asked @codyscapes and my old friend @kevinmcneal30 if they wanted to come along. I hadn’t seen either in quite some time, so I was absolutely chuffed to get some quality friend time in. After a warm greeting in the parking lot, we assembled our gear and prepared for the long snowy climb. Kevin donned waders and rubber boots. “Ummmm.... Kev? What are you going to hike in?” “This”, he said. “But its a pretty icy hike and the snow is still deep in some spots. Those boots.... have completely slick bottoms. How are you going to make it up?” Well, like a freaking mountain goat is how. Somewhere in the 9 years since I’ve seen him, Kevin became an ice ballerina. Cody on the other hand, stood there in shorts. “Is your snow gear in your bag?”, I asked. “No, this is it”. “Wait. You don’t have pants?” “No.” Gloves? “No”. “A hat?” “No”. “...... Cody, it’s an ICE cave”. “Yeah, I didn’t really think this through.” Nothing gave me more pleasure than watching Cody butt-ski back down the glacier with snow compacting into his junk. The end result was me making a mess of a perfectly good location, but the colors were amazing. I did very little processing on this image - and it still took me 2 hours. #jaw_dropping_shots #ig_world_colors #igrefined #igbest_shotz #globeshotz #ig_color #NikonNoFilter #ig_bliss #amazing_shots #awesomeearth #master_shots #bns_earth #awesome_earthpix #earthoutdoors #artofvisuals #myrrs #hubs_united #earth_shotz #earth_reflect #bestnatureshot #splendid_earth #longexposure_shots #TestedTough #nationalearth #MoodyGrams
I’ve been flying jets for @united for over 23 years now. In a sense, it defines me. So I’m constantly working to perfect my craft. The mastery of an almost 200,000# machine takes countless hours of thought and practice. Safe, caring, dependable, and efficient. That is how I endeavor to move our customers, for they are guests in my small slice of the sky. A fully loaded commercial jetliner is no place to show off your fancy maneuvers and explore the outside edges of the flight envelope...so I bought a drone. As part of United’s push to leverage it’s incredible network, several interesting destinations have been added. One of them, Moab, peaked my interest, so I invited @ryandyar to join me to take another shot at getting a decent image of Factory Butte. Soon the drones were in the air. Supremely (over) confident in my flying abilities, I ignored the “Battery low, aircraft will return to the home point” warning and flew deeper and into the canyon-like veins of the surrounding terrain. Finally, I figured I had the shots I was looking for, and when I turned for home, my drone was screaming at me about low battery level. Cockily, I eased into the throttle and started to do the calculations of battery level, distance, and speed. Uh oh. I had learned from previous experience that when your drone gets ticked off enough at you, it announces “Landing” and starts to slowly descend, like it or not. Sure enough, a few minutes later, down it came. Now it was simply a lesson in geometry. Ryan, who had smartly landed with plenty of remaining battery, started loudly coaxing my craft even lower in hopes of seeing me have to hike all over the desert looking for the crash site. After a few agonizing minutes, it became apparent that I was going to make it…just. With about 30 feet to go I heard, “Battery level insufficient for landing”, and it started to tumble…right into my outstretched hand. I think I’ll just stick to flying jets for awhile. Lightning was captured by ground based camera and combined with drone image. If you catch lightning with a drone, go straight to Vegas. #UnitedJourneyContest #BeingUnited .
