As November rolls around again, it will be eight years since the trucking industry lost a woman who was a champion for the industry and a dear friend to many – Bette Garber. I was fortunate to get to spend a lot of time with her when she would take trips with me in the truck. Back when she started, Bette was a pioneer in truck photography, show coverage, and driver features. After she passed away, I promised Bette’s family that I would keep her memory alive, and this annual photography contest, done in her honor through 10-4 Magazine, is yet another way I intend to keep my promise.
Over the years, Bette and I stood alongside many highways, waiting for the perfect truck to go by, to get that perfect shot. Lots of drivers would give us a toot of the air horn and wave as they went by, and a few of those would later make the cut and end up in one of her books or in a magazine. And, more times than we would have liked, while we were packing up to go or the roll hit #36 and started rewinding (those were back in the film days), it was at that moment that the perfect truck would come rolling by!
This photo contest is about honoring Bette, and showing off what I have been seeing on social media. There are so many great amateur truck photographers out there, many of whom are also drivers, shooting some really fantastic shots from the road. After recently starting a Facebook page in honor of Bette (Highway Images a Tribute to Bette Garber), people started posting amazing shots and the thought of a photo contest just came to me – I wanted to share these terrific pictures with everyone else.
I would like to personally thank each and every one of you who took the time to send in an entry. Bette loved the drivers and the trucks they drove, and I learned so much from her when it comes to shooting a picture and writing a story. She always said, “Write about what you know!” Thank you all for helping me keep my friend’s memory alive.
Since this is the first time we have ever done this, we tried to keep it simple. Myself and two other judges, my friend Heather Hogeland and the editor of 10-4 Dan Linss, chose a Grand Prize winner, along with 2nd and 3rd place winners, and then each of us chose a picture that, for some reason, spoke to us, which gave us three Judge’s Choice winners. We also awarded seven photos with Honorable Mentions.
The Grand Prize was awarded to Chad Violet of Springfield, Ohio, for his rolling shot of a black Peterbilt driven by Brad Garetson from Richfield, Wisconsin. Chad knew that he was coming through town and set up a shoot to take some pictures for him. Talking to Chad, he told me that one year at Louisville he met Bette and she took the time to talk to him, and he feels that she “gave the drivers the respect they deserved.” He also said that she was an inspiration for him to get into trucking, as well.
Chad’s wife bought him a camera on clearance at Target and it sat on the shelf for months before she asked him if he was ever going to do anything with it. Now, the Canon T6i that he shot this winning picture with is like an extension of his arm, and it is always in the car and ready to shoot at all times. As our Grand Prize winner, in addition to getting his picture printed prominently in this article, he will also receive “10-4 Bucks” ($104), a copy of each of Bette’s three picture books, a 10-4 sweatshirt and t-shirt, and a one-year subscription to the magazine.
Our 2nd place winner is Shannon Royce of Florence, Alabama. Shannon is a driver who shoots some amazing pictures, as well, in her travels with her husband, Greg. This shot was taken with her GoPro Hero 4, which she had mounted on a pole. Bette used to love an occasional “artsy fartsy” shot, and this one, taken while crossing the George Washington Bridge in New York, really nailed it. As our 2nd place winner, Shannon will receive a 10-4 sweatshirt and t-shirt, as well as a one-year subscription.
Our 3rd place award went to Alicja Zuber of Osprey, Florida. Alicja came to America in 2000 when she was 21, and in 2002 she got her CDL and became a driver. Photography became a hobby while on the road, and the photo from Yellowstone she submitted of a truck powering up a hill is beautiful. The scenic picture was shot with a Canon 60D with a 70-300mm lens. Running Canada, as well as the States, has given Alicja endless photo opportunities. As our 3rd place winner, Alicja will receive a 10-4 t-shirt and a one-year subscription (this is also what the Judge’s Choice winners will receive).
For our Judge’s Choice awards, each of the pictures we chose spoke to us in a way that made it special. I chose Tempie Davie’s pic of a truck at twilight with its headlights shining. Tempie, who lives in Goldendale, Washington, told me that she was parked and chasing the sunset, and after all the cars got by, “this incredible truck was there” and she took the shot. The headlights looking like stars reminded me of when Bette used a star filter to make this effect. Rob Hallahan’s picture of a yellow and white Kenworth on the streets of downtown San Francisco reminded Heather of the days they used to deliver to NYC. Heather said, “It’s special to see a truck like that delivering in the hustle and bustle of the big city! The angle of the shot and the design of the building behind it truly made this an outstanding photo!” Dan’s choice went to Tony Merck and his simple yet moving picture of an old KW interior. Tony (63) of Trail, Oregon is a driver for Oldland Distributing out of Southern Oregon.
Honorable Mentions went to Ed Orella of Petaluma, CA; Tommy Sierras of Norco, CA; Blair Shupe of Wellington, NV; Bradley Russell of Tulare, CA; Ronni Petersen of Moses Lake, WA; and Stephanie Haas of Hartland, WI. Stephanie’s pic was also the inspiration for 10-4’s newest shirt! All of the Honorable Mention winners get a free subscription.
Start shooting for next year and tuck away that spectacular shot that might be the next big winner. We have learned a lot this year, and look forward to seeing all the great entries next year. Photo equipment and cell phones have made making photo memories as easy as point and shoot. Keep shooting and stay safe out there. Congratulations to all our winners – Bette would be proud!