SOME years ago, at Alice Springs, I ran across a long- haired, longer-bearded ZZ Top-lookalike.
All that could be seen of his face was a ready smile and a twinkle in the eyes.
Robbie (Dingo) Rose was a truck driver for McColl's Transport where he had been since leaving school in 1988.
We got yakking and he informed me that his favourite party trick was to jack-knife six B-doubles side-by-side with barely a couple of feet between each.
At the time he had a camera in his hand. When I made mention of this he responded simply, "I like taking pictures of trucks."
In subsequent meetings Dingo's hair got shorter and the beard disappeared, but a camera was always in his hand.
Curiosity got the better of me and I decided to take a look at his photographic work.
Now, in this day and age it seems relatively easy to take a good pic.
Technology allows us to take hundreds of photos,
download them onto the laptop, wade through them and keep the two or three that come out okay.
It's only when you look at photos such as those taken by Dingo that you realise that good, indeed great photography is still an art form that requires a good degree of natural talent, an eye for layout and detail and years of practice.
"I always enjoyed taking truck photos, going back to the days of film cameras," Dingo said.
"Working from McColl's, I never had to wait for a truck show to practise my photography.
"I just wandered around the depot taking pics of the fleet all washed and lined-up. I never realised it at the time but the photos I took back then would become an archive of classic McColl's pics that will never be seen again.
"About five years ago I upgraded to a DSLR camera.
"Going to just about every Victorian truck show, it saved me a fortune not having to get my films developed."
And he has never had any formal training in photography. "I was just a keen happy snapper. One day the Klos brothers invited me to take photos of some trucks they were building.
Being an artist, Justin Klos taught me to think outside the box when it came to creating an image worthy of hanging on the wall. 'Always try and make the photo epic!' He was my greatest critic.
"I ended up with a catalogue of over 10,000 photos so we had a coffee table book printed of cool Klos Custom Trucks.
"Last year I spent a couple of months in America doing an entire lap of the country taking truck photographs.
"The management at McColl's are very supportive of my photography and are always changing rosters to allow me time off to attend truck shows and the like."
A few years ago, in the ZZ Top days, Robbie uploaded a video to YouTube of a job resume under the name DingosGotMyBaby.
The video showcased his gear changing, ability to manoeuvre B-doubles and backing up a B-triple.
Apparently he was the first person in the world to come up with the idea of a video resume and the story was covered by a local newspaper. That video started a frenzy of job recruiting agencies, overseas magazines and TV stations e-mailing him requesting interviews.
It led to his first gig taking photos for a Swedish trucking magazine. To date that video has had over 1.2 million views.
Dingo says he hasn't any real plans to become a full-time photographer but just to keep it as an enjoyable hobby.
That would be a shame given his innate creative talent. There must be many proud truck owners out there who would pay to have extraordinary photos taken of their pride and joy.
- Check out the You Tube video and go to Dingo's Facebook page (Robbie Rose) to check out the undeniable talents of "just another truckie."
- Robbie can be contacted on dingosgotmybaby @hotmail.com