29 March, 2009


So yesterday afternoon I had a shoot. I arrive a little early, snoop around, scout, etc. I'd shot at this location many times before, but you never know what has changed, so I like to have a little look around.

Thinking back now, I think I counted 12 of my images on the walls of the house, some small 8x8's, but many of these images were 16x20 and larger.

For me, this is a great feeling, knowing that my pictures are an integral part of the family's life. Not everyone is interested in putting images on the wall, but I've written about this many times before, that for me, this is why I shoot portraits. Books and prints.

Viewing work on the computer, for me, is just not where it's at. Electronic views are fine for the short term, but I want pictures that we want to live with.

A great picture is a like a great song, something you can look at or listen to many, many times over. And, hopefully, they get better with age.

So, as I continued my tour, I also found my book on the coffee table. On top. Love this.

28 March, 2009

Poem from Mom "Decisions"


things aren't the way
they could be
the way I think
I want them
change would be good
maybe I'm not sure
what is missing
a good decision
a smart decision
a decision
what about my plans
born on the wings
of dreamless decisions
that have brought my
life to a halt
my plans
what about my plans
get out of your way
and go out and live
the rest of your life
the life that is out there
waiting for you
waiting for
your good decision

26 March, 2009

La Frontera

I love the border. I really do. The border is not as easy space, and can be a place filled with hardship and turmoil, but as a photographer, for some reason, I'm drawn to these type places. I'm intrigued by human transition, migration, and the mixing and mashing of cultures.

I love Mexico, which is partly to blame. I've only explored a tiny percentage of the country, but each time I go I find something new, something different, something interesting with the heart of the matter being the Mexican people.

Visceral is life in much of Latin America, at least in the parts I have walked, and the history can be felt in the stones under your feet and the languages around you. Sometimes I think about moving there, or about just walking out the front door of my house, Leica in hand (the one I don't have yet) and disappearing for an unknown amount of time.

These images are from various times over the years. The top image stems from a protest along the border during a political convention held in San Diego. The middle picture from a shoot from last year, and the final image, one that I like as much today as when I shot it many, many years ago, was from my first trip to the border, roughly from 1990, when I made my way to El Paso/Juarez area to see for myself what was happening.

This picture was made in downtown El Paso, as people crossing illegally ran through the streets of the city. At the time I had little knowledge of what was happening, so seeing this in the middle of the day, with cops and Border Patrol scrambling to catch up, was an awakening, and all the experience I needed to know I wanted to go further, and spend more time in this area.

Now I find myself looking south, wondering what will happen with our neighbors, as the narco-war rages and once again the innocents are caught in the middle. I know that before long I will once again head south and see what I can see.


I've been lucky enough to be asked to teach in Peru during Easter of 2010. I've covered Easter before, many times, in Sicily, as well as Mexico, and here in the US, where my love of the egg is evident.

This workshop is part of the Photo Experience program, which has been in operation in Peru for some time. Check their site to see a list of both completed programs as well as a few of the upcoming events.

The idea of the workshop is to think, see and photograph with the ultimate intention of creating a book from the images. Working in book form is different than randomly snapping here and there, and is a great way to learn to see your photographs in more depth. We will look at a photo as a stand alone image, as well as how images work as a theme, how to sequence a picture story, and design specific to the book process.

And imagine how much there will be see in Cusco during Semana Santa!


24 March, 2009

A Light Dusting

The curtain pulls up and the outside world is dusted as the glass fogs with your breath.

A mountain sky with elements fighting for position. Darkness and light. Tracks.

The animals adapt as the harshness is covered by what the wind brings.

Where will we go and what will we see?

How'd You Do That? Well, I'll Show Ya

"Hey, how'd you do that?"

"Who shot that?"

"What lens did they use?"

Sometimes when photographers get together there are moments of rapid, crossfire shooting sprees.

These were from a recent breakfast, the first two being from one side, the last from my perspective.

Snap, snap, snap, snap, snap,

23 March, 2009

Time On My Hands

Stuck in a hotel room? Time to kill? Those mirrors can be good for a least an hour of random lunacy, including a self portrait or two.

20 March, 2009


If I had a lot of money I would collect art and photography on a grand scale. I would collect what I liked, regardless of name, value, etc. And, I would find a way to show what I collected.

I don't have the fortune required, or the space, but I still collect, just on a smaller scale than I would like.

Recently I bought two pieces from New Mexico based photographer Karen Kuehn. I had not met Karen, but knew within minutes of meeting her, just how much photography was a part of her being. There are plenty of people who learn photography, but then there are others who were born photographers, and I think Karen falls into this category.

Looking through beautiful boxes of vintage prints, the most difficult thing was making a choice on the images. Karen is prolific, and her subject matter tremendously varied. I kept finding images and saying to myself, "Okay, this is the one," only to look further and find something else.