I got some devastating medical news a couple of days ago. The shock is still settling over my psyche like the snow on Mt Hood. After escalating doctors diagnosis, I finally procured a meeting with a world renowned specialist in the field. Hearing her say “there is nothing we can do for you” made the room spin. In pilot-speak we call this running out of airspeed and ideas. My mind is struggling to calculate the facts of my new reality. There is no treatment. There is no cure. There is no more hope. The diagnosis is like a thunderclap: My big toenails will never grow normally again. They will be hideous and grotesque until the day I die. Sorry @cmurdock. You have to love me anyway. 😬........ soo, to those of you that are reading this and worried about me - I’m TOTALLY fine!! This is a (poor) attempt at a joke! Well, my toenails aren’t a joke. They are seriously gross. #jaw_dropping_shots #ig_world_colors #igrefined #igbest_shotz #globeshotz #ig_color #NikonNoFilter #ig_bliss #amazing_shots #awesomeearth #master_shots #bns_earth #awesome_earthpix #earthoutdoors #artofvisuals #myrrs #hubs_united #earth_shotz #earth_reflect #bestnatureshot #splendid_earth #longexposure_shots #TestedTough #nationalearth #MoodyGrams #pnw
I try to come up with amusing stories for my images - with varying degrees of success. Today, however, my post is truly knee-slappingly hysterical: I’m giving a presentation at B&H Photo on Monday, July 16th from 4-6pm East Coast USA time. (That’s 3pm for you folks in Minot, ND). I absolutely loathe self promotion, but the usual presenters at B&H draw thousands of viewers, and I’m going to feel badly when 8 people tune in so I figured I owe it to them to at least mention it. If you want to be entertained by watching me make an absolute fool of myself, feel free to sign up for the livestream (link in my profile). I’m sure it’ll make its way to YouTube eventually as well. If you’re in NYC on Monday and want to watch my flail live, don’t heckle me. I WILL cry. I think the presentation is called “Changing Your Perspective in Landscape Photography”, or something earth shattering like that 😏. #flounder #flail #embarrassing #Beuller ....Beuller....Beuller #isthisthingon #crickets #B &H
People are constantly asking me about how to find good compositions in complex scenes, so I thought I would write a quick tutorial about the techniques I used in the Death Valley dunes here. Actually; that’s a small fib. Literally no one ever has asked me how to find a composition... probably because I usually just rip off @ryandyar. But that’s beside the point. I’m writing it anyway. You start in an area where @davidthompsonphotography promises you’ll get a lot of wind. You get biblically pissed at him when you arrive and it’s as calm as Val Kilmer in the upcoming Top Gun 2. SOO excited for that... but I digress again. You text him snotty messages and marvel that you can now text in Death Valley. Next, add heat. Lots of it. Preferably over 100, which isn’t hard here. Then, wear long pants as that’s all you brought for your trip because Death Valley was a game-time decision. Now, hike a couple of miles in sand. Finally; and this one is important; be moderately fat. You don’t have to go full orca, but you need to be reasonably plump and out of shape. Optional bonus, get rid of a kidney before you go as I’ve found it lowers your stamina. If you’re not sure what to do with it once it’s out, pack in ice and send it to me. Once you’re out in the field you’re going to get overwhelmed by the infinite possibilities in every. single. direction. So make sure you trudge around aimlessly for a couple of hours and track up any good shot you think you might find. This leads to utter and complete exhaustion. NOW you’re ready to find your comp. Plop down your tripod and point it in some random direction because you’re so tired you don’t give a flying f^#% what it’s pointed at. Voila. Oh, and thank you Baby Jesus for conjuring up the 40mph wind literally out of nowhere right before sunset. I deeply appreciate it.
