Author Archives: Clifford Oto

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 with photography, camera gear, the photos taken for the paper and the stories behind them.

Having your fill (flash)

Some of you may think that outside during the day is the best time to take a portrait because there’s plenty of light. That’s true but it’s not always the best light. The best outdoor light is early or late in the day when the sun is near the horizon. Midday sun is the worst. […]

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Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Working (and playing) for a living

The former San Joaquin County Fair photo contest and exhibition used to have a category titled “people at work or play.” It was sort of a catchall class for pictures of people that did’t fit the description of a formal portrait. It’s something that newspaper shooters do everyday but not necessarily your average amateur photographer […]

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Readers Photo Challenge: Flower power

Flowers are the symbols of renewal and rebirth which made them the perfect subjects for a springtime challenge. Some people sent in wildflowers while other chose domesticated blossoms to photograph. Either way, they showed the visual power of flowers. Twenty-nine readers sent in 164 photos. Here are some of the top examples. ___________________________________________________ Steven Rapaport […]

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Pressed for time

I remember many years ago after covering UOP volleyball for several years, I had a night off so I took my wife to see the Tigers play. It was my first time watching a match without having to cover it. We were having a fine time following the action up until somewhere near the end […]

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Curse me for a novice

“Curse me for a novice” was, as any comic book geek like me would know, something that Dr. Strange would say in the comics. He would utter it when he made an easy mistake or forgot something simple in casting his magic spells, which was surprisingly quite often for someone billed as the Sorcerer Supreme. […]

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Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Coming into bloom

The coming of spring brings with it the blossoming of flowers which is the latest subject of the Readers Photo Challenge. Remember, this is a photography challenge, not just a one about flowers. Just because a flower is pretty, it doesn’t mean that it will automatically make a good picture. How you approach your subject […]

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Readers Photo Challenge: On cloud nine

The subject of the latest Readers Photo Challenge assignment “clouds” was a a popular one. Not only were there a large number of entrants but half were from people who hadn’t entered before. Fortunately, there were many days that were cloudy within the shooting timeframe. Some sent in white clouds, others setting grey clouds and […]

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From chump to chimp

The term “chimping” is one that not all photographers may know but everyone does it, whether they admit it or not. First written about by USA Today photographer Bob Deutsch, it refers to the act of reviewing pictures on the camera’s monitor immediately after taking it. Sports Illustrated photographer Robert Beck says that it isn’t […]

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Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Head in the clouds

The newest Readers Photo Challenge assignment is “clouds.” Recent weather is such that makes this assignment timely and more clouds are in the forecast. A cloudy sky is usually much more interesting to look at and photograph than a bland cloudless one. Puffy, white clouds lazily floating in the sky can may for pretty pictures […]

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January 2019 Outtakes

Sorry for the late post but here are some of my favorite photos from January. ____________________________________________________ (01/02/19) A Stockton firefighter battles fires in 2 large dumpsters full of cardboard to be recycled at the Goodwill facility on Market and Grant streets in downtown Stockton. ____________________________________________________ (01/09/19) American Marital Arts Academy students Nikki Jones, left, and […]

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