Readers photo challenge: Water, water everywhere

Water. Two parts hydrogen, one part oxygen (H2O). It’s among the most abundant substances on the planet. Scientists say that life couldn’t have evolved on Earth without it.

According the U.S. Geological Survey’s web site ( water covers 70% of the Earth’s surface. That’s more than 338 billion square miles of water. But as plentiful as it is, only 2.5% of it is freshwater and most of that (about 68%) is locked up in glaciers and the polar ice caps.

It makes up about 60% of our bodies. We can survive weeks without food but we can only live a few days without water. When there is too much water, we worry about flooding and we’re concerned about drought when we don’t get enough.

It quenches our parched throats and cools our fevered brows. We cook with it and we clean with it. It waters our lawns and irrigates our crops. We harvest food from the oceans and water provides habitat for all kinds of wildlife. It can provide recreation for us in the forms of swimming, surfing, sailing and more. Locally we’re surrounded by hundreds of miles of water in the Delta.

For all its importance and abundance we often don’t give water a second thought. We take it for granted that when we turn the tap on that water will flow of out it or don’t think about how much of it it takes to grow our crops.

It’s because of this ubiquitousness that the next Readers Photo Challenge assignment is: Water.

Water can be clear and colorless but it also can have reflective qualities making it pick up colors from its surroundings. It can be blue as the sky or as white as foam or the fiery color of a blazing sunset.

Water can be as calm and serene as still waters on a placid lake or wild and turbulent in a fierce storm. It can lap gently against the shores of a river or be powerful enough to carve the Grand Canyon.

Water has to be an integral part of the picture. You can look for activities that we do on water (boating, swimming, etc.) or with water (cooking, irrigation, fighting fires, etc.). They can be found photographs, for example, people fishing on the river or cooling off in a wading pool, or staged photos such as a still life of a glass of water or dew drops on a flower. They can be seascapes or river scenes or lake views. They can be actions shots of someone diving into a pool or skiing on the river or a portrait of an athlete beaded in sweat. The choice is yours, limited only to your imagination and creativity.

Think of color and composition and remember the rules of any type of photography: get in close, check your backgrounds and keep it simple. Have fun and good shooting!

The Rules:

1. Entries can be emailed to me at Type “Water” in the subject line.

2. Include your name (first and last), hometown, and the kind of camera you used.

3. If your photo features a person or people include the first and last name(s) of your subject(s), their relationship to you (relative, friend or stranger off the street), their ages (if they are juveniles) and what they are doing (here’s an example: Johnny Doe, 6, of Stockton plays in the spray of the water feature at the Weber Point Event Center in downtown Stockton).

4. Any interesting anecdotes or stories on how you took or came to take the picture.

5. Photos have to be shot between July 1 to July 14, 2013,

6. The deadline for submission is Sunday, July 14. The top examples will be published on Monday, July 22 with an online gallery of all the photos on the same day.


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  • Blog Author

    Clifford Oto

    Clifford Oto, an award-winning photographer, has been with The Record since 1984. Through the changes from black and white to digital photography, he’s kept his focus on covering the events, people and life of San Joaquin county. This blog deals ... Read Full
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