July outtakes: Knee high by the 4th of July

We’re well past the halfway point pf 2019 and into the backstretch of the year. Here are some of my favorites from July.

(7/8/19)
Oakland Athletics pitcher Sean Manaea, who has been injured since September, has his form captured in a multiple exposure photo as he delivers a pitch against the Visalia Rawhide while on a rehab assignment with the Stockton Ports at the Stockton Ballpark. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 200-400mm @ 330mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200)

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(7/9/19)
San Joaquin County Sheriff’s deputies arrest homicide suspect Alejandro Ruvacalba after an hours long standoff situation at the La Quinta Inn on March Lane and I-5 in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 200-400mm w/1.7 extender @ 650mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 640)

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(7/10/19)
San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow hands out a soda to a customer at the drive thru window during the Slushies with the Sheriff event at the McDonalds on Waterloo Road in east Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 92mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

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(7/11/19)
Liz Schuler sings with the band Haywired during a performance at the Sounds of Swenson concert at Swenson Park in Stockton. The concert series happens at the park every second Thursday during the summer months starting a 5:00 p.m. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4. ISO: 200)

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(7/12/19)
Crystal Stewart and her 5-year-old niece Emma Grace cool off while playing on a waterslide at the City of Stockton’s Free Water Play event at the Weber Point Events Center in downtown Stockton. The event, which preceded the city’s Movies at the Point, featured 3 inflatable water slides for children of all ages to cool down from the mid-90 degree summer temperatures. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 58mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 400)

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(7/18/19)
Fourteen-year-old Ariana Surgeon of Stockton, left, and her 7-year-old cousin Dancia Sarraraz of red Bluff ride the Sizzler ride at the Stockton Police Chaplaincy Child Safety Fair and Carnival at the Sherwood Mall in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/800th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

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(7/19/19)
Audience member Tracie Chaney of Stockton sings along with duo known as the Killer Dueling Pianos during their 3-hour long performance at the Brickwalk in Lincoln Center in Stockton. The duo performed audience-requested crowd-pleasing pop songs in an interactive concert. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm w/1.7 extender @ 340mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

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(7/23/19)
Instructor Valerie Gnassounou-Bynoe, center, leads a group of dancers in a pop-up African dance class at the Delta College’s dance studio held in conjunction with California’s Day of Dance. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/4. ISO: 3200)

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(7/26/19)
Six-year-old Andrea Magaña of Lodi cools off in the fountain in the wading pool area during Free Friday at Lodi Lake Beach. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/`000th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200)

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(7/30/19)
72-year-old Gwyndell Holloway of Stockton served with the Army in Vietnam from 1966 to 1969 and he also received 2 Purple Hearts. In November of 1967, after being in Vietnam for 6 months, he was out on an listening post with 3 other men to find out where the enemy was. When they were out patrolling at about 2:00 a.m., the main force was attacked by about 1,800 North Vietnamese Army troops. Caught in no man’s land, U.S. gunships and heavy artillery were firing on their position as well as taking enemy fire. A round exploded near his squad which killed one of Holloway’s patrol mates and wounded another. The remaining soldiers retreated to a river which they had crossed earlier. Holloway was hit in the back by some shrapnel. The fighting was so fierce that he wasn’t sure if it was from an enemy round or from friendly fire. Holloway was pulled from the river by one of his artillery men. It took him about 3 weeks to recover from his wounds and returned to his unit. With 29 days left in his tour in Vietnam, Holloway was in base camp when there was a mortar/rocket attack on the base. He caught a round to the back of the head. He suffered a traumatic brain injury but remarkably he recovered after about a month and was returned to service and finished out his enlistment stateside.
(Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/60th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 6400)

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Readers Photo Challenge: Mellow yellow

The color yellow is the subject of the latest Readers Photo Challenge. Some of the images entered were almost entirely yellow and others just used the color as an accent. Some found bright and bold colors while others used a more subtle hue. While yellow is sometimes considered the color of cowardice, our readers didn’t chicken out. Nearly half of the people who entered did it for the first time. Twenty-nine readers sent in 141 photos. Here are some of the top examples.

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Francisco Perez of Stockton passed by a field of wild mustard near Wilson Way and Highway 99 in Stockton several times. Inspired by it’s vibrant yellow color, he asked his cousin Lucia Perez to pose for him. With a Canon EOS 5D Mk III DSLR camera he photographed her dressed in a sun dress and a wide-brimmed hat looking comfortable and natural as she’s surrounded by the lush yellow and green of the plants.

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Justin Van Meter of Stockton used an Apple iPhone XS to photograph a sunset reflected in a puddle on Venetian Drive in Stockton.

Justin Van Meter of Stockton used an Apple iPhone XS to photograph the sunset but not in the usual way. He spotted a puddle along Venetian Drive in Stockton. The setting sun turned the wisps of clouds to a yellow-gold hue. He got his phone to expose just for the bright sky leaving the ground dark through a manual camera app on his phone and processed the image through Adobe Lightroom. The result is an abstract photo that looks like you’re looking though a portal into another world.

