Channel 19

Todd Dills

Prize-winning trucking photo, very happy geese at Wyoming TA

| May 19, 2011

In April, Robinson Transport driver Bob McGilvray claimed his second top spot in Truckers Newsmonthly photo challenge with this shot, “Bedtime at Sideling Hill Plaza,” taken on a quiet night at the Sideling Hill service plaza on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last summer. I wrote about the big win here in Truckers News. (This month’s contest, open through end of day May 31, asks for pictures of “Birds and barns,” not necessarily in that order or together — see below for how to enter or visit our Flickr.com group.)

It’s a grand photo, taken with a six-inch Polaroid tripod McGilvray carries in-cab for just such an opportunity. Along the way to selecting a winner for the April night-photo challenge, however, I came across a rare coincidence, too. Seems there’s a flock of geese that have been taking the attention of more than one driver cutting across Wyoming on I-80 the past year. The first photo here, taken by McGilvray, he sent my way in December as a sort of curiosity during our Animals/other wildlife challenge, for which McGilvray was ineligible after his win last summer.

The second pic, taken three months later in March, fit another theme and was a runner-up in March’s Fuel islands/fueling challenge. The photographer, Yvonne Allen, runs full-time with her husband, Steve, leased to Landstar Ranger. Both photos were taken at the TravelCenters of America location in Ft. Bridger, Wyo., on I-80. Yvonne described the scene well: “I’ve seen birds begging for food at truck stops before, but these geese were a first. They were not afraid of the big trucks or the noise, and it was obvious they had been fed here for quite some time. It’s probably one of their winter stops of migration, and this is how ‘far’ they got! They wandered all over the truckstop lot from truck to truck to get a morsel of whatever the trucker would hand out. It was obvious they were well fed and not starving. Then near sundown, they left, to go bed down for the night. I’m sure they will be back in the morning.”

Both pics, too, could fit this month’s challenge, which asks for shots, variously, of Birds and/or Barns, two seemingly disparate items, both however evident in abundance on rural highways and elsewhere throughout the United States. Summer’s close, so take advantage of the reasonable temperatures while you can and hunt out some great photos of birds, barns or both. 

The prize this month is publication of the winning photo in the July edition of Truckers News as well as a copy of “The Photographer’s Mind: Creative Thinking for Better Digital Photos,” by Michael Freeman, author of the well-known “Photographer’s Eye” guide.

TO ENTER THE MAY “BIRDS AND BARNS” contest, join our Flickr.com group, where you’ll find these rules:

1. Post your appropriately themed, high-resolution (around 1,500 by 900 pixels, at the very least, will be needed to be included in the magazine) photo to the group pool by midnight of May 31. (Alternately, you may email to Todd Dills at tdills@rrpub.com if you’re having difficulty posting.) 
2. Send an email with your full name, location/mailing address and your trucking business’ profile in brief (who you drive for or whether you run on your own authority as an owner-operator, etc.) to Todd Dills at tdills@rrpub.com — include “photo contest” in the subject line and a link to the original Flickr location of your entered picture as well. You may enter up to three pictures on the theme.