Photography Life & Style

Bicycle rides and countryside landscapes rekindle the joy of photography

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Pedal your way to panoramic sights

Cycle for health, cycle to stop pollution, cycle for fun ... the list goes on. Benefits of cycling are undoubtedly many, but did you ever consider cycling as a means of travel that could unravel unexplored spots boasting of stunning scenic beauty and authentic local cuisines?

Bicycle rides and countryside landscapes rekindle the joy of photography

At the recent ‘Biycle Touring’ photo exhibition photographers and members of the cycling community in the city unveiled what most tourists miss as they zip away on smooth highway drives. In contrast, cyclists from the city say their trips and memories of a place are special because they can take the path less travelled. “We literally take the path that doesn’t lead to the highway and that changes everything. Beautiful landscapes happen to be just one of the special experiences; we also meet many people,” says Krishnendu Basu, whose interest in photography revived with his experiences during cycle rides.

His collection of five years, on display at the exhibition, started with him capturing stunning sights during his first bicycle ride from Mumbai to Goa. “My intention was to create a private collection. With places changing so rapidly, I was sure some of these sights would no longer be seen. The thing about photography while on a cycle is that your imagination and angles have to fit into your equipment — the smart phone. Cyclists travel with little baggage and a regular camera doesn’t fit in that list,” explains Krishnendu.

The first of its kind photography exhibition attracted a large number of visitors, manu of who were interested in seeing what they could spot that is different from what’s on travel websites and blogs. They did spot quite a lot. “The most interesting aspect of this kind of photography is that we can get closer to the subject; be it a narrow path in the jungle or a hut in a remote village we are passing by. It is a fresh perspective of how one gets to experience a place that not usually on anyone’s bucket list,” says Gokul Krishna of The Bike Affair that initiated the exhibition to promote and encourage bicycling activities. The Bike Affair also organises bicycling trips meet ups for the cycling community in the city that has over 2000 active members in the age range of 15 years to 60 years.

Bicycle rides and countryside landscapes rekindle the joy of photography

“The fun part of such rides is we get to experience a virgin route. When we plan a ride, the first thing we look out for is safety and minimum accessibility. This is only possible because we don’t need to worry about refuelling or breakdowns. The rest of the planning happens are we take the road. However, on long rides, we do give priority to the need to find shelter before nightfall, ” elaborates Gokul. Special cycle tours which are a part of Vietnam tourism are very popular, shares Gokul.

Are these cycle tour photos digitally touched up to make them more attractive? “Except for minimum colour correction, I usually don’t do much work on them. The plus point of doing early morning and evening views in the lap of nature is the light. It is no secret that the morning and evening light is best for photography; add to it landscapes away from the city. There’s no need to digitally enhance it,” explains Krishnendu.

Dr Pavan Kumar Reddy takes time off from work as a Senior Consultant Intensivist by going on such rides and returns recharged, having clicked photographs that appeal to him. “Honestly, I wasn’t into photography at all. I improved as I rode and was in awe of the views on our rides. Now I upgrade my phone every year only to be able to capture and bring back what I see,” says Dr Pavan who has participated in international and national rides.

As for what to look out for, riders say the locals are the best guides; they not only give the best tips to spot the most scenic views but also offer them light refreshments. “It builds a connect I guess, because we are using the same mode of transport as they do in the village. Of course they are intrigued by the different cycles we use, and ask a lot of curious questions. So from there comes a lot of connect,” adds Pavan.

Krishnendu says, “To get an idea of what to expect once you step out of the city on a cycle, get off the ORR and ride into the villages, the different views will leave you spellbound.”

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 10:16:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/the-bike-affair-dr-pavan-kumar-reddy-krishnendu-basu-gokul-krishna/article29821478.ece

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