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Katie Allyn of Stockton used a Samsung Galaxy S10+ smartphone to photograph praying mantis on a truncated domes pad at a crosswalk near the Lowes Home Improvement on Trinity Parkway in Stockton

You know those yellow pads with the small bumps at street corners? They’re called truncated domes and they alert visually impaired pedestrians of a street or a sudden drop off. Katie Allyn of Stockton used one in her photo. With a Samsung Galaxy S10+ she photographed a praying mantis against the repeating pattern of its bumps and bright yellow of the pad against the contrasting green of the insect to bring focus to the bug itself.

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Janet Baniewich of Stockton used an Apple iPhone 8 to photograph a bee searching for nectar on a Shasta daisy at Washington Lavender farms in Sequim, Washington.

While on a trip to the Washington Lavender Farms near Sequim, Washington, Janet Baniewich of Stockton kept her eye out for things other than lavender. A Shasta daisy caught her eye and with her Apple iPhone 8 she photographed a bee climbing on the yellow center of the flower.

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Teresa Mauhnken of Morada used a Nikon D7200 DSLR camera to photograph sunflowers and an old Dodge pickup truck in Linden.

Morada resident Teresa Mahnken’s photo has a large part that’s yellow but also some yellow accents as well. She found an old Dodge pickup truck at a farm in Linden. With a Nikon D7200 DSLR camera she captured the setting sun casting everything in yellow, especially the dirty windshield of the old truck. The blue/green of the truck compliments nicely with the yellow hue and small sunflowers maker some nice yellow accents.

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Mike Ratekin of French Camp used a Canon EOS 5D Mk III to photograph a lifeguard relay competition in Laguna Beach.

On a trip to Laguna Beach in southern California, Mike Ratekin of French Camp watched a lifeguard relay competition. With his Canon EOS 5D Mk III DSLR camera he captured one of the lifeguard as he rode a wave back to shore on his surfboard. The bright yellow of his camp and the board stood out brightly against the paler blue-green of the water and the white foam of the surf.

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Naomi Schwinn of Stockton used a Motorola Droid Turbo phone to photograph her own feet on a an abandoned dilapidated squirt gun in the gutter on Del Rio Avenue in Stockton.

There’s a whole genre of photography that concerns itself with urban decay. Naomi Schwinn of Stockton used a Motorola Droid Turbo phone to photograph her own feet on a an abandoned dilapidated squirt gun as it lay broken and dirty in the gutter on Del Rio Avenue in Stockton. It’s yellow plastic, faded by the sun, blends in with the dust and debris in a pale tribute to what once was.

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Susan Scott of Stockton used a Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR camera to photograph a yellow-eyed neighborhood cat near her home.

Susan Scott of Stockton used a Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR camera to photograph a neighborhood cat as it sat on her fence. It’s bright yellow eyes seemed to glow against its own tortoise shell-colored fur as it stared at Scott.

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Sydney Spurgeon of Stockton used a Nikon D750 DSLR camera to photograph 6-year-old Luca Verduzco-Weisel wearing flower glasses.

Stockton resident Sydney Spurgeon’s photo of 6-year-old Luca Verduzco-Weisel is a portrait of fun and whimsey. She used a Nikon D750 DSLR camera to photograph the girl as she makes a silly face and looks at the world through a pair of yellow daisy sunglasses.

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Donn Sperry of Stockton used a Sony Alpha NEX-7 digital mirrorless camera to photograph the sunrise over Brookside Lake in Stockton.

Donn Sperry of Stockton used a Sony Alpha NEX-7 digital mirrorless camera to photograph the sunrise over Brookside Lake near his home in Stockton. The trees and neighboring houses are silhouetted against a yellow-infused sky which is also reflected in the lake’s waters. A duck swimming in the lower right corner of the frame makes for a nice accent to the scene.

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All of the photos can be seen in an online gallery at recordnet.com. A new challenge assignment will be issued on Aug. 27.

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National Purple Heart Day honors wounded vets

(7/30/19)
Ron Alt, left, Gwyndell Holloway, Larry Yepez, Tino Adame, Joseph Maes, and Frank Wright are area veterans who have received Purple Hear medals [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Aug. 7 is National Purple Heart Day.
It was originally created by Gen. George Washington to commemorate meritorious service during the Revolutionary War but fell into disuse after the war, according to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
It was revived by Gen. Douglas McArthur on the Washington’s 200th birthday in 1932 to commemorate bravery. During World War II it was changed to honor those who were killed or wounded in battle. Although the Pentagon doesn’t track the number of Purple Hearts or type of injuries, an estimated 1.8 million medals have been awarded.
Recently, San Joaquin County Purple Heart recipients recounted the stories of how they were wounded.