I settled on two images, one a split-tone, silver image of Cher, for my wife, and the second a cibachrome image of Sally Mann and her kids. Upon seeing the Sally Mann image I had to look away because I knew I would really want to have that piece. Sally Mann is one of my all time favorite photographers, and someone who I think has influenced huge numbers of photographers over many generations. She too is varied and prolific.....a pattern developing here???

There is something truly satisfying in buying another photographers work. I find looking at, and collecting the work of others far more enjoyable than looking at my own work or framing my own images. I think it is perhaps because we can appreciate what it took, what it really took to make the pictures, to make the prints and make the commitment.

I feel that the print is a small piece of the photographer, a small piece of the people in the image, and they now live with us. I think prints can speak to us in a way. Their depth, what they represent, a reminder to us of what once was, for just an instant, and what will never be again. With time they only get stronger.

These prints are now at the framer. We have walked our tiny house discussing where they should live, what other images they will be happy next to, and how they will effect the mood of a room or light source. Now we wait for them to come home.

For those of you who don't know Karen Kuehn, take a look at the link below.


My Favorite Little Knucklehead

AMT Super Dynamite and me on Skype. He is my favorite little knucklehead. Look how round his head is. It's perfect.

19 March, 2009

I Made The Annenberg Slideshow

Hey Campers,

Was just notified that I will be one of the thirty photographers chosen to show work at the Annenberg Space for Photography's initial slideshow event in Los Angeles on April 9th.

If you are around the city at that time it would be a great chance to check out this space, which is really remarkable. This is in conjunction with MOPLA, Month of Photography in LA.


18 March, 2009

Top Ten Photo Reasons Why I Could Never Be Jason Bourne

We are probably all familiar with the government super-agent Jason Bourne, and his frequent flyer lifestyle, but while sitting in an airport several weeks ago I realized that there is no way I could ever be this guy. Here are the top ten reasons why.

1-I'd never get a good assignment in this job market.

2-Getting my film through airport security would burn too much time.

3-Fist fighting with Leica around my neck would prove ineffective.

4-Being a photographer is bad cover as most authority figures are suspicious of us.

5-Carpal tunnel issues from too much computer time throw off my aim with a pistol.

6-After a hit I would need at least two days for post production.

7-There is no room for a rifle in my camera bag.

8-Getting a model release from my victims would prove difficult.

9-Getting location permits for 14 cities in two days is impossible.

10- Treadstone only wants royalty free!!!!

How to Land a Monster Fish

Okay, I know by looking at these images you will quickly realize my prowess as a master angler. These fish were HUGE, regardless of what the pictures look like. My hands are HUGE, did I mention that? Throws off the scale. Get it...scale????

Oh, and these wonderous snaps were made by another Milnor, this time sis checking in through the viewfinder. She might have been slow to process, scan and transmit, but they are finally here.

This little piece of water is a grand place, so peaceful, and nobody else around for miles.

All fish were returned to the glassine green to swim another day.

17 March, 2009

Poem from Mom "Remember"


go someplace where
you can listen and remember
where you can't hear the traffic
where you can't hear
a machine of any kind
where no one is talking
where no music is playing
leave your tv and computer behind
stay out of your car
where you can only hear
the wind in the trees
the ocean waves
a trickling stream
doves calling
squirrels scolding
fish jumping
cats purring
natures laughter
remember what it's like
to be young because you
won't be able to remember
what it's like to be old
remember the first days
are not always the best
remember age brings wonderful
gifts along with it
like you my friend, like you

14 March, 2009

Poem from Mom "Puppet on a String"

"Puppet on a String"

the puppeteer our life
manipulating us with dancing threads
providing us a wealth of material
a seamstress sewing words onto the page
writing the stories making the words
go through the hole the needle
makes through the paper
pulled along on the thread
in the eye of the needle
fastening it to the page
making it all stay together
a novel a newspaper a short story
taking big ideas and stitching them
in place with little ideas
making them big and important
the seamstress writes about life
life all over the place
my life your life everyones life
the part that happens when you are
turning the pages of plans
great plans that never happen
your shadow gets ahead of you
even when you are trying to dodge fate
if you knew what tomorrow would bring
it would do you no good
we are only a stitch in time
knowing we don't know where we are
or where we are going
is the only and best way
love faith and trust
guide the seamstress
keeping lifes words in order
we are just a puppet on a string

11 March, 2009


A few recent snaps from Chimayo. A few hours to burn, students to work with, high-desert light. Not my best work, but really fun to get out and make some snaps with no strings attached. And, great to see other photogs excited by learning, breaking new ground.

