Byron Dudley was born in Boston, Mass in 1964, and grew up both in the suburbs of N.J. and in the Bed Sty section of Brooklyn N.Y. He moved to Eugene, Oregon in 1984 to run track and x-country at the University of Oregon.
In 1995 I began life as an over the road truck driver.
I did so to de-shelf, reorganize, and reinvent my life, myself to find some solitude and time to reflect. I never imagined I would drive over a million miles and in doing so rediscover myself and my first passion producing works of art.
My identity, prior was that of a distance runner, Tri-athlete, and Martial Artist (Aikidoka). These are still integral parts of who I am. Yet my focus has gradually transitioned into that of a Fine Art Photographer. Now I am a Visual Artist and Martial Artist, yet still an artist.
Initially I work from the bunk of my truck.
I drove for two years at a stretch with my belongings in storage. Then I’d rent an apartment for several months and immerse myself in photographic Projects or travel overseas. My trucking stretches comprised four to twelve weeks of driving, interspersed with three to six days off often in my rig. My time off spent at places like Glacier, The Tetons, Banff, or the Pacific Crest Trail.
One of the challenges of living as a trucker/photographer is being unable to pull over and capture the moment. To view minute by minute, hour by hour,
day after day situations I will never be able to capture or interpret is difficult. In retrospect I think how many times was I unable to perceive scenes the way I do now? Those times those scenes are lost forever. There still there but like cloud formations never quite the same as before or ever again.
I traverseed the country covering 600-700 miles per day. I was connected to the land superficially in a distant, a foreign way; this landscape this scenery was more a place to work out, observe, and explore. Yet over time I began to sense a connection with the landscape as it changed from season to season. Until eventually I became enthralled by it, anticipating and predicting its seasonal changes.
This evolution came about from years of getting from behind the windshield of my rig; by acquiring a first foot intimate interaction with the land. This connection built over a decade of walking, hiking, sleeping, camping, biking, running, and finally capturing just a little of the lands superficial essence, my re-creation of not just what I saw but what I felt, and sensed.
After over a million miles of trucking I moved to Ashland in the summer of 2008. By the end of the year I completed my book “One Million Miles -A Visual Memoir”.
Byron L. Dudley