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Frank Wright, Stockton

(7/30/19)
94-year-old Frank Wright of Stockton, a retired Marine, was wounded twice during WWII. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

94-year-old Frank Wright of Stockton received two Purple Hearts for wounds he sustained as a Marine during WWII. Wright served from 1942 to 1946. When he enlisted, he lied to the recruiters. He said he was 17, but was only 16 at the time. He was first wounded in Guam in February 1944 when he was assigned to the 3rd Marine Division.
During his first battle with that unit they fended off a “banzai” charge from the enemy. “I won that one,” Wright said.  A few nights later they were charged again by a force of about 400 soldiers.
“I shot as many as I could before I ran out of ammunition,” Wright said. “I lost that one. I got stuck in the stomach (with a bayonet).”
When he was stabbed he fell backwards into his foxhole. The enemy fell along with him and Wright grabbed his knife and killed him with it. They remained in the hole for the rest of the night. It took him about a month to recover from his wounds and return to fight.
In March 1945, Wright was then attached to the 21st Marine 3rd Division, a floating reserve for the 4th and 5th Divisions at Iwo Jima. His regiment was ordered to attack Hill 382. They charged the hill four times and on the fifth attempt, Wright was sprayed with machine-gun fire. The was hit in the chest and arm. He was evacuated from the battlefield eventually to be discharged and recover stateside.

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Larry Yepez, Stockton

(7/30/19)
Larry Yepez of Stockton served with the Marines in Vietnam from 1966 to 1969. He was wounded bring a battle in Da Nang in the DMZ on July 29, 1967. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Larry Yepez of Stockton served with the Marines in Vietnam from 1966 to 1969. He was wounded during a battle in Da Nang in the DMZ on July 29, 1967. He was a part of a battalion sent into fight 3 regiments of North Vietnamese Army battle-hardened soldiers.
They dug in and waited for an attack. The morning of the 29th was his squad leader’s birthday so they had a small cake for him and they sang Happy Birthday. Then the first mortar and rocket fire started raining down on them.
From that moment on they fought all day and into the night. The Marines tried to break out in small groups. When it was Yepez’s turn he took off running but was shot in the arm and fell. He could see the bullets hitting the ground around him. The medic couldn’t get to him because of he was under heavy fire. Yepez got up and started running again. This time he was hit in the foot.
Thinking that he had just tripped and fallen, Yepez jumped back up and ran some more. Then a rocket round hit behind him. The explosion embedded shrapnel in his back and threw him into the air. After he landed he was enveloped in a cloud of smoke. At first he thought they were some heavenly clouds, then a pair of hands of a fellow Marine appeared through the smoke grabbed him by his flak jacket and pulled him behind a nearby tank.
With his adrenaline pumping, Yepez didn’t feel the pain of his wounds so they ran to a landing zone for evacuation. The medivac helicopters were taking too much fire for the wounded to be moved by air, so they were loaded onto tanks.
As the tank moved out, Yepez heard the rounds pinging off the tank’s armor. He grabbed his fellow Marine, jumped off and rolled into a bomb crater. The tank rolled over a hill, got hit with a rocket and exploded. Yepez spent the night in the crater with about 20 wounded men. They were rescued the next morning reinforcements arrived. As he was airlifted from the battlefield he could see the ground covered with the bodies of the fallen.

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Gwyndell Holloway, Stockton

(7/30/19)
72-year-old Gwyndell Holloway of Stockton served with the Army in Vietnam from 1966 to 1969 and he also received 2 Purple Hearts. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

72-year-old Gwyndell Holloway of Stockton served with the Army in Vietnam from 1966 to 1969 and he also received two Purple Hearts. In November 1967, after being in Vietnam for 6 months, he was out on a listening post with three other men to find out where the enemy was. When they were out patrolling about 2 a.m., the main base was attacked by about 1,800 North Vietnamese Army troops.

Holloway and his comrades were caught in no man’s land. They recovered fire from U.S. gunships and heavy artillery as well as taking enemy fire. A round exploded near his squad which killed one of Holloway’s patrol mates and wounded another.

The remaining soldiers retreated to a river which they had crossed earlier. Holloway was hit in the back by some shrapnel. The fighting was so fierce that he wasn’t sure if it was from an enemy round or from friendly fire. Holloway was pulled from the river by one of the artillery men. It took him about 3 weeks to recover from his wounds and returned to his unit.
With 29 days left in his tour in Vietnam, Holloway was in base camp when there was a mortar/rocket attack. He caught a round to the back of the head but survived. He suffered a traumatic brain injury but remarkably he recovered after about a month and was returned to service and finished out his enlistment stateside.

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Ron Alt, Stockton

(7/30/19)
74-year-old Ron Alt served in the Marines 1964 to 1971 with the 1st, 5th and 26th Division of the Marines in Vietnam. He was wounded twice. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

74-year-old Ron Alt served in the Marines 1964 to 1971 with the 1st, 5th and 26th Division of the Marines in Vietnam. He was wounded twice.
The first time was in 1966 during a battle near Da Nang where his unit was forcing the enemy back towards a river to try to sandwich them between U.S. Forces on the other side of the river. Alt was standing next to tank when was shot in the arm. Then the tank ran over a landmine, blowing off its track and giving Alt a concussion. After 2 months of recuperation he was sent back to his unit.

