Photographing People Outdoors – Transportation Doesn’t Happen in a Studio!

Photographer Sholeh Moll of the Nevada Department of Transportation photographs semi-trucks and other traffic related images from the passenger seat of a state car while on a trip through rural Nevada.

Photographer Sholeh Moll of the Nevada Department of Transportation photographs semi-trucks and other traffic related images from the passenger seat of a state car while on a trip through rural Nevada.

Let’s face it: good photographs of people using our nation’s transportation systems just don’t occur in a studio. They’re composed outdoors, on the fly. But, with some preparation, a good eye, and a little luck, you’ve got that winning photo in hand!

Here are a few tips from a Graphics.com article, which, while a little dated (did they really have SLRs in 2008?!), are still relevant today.

We’re looking forward to your entry!

Transportation Photography Outdoors – Because It’s Gonna Happen

Bicyclists travel the well-worn U.S. 50 near Moundhouse, Nevada. The Nevada Department of Transportation is currently giving the northwestern Nevada road a facelift by repaving and making safety improvements.

Bicyclists travel the well-worn U.S. 50 near Moundhouse, Nevada. The Nevada Department of Transportation is currently giving the northwestern Nevada road a facelift by repaving and making safety improvements.

It is inevitable. To get that perfect transportation photo (with people in it!), you’re going to have to work outdoors.

We won’t go into all the gear and accessories you might want to have with you… let’s not get too fussy! You just want to get the shot, that one great shot. But, you’re going to have to work in the landscape and location in which you find yourself.

And that means taking into account some principles of good outdoor photography, and, in particular, of landscape photography.

Head on over to Digital Camera World and check out some of their tips on good landscape techniques.

And don’t forget the rain gear!

Orange and Blue – They’re Really Your Friends!

A diver prepares to perform an underwater inspection of the pilings of the Commodore Schuler F. Heim replacement Bridge. The old bridge is the last vertical-lift bridge that crosses the Cerritos Channel in the Port of Los Angeles.

A diver prepares to perform an underwater inspection of the pilings of the Commodore Schuler F. Heim replacement Bridge. The old bridge is the last vertical-lift bridge that crosses the Cerritos Channel in the Port of Los Angeles.

When you’re out taking great pictures of transportation projects, especially on the road, you’re going to come across a LOT of orange and blue. From traffic cones and barrels, to workers’ vests, to the wide open sky, and the glare of lights – it is challenging!

But, there are good ways to compensate for these vivid colors and produce some incredibly dramatic photos. Read the sage advice of Andrew Gibson of The Digital Photography School, and be inspired!

TIP: Include both orange and blue in the same photo to increase the contrast between them.

FAQs: Why Should I Use a Model Release Form?

Chief Deputy Director Rick Land during final inspection of I-Bar repair on the West Span of the Bay Bridge prior to its reopening.

Chief Deputy Director Rick Land during final inspection of I-Bar repair on the West Span of the Bay Bridge prior to its reopening.

One of the questions we get asked regularly is, “Why do I have to get a fully completed model release form?”

The short answer: it not only protects the person being photographed from any unauthorized use of their image, but it protects you from legal action in the future, if the image is used for a business purpose.

The long answer: check out this posting by the American Society of Media Photographers (a great resource in general, by the way).

TIP: Always carry a couple of hard copies of the form in your camera bag, so that you’ll have one ready when the moment strikes!

AASHTO Announces ‘Faces of Transportation’ Photography and Video Contest

At age 5, Eileen Foley cut a ribbon in August of 1923 to mark the opening of the Memorial Bridge connecting Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine. Nine decades later the 95-year old former Portsmouth mayor repeated the milestone, marking the opening of a new Memorial Bridge on August 8, 2013.

At age 5, Eileen Foley cut a ribbon in August of 1923 to mark the opening of the Memorial Bridge connecting Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Kittery, Maine. Nine decades later the 95-year old former Portsmouth mayor repeated the milestone, marking the opening of a new Memorial Bridge on August 8, 2013.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials today announced the start of its 11th annual Faces of Transportation photography contest with new categories, and a video section open to all participants. The national competition gives state DOT employees and private citizens the opportunity to submit photographs and videos of people, projects, and personal experiences that demonstrate the benefits of transportation in America.

Contest Guidelines and Rules 2015

This year’s competition, themed “The People Who Power Transportation in America,” includes seven awards. Five will be presented in the photography section and two prizes will be awarded in the video portion of competition.

Photography: Photographs will be judged in three new transportation-themed categories: “People Building America,” “People Touring America,” and “Innovators in Transportation.” A $125 cash prize will be awarded to the best photograph in each of the three categories. $500 cash prizes will be presented to the winners of both the People’s Choice and the Best Overall Photograph award.

Video Section: Videos will be judged on two levels and in two separate categories. Amateur or novice videos must demonstrate travel experiences in a category called Safe, Innovative and/or Fun. Professionally produced videos will be judged in a category called Innovation in Motion.

The videos (one winner in each category), as selected by AASHTO, will each be awarded $150 cash prizes. The winners, along with other submitted videos, may be featured on AASHTO’s Transportation TV.

Winning video and photography submissions must prominently feature people designing, constructing, using and enjoying the nation’s transportation systems. All entries must represent the positive effects of all modes of transportation on individuals and communities. Photographs and videos which include recognizable individuals must be accompanied with a Faces of Transportation Model Release form regardless of category; all photos and videos must include a Faces of Transportation Caption and Theme form that describes the scene and the theme under which the entry is placed. Failure to meet these requirements may lead to disqualification.

All entries must be received by July 31, 2015. Judging will begin on August 10, 2015. The general public will vote for the People’s Choice Award photograph at the Faces of Transportation web site, www.facesoftransportation.org. Judging will begin August 10 and end August 31, 2015.

The winners of the 2015 Faces of Transportation competition will be announced at the AASHTO Subcommittee on Transportation Communications (TransComm) annual meeting in Annapolis, Maryland in September.

Contest Guidelines and Rules 2015