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Photographer Profile: Jered Gruber

From issue 96 • The Photo Annual

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Who were your photography influencers as you were coming up? I’m almost embarrassed to say this, because it’s so cliché and expected: Ansel Adams and Graham Watson. Until I started taking pictures in some sort of serious fashion, those were the only two photographers I could have named. I still love getting lost in Adams’ work. I just ordered his book, “The Negative.” As for Watson, I remember picking up his books all over the country staying in host houses when I was a migratory bike racer. Those books helped create the foundation of what I imagined was happening in the big wide world of Euro racing.

Lots of people get “published” online, but what does it mean to you to see your images printed in a magazine? I love it! I only ever see our work on a computer or phone, so to see it on actual paper is such a great feeling. I feel proud in those moments.

Jered Gruber ||| Athens, Georgia

Has Covid-19 changed the way you think about how you approach your craft? I know I shouldn’t celebrate a global pandemic, but on a purely selfish level, I’ve cherished these months. I’ll be happy to re-enter the crazy bike-racing world, but being at home has been unbelievably special.

Give us a breakdown on camera bodies and lenses you love. We have four Nikon D850s. People say that the D850 isn’t designed for sports, that it should be a landscape-type camera; but I think it kicks ass. Autofocus is fantastic and the image quality is out of this world. There’s so much happening at a bike race, I cannot ever imagine actually composing an image so well as to not need to crop—and sometimes crop a lot. I love how the D850 affords us that option. I love the simplicity and lack of doubt that goes with that. As for lenses, we’re back to a simple world. We shoot with two cameras, one with a 24–70mm, the other with a 70–200. If I’m on my bike, I ride with a Sony RX100 in my right jersey pocket. If it’s really important, I’ll ride with a D850 on my back, plus that RX100.

Where is your favorite place to shoot photos? If you told me to go take some cool shots, I’d head for the Dolomites. I also love cities! I get the same feeling in big cities as I do in the mountains —a little different, obviously, but the same feeling of wonder at these huge, glittering, sky-touching human-made mountains.

What’s another sport that you would love to shoot? Golf! I grew up on golf. My pre-cycling time involved a lot of golf, especially those formative years between 12 and 18. I had pictures of my favorite golf holes from around the world taped all over my bedroom walls. Even then, I loved the places golf could take me far more than the competition; it’s the same now with cycling. I don’t think I’d love to be a golf photographer by any means, but I think it could be fun to give it a try, if only to pay a little tribute to 16-year-old, golf-mad Jered.

Instagram: @jeredgruber
Twitter: @jeredgruber

From issue 96. Buy it here.