Himalayan state Himachal Pradesh has introduced some of the most talented and hardcore mountain bikers in India. You may have seen a lot of mountain biking action beautifully documented from the recent Himalayan Mountain Bike Festival and many other events and wondered, who is the man behind the lens?
Meet Gitesh Gupta, well known as Luke CG whose skills are not limited to action sports photography. Get to know more about him in this exclusive interview.
FR MTB MAG: A little introduction about yourself.
Luke: Hello I am Gitesh Gupta (also known by the name LUKE CG ) Professional photographer based out of beautiful mountains of Kullu ( Himachal Pradesh ). Journey started when I was pursuing my engineering. When I first clicked a picture from my brother’s camera .I was so amazed with the pictures and at that moment I wanted to explore the other side with the camera . It just gave me an idea that, what you visualise in your mind you can actually represent that through a camera.
FR MTB MAG: For how long you have been doing mountain bike / action sports photography?
Luke: I started in 2015 when i myself bought my first Mountain Bike and start riding.
FR MTB MAG: What does your camera bag consist of during photo shoots?
Luke: I am a canon shooter, my main camera is 5dmark iv, and 6d as a back up camera. For really wide action shots and for astro i use 14mm 2.8 it is crazy wide and gives unique view and 70-200 f2.8 canon its super sharp and fast lense other then than i use 24-35 f2 sigma art and canon 85mm for the portraits. I love using strobes and uses speed lights and phottix indra 500 ( battery powered strobe) that i can use in remote location and powerful enough to overpower the sun.
Camera canon 5d mark iv and canon 6d
lenses : samyang 14mm 2.8 , canon 16-35 f4, Sigma 24-35 f2 , canon 85 1.8 and canon 70-200 f2.8
Lights : Phottix Indra 500 and canon 600exrt
FR MTB MAG: What kind of photo projects you are involved with and what kind of photo projects you prefer?
Luke: I am mainly into Weddings and Portrait assignment but i really want to explore the adventure and Action Photography based projects.
FR MTB MAG: Any preferred locations for riding photos?
Luke: Every place is beautiful in the mountains . I am really blessed to born at such a beautiful place.
FR MTB MAG: Do you ride out on the trails too?
Luke: Yes i ride but not very technical.
FR MTB MAG: If you decide to go on a week-long photo shoot, which rider /riders and what location would you prefer and why?
Luke: I would like to shoot with some new amazing riders which i haven’t shoot or met till now on the beautiful leh – Ladakh . There is something magical about that place and i want to create some amazing pictures with new people.
FR MTB MAG: Any memorable moments from your mountain bike action photography assignments?
Luke: Shoot with Ajay Padval in Manali is one the most memorable assignments I did. We had even planned a shoot last year and he was supposed to reach Manali from Leh but then the unfortunate thing happened and we lost a gem forever. #Ajayshredsforever
FR MTB MAG: What do you think about the rapidly changing camera technology and equipment these days?
Luke: with the advancement of technology , everything is becoming compact and fast . All these mirrorless camera changed the market. Its good in a way that you don’t have to carry lot of weight in your backpack and they are powerful enough that you can shoot at any given scenario. Even the mobile phones are excellent these days .
Camera is just a tool with which you can narrate your story what matter is your story. In the end what matter is your picture and you present it in a unique manner.
FR MTB MAG: Any coming projects that you are excited about?
Luke: I am working on a travel project this year on unexplored mountains of Himachal Pradesh, really excited about that , so many amazing places and awesome people to meet.
FR MTB MAG: Any advice to the new coming photographers?
Luke: Spend more time on Educating yourself first and then gears are all secondary. I have seen people go crazy about lenses and cameras and all the fancy thing but they spend very less time in developing there skills .
No camera will do good if you don’t know how to use it.
Best camera is one which you have with you. so you should know all about the camera in and out, then you ll be more clear about the possibilities and limitation of your camera and you can shoot accordingly and always carry your camera manual with you that little thing has every single detail about your camera and helps a lot .
Practice and practice and don’t be afraid of doing experiments. Try to develop your own style either in camera or in post production or the combination of both. There are lot of things to be inspired in mother nature , Study the light in real life at different time.
Do what you love, capture thing that moves you and inspire you.
*All Photographs featured in this interview are subject to copyright – Gitesh Gupta