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Readers Rides Photo Submission Tips

Posted in Features on February 1, 2008
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Photographers: The Readers of 4-Wheel & Off-Road

Petersen's 4-Wheel & Off-Road is without question the world's largest off-road magazine created by four-wheel enthusiasts for four-wheel enthusiasts. We are here for you, and we love putting photos of your amazing rides in the magazine. Every week we receive hundreds of photo submissions for our Readers' Rides section of the magazine. Some are really good and, yes, some are really bad. Unfortunately a great majority of submissions go directly to our e-mail electronic Dumpster because we just can't use them.

Readers' Rides photo class is now in session! We are going to give you some hot tips on how to up the chances of getting your beloved 4x4 in Readers' Rides. The tips are simple, common sense, and nothing out of the ordinary. Follow these tips to a T and you'll greatly increase the chances of finding your beast grace the pages of Petersen's. Good luck and we look forward to your Readers' Rides submissions.

This is the kind of Readers' Ride photo we are looking for. Ryan Pecot of Lafayette, Louisiana, sent us this high-resolution image of his '96 TJ on the trail. Ryan also included an easy-to-read Word document with the Jeep's build specs and his full contact information.

Kenny from Anytown, USA, sent us this image of his Avalanche. OK, it's a good-looking ride but there is no action. We like dirt, mud, rocks, and gravel. Plus we really don't run any show-quality vehicles! We also didn't receive any contact information other than a phone number. As much as we would love to chat with you, Kenny, we just don't have the time.

Larry and Ele Watson from St. George, Utah, sent us an image of their very cool '64 CJ-5. We greatly appreciate the effort, but would have really preferred a photo of the old CJ spinning around in the mud puddle that coated the side of the ride.

Oh ya, we would love to haul parts around in this comfortable-looking '06 Chevy Silverado. This is a luxury ride compared to our vehicles. Hot tip: Think trail action. We like it and we need it! Thanks for the photo, Steve.

There are exceptions to the action rule. This is a cool bunch of Samurais and a great bunch of off-road enthusiasts having a good time. This is not a Sammy club but just friends from the small town of Hume Lake, California, who got together for a trail run. What the photo shows us is a wide array of Samurais of various ages with their owners. The photo tip here would be to watch the shadows. The large shadow on the left almost ruined the photo. It's easy to move vehicles around to avoid shadow problems. This photo had a good backdrop and was shot with the sun to the photographer's back.

1. OK, this is just plain common sense: Don't shoot your ride in the driveway. How many vehicles have you seen in Readers' Rides that were sitting in a driveway? Probably not many! It may be the coolest ride in the world, but we won't run it. Keep this thought in mind-we love action.

2. We realize that many photo submissions are taken out on the trail and on the fly, but try and keep the sun to your back and the background clean! If there are people, work trucks, Dumpsters, houses, 7-Elevens, and reclamations plants sitting in the background, your photos more than likely won't make it in the magazine unless we are going to poke fun at you. If you are photographing your vehicle specifically for Readers' Rides, spend a little time finding an area with a good backdrop and some sort of obstacles you can twist your ride up on.

3. The best time to photograph your vehicle is in the early morning or late afternoon. We'll tell you again: Keep the sun to your back. This means that 99 percent of the vehicle will be well lit by the sun-this is a good thing if it's not too bright out. We understand shooting in these conditions can't always be accomplished, so just watch the positioning of the sun and move around to minimize the glare spots and dark shadows on the vehicle.

4. We need your photos and vehicle information submitted to us in the easiest format possible. Digital photos should be at least 1600 by 1200 pixels (or two megapixels) and in a TIFF, EPS, or preferably a JPEG file saved with maximum quality (minimum compression). A description of your vehicle should be clearly typed in the e-mail or on a Word document with all your contact information.

5. Make it easy for us to open your photos and text. Do not e-mail us a Web link and the directions for us to somehow find your photos on a Web site that will leave us scratching our heads. Don't send us a home-published article with the photos and vehicle information combined. Due to our very limited time and short production schedules, we need to be able to quickly and easily process your photo submissions.

6. Also include the correct information. The description of your vehicle should include:
* Owner (name, city, state)#
* Vehicle (Year, make, model)
* Tires and wheels (size, make, model)
* Suspension (lift, springs, shocks)
* Drivetrain (tranny, transfer case, axles)
* Performance (engine)
* List other modifications
* Does it work the way you want?
* Anything you would like to change?
* Funniest wheeling incident
* Anything to add?

E-mail your submissions to:
Mail your submissions to: Readers' Rides, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, 6420 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048-5515

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