The 11th annual TCM Calendar Contest starts now with two major changes. First and foremost, there will be two big votes; a First Vote, and a Finalist Vote. The second change is another story. Grab your camera.
At the mobile TCM command center (aka, our rig) we have poured over reader feedback on the annual calendar contest and discovered one comment that came up again and again. In short, readers kept telling us, “It’s almost impossible to pick just five photos from 500+ entries.”
Change 1: There Will Be Two Votes This Year
As our readership has grown, so have the calendar contest submissions. Making things more challenging, the quality of the photos gets better and better every year. Choosing just five photos from over 500 amazing submissions is getting darn near impossible. We agree.
For 2018, we are going to hold two calendar votes; a First Vote, and a Finalist Vote. The First Vote will start with every photo entered into the contest. Readers will be able to select their 10 favorites (up from 5).
The results of this First Vote will determine the 24 Finalists. For the Finalist Vote, readers will be able to vote for their 3 favorites from the 24 finalists. The winners of that vote will be the 2018 Calendar Contest winners.
Change 2: Optional “Behind The Shot” Stories
The other big change for 2018 are your, “Behind the Shot” stories. When you submit your photo entries, the contest submission form will give you the option of sharing the story behind the picture. We may then feature your pictures and stories in the magazine throughout the year in a, “Behind The Shot” blog series.
Of course you don’t have to submit a story with your photos, but it’s a great way to reveal the adventure behind the image, and maybe get a few more folks liking your photo.
Welcome to the 11th annual Truck Camper Magazine Calendar Contest
There will be thirteen 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 2018 Truck Camper Magazine Calendar.
All submitted photographs will be placed into a 2018 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 2018 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. If it doesn’t demount, it doesn’t count.
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 22nd, 2016 and October 20th, 2017 by the person submitting the photo. You cannot submit a photo someone else took.
4. 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.
5. All photographs must be submitted digitally. You can send all entry photos at once or one photo at a time up (with a limit of 3 photos per person/camper). Click here to submit photos to the calendar contest.
6. All photographs must be submitted by 11:59pm PST, Friday, October 20th, 2017.
7. You can submit up to three photographs for the calendar. That’s three photographs per truck camper rig. Choose carefully!
8. 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. The final cropping will be 4:3 (wide,tall) ratio.
9. All photos must be taken with a three-megapixel digital camera, or better.
10. Send the highest resolution possible. Please do not downsize your photos before emailing them to us.
Six Time Tested and Proven Ways To Win:
Over the past ten 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!