Winners Announced in National Faces of Transportation Competition

WASHINGTON – Two captivating photographs and three compelling videos won prizes in the 13th annual Faces of Transportation competition sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Make-A-Wish kid Samuel and Caltrans Equipment Shop staff explore transportation possibilities the week before Samuel hit the road to have his wish of seeing a real spaceship become a reality at the Kennedy Space Center. Photograph by Caltrans Senior Photographer Scott Lorenzo.

A photograph of a California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) worker giving a Make-A-Wish child a tour of a maintenance facility won the Grand Prize, while a photograph that captures the last working ferry system in Arkansas was selected the People’s Choice Award winner by online voters.

“We are thrilled that so many talented artists shared their perspectives on transportation in this year’s competition,” said Lloyd Brown, AASHTO director of communications and marketing. “The photos and videos nominated in this year’s competition highlight the often overlooked role that transportation plays in our communities and our overall quality of life.”

Sixteen transportation department employees from 24 states and five private citizens submitted 88 photographs and 16 videos for judging in this competition. An AASHTO team of judges selected the Grand Prize winner and a majority of the more than 6,000 online votes selected the winner of the People’s Choice award.

The Peel Ferry glides through the early morning fog on Bull Shoals Lake. As the last operational ferry in Arkansas, it provides a connection in the north-central portion of the state to Missouri. ARDOT employees Rob Mersman (tug pilot) and Randall Williams (on barge deck) operate the ferry. Photo by Arkansas DOT photographer Rusty Hubbard.

The Grand Prize award went to Caltrans Senior Photographer Scott Lorenzo. The People’s Choice Award was presented to Arkansas Department of Transportation Photographer Rusty Hubbard.

The videos competed for first, second, and third prizes and the Ohio Department of Transportation won first prize for its fascinating “Slow Down, Move Over” public education campaign video. Taking second place was Caltrans for its News Flash video detailing the department’s emergency response to a major mudslide in Santa Barbara County. Third place went to the Arizona Department of Transportation for its South Mountain Freeway Chuckwalla Relocation video, demonstrating the department’s commitment to wildlife mitigation.

Use the above links to see the videos and view the all the photo entries here.

Faces of Transportation People’s Choice Voting Now Active!

Closes August 15! VOTE TODAY!

Online voting is now underway in the annual Faces of Transportation photography and video contest sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

One of 96 images entered in four song title categories will be voted America’s favorite. The categories are: Highway Song” by Blackfoot; “Sailing Away” by Christopher Cross; “The Subway Song” by The Icarus Account; and “Watching Airplanes,” by Gary Allan. Each photograph depicts the many ways transportation benefits both individuals and communities.

The People’s Choice Award will go to the photo receiving the most online votes and a panel of judges will select the winner of the Best Overall Photograph. Each award will receive a $500 cash prize.

In addition, the contest includes a video category featuring 16 videos produced by transportation department employees. The first prize winner in the video competition will receive $150.00, second prize $100 and the third prize $50. All of the winners will be announced August 17 on this site.

Go to today to cast your vote!

Are You Watching Airplanes?

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

Airports, in general, are pretty good places to get a photograph. There are lots of people, beautiful airplanes, open spaces, workers, interesting lighting – just a great environment for snapping a great picture. (Listen to the song title that inspired this category to get you ready to get the shot: Watching Airplanes by Gary Allan.)

Have one you think could win? Enter today to be in the running for a prize!

Even if you don’t win, you still got that day at the airport…

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 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.

2018 Competition Coming Soon!

On your marks! Get ready!

The competition opens in less than two weeks… dust off your camera, load up a new memory card, and get out and take some amazing pictures! Stay tuned to this page for updates.

And The Winners Are…

Two aesthetically intriguing photographs and two compelling videos won top prizes in the Faces of Transportation competition sponsored by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation officials.

The photographs depicting transportation professionals and citizens interacting with iconic symbols of the nation’s infrastructure won the Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Awards. A judge selected the Grand Prize photograph and more than 5,800 online votes decided the People’s Choice award winner.

Private citizens and state department of transportation employees from 21 states submitted 118 photographs and nine videos in the competition. The photographic entries were judged in categories new for 2017: Motor Vehicles; Pedestrians and Bicycles; Planes; Roadways and Bridges; Ships and Boats, and; Trains. Videos competed in two categories: Professional Production and In-House/Amateur/Novice.

I-55 Bridge inspection by Chris Doggett and Kevin Milligan in bucket

The Grand Prize in the photography competition was awarded to Arkansas Department of Transportation Photographer Rusty Hubbard for his photograph of two bridge inspectors scrutinizing the I-55 span between Arkansas and Tennessee.

Kenan Erdemir and Brianna Wood enjoying a walk in Smale Riverfront Park, Cincinnati, OH. Behind them is the John A. Roebling Bridge.

The People’s Choice Award was presented to photographer Nancy Wood who captured two pedestrians enjoying Smale Riverfront Park with a fantastic view of the John A. Roebling bridge in the background.


In the video competition, the Fairbanks International Airport won in the Professional Production category for its high quality production highlighting ANC Airport Airfield Maintenance.

The Nevada Department of Transportation tied itself in the In-House Production/Amateur/Novice category for two of its videos: Controlling the Snow and Going to New Heights: Galena Bridge Inspection.

The videos were judged by AASHTO Media Relations Manager Tony Dorsey, a former television reporter/anchor at the NBC station in Washington D.C.

To view all of the entries in this year’s competition, visit the Faces of Transportation blog at