“The Revenge of Whereis”: My Boi @davidthompsonphotography dubbed me Whereis years ago. As is “where is my tripod?” “Whereis my hat?” “Whereis my ice cream I lost 2 hours ago... and why is the inside of my bag sticky?” And the worst.... “Whereis our car keys after running around the desert for 3 hours?” I can’t be mad about the nickname - it’s appropriate. But karma can be a nasty mistress, DT... David was kind enough to take me around the Arizona desert to all sorts of cool spots he had located. Our favorite was here - Rojas Wash, named after @rojaspix who found this spot and kindly shared the coordinates with us. One morning we arrived at an overlook that had very average camera potential. It was a drone spot primarily, so I half heartedly set up the Nikon. DT, being adventurous, headed down the wash to try to find some more interesting stuff. I gave up quickly and started droning. The morning soft light was beautiful, and i happily flew through one battery into my second. As the light was peaking I heard a soft “FUUUUU$$$$KKKK” being carried on the wind. 10 minutes later, light gone harsh, I see DT trudging towards the car. “Why aren’t you flying???” I asked. “I forgot the cord to my remote in the car”.... Whereis, indeed, beeyatch 😬😬
Inviting myself along on @ryandyar and @codyscapes scouting trip, we saw this Sierra Wave setting up in the middle of the night while camping in the Alabama Hills. Luckily, RyDy knows this place like the back of his hand so we knew that we had this north facing comp lined up. Except he drove past it twice. We didn’t allow Cody anywhere near it, because he would have gotten a much better shot than us and we clearly couldn’t have that. So now is when I would usually insert an embarrassing yet hysterical story about RyDy..... However, we have a problem. While out camping in the desert, sometimes one finds oneself in rather, errrr, compromising positions. And sometimes one doesn’t realize one’s friend is recording embarrassing conversations and activities regarding basic natural body functions on video. So several times when I’ve recounted a funny story about said friend and announced “that’s going on IG!!!!!!”, the reply I get is said video. 🤔🤔🤔. So, I’ll just say here that Ryan Dyar never does anything embarrassing and is perfect and odor free at all times. —————————— #igrefined #igbest_shotz #globeshotz #ig_color #nikonnofilter #ig_bliss #amazing_shots #awesomeearth #master_shots #bns_earth #awesome_earthpix #earthoutdoors #artofvisuals #myrrs #hubs_united #earth_shotz #earth_reflect #bestnatureshot #splendid_earth #longexposure_shots #TestedTough #nationalearth #MoodyGrams #natgeotravelpic #natgeo
“Crazy Like an (Arctic) Fox - an Ode to D.T” This is the grand extent of my wildlife photography: unless you consider the iPhone shot I have of @ryandyar trying to get down from his rooftop tent after he forgot his ladder to be “wildlife”. I kind of consider it more slow motion “action/adventure”. Posting this because I was thinking about my boi @davidthompsonphotography this morning and reflecting on our incredible trip to Iceland some number of years back. Oh to be young with two kidneys again. 😬. I was thinking about DT because I was reminded this week what a good friend he was. I was headed down to the gym on a layover and gave him a call to explain a funny story about my copilot. DT answered but thankfully before I launched into the story I checked my 6 and lo and behold, said copilot was right behind me. I quickly did the “Get right back to you” to DT and hung up. We walked downtown together for about 10 minutes chatting about this and that before I peeled off to the gym and subject copilot went on his way. Grabbed my phone and got ready to dial when I heard a voice on other end: “Hello??” I asked. “Yeah, what’s up, Son?” Was the reply. It was DT. “Are you still on the phone???” I asked, shocked. “Well, you told me to hang on!!” Dude just patiently sat there for 10 minutes after I thought I had hung up!! Now THAT’S a WAYYYYY better friend than I’ll ever be. 😂. I’ll reimburse you for the minutes. 🤙🏻
“Gnarly” Out exploring locations in Montana many moons ago in my then-new Jeep. After spending a dumb amount of money trying to make it looks rugged with a whole bunch of gear I had no idea how to use, @ryandyar and I figured we should take it off-road and put some of these goodies to use. I locked the things that said that they lock. Disconnected the things that disconnect. Accidentally put the rig in reverse trying to get in 4Lo, and ran over the winch I didn't mean to deploy. What we learned is that I'm a giant pansy. Things on the drive went pretty well for the first 2/3's of the climb. Gaining confidence in my off-road skills and my Jeep with every rock, we came across a sloping section that looked a bit treacherous. Good thing we are all locked and disconnected, I thought!! I figured nothing better to