The 2nd time was in 1966 in Khe Sanh he was on his way back from an afternoon patrol when they let their guard down and were ambushed. Of the 12 that were in the patrol, only 4 made it out.
Alt was shot and a colleague started to carry him out but was shot in the back. They fell near the base of some trees. The enemy were shooting the fallen Marines so they laid still and pretended to be dead.
Army helicopters came to their rescue and chased the enemy away. Both of Alt’s legs and arms were broken from bullet wounds as was his shoulder blade. He also sustained wounds to his face and neck. He and the other wounded were evacuated to a field hospital and the to the U.S.S. Hope medical ship, then on to Japan for two months of recovery. He was finally sent back to the States for more operations and recuperation.

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Joseph Maes, Stockton

(7/30/19)
Joesph Maes served in the Army in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969. On November 18, 1968. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]


Joseph Maes served in the Army in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969. On Nov. 18, 1968, he and his patrol of about 20 soldiers were on their way back to base after looking for ambushes when the point man of the group triggered a mine. Maes took shrapnel to the arm, leg and stomach. When he regained consciousness, he found himself at the bottom of a bomb crater. The area was so infiltrated with the enemy that he couldn’t be rescued right away, Maes was wounded about 7 a.m and wasn’t rescued until 10 p.m. It took him 2 weeks to recover and be returned to his unit.

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Tino Adame, Stockton

(7/30/19)
Tino Adame served with the “Hotel” company 29, 3rd Marine Division and was wounded in Vietnam on November 16, 1966. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]


Tino Adame served with the “Hotel” company 29, 3rd Marine Division and was wounded in Vietnam on Nov. 16, 1966. He was on a patrol with about platoon of about 50 men when they walked into a “horseshoe” ambush.
During the battle a corpsman came up to him and said that he was hit in the ankle. Adame hadn’t felt the wound at first. A medivac helicopter was called in but as it tried to land it took fire and crashed.
A fellow Marine saw Adame on the ground and picked him up and carried him to another landing zone. He was finally evacuated to Da Nang where he was treated then received a medical discharge.

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Yepez says that the effects of his wounds follow him to this day. When treating him, doctors said that he might lose his forearm. They operated and managed to save it but his hand was twisted into a gnarled claw. Through painful physical therapy he was able to regain motion in that hand. To this day he has to carefully stretch his hand every morning to maintain its use.

Holloway says he suffered from nightmares and flashbacks when he returned home from the war. They’ve lessened over time but if he sees a war movie on tv, the horrible memories of war return.

Each to the men give praise and credit to their spouses for understanding and helping them get through their pain and difficulties.

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Seeing the light

Is there a difference between the exposure of a good picture and a bad one? The answer is no.

(9/27/15)
Sert Keo of Stockton takes in a fiery sunset from the Weber Point Events Center in downtown Stockton. Ken is bathed in the last bits of the sunset at the end of the day. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

The making of an exposure is a purely technical thing. Whether you set your camera manually or if you put it on automatic, the process is the same. The ISO (light sensitivity) is set. From there the aperture (the lens opening that lets the light in) is determined as is the shutter speed (the amount of time that light hits the sensor). It’s known as the exposure triangle and it’s used to capture a quantity of light.

(12/1/07) An early morning frost covers a leaf at Don Notoli Park in Elk Grove. The early morning light has a warm tone.[CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

So, if the mechanics of capturing light is the same between good and bad, what sets them apart? The answer is quality of light.

(11/18/17)
The morning sun lights up a fallen leaf at Oak Grove Regional Park in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

When someone first learns about photography and the exposure triangle they’re so concerned about the amount of light and how to use their camera to record it, that they don’t really think about how the quality of light is more important to the photo.

(3/29/16)
Lemuel Timbreza, 19, of Stockton casts a long shadow from the low evening sun while practicing his guitar on the brick labyrinth at the Weber Point Events Center in downtown Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]
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I go on and on about how you should take your photos either in the early morning or late afternoon. That’s when the light is the best. The light from a a sun that’s directly overhead can create harsh shadows for portraits and boring illumination for landscapes. The morning/afternoon light comes in a shallow angle and helps to fill-in the shadows. Noonday light can make even the most majesty mountain look flat and ho-hum. A low-angled sun can give depth and a 3-dimensionality to your photo. I addition, the light from those morning/afternoon hours give a warmer and more pleasing tone.

(4/19/19)
Erica Standifer reads aloud a passage from the Bible as a parts of a Good Friday observance at the First Baptist Church in Stockton. A fill-flash technique is used to help illuminate the reader against the brighter light coming from the background. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

So, if the only time you have to take a portrait is at noon are you stuck? Not necessarily. Try moving your subject into the shade. The light will be more even and softer. You can also provide your own light by using a flash. The technique is called fill-flash or flash fill, but the idea is to use your flash during the day to help fill in the severe, unwanted shadows under the eyes, nose and chin.

(7/8/19)
Oakland Athletics pitcher Sean Manaea delivers a pitch against the Visalia Rawhide while on a rehab assignment with the Stockton Ports at the Stockton Ballpark. The low angle of an evening sun helps to fill in the shadows that would normally be under Manaea’s hat brim. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

If you plan to take a portrait, then schedule it for sunrise or sunset. If you’re on a sight seeing, picture-taking trip, line up you’re itinerary so that image worthy attractions are also during those prime hours.

