Our dear friend Bette Garber was a photojournalist for the trucking industry for nearly 30 years. This contest is to remember and honor her for all that she contributed to our industry. Bette loved the trucks, but she loved the people who put them together and drove them even more! She wrote four books filled with pictures that she took at truck shows and out on the open road, while also shooting stock photos for her business, Highway Images.
Today, shooting photos on the road doesn’t require a camera, rolls of film, and getting the pictures developed to find out if you got the shot or if it was messed up. It’s as easy as picking up your smart phone, hitting camera, and shooting! And, if it’s not a good image, just hit delete and try again. Such was not the case in Bette’s day.
Some of the photos that made their way into our top picks included quick camera-phone shots, along with perfectly timed and executed camera shots. We want to thank everyone who took the time to enter the contest this year. We encourage you all to keep shooting and sharing what it’s like to live your life on the open road. Choosing a path that leads you away from home and back again isn’t always easy, but for the men and women who love it, we wouldn’t think of doing anything else! So, without further ado, here are the winners.
Our Grand Prize award went to Kasey Aslinger of Marquand, MO. The simplicity and patriotism of this candid photo captured all us – in fact, it was the only one to be chosen by all four of the judges! The Aslinger’s 1996 Peterbilt is custom from top to bottom and features an Americana theme, which includes the custom fiberglass American flag door panels, made by White Trash Customs and then airbrushed by Bradley Wilson, which their 3-year-old daughter Jolie can be seen cleaning at a truck show in the photo. Their company, EZ Livin Express, hauls cars and oversized vans that are usually too big for a standard car carrier. The Aslingers did 17 shows last summer with all four of their girls. Through these shows, they have been able to teach their kids about the rewards and sacrifices of hard work. It’s not always winning or losing that really matters, but the journey and the friends you make along the way. But, in this case, they won! Prizes include “10-4 Bucks” ($104), a 10-4 sweatshirt and t-shirt, and a complimentary one-year subscription to the magazine.
The 2nd Place winner was Kyle Miller of Nashville, AR. Kyle took this technical shot at midnight last summer in McGehee, AR right after unloading a load of chicken litter out between the rice fields. He didn’t have a tripod with him, so he found an empty snack cracker box and a piece of shop towel and propped up his camera with it for this 20-second exposure. This is a single exposure shot, and in order to get his truck lights on without overexposing them, he had to open the shutter to start taking the picture and then run through the frame and, very quickly, flick his lights on and then right back off. He chose to submit this picture because there’s so many truckers out there burning that midnight oil that don’t realize the beauty that is right outside. If they only took a moment to stop and see it, they would be amazed. And, you just never really see big rigs shot under a blanket of stars and the Milky Way! Kyle (26) is an owner operator who runs the 2000 Pete 379 in the photo, and he always has his camera with him on the passenger seat of the truck. His winnings include a 10-4 sweatshirt and t-shirt, as well as a free one-year subscription.
3rd Place was awarded to Jacob Gunderson of Oconomowoc, WI. Jacob had the opportunity to capture this image during the grand finale of the fireworks display at the Walcott Truckers Jamboree in 2017. After running around and trying to find the perfect spot, at the last second, he set up near the Dynaflex booth, and was able to capture this great picture. He only wishes he could have got the truck lights turned on in time for the photo. Jacob (22) works for Steve Moss, helping him around the shop with the trucks, but his real passion is photography.
The four judges this year, which included me, Heather Hogeland, Cynthia Tobin and Daniel Linss, Editor of 10-4, each got to pick their personal favorites. Each of the “Judge’s Picks” will receive a 10-4 t-shirt and a one-year subscription to the magazine.
My pick went to Brad Russell of Tulare, CA. Brad shot his slow exposure at the Brooks truck show in Oregon on Saturday night after the crowd left. I picked it because it reminded me so much of a business card that Bette once had, and seeing this picture brought a tear to my eye. Bette loved that shot of a truck all lit-up, and her star filter would make every one of those lights pop!
Heather’s pick went to Ron Kelsey of Avondale, AZ. This shot was taken near Brawley, CA – at “Sunrise” of course! Ron and his “Sunrise Express” have been on our cover twice (1998 and 2009). Ron purchased this 1981 Pete 359 Short Hood back in 1984 – it was the first (and only) truck he ever bought. And although it has undergone a few makeovers, it has stayed relatively the same for most of those 33 years. Heather chose this pic because of the beautiful sunrise. Heather loves sunrises – it is the quiet before the hustle and bustle of the day begins, which is what this photo represented to her.
Cynthia’s pick went to Tommy Sierras of Corona, CA. Tommy took this shot of his niece “Krysibear” in the old cow truck he used to drive. He had just come off the road after two weeks and didn’t want anything to do with the truck, but she wanted to go talk on the CB, so that’s how they spent their afternoon. Cynthia picked this photo because it shows where the love affair with trucks begins – as a young child. This photo, to her, embodied that love affair’s beginning.
Dan’s pick went to Leon Murillo of Porterville, CA. Leon takes all his road shots with his Samsung Galaxy S7 phone. He took this rolling shot of Ron Walker’s blue Peterbilt on Hwy. 99 in California between Goshen and Traver early one morning. Dan liked this shot because it captured so many things – the blue truck rolling, the truck’s trailer and load (in the mirror), and Leon himself, taking the picture, along with his yellow truck (also in the mirror). One quick shot that captured so many elements! Not always easy, from a photographer’s standpoint. Leon is an owner operator from California who is famous for the rolling “road shots” he takes and posts on Facebook and Instagram.
Honorable Mentions, which will each receive a free one-year subscription to the magazine, were awarded to Penny Brownfield of Macomb, IL (photo #6); Kyle Miller of Nashville, AR (photo #5); Brad Russell of Tulare, CA (photo #4); Michael Geren of Agra, OK (photo #3); Kevin Bayette and Audrey Coultier of Quebec, Canada (photo #1); and Marty Miles of Pine Bluffs, WY (photo #2).
Congratulations to all the winners, and thanks to everyone who entered the contest. Bette would be proud!