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How to get Your Truck into Diesel Power

Blow-Off

May 18, 2015
Photographers: Sierra Medina
One of the questions we hear the most from the readers of Diesel Power is, “How do I get my diesel into the magazine?” Our editor, KJ Jones, has some simple (and completely free) requirements for us showing off a vehicle: “It has to be cool, the photo has to look good, and we need complete information.”
Photo Staging
Think of your Readers’ Diesels photo submission like a picture for the high school yearbook: You’ve got one chance to look your best. To help your diesel-powered vehicle look great, it’s worth your time to set up your own personal photo shoot with a good location, sufficient lighting, and a clean background. Try to find a setting free of distractions in the background such as other vehicles, buildings, signs, telephone poles, power lines, trash cans, and so on—it’s well worth your time. If you set aside a whole afternoon on a clear day to find a spot with a good background, you’ll still have plenty of time to set up and get lots of photos before sunset, and take plenty—digital photos don’t cost a dime. Your “spot” could be anything from a wide-open meadow to an alley behind a supermarket with a west-facing brick wall. No joke!
Photo 2/3   |   This ’07 Dodge Ram 2500 owned by Cole Batt is in Diesel Power thanks to their submissions, which included good photos and a complete list of upgrades. See page TKTK for all this month’s Readers’ Diesels, and then send in your own submission. What are you waiting for!?
Light it Up
For lighting, our best advice is to have the sun at your back as you take the photo, which means the truck will be “fully lit,” as long as shadows (including your own) don’t get in the way. Unless you’ve got something special to show off (such as a custom flatbed or a massive trailer)—or you’re taking an action shot from the side (such as going down a racetrack)—shooting your diesel to show the entire front along with one full side (known as a front three-quarter photo) usually looks best.
Focus!
Believe it or not, many, many vehicles have missed the cut to be in Diesel Power because the photos submitted were completely out of focus. Think of your camera/phone like a target pistol, which needs to be held completely steady with a trigger that’s operated smoothly—not tapped forcefully. A light touch works best because your motions won’t be transferred into the image that’s being captured. You can quickly check the focus of your pictures by zooming in on the lines and edges of the vehicle to see if they are blurry.
Camera Settings and File Sizes
Sending us a digital photo file by email makes things much easier for our art director, Mark Snyder—and you don’t want to see him angry. To keep him happy, please set your camera or phone to the highest resolution so it captures the biggest photos possible, and then send us the original file (not a copy-and-paste from Facebook, Instagram, or another online service that reduces resolution to conserve space). Mark wants every single pixel you have, and ideally your picture will measure at least 5x6 inches at 300 dpi. If you don’t have a program that shows the resolution information, he says a good rule of thumb is, “If the file is less than 1MB in size, it probably won’t work.”
Photo 3/3   |   This ’82 Dodge W350 owned by Ashley Gyman is in Diesel Power thanks to their submissions, which included good photos and a complete list of upgrades. See page TKTK for all this month’s Readers’ Diesels, and then send in your own submission. What are you waiting for!?
Complete Information
Your submission will be edited no matter what you turn in. No offense, but KJ likes to quote one saying (and book title) coined by his first editor, Larry McCoy: “Everyone Needs an Editor.” The more “clean” your submission is, the more likely it is to be used. In addition to filling out all the slots in the list below, we need to know the brand name and model name of each upgrade installed, and if it’s a custom job, tell us who did the work so they get credit. Don’t forget to include the nickname of your rig if it has one, and at least two or three sentences in the “Owner says” section telling the story of your project.
From Reader to Feature
It’s not unusual for Diesel Power to use a reader-submitted diesel vehicle for a full feature article. That’s right, sometimes we find the “next big thing” right in our mailbox. Want to see your vehicle in Diesel Power? Just attach your original photo files and email all the information listed above to this address: dieselpowerrides@enthusiastnetwork.com.
Nickname:
Year/Make/Model:
Owner:
Hometown:
Engine:
Transmission:
Odometer:
Fuel Economy:
Modifications:
Owner says:
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