It’s not every day that people think of truck drivers as great photographers. But perhaps it’s time for that to change. From what we’ve seen at Drive My Way, many people with CDL driver jobs have quite an eye for the angles, scenes and life streaming through their windshields every day. It’s inspired us to launch this new monthly series, “Sharpshooters,” where we’ll highlight truck drivers who happen to be great photographers.
To get “Sharpshooters” started, we interviewed one of the best truck drivin’ photographers we know, Tempie Davie. Davie, who teams with her soul mate and best friend, Frank Tucker, is leased to Gulick Trucking out of Vancouver, Wash. In this exclusive Drive My Way interview, she discusses why she shoots, her inspiration, and how others with CDL trucking jobs can take quality shots.
Why do you shoot?
Because I love it. Time passes so quickly, I want to remember it all. The sun may never hit that barn the same way again. You may never see a rainbow that big and bright again.
It allows me to hold onto the things that will never happen again. It also allows my friends and family to travel with me, to hopefully feel the excitement of the moment.
What inspires you?
Everything! I love finding beauty in the ordinary. For example, some people see an old barn. However, I see the lines, the light, the stories of generations long gone.
Others see an old pair of doll shoes. However, I see a little girl trying to remember where she left them and crying because her baby’s feet are cold. Furthermore, some people see just a flower. However, I see the elderly widow, wishing for just one more bouquet. Overall, it’s the story, real or imagined, that inspires me.
What is your favorite subject to shoot?
Oh, how would I ever choose? There is beauty wherever I look. If I have to pick just one, I’d have to say the Columbia River Gorge.
It’s my home, and the beauty is ever changing. Just a shift in the light or a change in season and everything looks different. You have to experience it for yourself.
How did you get into photography?
My parents bought me my first camera, a Kodak Instamatic, when I was 8 years old. I was hooked! At 10, I got a Polaroid.
How fun was that to see the pictures instantly! My next camera was a Ricoh 35 millimeter, I was in heaven. I took pictures of everything. Then life happened, two kids, an alcoholic husband, work and a drug addiction. Photography took a back seat. I got my life together, raised my children and started thinking about pictures again. Before, I lost my camera to the disease of addiction, so I started taking pictures with my phone. Instantly, I was hooked again. I got my first DSLR camera for Christmas. I’m enjoying learning how to use it!
What worthy tips can you give other drivers who like shooting from the road?
If you are shooting on the fly, a fast shutter speed is your best bet. If you use a cell phone, find the manual settings for the camera on it and play with them. Learn what they do. Learn to read the light and adjust the exposure accordingly. Most importantly, just have fun. Shoot what moves you.
What should a picture do?
A picture should transport the viewers to another place and time. It should convey a feeling, tell a story, record a memory. I want people to feel what I felt, wonder what I wondered and imagine the stories of the people who lived in that old house. I want my pictures to make you smile, cry, think and most of all, experience life through my eyes.
All photos by Tempie Davie. See her photos on Facebook here.
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