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!