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A Biker Chronicles His Trip From London to Hong Kong Via Instagram

A week ago, Rob Lutter had about 3,800 followers on Instagram. Today, he has over 29,000. 

Lutter's overnight fame, fueled by coverage on Mashable, The Huffington Post and CNN, is understandable. The 29-year-old has spent the last 19 months biking across Europe into Asia, and has been Instagramming shots of his travels. I caught up with him over email from Hong Kong, where he is taking a breather to come up with some more funds ("I am nearly bankrupt," he says.) Initially self-funded, he has raised some money through the website GoFundMe as well as for several charity organizations for the trip so far.

He left a director's assistant job in London for the reason so many adventures start: "Creativity didn't seem to be a part of this world," he writes. "The world was never going to come to me and so I went out into the world to try and regain some of that drive, that passion for photography and for storytelling." He initially shot pictures with a higher-end camera, and then learned about the app.

"I discovered that one of my favourite photographers @colerise was creating some incredible shots with just his iPhone," he writes. "[Instagram] allowed me to take pictures quickly, without having to pull over to the side of the road and reach into my bike bags for my gear."

In addition to the app's convenience, it connected him to an online support community. In our email exchange, he quoted his response to the #InstagramMeansToMe hashtag:

At the hardest times, when I found myself struggling to pedal or capture, it was this incredible community that I turned to for motivation. Days could pass with no real contact and weeks with no creative feedback. The smallest message of support from others around the world for my journey & photos would fill me with joy, help me stay connected, critical of my work and get me raring to be back in the saddle.

He shared some of his favorite Instagram shots with us.


Bukhara, Uzbekistan

RL: "Bukhara is a beautiful desert citadel full of ancient mosques and madrassas. This little girl was just standing there, in the shade of one of these temples. The positioning was perfect, there was no choice but to take a photo."
 


Tajik Mountain Road Near Dushanbe

RL: "This is a typical road through the mountains, it was hard to capture the scale of the mountains and my journey through them, but this picture begins to show you how impenetrable the Himalayas often are. Most of the time the roads are just dust tracks and if there are real roads they are potholed and crumbling away. You'd often see the remains of trucks far below that had driven off the edge."
 


Obigarm, Tajikistan

RF: "This was taken during the most beautiful week of my entire journey riding east from Dushanbe, the Tajik capital, up into the Himalayas to Kyrgyzstan. These 3 ladies came out of the trees behind me and began to wander down the path towards the mountains, I scrambled for my iPhone and snapped up this pic. A group of boys were watching me, they just laughed, wandering why I was rushing about."
 
See more of Lutter's Instagram photos here.
 
All images courtesy of Rob Lutter.
 
(H/T Mashable)

Sara Johnson is a fellow at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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