2014 Categories: Quality of Life/Community Development

You’ve probably noticed that this year’s categories are a little different. We thought it might be a good idea to give you some more information about the categories and how you might turn them into actual photographs.

A walking path alongside the Cape Cod canal.

A walking path alongside the Cape Cod canal.

First up, Quality of Life/Community Development.

This seems to be a difficult, abstract concept that could be difficult to capture in a single image. After all, how do you take a picture of something as vague as quality of life? How do you photograph something that represents the development of a large thing like a whole community? And how do you include a FACE in all of that??

But, think about it for a minute or two and it becomes clearer and maybe even a little bit easier to envision putting those ideas into a visual medium.

We all see quality of life all around us every day. Sometimes, we may take it for granted or get so caught up in our busy lives that we ignore it. The bike path that makes it easier for neighborhood kids to get to school safely. The pedestrian bridge that allows walkers to cross over a rail line. The widened main street that makes shopping trips more efficient. The bus line that takes seniors to doctors’ appointments and the movies. Take a moment to look for these kinds of projects in your area, and especially the people that use them. Talk to them and snap that image!

Community development is a related idea that might be staring you in the face, waiting for you to take a photo: the new, brightly-lit sidewalk that makes a neighborhood safer for everyone; the improved intersection with new lights and crosswalks that allows people to get to shops and businesses; the transit line that brings new customers to the local grocery store.

You get the idea. So go out and get the picture!

People’s Choice Voting Now Closed

Bob Dion is a seasoned electrician who takes pride in the fact that the work he does will impact the community. This photo, taken at the Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project in Pawtucket, RI, reflects his positive commitment to the project and the State as a whole.

Bob Dion is a seasoned electrician who takes pride in the fact that the work he does will impact the community. This photo, taken at the Pawtucket River Bridge Replacement Project in Pawtucket, RI, reflects his positive commitment to the project and the State as a whole.

Thank you to everyone who took a few moments to browse the spectacular pictures that were submitted for this year’s contest. We had a very lively voting session!

Stay tuned – all the winners will be announced on Thursday, September 26, 2013!

All Entries In! Now the Judging Begins…

Thanks to everyone who entered AASHTO’s 2013 Faces of Transportation Contest. All qualified entries have been received – and we received some great ones this year!

Currently, our judge is in the process of reviewing all of the submitted photos and selecting the winners in each category. We are also preparing the photos for posting here for the People’s Choice voting, so watch this space for that to begin shortly!

Deadline Extended!

John C. Allen, chair of the Vehicle Probe Project Suite User Group, displays a Congestion Scan, one of the many data visualization tools developed by the University of Maryland's CATT Lab, which are used to facilitate improved transportation planning and operations. The Suite Dashboard is pictured in the background.

John C. Allen, chair of the Vehicle Probe Project Suite User Group, displays a Congestion Scan, one of the many data visualization tools developed by the University of Maryland’s CATT Lab, which are used to facilitate improved transportation planning and operations. The Suite Dashboard is pictured in the background.

In order to allow you an extra week to get your best transportation shot, we have extended the deadline for submittals to AUGUST 7, 2013!

Please be sure to fill out the entry form, caption, and, if appropriate, the model release form before sending in your photo.

Looking forward to your entry!

What Gear Do You Need to Take a Great Transportation Photo?

Surveying Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Korean Air cargo jet flying over.

Surveying Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. Korean Air cargo jet flying over.

We’re of the opinion that a great photograph can be taken even by a cell phone… Especially in the world of transportation, where the subjects are often moving, or brightly colored, or outside. Other than being safe, the most important thing in transportation photography is reconciling these aspects of the situation.

But, for some, gear is vital. Our friends at The Phoblographer have a great posting on their Essentials series, “The Connected Photographer.” Pretty to look at, for sure!

What’s in your gear bag that you consider essential for transportation photography?

Photographing Orange and Blue

A Utah DOT Area Supervisor prepares equipment for the upcoming avalanche season in the state.

A Utah DOT Area Supervisor prepares equipment for the upcoming avalanche season in the state.

We talked about it last year, but we thought it was time for a little refresher – transportation photography can be saturated with bright colors, including lights, signs, retroreflective materials, safety vests, welding, backlit steam and smoke, dust… and the list goes on.

But these bright colors can be your friend, too. They can lend visual interest and excitement to the photograph, bringing your viewer into the rush and chaos of a transportation scene.

For more tips on using orange and blue, check out this blog post from The Digital Photography School: Making the Most of Orange and Blue.