Poem from Mom "He Would Never Know"

"He Would Never Know."

he would never know
his promise broken
footprints in the sand
marking his way
to the silent depth
that claimed him
she was waiting
the shaded moonlight fell across
the wooden cabin floor
the wind was blowing
whistling as it found the crack
around the door
she waited by the warm fire
her eyes reflected the flickering
embers as the fire slowly died
like everything else in her life
tears covered her cheeks
smearing her eye makeup
her nose was running
she tasted it on her upper lip
he would not see
her new dress
he would not hear her crying
or see her tears
he would never know
how much she loved him
the rain had finally come
after a long drought
she remembered seeing a few
spring flowers blooming
when she swept the cabin porch
earlier in the day
he would never know

09 March, 2009

Little Boxes, Little Boxes......

So many little boxes. So, so many little boxes. Oh what they represent.

You're a little box. So am I. So is Billy. Mary too.

But when I'm flying over, how can I make sure to see my little box? How can I make myself different from all the rest? Or am I just naturally different?

Little boxes....little boxes...

Maybe if I do what I feel I NEED to do, suddenly my little box will stand out?

04 March, 2009

Photography Book Now 2009

Okay photographers out there...Blurb has just announced their Photography Book Now contest for 2009. This is perhaps the best photography prize out there, at least in my mind, with a $25,000 first prize. It doesn't take much to enter, so take a peak and take shot!!

Good Luck.


Chernobyl Legacy: Paul Fusco

1:34 AM

This Morning.

I awake and suddenly have the need to see this short documentary about Chernobyl. I have no idea why, but the need to see it, again, is overwhelming.

Phone in hand, scrolling to You Tube, typing in F-U-S-C-O...

Up it comes. I've seen it, heard it, watched it, many, many times before, but I need to see it again.

The photographs are powerful, as powerful perhaps as any I have ever seen, and the subject matter is horrific. The phone fades to black and I find myself alone, in the dark, wondering why this happened.

2:30 AM Still awake.

3:30 AM Still awake.

There is something bubbling inside of me, and frankly I find it somewhat disturbing. I feel like getting up, getting out, into the world and unleashing this bubbling need. But the problem is I don't know where, or how, or why.

I think anyone who works as a documentary photographer has an overwhelming need to record the world around them, and I'm no exception. I think all of us want to help, to show, to illustrate, illuminate and also leave OUR personal mark on the world.

For me, Fusco's piece is so powerful, not just because of the images, but also due to his narrative. His anger, his passion is palpable, and you cannot deny that this project was, "just another story" for him. He has a personal stake in this place and these people.

Recently I was in New York, working on a series of portrait shoots, and ended up a photo event. As I walked through the crowd, which was tight, he walked past me. I'm not sure I even saw him. Suddenly I was in a bubble and I was looking at his photographs in my mind. That is the power of great photography.

Fusco has done many other projects, and if you haven't seen his work, or his projects you should check them out.

Paul Fusco Link

03 March, 2009

New Action Set Now Ready for Mass Consumption

Okay, I'm fully aware of the popularity of the Photoshop action set, so I've decided to jump on board, rather than get run over, and create my own brand of powerful yet simple image controls.

With the press of a button, you too can add layer upon layer of creative solution to your images. Have to shoot in bad light? Doesn't matter. Arrived late to a job? Relax. Have a travel assignment, but are fearful of flying? Chill.

Doctor Milnor is on call with his emergency, quick reaction, strike force, Delta, scene fabrication magic command, action set.

Now, if you were paying attention, several months ago I launched the first of these actions, the now popular, "Uncle Filter," which at the press of button allows anyone to instantly add any uncle, yours or mine, to any image. No need to travel. Family reunions, forget it, no longer required.

So, after the massive success of my first action, I've decided to tease the entire world with action number two: "Fish Bowl Fantasy."

How often have you looked an image, say one of 20,000 you just shot on a fifteen minute portrait shoot and said to yourself, "You know what would make that better?" "A fish bowl." "If I had an aquarium in the foreground, this baby would SING!"

Well, WHAMMMMY, here it is.

So,these images on the wall, fine, okay, whatever, but add the "Fish Bowl Fantasy" and you are in serious danger of literally bursting into flames.

I had to barricade myself in the car after showing the first client. My advice, hire security before you unleash this on an unsuspecting photo associate.

This filter transcends all genres of photography. This filter is photography.

My super-secret team of scientists are deep in their bunker studying ROI models to determine where to cap sales. Right now I'm thinking 20 billion will be where we cut this off, so get in on the action now! Get it, action... get it....okay I'll shut up.

If in doubt, "Fish Bowl Fantasy" that baby.


02 March, 2009

Rejected Again

A contact sheet, pictures of my mother, and the edited image.

I've said this before, but I'll say it again..I'm becoming an expert on rejection. Perhaps it stems from my high school days? Just kidding.

