Readers Photo Challenge: A cold day in January

This month’s challenge assignment takes advantage of winter’s chilly temperatures. Readers were asked to go out and take pictures of the cold and/or the people dealing with it.

Only 32 photos were sent in by 10 readers making it one of the lowest attended challenges. Perhaps the weather kept most people from looking for photos. But the souls who braved the brisk temperatures were rewarded with some great photos. Here are some of the top examples.


Annamarie Bambas of Stockton captured a photo of a snowy scene that was both cold and cozy at the same time. With an Apple iPhone X she photographed a fresh snowfall covering everything in sight along the west shore of Lake Tahoe. The trees, shrubs, and ground is blanketed with white. In the center, also covered in snow, sits a quaint cottage. While the outside scene is definitely cold-looking, one can image the residents of house bundled up inside next to a roaring fire or warm heater, sipping on a hot mug of cocoa or coffee.


Matt Baker of Stockton used a Nikon D7500 DSLR camera to photograph an egret along Lower Sacramento Road north of Eight Mile Road just outside of Stockton. The low angle of an early morning sun is just hitting the bird standing on one leg. It seems to be huddling up against the cold morning. White frost covers the grass on the ground adding to the feeling of coldness in the photo.


Teresa Mahnken of Morada also got up early to get her picture. With a Nikon D7200 DSLR and a new 70-200mm lens she photographed a pair of sandhill cranes at the Staten Island Nature Conservancy near the Delta town of Walnut Grove. A light fog surrounds the birds as the early morning light infuses it with a nice warm glow.


Sydney Spurgeon of Stockton photographer her brother’s dog Bohdi while on a trip to Denver. With a Nikon D500 DSLR camera she captured the dog’s disregard of the old and eagerness to play despite the snow falling around him.


Kurt Gatjens of Elk Grove used a Nikon D610 DSLR to photograph a scrub jay huddled against a cold rain in a tree in Elk Grove. You can see a few rain drops lining to the bird’s feathers adding to the sense of coldness.


Janet Baniewich of Stockon used a Nikon D3300 DSLR camera to photograph her daughter Christine Holland shoveling snow from her driveway in Billings, Montana. While I would have like to see Holland from the front, you really get a sense of how cold it was with snowflakes in the air, the wind blowing her hair and snow all around.


Steven Rapaport of Stockton went a little outside of the box to get his “cold” picture. He photographed his wife Linda with his Canon 70D DSLR camera as she blew her nose with a tissue as she was suffering from a cold. Kudos to Steven for his thinking differently and thanks to Linda for putting up with it.


All the photos sent in can be seen in an online gallery at A new challenge will issued on February, 5.

Contact photographer Clifford Oto at (209) 546-8263 or

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    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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