It’s time to grab your camera, go truck camping in amazing places, and take great pictures of your rig. The 10th annual Truck Camper Magazine Calendar Contest is on.
Almost ten years ago, I was gazing deeply into my computer screen trying to come up with a story for the following day. The magazine was literally weeks old, and the challenge of generating regular content was beginning to sink in. What had I got myself into?
Then, somewhere between repeatedly bonking myself in the forehead with a wiffle ball bat and running in ever tighter concentric circles, I had a vision…
What if the magazine held a truck camper calendar contest? The readers could submit their best truck camper photographs and then vote for their favorites. Every year Truck Camper Magazine could publish a totally awesome truck camper calendar. Remember, this was ten years ago when saying, “totally awesome” was still acceptable in mixed company.
I bounced this idea off the entire 2007 Truck Camper Magazine team; our intrepid cat, Harley, and the aforementioned wiffle ball bat. Neither had a negative comment. After a few more bonks on the noggin, the first annual Truck Camper Magazine Calendar Contest was ready to launch.
Since then a lot has changed. Angela has joined the magazine along with a team of magnificent writers and web professionals that I could not have imagined a decade ago. The annual calendar contest has become one our favorite aspects of running the magazine. Even better, your calendar photographs have inspired us to explore new places, introduced us to new truck camping activities, and helped us to better understand our wonderful truck camping community. We love the calendar contest!
In addition to announcing the 10th annual Truck Camper Magazine Calendar Contest, we are going to do something very special to celebrate 10 years of Truck Camper Magazine calendars, but that announcement has to wait. As the saying goes, “How do you keep Truck Camper Magazine readers in suspense? I’ll tell you later…”
The 2017 TCM Calendar Contest Is On
Welcome to the 10th annual Truck Camper Magazine Calendar Contest.
There will be twelve calendar winners, one for each month of the year, plus one more winner for the calendar cover. All thirteen calendar winners will have their winning photograph and the story behind their photograph featured in the magazine. The thirteen winners will also receive a free 2017 Truck Camper Magazine Calendar.
All submitted photographs will be placed into a 2017 TCM Calendar Contest Gallery. By sending in a photo for the contest, you give Truck Camper Magazine the right to use your photograph in future posts, social media, etc.
Here are the 2017 Truck Camper Magazine Calendar Contest rules:
1. All photographs must contain a truck camper. A truck camper is a camper that can be demounted from a truck.
2. Photos can not be altered with Photoshop, apps, or special camera filters. The contest is for natural images of truck campers in nature.
3. All photographs must be taken between October 24th, 2015 and October 21st, 2016.
4. All photographs must be submitted digitally via email to email@example.com. You can send all entry photos at once or one photo at a time up (with a limit of 3 photos per person/camper) until October 21, 2016.
5. All photographs must be submitted by 11:59pm PST, Friday, October 21st, 2016.
6. You can submit three photographs for the calendar. That’s three photographs per truck camper rig. Choose carefully!
7. All photographs must be horizontal. Please make your shots wide, not tall, like a calendar page. Please do not enter panoramic photographs as they are too wide for the calendar format.
8. All photos must be taken with a three-megapixel digital camera, or better.
9. Send the highest resolution possible. Please do not downsize your photos before emailing them to us.
10. Along with your photographs, please include the following information: your first and last name(s), the location the photo was taken, and the year, make, and model of your truck and camper.
Please follow this format. Here is an example:
Name: Alex and Julie Blasingame
Photo Location: White Rim Trail, Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Truck: 2007 Ford F250
Camper: 2002 Lance 815
Six Time Tested and Proven Ways To Win:
Over the past nine years, we have recognized six clear patterns shared by the majority of calendar winners. If you want to win the calendar contest, here are six pointers:
1. Capture the Golden Hour
The moments immediately after sunrise, or just before sunset will give your photographs a beautiful soft warm glow. You may have to wait patiently for this moment in the evening, or wake up early to capture this moment in the morning, but it’s worth it.
2. Take Many Different Perspectives
If you’ve found an amazing place, park your rig and take pictures from many different positions and angles. I will often walk in many different directions looking at the camper and how it appears in the scene before me. Often times we need to move the camper a couple times, and I need to move the camera a few times, to get it right. Sometimes I climb a ridge and shoot down, or get on the ground and shoot up. The trick is to try lots of ideas, experiment, and see what looks best.
3. Avoid Most Man Made Stuff
Do what you can to avoid man made objects in your photographs, unless they’re the subject. For example, an interesting bridge or a red barn are often great, but random trash cans and power lines are not. If there’s a man made object in your picture, make it great.
4. Include Your Entire Truck and Camper Rig
Almost without exception, calendar winning photographs feature the whole truck camper; bumper to bumper, cabover to ladder, tires to roof top – the whole rig.
5. It’s All About Location, Location, Location
Don’t even think about photographing your camper at a campsite, unless the campsite is incredible. This contest is all about finding amazing places, and photographing them with your camper. More often than not, this means finding a pull-off, and getting the shot. If you wait until you park for the night, chances are you drove by the interesting places. Always be on the lookout for the calendar winning spot, and have your camera ready.
6. Learn Your Camera
As a camera buff, I make sure to read my camera manual and watch YouTube videos on photography, and my camera. This knowledge, coupled with experience, often leads to much better photographs than would otherwise be possible. Automatic mode on most cameras is certainly very good, but knowing how to fully utilize your camera will pay dividends.
Get Inspired By Past Winners
We absolutely love looking at the calendar entries, especially the winners and runners-up from years past. These photographs not only wow us with their beauty, but also remind us of the possibilities and adventure the truck camping lifestyle offers. Then I find myself thinking, “I want to take pictures like that this year!” We are inspired!
Good luck everyone!