Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Take me to the river

You can’t be unhappy in the middle of a big, beautiful river.” – Jim Harrison

This month’s Readers Photo Challenge assignment is “Rivers.” Rivers can be the life blood of any area but especially in ours.  About 1,000 miles of waterways wind through the Delta. They are the sources of the water that not only quenches our thirst but irrigates our crops as well. They also provide opportunities for many water-based recreational activities. 

Rivers can also be great settings for photographs of people. They can be places for people to relax and recreate. Look for anyone enjoying themselves on or near the water. Fishing is a popular activity along our waterways. Anglers casting their lines in the water can be easily found nearly anywhere there’s water. People swimming, skiing or boating can also make great subjects. A sunset on the river can also be a great backdrop for a portrait.

Rivers can be the perfect spots to photograph sunrises and sunsets. The reflective quality of the water can capture the warm colors of early mornings or late afternoons.   

Riparian environments are great locations for landscape photos. Trees, bushes and wild grasses cover river banks can make for lush scenes that can be reflected in a river’s waters. 

Don’t forget that rivers are habitats for all kinds of wildlife. All types of waterfowl and birds such as geese, egrets and ducks can be found. With a little patience you can spot a beaver, otter or even the occasional wayward sea lion.  

A word of caution: This year’s winter/spring storms left an ample snow pack which is now melting. The runoff from that melt are filling rivers and streams with fast moving and cold water especially at higher elevations. You need to exercise extra care when near a body of water. Wear a life jacket when on a boat and watch your step along the water’s edge.

For this assignment any river-like body of water will do. Canals, channels, sloughs, creeks and streams are all acceptable.  Whatever size you choose look for the the beauty that only a river can bring.

How to Enter:

1. Email your entries to Type in “River” in the subject line.

2. Photos have to be shot between July 13 and July 27.

3. Entries are limited to up to 12 photos from each photographer.

4. Include your name (first and last), hometown, and the kind of camera/lens you used and where it was taken (e.g.: “John Doe of Stockton. Location: Stockton. Camera: Canon Rebel T3 w/ 55-300mm lens”). 

5. If there is a recognizable person in the photo, please identify them (name, age, hometown) and what they are doing in the photos, and if they’re related to you. Also please identify the body of water you are photographing (e.g.: Jimmy Doe of Stockton plays fishes from the banks of the deep water channel at Buckley Cove 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 Thursday, July 27.  A photo gallery of all the pictures submitted will be run on August 3 at

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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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