Behind the Shot: Dylan Miller + Jason Lee
Dylan Miller photographed by Jason Lee from Oct/Nov issue 12.8.
Dylan, where and when did you hit this contraption?
It was probably about two months ago at least at the Projects outside of Orlando, FL. I originally was going to set it up in Clermont but I guessed the neighbors would have a fit, so to the land of wakeboard rail dreams we went.
Where did you get the idea from? The pet store?
Hahaha. I don’t know I just got it from driving up and down the highways and always seeing those big wheels in construction zones. They usually are used to coil PVC tubing that they run electrical or plumbing through. It always looked like the perfect width, so I decided to go for it.
Where did you buy this hamster wheel from?
Hahaha. It’s kind of funny how I got it. It was near Phil Soven’s house when I was riding with Oli a bunch. It had been abandoned on the side of the road for months so I finally decided it was time to give it a loving home. I borrowed Steel’s boat trailer (still haven’t told him) and made the pickup. It was a bit challenging rolling it across the 4 lane highway and median, but eventually we strapped her down and got a move on.
Was it hard to get that much air with such a heavy back?
Haha. Yeah. I had to use all the power in my quads to boost off the lip and get this beast of a back up over the rails. The first couple of times I rode past it I was pretty convinced that I built it too high, but I put so much damn time into hoisting that bitch up that I decided to just sack up and push extra hard off the kicker to make it work.
How many times did you end up hitting it before getting “the shot”?
Jason came out one day to shoot it but the light ended up being crap, so we had to re-schedule. On day two we got all set up as the sun was going down and nailed it within the first 3 or 4 tries. It was pretty tricky to get the nose and tail to connect perfectly at the same time, so we were super lucky to have the shot turn out the way it did. Jason’s super easy to shoot with and you can always trust him to get the shot. He framed it up and made it look even better than I imagined…I guess that’s why he gets paid the big bucks.
Did you have any big bails?
Yeah I had a couple of hit where I didn’t get enough pop off the kicker so I was about a foot too low which makes for mean compression sandwich usually to front roll out. Luckily I escaped unharmed.
Jason, what were the biggest challenges shooting this picture?
The biggest thing was figuring out the angle and what lens to use. The gap between the kicker and the wheel was super big and the wheel was really tall as well, so I tried to find the right combo to do the hit justice. The other big thing was the timing. The taps happened so quick so it took a few tries to really dial in the timing so that we could capture the moment when both the tip and tail were touching the wheel.
Was it hard to focus on Dylan’s pale Canadian skin?
Hahaha. No it wasn’t too bad. We waited for the sun to drop to the perfect spot and then he went for it. He took a few warm up hits and then once he actually committed we got the shot on the 4th or 5th try.
What camera / settings did you use?
Nikon D3 with the 85mm 1.4 Carl Zeiss lens, I also had two strobe flashes set up right along the edge of the shore up nice and high. I remember this distinctly because once I got home the one battery pack was really hot and smelled weird. Apparently it got wet and ended up costing about a grand to fix, so maybe Dylan can send me that photo incentive check and you guys can run this photo again in the spring so I can score another page rate!? Haha. Kidding.
What Instagram filter did you put on it before sending it in to the mag cause it looks like either either valencia or amaro?