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Driver Chris Jackson captures moments of beauty on the road
Chris Jackson • Driving for 1 year • Fontana, Calif.
I always loved taking pictures. I wanted to get into photography right out of high school, but saw that job opportunities for photographers were scarce. I decided to just do it as a hobby. I would drive aimlessly every few days, and head up to the desert or the mountains and just start taking pictures.
I worked at a few different jobs, and after looking over career options chose trucking. I always thought driving a big truck was cool and I wanted to see different sights so I decided to get my CDL and give it a try.
The first time in the truck with my trainer was pretty amazing. I was out for nine weeks and saw most of the United States in that time. I had visited Colorado and Massachusetts for family visits but never traveled over the open road. I saw all the natural beauty in the country.
I was blown away by what I saw.
Where I live in Orange County there are no bridges and I have always been fascinated by old architecture. Driving over the Arkansas River, I’d see these amazing pieces of architecture — these bridges that I was driving over, so I would take pictures of those. Driving through Utah I was awed by the scenery of Devil’s Canyon. The color of the rocks — you would pay to get that kind of intense color on a canvas. The beauty of all the places I’ve been able to encounter as a driver just blows my mind.
It can even be something simple. Driving through the desert in Arizona, I’ll encounter a thunderstorm and see the sunset line in the storm. If you are in the right place at the right time, you can fully appreciate nature once you really start observing. I’ve got a case of Attention Deficit Disorder and look everywhere. I always take in everything around me.
I get to see a lot of cool things on the road, in different states and different climates. And so I take advantage of it and take pictures of everything. My favorite kinds of pictures are time-exposure shots at night or of nature in general. I never plan my photos. It’s always on a whim.
I met another trucker who takes photos and she was selling them to some outlets, like weather.com. I was intrigued by that and looked into getting my own photos published. I took one of a Ferris wheel at night that was published in the Orange County Register newspaper.
Driving a truck, I love the opportunity to be somewhere different every day. I’ve always enjoyed being sporadic and that’s what I like about trucking. When I come back after being at home, I don’t even know where I’m going until I get my load information. I like not knowing where I’ll be next. It’s great to just take off to random places and get paid for it.