Readers Photo Challenge assignment: On the road

One way to exercise your creativity is to find an ordinary everyday, object, situation or place and find interesting ways to photograph it. The subject of the next challenge assignment, “roads” is in that spirit (streets and freeways are also included under the definition of “roads,” though bike and foot paths are not).

(2/16/11)
Traffic is backed up on the Crosstown Freeway between Highway 99 and Stanislaus Street in Stockton due to a semi tractor-truck rig that jackknifed on the southbound onramp to Highway 99 from the Crosstown Freeway in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Roads are so ubiquitous as to be taken for granted. We ride them in cities, rural towns and through the countryside. We drive on them in our cars, ride on them on our bicycles and cross them on foot, but we hardly give them a second thought.

(9/6/12)
Clouds hover over the Cosumnes River Preserve near Desmond Road and Franklin Blvd. outside of Thornton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

For this challenge the road can be the main subject of the photo. Think of a long country road tapering off into the distance at sunset with the warm orange rays of sunlight glinting off of it’s black asphalt. Or it can be the setting for a portrait, think of the famous photo of the Beatle’s Abbey Road album.

(1/13/16)
A cyclist casts a long shadow as he rides along Scotts Avenue at Center Street in downtown Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

While there are famous roads that are picturesque like Lombard Street in San Francisco, the Champs-Elysées in Paris, France or the Las Vegas Strip, you don’t have to go to exotic locals. Some everyday ordinary streets can be visually interesting too. Depending how you photograph them.

(4/15/13)
A sunset seen from the intersection of Arch Road and Quantas Lane in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Look for the best light which is during sunrise and the aforementioned sunset. The light comes in at a more pleasing angle and the yellow/orange/red tones can give an overall warmth to you photo.

(1/11/17)
Stockton Police officer Manuel Ortiz, left, drives in for a layup while playing basketball with Nickolas Regohos, 13, center, his twin brother Pete Regohos and Jaylon Harris, 10, at a curbside hoop in front of the Regohos’ home on Mission Road and La Jolla Drive in Stockton. Ortiz is one of several strategic community officers with the department tasked with outreach within the neighborhoods of Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

There are some streets that have character. Try to capture some of their interesting features or quirkiness that makes them interesting. Sometimes it’s not the street itself that’s interesting but what the people do on them that is. City workers perform repairs and maintenance on our streets. In some neighborhoods kids have basketball hoops set up in front of their homes.

(12/21/11)
Headlights and taillights become light streaks from a time exposure of traffic traveling on Highway 99 near Fremont Street in Stockton.

Roads are great for night shots. Put you camera on a tripod and use a long exposure of 10 to 30 seconds. The lights on any passing cars will create interesting streaks of white and red through your shot.

(11/23/18)
A pedestrian crosses Channel Street at Hunter Street in the rain in downtown Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

While the weather forecast for the next couple of weeks doesn’t call for rain, if it does then that’s a good time for road photos. A rain-slickened street has some interesting surface detail that a dry one doesn’t.

(12/15/12)
The center line on Brookside Road near Feather River Drive, which was laid down as an adhesive tape, has come up and become twisted and crooked. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Lastly, be mindful of your safety. Watch out for moving vehicles because that may not see you. Try to wear some eye-catching colors to be seen. If you’re out at night, go with a photo buddy.

You’ve got 2 weeks to complete the task, so head on out and let’s get this show on the road!

(11/16/17)
A cyclist uses an umbrella to protect herself from the rain while riding down Weber Avenue at Hunter Street near in downtown Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

How to enter:

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

2. Photos have to be shot between October 1 to October 15.

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. Picardy Drive, Victory Park, Stockton. 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, walks her dog Spot down Picardy Drive 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 October 15. The top examples will be published on October 22 with an online gallery of all the photos on the same day.

(8/19/18)
California Water Service workers repair a break in a water main that flooded the westbound lanes of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive between Lincoln and Harrison streets in south Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

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