do than apply a healthy does of Jeremy Clarkson-esque POWER, diving into the gulch... and instantly regretted my decision. I was 100% positive we were going to roll over. I'm not sure there are YouTube videos on how to winch out a Jeep that's laying on it's roof. We grooved up the rest of the trail and knowing where the moon would rise, set up this shot. On the way down, Ryan had the genius idea of videoing our hair-raising descent from the outside. So with Ryan filming from the outside, and me swearing a lot, we began what I was sure was going to land us on the cover of Rugged Jeep Off-Roaders. Once again, we arrived at the tilted section and prepared for the barrel roll. I've rolled a plane but I really don't want to roll a Jeep. Survival assured, heart pounding, I let out a congratulatory "F%^K YEAH" to the boys, and clamored out to see the footage. Ryan looked disappointed. "It doesn't look very rugged from the outside". And he was right. I literally have seen sketchier descents from someone's driveway in the Hollywood Hills. Balls. #gnarbox #montana
“It’s Whitney, B*tch” by Whitney Spears. I came across a voice memo recording this morning and couldn’t remember what it was so I hit PLAY. Piercing the morning air molecules was this deep, booming guttural sound. Slowing rising in a steady crescendo, before trailing off into the void of silence. Rinse, repeat. Quizzically, I looked at the date, trying to decipher what natural phenomenon I was capturing. Turns out it was @ryandyar snoring....from his rooftop tent ⛺️. 50’ away. Loud enough to be recorded with my iPhone. Most people are bothered by sonic-boom snoring, but I always figure when it happens while we are out in the middle of nowhere that any investigative creature will visit the source first; and I should be able to get off my Jeep roof and drive safely away while that attack is occurring. Made me miss the little furry fella. ————— #mtwhitney #global_hotshotz #worldprime #jaw_dropping_shots #ig_world_colors #igrefined #igbest_shotz #globeshotz #ig_color #hotshotz_ #ig_bliss #amazing_shots #awesomeearth #master_shots #bns_earth #awesome_earthpix #earthoutdoors #artofvisuals #myrrs #hubs_united #earth_shotz #earth_reflect #bestnatureshot #splendid_earth #longexposure_shots #TestedTough #nationalearth #nikon #nikon100 #moodygrams
“Owen’s Lightning” Finally got into a real photo adventure with Man-Boo @ryandyar , Jr. Man-Boo @codyscapes , and eventually joined by Smooth Rider @davidthompsonphotography. Curtains rise - night 1: Owens River banks. RyRy has shot this river to death so he was keen to drone around while I wanted to shoot with the camera AND drone. His offer to scout locations from the air was met enthusiastically by me, and I headed into the soggy field which had clearly been trampled by every cow on earth, while Ryan assembled The Skunk for flight. (Ask him about the name...). 100 yards in I heard a yell directing me 1/4 mile right. Off I jog. When I get there, I’m met with further instructions to go back 1/2 mile left. Panting now, drone in hand and camera on back, the uneven terrain is difficult. Then it dawned on me. Ever see those dog training videos where the handler sends his/her dog out 100 yards and then whistles, points left, and the dog dutifully tears off into the brush? So now I’m the dog. 😒. I had been wondering why Ryan sounded so cheerful in his directions. On to his sinister plan, I ignored his next reversal call and ran off towards my own promising bend. 50 feet in my spidey-skills went on full display with a slow motion, arm windmilling, face first fall....right into a pile of cow shit. Not much to do but call it “good” from that spot and launch the drone. 🙅🏻‍♂️
My 2017 Selfie. “The Gates of Hell”. Out on the flow with the incredible @bruceomori , @tomkualii , @ryandyar and several new friends. Happy to put 2017 in the rear-view. For awhile there it was looking like I wasn’t going to make it, which leaves one scrambling for a plan to ensure that your loved ones are taken care of (looking at you @cmurdock ) and your affairs are in order. The obvious choice for my photo gear, computer/HD’s and collection of average images was to bequeath them to @ryandyar since without him, I wouldn’t know which end of a camera to look through and I figured he could re-process all my files and make them look pretty. The crisis passed and normal life slowly returned. Months later, the new iMac came out. I’m sure everyone has that friend who you call for help justifying that large purchase you don’t need. @ryandyar is my guy. “YES, you really SHOULD get that new car even though yours is 2 years old”. My mention of the new iMac was met with the reply: “As the inheritor of your computer gear, I definitely think you should get it”. 😂😂😂. Too soon, Dude. Too soon. Needless to say I still have my old computer. Don’t need the guy looking to off me on our impending journey.