(5/5/19)
Seven-year-old Alexa Escalera, left, and her 6-year-old cousin Valeria Escalera watch the annual El Concilio’s Cinco de Mayo parade in downtown Stockton. A fill flash technique is use to help fill in the shadows. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

My wife has found me many times playing with light. We may be at a restaurant, at a friend’s house or just walking down the street. Occasionally, I’ll reach out to see how the light plays against my hand, how it reflects off of something or what kinds of shadows are created by it. I’ll file away mental notes of what I see. It’s all a part of learning how to see the light.

(6/13/19)
Mountain House’s Elias Escobar reaches for a pass during a North team practice at Stagg High School in Stockton ahead of the Lions’ All-Star Football game in Saturday. The low angle of an evening sun helps to fill in the shadows that would normally be under Escobar’s helmet. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

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Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Follow the yellow brick road

“It is the color closest to light. In its utmost purity it always implies the nature of brightness and has a cheerful, serene, gently stimulating character. Hence, experience teaches us that yellow makes a thoroughly warm and comforting impression.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

(3/3/15) The color yellow on the walls of the La Nueva Popular furniture store compliments and contrasts with the color of a fire plug on Weber Avenue and Airport Way in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

The subject of the latest Readers Photo Challenge assignment is not a thing or and activity, but rather a color: Yellow.

(3/14/09) Wild mustard grows around a tree that’s yet to grow leaves for Spring near Wilson Way and Allen Road in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Yellow has been associated with fear or cowardice (“you yellow-bellied so-and-so”) but it can also be the color or fidelity and faithfulness (“tie a yellow ribbon ‘round the old oak tree”).

(5/2/05) A pigeon makes its nest on the yellow light of a traffic signal on Yosemite Avenue and Fremont Avenue in downtown Manteca.[CLIFFORD OTO’THE RECORD]

It is a bright color that is used for caution or warning. Many traffic signs are yellow as is crime scene tape. A yellow traffic light warns drivers of an upcoming change from green to red.

(11/16/13] Weston Ranch’s Hector Maldonado gets a yellow card during a the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV boys soccer championship at Stagg High School in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

There are many shades of yellow From the yellow lines down the middle of a road to a construction worker’s hardhat. From a canary to a bathtub rubber ducky.

(10/25/03) Chris Collins of Lodi is reflected in the still waters of the Mokelumne River as he paddles along for a leisurely cruise down the river in Lodi. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Bananas are yellow as are ripe Bartlett pears (which are in season now), pineapples and corn on the cob.

(9/16/14)
A butterfly rests on a wild sunflower growing along Highway 4 near Roberts Road in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Swallowtail butterflies, honey bees and wasps (they don’t call them yellow jackets for nothing) are yellow.

(11/30/17)
A more recently fallen yellow leaf joins its older, dried and brown brothers on the grounds at American Legion Park in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

There are a couple of ways to use a specific color effectively. You could use it as a background color and have your subject a different or contradictory color. Just the opposite is valid. Try having your subject wear or be yellow and have the background a different color. It will make your subject stand out even more.

(6/9/19) Carol Burns of Stockton makes a floral mural with flower petals while doing an Italian Infiorata art demonstration at the annual Festa Italiana at the Lodi Grape Festival grounds in Lodi. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

I like finding things to shoot when I’m out and about but that doesn’t mean that you can’t set up your photos. You can create a a still life tableau with the aforementioned bananas or pears. You can also take a portrait and have your subject wear yellow.

(6/19/19) Rocky Solorzano, with the French Camp-based Cojo Landscaping, uses a sledge hammer to pound in a 2×4 for the base of a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, known as the Moving Wall, at the Weber Point Events Center in downtown Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Whether you find something yellow on your own or introduce the color into your photos yourself, don’t chicken out, send them into the challenge

(3/30/11)
Some yellow wood sorrel grows on the banks of Lodi Lake in Lodi. [CLIFFORD OTO’THE RECORD]

How to enter:

1. Entries can be emailed to coto@recordnet.com. Type in “Yellow” in the subject line

2. Photos have to be shot between July 30 and August 13.

3. The number of photos is limited to no more than 12 per person.

4. Include your name (first and last), hometown, and the kind of device you used and where it was taken (eg.: “John Doe of Stockton. Micke Grove Park, Lodi. iPhone6s”).

5. If there is a recognizable person in the photo, please identify them (name, age, hometown) and what they are doing in the photos (eg.: “Jane Doe, 15, of Stockton, wears a bright yellow shirt as she walks his dog around Victory park in Stockton”).

6. Please feel free to include any interesting anecdotes or stories on how you took the picture.

7. The deadline for submission is August 13. The top examples will be published on August 20 with an online gallery of all the photos on the same day.

(6/14/19) The North’s Anthony Tuckwood from Stagg winds up to delivers a pitch during the All-Star Classic baseball game at San Joaquin Delta College’s Cecchetti Field in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

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Readers Photo Challenge: Upon reflection

“Reflections” is the topic of the latest Readers Photo Challenge assignment. Using a reflection in a photo gives one the unique opportunity to double the subject matter or compositional elements in the image. Like clouds in the skies? Then you an double them by having them reflected in a mirror or window. A landscape can be mirrored in a still lake or large puddle.

