Essential ‘Grams with @gvngld
For this episode, we’re returning to los Estados Unidos, more specifically, la República de Chicago to hang out with @gvngld. For the most part, I’ve been profiling IGers who lean more to the lifestyle and mood capturing of cycling. Gavin, however, leans towards capturing race action and culture, among other things. The last set of images he posted from the Cyclocross World Championships, ATMO, are some of his best.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
Long story short, I hamburger’d my shins countless times in the 80s by taking department-store BMX bikes off jumps they weren’t meant to handle in western Michigan.
Discovered photography in the late 90s, which at the time meant shooting hundreds of rolls of black and white film and hand-developing in chemicals.
Skipping ahead over a lot of crappy jobs and a couple years as a freelancer, back to a steady adult job, as boring as that is.
Bikes came back into my life in the mid-00s – driving and parking in Chicago sucks, it’s usually faster to commute by bike. Joined a bike forum, made friends, started racing track bikes and then cyclocross, never really put the camera down for long.
Still take a pedal to the shins once in a while though it’s probably safe to say I’m retired from racing.
How or why do you use Instagram?
For a while, it was to share photos of my long doggo sleeping in weird positions and the occasional bike photo as it was a lot easier than maintaining a website or a blog.
It’s a fun outlet and sometimes people like the photos I take, but if I was trying to make a living again doing photography in exchange for money I’d probably have a nervous breakdown. There’s a lot of self-selling in the business side that my personality just isn’t wired to deal with.
What do you shoot with?
A little bit of iPhone, there’s some older stuff from a Canon 5D3, but after close to 20 years of Canon, I’ve moved entirely over to Fuji X-Pro2 and X-T2 mirrorless bodies with a smattering of lenses.
What’s your post-processing routine?
With the Fuji bodies, the RAW files go to one memory card and the jpgs to the other, and I have the X-Pro2 glued to their Acros film simulation preset with a bit of added contrast for the jpg output. The jpgs get imported into Lightroom on an iPad Pro, tinkered a bit with the pencil, then airdrop to my phone for posting. The RAW files go into Lightroom on the computer for more intensive corrections if needed.
What’s your selection process for posting an image?
I wish I was disciplined enough to stay ‘on brand’ and have some kind of theme, but I don’t know if I have enough of a distinct style to really do that – I could probably post only black and white for a long time and not be bothered about it.
Looking back through the stream, there’s some alternating between the bright/kinetic/punchy and the quieter/more contemplative stuff, but I haven’t necessarily pursued that, it’s more stream-of-consciousness. First I have to like the photo, if I think others will like it, that’s a bonus.
QUICK—NAME 5 IGERS THAT PROVIDE THE STOKE FOR YOU!!
Just 5? That’s going to be hard.
@marshallkappel non-stop prolific, period.
@camillejmcmillan heavy on long-form projects, really dig the Transcontinental Race stuff
@cyclephotos he’s everywhere in cyclocross, always (fire emoji)
@alessioalbi no bikes, but great inspiration for portraits/light/mood/post-processing
@jeffcurtes – loved his snowboarding photos a couple decades ago, his bike work is also great and he’s a really nice guy (as are his brothers)