Maybe you’re a seasoned photographer, with years of experience under your belt, working in all sorts of conditions. Maybe you’ve been working outside all of your professional life, taking photos in good weather and bad, cold and hot, wet and dry. And you always get the shot!
Or, maybe you’re like us: we sometimes don’t do the right thing every time, and treat our photo gear… well, not in the best way. Sometimes, in our excitement to get the best photograph EVER, we don’t do what we should with our camera (keep it clean, dry, and safe.)
Even the most prepared photographer has those days when things outside are working against her, and everything doesn’t go as planned.
Don’t worry! There’s lots of advice for you to consider before you even put the camera in the bag, and strap on the tripod. Take this great article by the folks at PetaPixel, for example. Or this one excerpted from Outdoor Action and Adventure Photography by Dan Bailey.
Read up before you suit up! And bring back that prize-winning shot!
We’re transportation geeks, so there are a million answers involving engineering, design, traffic, capacity, sustainability, mobility, and all kinds of other in-the-weeds words we could use to answer the first question. And there are just as many answers to what we’re looking for in a good photograph or video of people in or using transportation.
But, what it really comes down to is this: America’s transportation network touches all of our lives every day. We use it to get to work and school by train, car, bus, and bike; we use it to get milk and eggs and all the other products we buy to the store by truck; we use it to get patients, and the vital medicines they need to hospitals; we use it to see this great country of ours in all of its majesty. The infrastructure we’ve built of roads, bridges, tunnels, tracks, paths, and sidewalks, binds us together in ways visible and invisible.
And that’s just the concrete, steel, and asphalt part.
The other, vital, fleeting part is the people who make, keep, and use that physical piece. You and your family, you and your colleagues at work, you and all the people who get out there everyday.
That’s why we sponsor this competition each year and have for 11 years. And that’s why it’s so important for us. We want to see YOU out there!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
WASHINGTON – 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 taken on opposite sides of the country of people interacting with bridges won the Grand Prize and the People’s Choice Awards. A judge selected the Grand Prize photograph and more than 11,000 online votes decided the People’s Choice award winner. Three other photographs capturing highway construction workers and citizens using transportation facilities in their communities also received awards.
Twenty-nine transportation department employees from 17 states and four private citizens submitted 88 photographs and 14 videos in the competition. The photographic entries were judged in three categories: Quality of Life/Community Development, Historic Projects, and Taking the Road Less Traveled. Videos competed in two categories: Professional Production and In-House/Amateur/Novice.
The Grand Prize in the photography competition was awarded to Florida Department of Transportation Photographer Sally Dobson for her photograph of a section of bridge being moved into place during the State Road 826/836 Interchange Reconstruction Project in Miami, Florida.
The People’s Choice Award was presented to photographer Karl Nielsen who captured a dramatic sunset the evening before the opening of the new San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge.
Last year’s Grand Prize winner, Caltrans photographer Bill Hall, was this year awarded a prize in the Quality of Life/Community Development category for his picture of two bicyclists using the bicycle/pedestrian pathway on the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge.
Historic Projects: US Route 80/Dixie Overland Highway Bridge—photographer John Dougherty of the Arizona Department of Transportation captured a bridge built in the early 1920s as part of this historic highway, which was the longest in Arizona. Though the highway was decommissioned in 1956 due to the construction of Interstate 8, the bridge is part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Taking the Road Less Traveled: Lake Tahoe Bike Path—photographer Julie Duewel from the Nevada Department of Transportation took this photograph of a new stretch of bike path that provides access to several beautiful Lake Tahoe, Nevada beaches. The photo was taken during the Stateline Bikeway dedication ceremony. NDOT has been instrumental in America’s Most Beautiful Bikeway, which will eventually circumnavigate the lake.
The photographs were judged by Pam Burks, an accomplished photographer living in Maryland.
In the video competition, the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department won in Professional Production category for its high quality production highlighting the Arkansas Razorback Regional Greenway project.
The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) won in the In-House Production/Amateur/Novice category for its innovative Underwater Bridge Inspection video, part of the “On the Job with Caltrans” series, developed to highlight the wide variety of jobs that Caltrans workers perform.
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 http://www.facesoftransportation.org.
We’ve closed the People’s Choice voting for this year’s contest. But stay tuned: the winners will be announced at our TransComm meeting in Scottsdale, AZ at the end of September!
Cash Prize at Stake in Eleventh Annual National ‘Faces of Transportation’ Photo Contest
Voters can choose their favorite photograph from among 78 images being judged in three categories: “Quality of Life/Community Development,” “Historic Projects,” and “Taking the Road Less Traveled.” Each photograph represents the positive effects of transportation on individuals and/or communities.
Voting starts today and runs through Sept. 8. The photograph receiving the highest number of online votes will receive the People’s Choice Award, and a $500 cash prize will be awarded to the photographer.
The People’s Choice Award winner and the recipient of this year’s Faces of Transportation Grand Prize Award will be announced on Sept. 29.