Fourteen readers sent in a total of 50 photos that used reflections to great effect. Here are some of the top picks.

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Mike Ratekin of French Camp used a Canon EOS 5D Mk III to photograph Sinta Jones and greg Martin of San Diego at Cathedral Lakes in Yosemite National Park.

Mike Ratekin and his wife Josephine recently took an 8-mile hike from Tioga Road to Cathedral Lakes in Yosemite National Park. At the lake they met another couple, Greg Martin and Sinta Jones from San Diego. Ratekin asked if he could take their photo to which they gladly agreed. With his Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR camera he got a photo them kissing lakeside, reflected in its still waters along with the surrounding majestic scenery.

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Oran Schwinn of Stockton used a Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera to photograph the 4th of July fireworks over McLeod Lake in downtown Stockton.

When one thinks of a reflection photo they often think of a perfect mirror image, but it doesn’t always have to be. Oran Schwinn of Stockton photographed the annual 4th of July fireworks over McLeod Lake in downtown Stockton. Using a Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera he not only captured the colorful fireworks in the sky but reflected in the waters of the lake as well. The moving water created and interesting squiggly pattern to the reflection making them as picturesque as the fireworks themselves.

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Matt Baker of Stockton used a Nikon D7500 DSLR camera to photograph his own reflection in the motorcycle helmet of Ziad Wakeel of Oakland after he’d stopped for break at the Lick Observatory at Mount Hamilton east of San Jose.

Matt Baker of Stockton found his refection and used it to make a selfie of sorts. He met Ziad Wakeel of Oakland who had stopped on a motorcycle ride to the Lick Observatory at Mount Hamilton east of San Jose. Baker got in close with his Nikon D7500 DSLRS camera to get a shot of Wakeel and himself reflected in the shiny surface of Wakeel’s visor.

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Steven Rapaport of Stockton used a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera to photograph Ryan Ellis fishing form a kayak at Cosumnes River Preserve near Thornton.

Steven Rapaport of Stockton used a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera to photograph Ryan Ellis of Sacramento fishing from a kayak at Cosumnes River Preserve near Thornton. Ellis is silhouetted by the waning light of the evening as he holds up his catch of a striped bass. I like the high angle from which the photo is shot (Rapaport was standing on a bridge over looking Ellis), subtle variations of the single blue color and the reflection of Ellis’ silhouette in the water.

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Donn Sperry of Stockton used a Sony Alpha NEX-7 mirrorless digital camera with to photograph a duck and its reflection in the waters of Brookside Lake in Stockton.

Getting a perfect reflection in a body of water can be difficult at times. Any disturbance in the surface can disrupt the reflected image. Donn Sperry of Stockton photographed a duck with a Sony Alpha NEX-7 mirrorless digital camera as it swam on the waters of Lake Brookside in Stockton. He managed to get its reflection ahead of the bow wave and the distortions in the surface that it created as swam along.

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Dave Skinner of Stockton used a Nikon 5600 DSLR camera to photograph the reflections of the water in the goggles of a water polo player during the Golden State Invitational Water Polo Competition at the St. Mary’s High School in Stockton.

Dave Skinner of Stockton used a Nikon 5600 DSLR camera to photograph the reflections of the water in the goggles of a water polo player during the Golden State Invitational Water Polo Competition at the St. Mary’s High School in Stockton.

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Dennis Buettner of Stockton used a Nikon D7500 DSLR camera to photograph the color of the setting sun reflected in the water in a retaining basin along Eight Mile Road near Golfview Road in Stockton.

Retaining basins are basically just big holes in the ground dug out to catch rain runoff. Dennis Buettner of Stockton used a Nikon D7500 DSLR camera to photograph the color of the setting sun reflected in the water in a basin along Eight Mile Road near Golfview Road in Stockton and transformed that big hole into a thing of beauty.

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Sydney Spurgeon of Stockton used a Nikon D750 DSLR camera to photograph a duck and it’s ducklings in her backyard pool.

A family of ducks took up residence in the backyard pool of Sydney Spurgeon of Stockton. She used a Nikon D750 DSLR camera to photograph the mama duck and it’s ducklings reflection in the water as they happily swam in the pool.

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All of the photos sent in can be seen at Recordnet.com. A new challenge assignment will be issued July 30.

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Of photographs and memories

On July 7, I volunteered to be one of the cashier/runners for Bingo at the Walnut Grove Buddhist Church’s annual bazaar. Even though I haven’t lived in the small Delta town for decades, I’ve gone back to help out at the church, as have many Walnut Grove expatriates, for most of my adult life.

(7/7/19) People play bingo at the Walnut Grove Buddhist Church bazaar in the Delta town of Walnut Grove. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

The bazaar is the main fundraiser for the church and bingo is a big draw, as is the delicious teriyaki chicken. The game is played for prizes not cash. As a cashier/runner I collect the the money from the players and make change. This year, between games I looked up at the prizes and saw things like toys, travel mugs, and sets of frying pans. There was one item whose picture on it’s box sent me back to when I was a kid.