I have wonderful friends, many of them in the photography community. My efforts to repay the kindness, generosity, and support of those people will always fall short of what they deserve, but it doesn’t keep me from trying. Take this image for instance. Decent foregrounds here are biblically difficult to find.... if you are me, anyway. So when I finally came up with something here it was in the fading twilight. I fired off a series of shots and called to @davidthompsonphotography to come shoot this spot as he was coming over from crushing it in another area (as usual). As he got set up I said “Just need one last frame here...” and fired off a 7 minute exposure as the disappearing clouds streaked over the peaks. By the end of that 7 minutes and before David could get set up, the last of the clouds had gone leaving him dead clear skies. 😬. Oopsy. Don’t feel too badly for him. He killed it later when the thunderstorms rolled in. ... #global_hotshotz #worldprime #jaw_dropping_shots #ig_world_colors #igrefined #igbest_shotz #globeshotz #ig_color #hotshotz_ #ig_bliss #amazing_shots #awesomeearth #master_shots #bns_earth #awesome_earthpix #earthoutdoors #artofvisuals #myrrs #hubs_united
“The Giving Tree” - @ryandyar has a Giving Tree. As in, it gave itself up onto the roof of his house in the wind yesterday. The crack in his wall is worse than the collective of what you would find at the Global Plumbers Convention. I stupidly asked if it was loud. His reply? “How the f$ck should I know, I was sleeping!!” A tree. Fell on his house. And he “missed it” because he was sleeping. Just let that sink in for a minute....... If a mouse farts in the woods behind my house, I levitate out of bed with my mace drawn and ready. Ok, I don’t really use mace in the pink canister. That’s for my girlfriend. I use Windex. I thought this pic was appropriate because he missed a great sunrise up on this ridge by sleeping through his alarm and my 42 phone calls trying to wake him up. He wasn’t at home in his bed, mind you. He was in the back of his car at Walmart. Yeah, I always sleep great there too..... 😏. Poor @candacedyar —————- #global_hotshotz #worldprime #jaw_dropping_shots #ig_world_colors #igrefined #igbest_shotz #globeshotz #ig_color #hotshotz_ #ig_bliss #amazing_shots #theNWadventure #awesomeearth #master_shots #bns_earth #awesome_earthpix #nikon100
Those of you that know me are aware that I’m extremely uncomfortable promoting my photography or myself in general. Looking through the images on IG I’m reminded every day that there are many o’ photographer out there infinitely more talented than I am. I’m more than happy to leave the marketing to those with the high quality wares to pedal and both kidneys. Luckily, though I’m average at photography, I’m pretty good at flying jets, so I won’t starve. 👍 Very occasionally, something comes up that I find so mesmerizing that I put aside my trepidation and give it a whirl. Such was the case a few months back when the boffins at @bignakedwall asked if I would be interested in working with them. One view of their descriptive video (see the link on their IG page) and I was absolutely 100% in. Besides having an amazingly awesome name, their backlit framing system makes even my stuff look good. Best of all, you can swap the fabric print in your frame (literally) in seconds; brilliant for someone like me who hates everything they shoot in a matter of days. Don’t like my stuff? Well you’re in good company so don’t expect a cookie. You can work with BNW and have them build you a frame and fabric print of your own work. Now that I’m “lit”, I can tell you it’s a unique brilliant way to display your art. Thanks BNW. I’m absolutely honored to be part of the project......... #bignakedwall #rrs #myrrs #frames #backlight
Like all my photos, this was in a DESPERATE need of a re-model. So now hopefully I’ll hate it less for the next 5 years. I don’t remember my phone number half the time, but I still vividly recall this morning. It was so still you could hear the frost starting to melt. And the mosquitoes buzzing. And the grunting behind me from my boi @ryandyar. Wait.... that didn’t come out right. How the eff you see kay do mosquitoes fly in the frost? Their deicing system must be pretty dope. .... #global_hotshotz #worldprime #jaw_dropping_shots #ig_world_colors #igrefined #igbest_shotz #globeshotz #ig_color #hotshotz_ #ig_bliss #amazing_shots #Nikon100 #ig_thisworld #aroundtheworldpix #awesomeearth #master_shots #bns_earth #awesome_earthpix #earthoutdoors #aov #magicpict #myrrs
