Readers Photo Challenge: Down by the river

I grew up in a small river town in the Delta, so I know how wonderful river life can be. I remember as a kid splashing around in my favorite swimming hole and I know what its like when the heat of a summer’s day is dissipated by the cool evening river breeze. This is the inspiration for the current Readers Challenge assignment of “rivers” Entries ranged from sunsets on the rivers to people recreating on the water. Sixteen readers sent in 82 photos. Here are the top picks.


River life happens at a quieter and more peaceful pace than city living. Teresa Mahnken beautifully captured that serenity in her photo while on a kayaking trip on Lodi Lake.
With a Nikon D3300 DSLR camera she photograph a lone egret as it hunted for food among the reeds along a shoreline of the lake. The early morning light imbues her photo with warm tones. That warmth and the gracefulness of the egret are also reflected in the slightly shifting waters of the lake.


Rivers are perfect settings for sunsets. Sonia Avila of Stockton use a Nikon D700 DSLR camera to photograph a sunset on the deep water channel at Louis Park in Stockton. The reeds and pampas grass at the edge of the channel’s shore provide interesting foreground detail as while she captured the deep rich colors of the sunset.


Most people think of wide, slow-moving rivers, swiftly-flowing streams or even babbling brooks, but people don’t often think of that all these bodies of water have to start somewhere. Mike Ratekin of French Camp used a Canon EOS 5D Mk III to photograph season runoff cascading down a mountain side off of Highway 120 near Tiago Pass in Mono County.


Yosemite Lake in Stockton isn’t exactly a lake but more precisely it is the head of Smith Canal in Stockton, Oran Schwinn of Stockton used a Google Pixel XL smartphone to photograph his 16-year-old daughter Naomi on a tree that had fallen into the waters of lake. He captured the branches of the tree and his daughter’s form reflected in the water making for a circular composition.


Dave Skinner of Stockton used a Nikon D7000 DSLR to photograph members of the Stockton Rowing Club at the Stockton Sailing Club as they prepared to set out onto the waters of the deep water channel at Buckley Cove in Stockton. He caught their colorful reflections that were broken up by the small waves in the water making for an abstract composition


All the photos can be seen in a gallery at A new Readers Photo Challenge assignment will be issued next week.

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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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