(7/7/19) Randy Yen calls out the numbers during a bingo game at the Walnut Grove Buddhist Church bazaar in the Delta town of Walnut Grove. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD] [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

I was somewhere around 7 or 8 years old when I could keep track of the numbers and letters without the help of an adult. For a couple of summers I played but never won. The summer when I was about 9 or 10 the bazaar roll around again. My bachan, or grandmother, would give me money to play the kids games like fishing or scoop the duck, but that year I used it to play bingo. Once again it seemed I would go winless but finally the numbers lined up and at the top of my lungs I shouted “Bingo!” I scurried to the front where the prizes were and scanned them over. I could have gotten a toy but I decided to get something the whole family could use. I spotted a boxed set of colorful 6 glass cups and took them for my winnings.

(7/7/19) Ted Oda plays bingo at the Walnut Grove Buddhist Church bazaar in the Delta town of Walnut Grove. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

We lived only three houses down from the church, so I excitedly ran home to show my mom what I had won. In front of the neighbors house there was a patch of sidewalk that ramped up about 6 inches or so. I tripped on it and went tumbling. The box flew from my hands and landed on the cement a few feet away. I opened it and saw that all but one were shattered.

(7/7/19) An 8-piece glassware set was one of the bingo prizes at the Buddhist Church bazaar in the Delta town of Walnut Grove. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

I slowly trudged home told my mom what happened. She gave me some words of solace and welcomed the new glass to the household.

Such is the power of photographs. They have the ability to bring back memories and feelings from long ago, whether good or bad, happy or sad.

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June’s swoon: Outtakes

June featured flags, the county fair and Philippines Independence Day. Here is the month in review.

(6/6/19)
Leo De Los Reyes plays the congas as he takes advantage of the mild weather to practice with friends on various percussion instruments at Victory Park in Stockton. The group regularly gets together to practice and share rhythms with each other. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/5 w/ fill-flash. ISO: 200)

(6/7/19)
Rapper Common headlines at the Imagine Justice concert at the Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium in downtown Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4. ISO: 6400)

(6/9/19)
Eighteen-year-old Kaitlyn Avila with the Ripon FFA relaxes in a pen with her pig Zuri at the annual AgFest at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4. ISO: 1600)

(6/9/19)
Carol Burns of Stockton makes a floral mural with flower petals while doing an Italian Infiorata art demonstration at the annual Festa Italiana at the Lodi Grape Festival grounds in Lodi. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/2. ISO: 3200)

(6/13/19)
Thirteen-year-old Jenna Schmidt with the Alpine Victor 4H dressed herself and her lamb Cyclone in 1980s attire for the AgFest’s annual costume contest at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 120mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4. ISO: 800)

(6/14/19)
Mary Alt takes refuge from the sun under a star-spangled umbrella as she waits for the Flag Day observance to start at the Sherwood Mall in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/11. ISO: 200)

(6/14/19)
Dusts flies from the glove of the North’s Anthony Hernandez from St. Mary’s during the All-Star Classic baseball game at San Joaquin Delta College’s Cecchetti Field in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 200-400mm @ 400mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 400)

(6/15/19)
Leo Juanitas, left, battles Gregory Balubar in the Bahala Na escrima tournament during the Philippines Independence Day celebration at the Weber Point Events Center in downtown Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

(6/15/19)
The North’s Rashard Stallworth from Chavez, right, evades the tackles of the South’s Jaquile Ingram from Modesto, left, and Kameron Myers from Enochs in the 46th annual Central California Lions All-Star Football Game at Lincoln High’s Spanos Stadium in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 200-400mm @ 400mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 400)

(6/16/19
Miss Sparkles Delight creates soap bubbles on the last day of the annual San Joaquin County Fair in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200)

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May outtakes

May had Gabe Flores, Jr., a farm-to-fork feast, and a big fire.
Here’s May for your perusal.

(5/3/19)
St Mary’s Jamar Marshall, left, and West’s Warren Williams lunge at the finish line in the boys varsity 100 meter hurdles at the TCAL track and field championships at Tokay High School in Lodi. Marshall and Williams tied for first place.(Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 200-400mm @ 400mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 400)

(5/4/19)
The referee declares a knock out of Eduardo Pereira, left, by Stockton’s Gabe Flores, Jr., right, in a lightweight bout at the Stockton Arena in downtown Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 6400)

(5/9/19)
San Joaquin Delta College’s Vinny Bologna climbs the right field was in an unsuccessful attempt to catch a long fall ball during the opening game against Cosumnes River College in the CCCAA Super Regional baseball tournament at Delta’s Cecchetti Field in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 200-400mm @ 400mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 400)

(2/10/19)
Diners raise their glasses for an opening toast at the Feast at the Fox farm-to-table dining event in front of the historic Bob Hope Theater in downtown Stockton. 224 diners were treated to a five-course meal created by local chefs with ingredients from area farms within 30 minutes of Stockton. The event, highlighting local food and winds, is a fundraiser for the San Joaquin Delta College Culinary Arts Program. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 120mm. Exposure: 1/60th sec. @ f/9. ISO: 400)