Meet Russ. *Swipe to see* Russ wanted to see the eclipse. This would involve camping, which didn’t seem like a “situation” until I laid eyes on his gear. “When was the last time you camped?”, I casually asked. “1975”. And he wasn’t kidding. After setting up the ⛺️ for him and our friend Monica, I explored the surrounding area for things to shoot for sunset (hence the image posted here). Being an animal lover, and tuned in to fecal issues, Russ immediately noticed the large pile of scat nearby. I mentioned that it was from a bear, but not to worry as we only have black bears in Oregon. After a pregnant pause: “Well, I’m sure glad we’re sleeping in a nylon tent on the ground”, was Russ’s sarcastic reply. I 🤷🏻‍♂️, and left him with “Well... I’M going to be on top of my Jeep in my roof-top tent”. I heard a lot of swishing through the night below. At dawns first light, amped for the eclipse and bleary eyed, Russ lurched out of the tent. “How did it go?” I asked, hopefully. “Monica is a little pissed”, he warned. “Every time the wind shifted I switched sides. I figure bears will approach from downwind first so I wanted to make sure I was always upwind. I kept hearing noises and checking outside. We didn’t get a lot of sleep.” The eclipse was biblical. An event I will be grateful for seeing until the end of my time. The drive home with filled with excited chatter about what we had witnessed and the our individual emotive responses to it. “Oh, by the way”, I casually mentioned. “That was actually deer scat.” Russ wasn’t amused.... #earthfocus #earthpix #global_hotshotz #worldprime #jaw_dropping_shots #ig_world_colors #igrefined #igbest_shotz #globeshotz #ig_color #hotshotz_ #ig_bliss #destinationearth #capture4cubes
This will be the longest story in IG history (continues into comments). But I still wake up at night with cold sweats thinking about this moment, so my therapy is to unload it on to all of you. Good friend @davidthompsonphotography and I departed the buzzing bingo halls of Yuma for the Kofa Mountains with high hopes of a desert bloom of beautiful wildflowers. Only there were no flowers. Without the flowers, I figured the images would be lacking punch, but the area is gorgeous anyway, and this was my first experience with a full blown cholla cactus garden. They are called the Teddy Bear cactus because they look so soft and catch the light so beautifully. F You to whoever came up with that name. When we reached the end of the road, I stepped out of the car still in my shorts and sneakers, and walked about 10 feet to just take a look around before getting changed into my boots and long pants. My first footstep in the desert produced a searing pain as the cholla needle I stepped on went through the sole, lining, and pad of my shoe and up in to the bottom of my foot. After a few choice words, I looked at Breezy and said "Shit just got real". I won't bore you with the hours we spent carefully wandering the desert looking for some sort of organization of the chaotic world of various types of cactus. I won't regale you with the story of trying not to snicker as a cactus jumped up and bit Breezy in the calf. Those snickers turned to somber fear as I watched the blood flow from the holes left after tweezing the needles out with his tweezers. I'll go straight to the heart of it. Day two. An interesting moonset with a pleasant sunrise produced the image you see here. The high whispy leftover contrails created some interesting patterns in the sky, and the very first hint of dawn did a nice job of evening out the moon's harsher shadows and giving the Teddys their signature glow. After shooting, we regrouped and went back to scouting for our evening session. Carefully picking our way through not only the Teddys, but the Teddy balls that get dropped onto the desert floor, we ended up a distance apart when the morning silence was pierced by a shrieking howl
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