Was recently asked to submit for an upcoming book, a book that by all appearances, looks like it will be one I would have loved to be a part of.

But alas, I was rejected. I should have saved my rejection letters, emails, forms, imprints, messages, etc, from the past fifteen years. It would have been a testament to the need for recycling!

Seriously, I've been rejected in every way imaginable. I've even had stuff rejected that wasn't even looked at! No kidding. How do I know that you ask? Believe me, I have my tricks and ways of knowing. I'm sly in case you haven't figured it out.

I've even been rejected from things that weren't really open in the first place. Like an opening that wasn't really an opening, but nobody could really say that, so they go through the trouble of announcing and then I enter and get rejected, only to find out later it wasn't open in the first place. Does that make any sense? Even if it doesn't, I've been rejected that way too!

You might think that this really sucks, and in some ways it does, but maybe it makes us work harder the next time around. Or, maybe not.

I recently read something about an age limit, 35, and thought to myself, "Oh crap, now I'm 40, and I can see a new rejection method on the horizon!" I'm too immature to be this old. And irresponsible. And delusional. But I can smell a rejection on the way.

But, even with all these vibrant and celebratory rejections, there are still a few glimmers lighting my dark path. I'm waiting to hear about something now that will wipe this most current rejection away. Little victories, perhaps they are all we can ask for.

But, if this too ends in tragedy, I will remember that each protagonist has tragic flaws, and perhaps I have more than my fair share.

Godspeed rejections, I fear you not.

01 March, 2009

How I Met Paul Harvey

South Texas: 1980

One hour before sunrise.

I'm awakened by someone tugging on my arm. "Danno, let's go."

"Oh come on, it can't be that late already can it? I'm tired."

"Come on, let's go."

Too young for coffee, I grabbed my jeans, long-sleeve camo shirt, hat, and snake books, knee-high, slick plastic jobs that I had to uncurl to get around my legs, and headed for the door of the trailer.

Time to hunt.

Leaving the trailer before sunrise the air was already thick, muggy, and the sweat began the moment my body hit the outside world. Sweating was like breathing, just a natural part of the being alive in those parts.

I slowly slid my Ruger Red Label, over-under 12-gauge from my case and felt the oil on my hands. Pops always made sure I cleaned my gun before I put it away. He loved the smell of one particular gun oil, loved it, as much as anything revolving around the experience of a hunt.

It's funny how that works. For me, these hunts were about solitude, about the elements, about not only being alone on the Earth, but in my mind. For mom it was about the dogs, watching them hunt, watching them come alive the moment they saw us reach for the guns. When they knew the hunt was on they were uncontrollable, unleashed from their "normal" routine, unleashed into the vastness to do what their DNA told them to do. But for dad, it was that damn gun oil.

I dropped shells into the chambers and snapped the gun up, making sure the safety was on, my shell belt strapped to my waist.

And then we walked, through rough country, where most things that slithered or stung were known to be, but invisible in the darkness. As we walked in the black the world seemed smaller, compressing in on itself before it exploded and expanded the moment the sun broke the horizon line. As we walked, the brush screamed and tore at us, as if it say, "this is our land and we won't make it easy."

Approaching the edges of the tank, walking slowly, watching as the opal blue sky turned toward daylight and reflected back at me.

In position, we waited. Scattered about the area, each of us left alone.

The insects would cover us, buzzing, itching, biting, slapping, getting in our eyes, ears, and swimming in our sweat as it rolled about.

Moments before the sun breached there was light enough to see the air filled with dove, the prize for the day, and the ingredients for a racing heart and eyes focused just that bit more.

Soon I would smell the burn of powder, but I have no memory of sound, any sound at all, until I would reemerge into the world to the high whine of ringing in my ears.

Hours later, the air filled with trails from the smoker, the doves cooked and consumed, we would pack up and head back to our lives and routines.

On this day I rode in the front with dad and he turned on the radio, something he rarely did. Years of shooting, he couldn't hear much at all, so radio was an annoying sound he could never understand.

On this day the voice coming from the junky plastic speakers of the 4x4 was different, odd, and unlike any voice I had heard before. Dad made mention of it, of the source, and I made a mental note.

"And now you know the rest of the story." "Paul Harvey, good day."

That's all it took, just that once, and this man, his voice, his style, was forever a part of my being.

I don't know what the public opinion is of Paul Harvey, I never cared, because for me it doesn't matter. Harvey was unique, in an age of slow homogenization, where conformity is safe and perhaps marketable.

So on this day, in the bowels of the wooly, South Texas wilds, I met Paul Harvey.

I can't say I followed his career, or made a point to search for him, but the moment I would hear his voice, all of this would come back as if it was yesterday.

So at 90 he left us, but I'll bet that voice will remain in our minds and on our airways for time to come.