(5/14/19)
Firefighters battle a 5-alarm blaze at Central Pallets at 1805 Market Street in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/7.1. ISO: 200)

(5/14/19)
Cyclists turn the corner from Center Street onto Weber Avenue during stage 3 of the Amgen Tour of California bicycle race in downtown Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/9. ISO: 200)

(5/23/19)
Volunteers Zack Vera, left, and Eric Elliott, with the Stockton Marine Club, place flags in the ground for the “field of flags” for the Cherokee Memorial Park’s annual Memorial Day Program on Monday. About 2,500 flags comprise the field of flags, additionally, each of the 7,800 veterans graves in the cemetery will bear a flag. Also 1,026 larger flags that were used to cover deceased veterans caskets will be flying at the cemetery’s the “Avenue of flags” for a total of more than 11,000 flags. The program will start at 10:30 a.m. on Monday. The color guard from the U.S. Marine Corps- Transportation Service CLB23, a dove release and a missing man formation fly-by by the Patriotic Flyers group. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm. Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/10 w/ fill-flash. ISO: 200)

(5/23/19)
Tracy coach Paulette Keeney argues a call with the umpire during a softball game against Folsom at the Arnaiz softball complex in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 200-400mm @ 400mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ f/6.3. ISO: 800)

(5/24/19)
Tracy’s Kaelani Ratliff, left, and teammate Isabel Cargill reach for a fly ball during a Sac-Joaquin Section Division I softball playoff game against Whitney at the Arnaiz softball complex in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 200-400mm @ 330mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 400)

(5/24/19)
Ripon’s Lilly Mejia, left, Sydney Thomason and Caitlynn Campbell, celebrate their championship win during a Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV softball playoff game against Calaveras at the Arnaiz softball complex in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 200-400mm @ 290mm. Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 400)

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April outtakes

The annual Sikh parade, a marathon bible reading and teeter-tottering are high lights from April.

(4/3/19)
San Joaquin County Sheriff Pat Withrow, left, and sheriff’s rangemaster Chris Ford demonstrate how the department’s new ballistic shields, called Helus shields, can be deployed. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm: Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4. ISO: 6400).

(4/5/19)
Delta College’s Clarissa Menil competes in the long jump in the Raydell Barkley Field Events Festival at the Merv Smith Track Complex at Delta’s DeRicco Field in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm: Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 200).

(4/6/19)
Delta College’s Dario Gomez, right, is tagged out by Folsom Lake College catcher Garrett Kellogg-Clarke art home plate during a baseball game at Delta’s Cecchetti Field in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 200-400mm @ 400mm: Exposure: 1/1000th sec. @ f/5. ISO: 200).

(4/13/19)
Colby Johnson drifts into turn 3 during the Asparagus Cup at the Stockton Dirt track at the San Joaquin County fairgrounds in Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 125mm: Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 400).

(4/14/19)
Sharan Hira of Sacramento has a reflective moment while resting at about the halfway point of the Stockton Gurdwara’s annual Nagar Kirtan parade on San Joaquin Street at Washington Street in downtown Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 200mm: Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4. ISO: 1600).

(4/14/19)
Stockton Heat’s Brett Pollock, right, gets the puck around Bakersfield Condors’ Logan Day during an AHL hockey game at the Stockton Arena in downtown Stockton. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 70-200mm @ 120mm: Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/8. ISO: 6400).

(4/16/19) A woman walks down a path through a field of blue bonnet lupine, goldfields and johnnytuck wildflowers at the North Table Mountain Ecological Reserve near Oroville. (Camera: Canon EOS 1Dx Mk IV. Lens: Canon 70-200mm @ 200m: Exposure: 1/500th sec. @ f/6.3. ISO: 200).

(4/18/19)
University of the Pacific students Ollie Avila, left, and Darek Choi ride a homemade seesaw on the University Center lawn on the UOP campus in Stockton. The two are participating in the Sigma Chi fraternity’s Teeter Totter fundraiser benefiting the frat’s national organizations support of the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. 40 fraternity brothers took turns for 28 hours of continuous teeter-tottering to raise an anticipated $3,000 for the charity. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm: Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/5.6. ISO: 200).

(4/19/19)
Erica Standifer reads aloud a passage from the Bible as a parts of a Good Friday observance at the First Baptist Church in Stockton. About 90 congregation members read different passages from the Bible around and in front of the church’s campus from 5:30 p.m to 6:30 p.m. and finished in about an hour ahead of the church’s 7:00 p.m. Good Friday service. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm: Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/16 w/fill-flash. ISO: 6400).

(4/28/19)
Martina Gulli, left, Savannah Southern and her sister Brianna Southern pull on a old tarp while collecting trash during the Trashtag 209 cleanup event under the Pershing Avenue bridge over the Calaveras River in Stockton. Brianna Southern was the organizer of the event. (Camera: Nikon D5. Lens: Nikkor 24-120mm @ 24mm: Exposure: 1/250th sec. @ f/4. ISO: 400).

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