The 2010s: A decade in photos

The end of 2019 not only marks the end of a decade but it also caps the time that I have been producing my yearend slideshows. I started doing them in 2010. Each time, I picked 52 of my favorite photos of the year and set them to music for a 3 to 4 minute show.

(6/19/12) Workers set up a ferris wheel in preparation for the Butler Amusements carnival going up on Hammer Lane and Girardi Way in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/RECORD PHOTO]

To celebrate the decade’s closing I decided to make a 10-year retrospective slideshow in addition to the 2019 yearend show and Top 12 list. The problem was the sheer number of photos to go through. I literally shoot thousands of photos per year. To ameliorate the vast amount of images to go through, I set aside ones that strike my fancy as the year progresses. Still, even those can number from 700 to more than 2,000, depending on how good a year I had. 

(10/5/12) Edison’s Calvin Gray is facemasked by Stagg’s Daelen Surrell during a varsity football game at Edison’s Magnasco Stadium in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/RECORD PHOTO]

Fortunately, I had another resource to help edit the photos: my past slideshows. By simply watching the shows that I had done before, I dramatically downsized the number of photos I had to edit from an estimated 10,000 to a more manageable 520. I still needed a logical strategy cull them down even more. 

(7/16/15) Mother and husband of Misty Holt-Singh, Karen farmer and Paul Singh comfort each other a candlelight vigil on Thornton Road and Otto Drive in Stockton memorializing Misty Holt-Singh, who died in a gun battle between police and bank robbers one year earlier. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD

Most photojournalistic images fall into 5 categories: feature, news, pictorial, portrait, and sports. I decided to pick one image from each category from every year and then a bonus photo from any one of the categories. That gave me a goal of 60 pictures in total.

(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/RECORD PHOTO]

A feature photos is usually a slice of life picture. Often times they’re humorous but they can be poignant or thought-provoking. Usually they’re found situations or random happenings.

(10/3/13) Stockton firefighters battle a blaze at the Newark Stockton Recycling Center at 800 West Church Street in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/RECORD PHOTO]
(5/21/16) Pastor Ronnie Murray with the Christ Side Disciples Movement Center leads a group of about 60 people in prayer before a march that was a part of a prayer vigil held against recent area violence in south Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Most people think a news photo is of something like an accident, natural disaster or of a crime scene, and that’s true, but they can also include planned events such as a rally, press conference or even concert. 

(10/6/10) Lightning strikes in the distance beyond the Port of Stockton’s turning basin in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/RECORD PHOTO]

A pictorial is basically just a pretty picture. I could be something like a sunset, landscape or intricate urban pattern. I like to include what’s known in the business as a “news hook.” That’s something interesting to the reader and not just pleasing to look at.

(8/24/11) John Harris is an associate elder at the Greater White Rose Church of God in Christ in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/RECORD PHOTO]

Portraits are just what they sound like: pictures of people. The subjects are aware of the photographer’s presence and often are posing for them. Most are what’s called an environmental portrait in which the subject is in a place or situation that relates to them.

(7/8/19) Oakland Athletics pitcher Sean Manaea, who has been injured since September, has his form captured in a multiple exposure photo as he delivers a pitch against the Visalia Rawhide while on a rehab assignment with the Stockton Ports at the Stockton Ballpark. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]
(1/12/10) Stockton Thunder’s Garet Hunt (24) brawls with Bakersfield Condors’ Pascal Morency (32) two seconds into the first period of an ECHL hockey game at the Stockton Arena in downtown Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/RECORD PHOTO]

When you think of a sports photo you think of an athlete making a game-winning catch, dunking the ball or slamming an overhead smash. All that is true for sports action but sports photos can encompass more than that. There can be interesting things away from the action. Those photos are known as “sports features.” It could be anything from athletes celebrating winning a point or game to them performing funny antics between innings to unusual fan reactions.

(9/10/14) Construction worker Fernando Mendoza with the Concord-based Conco is caught up un the concentric rings of a 58-ft- long rebar support structure as he works to assemble it for the west extension of the Crosstown Freeway in the Boggs Tract area of Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/RECORD PHOTO]

Some pictures aren’t purely one thing or another but can overlap categories. A pictorial may have some qualities of a feature picture. Or a feature may have some news value to it. Hence the inclusion of the bonus picture for those photos that don’t fit neatly into one category or another.


(4/14/12) A wandering band of musicians plays traditional Cambodian music at the Cambodian New Years Celebration at the Wat Dhammararam Buddhist temple in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/RECORD PHOTO]

After lots of hemming, hawing and hair-pulling, I whittled the 520 photos down to 60. Over the years I’ve used a couple of applications to produce the show itself. YouTube and Facebook had features for making slideshows, which I’ve used a few times, but they have discontinued and are no longer available. For this show as well as many others, I used a program called Soundslides. It’s been around a while and it’s quick and easy to use. 

(9/16/14) A butterfly rests on a wild sunflower growing along Highway 4 near Roberts Road in Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/RECORD PHOTO]

I set the photos in my slideshows to music. For a couple years I used songs by a pianist/composer friend of mine Chris Goslow from Sacramento (with permission), but mostly I used music from a couple of royalty-free sites, Incompetech by Kevin MacLeod and AudionautiX by Jason Shaw. The music is totally free and without any copyright restrictions other than giving the artists credit in the show.

Now, I’ve got a system and a little practice at doing a show of this magnitude. All I have do is wait a decade to do another one.

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