I’ve Been Working on the Railroad, All the Livelong… OK, We’ll Stop.

All aboard the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad! Volunteer conductor, John Cavanaugh, is ready to board passengers for an afternoon tourist excursion along the St. Louis River basin in Duluth, Minnesota. The historic train operates weekends throughout the summer with an all-volunteer crew.

Now that we’ve got that song stuck in your head, think about this: photos and video of all things rail-related including subways and mass transit! We want to see people not only working on the rails but those folks using transit, too.

Of course, we can’t stress enough, if you’re going to take shots of railroads to BE SAFE – here are some safety tips and facts to review before you go out shooting from Operation Lifesaver.

To get you in the mood (and get that earworm out of your head!), take a listen to The Subway Song by The Icarus Account.

A Sailor’s Life for Me!

Icebergs being investigated from the safety of the Fast Rescue Boat deployed from the M/V Taku.

Well, perhaps being a photographer is enough. And getting that perfect shot of people working on ships, boats, ferries and at waterfront facilities is an ideal Spring activity. The breeze off the water, the sun, the sounds of gulls and sandpipers… what a beautiful way to spend a day!

Here’s some good advice on taking shots on the water and the tips and tricks that will make your trip worthwhile. (Don’t forget the sunscreen!)

Well, Yes, There Are Rules

Shannon McIntyre, MnDOT transportation generalist, looks ahead as she drives a Caterpillar compactor over hot asphalt on the edge line along Interstate 35 near Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota.

It wouldn’t be a competition if there weren’t rules, right? We have a few – though we’ve tried to minimize them as much as possible to make your entries easier.

A couple of the big ones:

  1. Get a model release. This is important since nobody wants to sue or get sued for unauthorized use of their likeness. If you know the person you’re photographing, even if it’s a close friend or family member, get them to sign on the dotted line. If you don’t know them, take the opportunity to chat and sign!
  2. Give us a caption. Let us know what we’re looking at! A great photo needs context and it helps tell the story of what you were seeing through your camera lens.

Follow these rules and you’ll have a winning photo (not guaranteed to win, but you know what we mean)!

Did You Go Orange?

Contractors at work with the rebar on a replacement bridge along Highway 31 in South Central North Dakota near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Yesterday was Go Orange Day in state DOTs around the country to honor National Work Zone Awareness Week. People were posting pics of themselves wearing the color everywhere!

We gotta say there were a lot of really great photos! Did you take one? Have you thought about entering it? If not, don’t worry: there will be plenty of chances to capture the men and women working on our transportation network before the deadline.

In the meanwhile, check out this little article we wrote a couple of years ago about the color orange and how to make it work to your advantage…

Spring Is Here!

The Fortify construction project is part of a 10-year plan to strengthen North Carolina’s roadways and alleviate traffic congestion in the Triangle. The southern portion of I-40/I-440 is 30 years old and needs repair. This photo, taken on a bitterly cold February night, depicts the dedicated workers on that project.

And that means more opportunities to get out and take some awesome photos. When you finally get all your gear together (or not: remember we’re taking social media entries as well!), keep an eye out for people using, building, and/or enjoying this country’s transportation infrastructure.

You never know what you might find!

Photo Entries for 2018 Contest Now Accepted Via Social Media!

That’s right. We’re now accepting entries for this year’s photo contest from social media. That means you can submit a photo via Facebook (AASHTOspeaks), Twitter (aashtospeaks), and Instagram (aashtospeaks). (Can you tell what our handle is?)

If you do send us a photo via these platforms, we will need a couple of pieces of information from you beyond that, including a model release for the identifiable people in your picture. You can find that form in the menu above. (It can either be part of a simple entry through the button above, or can be sent to faces@transportation.org directly…)

This is our first year accepting entries via social media, so let us know how we’re doing!

Song Titles Setting the Tone for ‘Faces of Transportation’ Photo/Video Contest

WASHINGTON – The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials annual Faces of Transportation photography and video contest is marking its 13th year with a twist. Song titles will define the four categories used in the photography portion of the competition and social media participation is being strongly encouraged this year.

“Transportation is about people,” said Lloyd Brown, AASHTO communications director. “This competition’s goal is to focus on the people who build, maintain and use the transportation system that serves as the backbone of our strong economy and high quality of life.”

In the song title category “Highway Song” by Blackfoot, the photos should include people using or working on surface transportation, including but not limited to roadways, tunnels, bridges, pedestrian and bike trails. In the song title category “Sailing Away” by Christopher Cross, the photos should include people using or working on ships, boats, ferries and at waterway facilities such as ports. In the song title category “The Subway Song” by The Icarus Account, the photos should include people using or working on all things rail-related including subways and mass transit systems. The final song title category is “Watching Airplanes” by Gary Allan.  The photos in this category should include people using or working in aviation. $500 cash prizes will be presented to the winners of both the People’s Choice and the Best Overall Photograph award and a $100 award is available to the winner of the best photograph submitted via social media—Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

In the video section of the competition state department of transportation employees only can enter videos produced in-house for consideration in the 2018 competition. All videos will be judged based on their ability to demonstrate excellence in storytelling. The first prize winner in the video competition will receive $150, second prize $100 and third prize $50. All of the winning videos will be featured on AASHTO Transportation TV and AASHTO’s YouTube Channel.

Winning video and photography submissions must prominently feature people designing, constructing, using and enjoying the nation’s multimodal transportation system. 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 by a model release form regardless of the category or entry method; all photos and videos must include a caption that describes the scene. Failure to meet these requirements may lead to disqualification.

All entries must be received by Friday, June 15, 2018. Judging will begin on June 18. The general public will vote for the People’s Choice Award photograph on this site. Online judging will begin June 18 and end July 15, 2018.

The winners of the 2018 Faces of Transportation competition will be announced on July 20 here and on social media. Entry forms and contest rules are available in the menu above.