AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHER: Karl Black is the truckie behind Black Thunder Photography.
AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHER: Karl Black is the truckie behind Black Thunder Photography. Karl Black

He drives them and he loves to take photos of them

WITH a disposable Kodak in his hands, nine-year-old Karl Black took his first happy snaps of a truck.

He can't remember what exactly the photo looked like or whose truck it was, but it marked the beginning of a love affair with both the trucking industry and photography.

He kept taking photos, mostly of trucks driving up and down the road or on a highway and after finishing school, he tried a couple of jobs before deciding that what he really wanted to be was a truck driver.

So he snapped up a job, starting out as a local driver in 2007.

He started climbing the ranks and upgrading his licence.

Now, he's a driver for Emerald Carrying Co, driving trucks to and from the Bowen Basin coal mines, a position he's held for the last five years.

"It came a bit out of left field,” he said of his career.

"My parents weren't truck drivers but my uncle owned trucks.”

Karl said he loved the freedom of being a truck driver and he loved the flexibility his job gave him to also focus on his love of truck photography.

Karl said he'd just been taking photographs of trucks in his spare time but it wasn't until 2016 that his wife Steph suggested creating a Facebook page to share them with other like-minded people.

So Black Thunder Photography was born.

"I had all of these photos hidden away and she suggested a Facebook page and she just went away and did it,” he said.

"I'd call it a hobby, I'm an amateur.

"It started as just a bit of fun to show off a bit about what I do and it's just grown from there.

"Now people are ringing up and asking (for me) to take their photos.”

Karl said a lot of owner drivers contacted him to take shots of their trucks but he also did work for various trucking companies from time to time.

He said as well as photographing owner driver's trucks, he enjoyed shooting oversize trucks and at his home near Mackay he was in a good spot to catch them.

As well as sharing his photos online on Facebook, Karl also started selling calendars featuring his work.

"They started out as a collection of my own images and now people are asking to be featured.”

Karl said the whole experience had been incredibly humbling and satisfying to find out how much people loved his photography - with some even hanging his images on their walls at home.

As for what's the next step? Karl said he was keen on getting a drone.

He encouraged others who had photography aspirations to also follow their dreams.

"I never thought that this would be happening. It's pretty mind-blowing.”

You can see Karl's photos by searching for Black Thunder Photography on Facebook and Instagram.

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