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.

Imitation is the sincerest form of improvement

Many photography experts will give the advice of not to copy or imitate the work of the masters or other photographers you admire. They will tell you to find your own style and forge your own way. This is true but what they don’t tell you is that this advice is for advanced photographers and […]

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Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Colors of the season

Fall leaves is the subject of this month’s Readers Photo Challenge assignment. With the season’s shortened days and colder weather, Autumn colors are coming into view all around us. Nearly all types of photos can be enhanced by early morning/late afternoon light but even more so with fall leaves. The inherent warm glow of those […]

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Readers Photo Challenge: Face the music

The current Readers Photo Challenge assignment was about faces. Landscapes and nature are the most popular subjects for most photographers. Taking pictures of people can be out of the comfort zones of many people. But for this challenge readers stepped up, faced the music and overcame any reluctance they may have had and came up […]

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The backward thinking of manual exposure

Learning how to make a manual exposure is an essential step if you want to really learn how to get the most out a DSLR camera. However, it’s a step that most people get tripped up on. The concepts takes some practice to understand but mostly it’s the terminology that really confuses people. There are […]

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The ones that got away

I remember one the first times I covered a prep football game as a young photographer. The quarterback faded back and threw the ball in a beautiful arc. It sailed gracefully in the air and the receiver made a perfect fingertip catch. I remember it so vividly because when the play was over I realized […]

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Three simple rules

If you want to become a photographer the best way to improve skills is to take a class. From community colleges to online instruction, there are some great classes you can take. But not everyone wants to be a full-blown photographer. Maybe you just want to take better pictures, whether you use a fancy DSLR […]

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Readers Photo Challenge assignment: About face(s)

The newest Readers Photo Challenge assignment should be as clear as the nose on one’s face. The subject is “faces.” Taking pictures of people can be problematic for many photographers. Even those who are adept at photographing landscapes, nature or architecture can be stymied when it comes to people. You don’t need fancy equipment to […]

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Readers Photo Challenge: Like ducks to water(drops)

The current Readers Photo Challenge assignment was water drops. While summer time doesn’t normally see much rain in these parts (we had a morning that left just a smattering of drops), readers found some creative ways of capturing images of water drops. Sixty-nine photos were sent in by 12 readers. Here are some the top […]

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Taking a socially distanced break

On Labor Day weekend my family and I decided to take a little trip to escape the valley smoke and triple-digit temperatures. We decided on a day trip, someplace within a 2-hour drive. But where to go while still maintaining social distancing protocols? We had been to Half Moon Bay a few times before and […]

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Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Dew drop in

The newest Readers Photo Challenge assignment is all wet, specifically, the subject is water drops. Now you may think summer is the wrong time for water drops and you may have a point. True, California is usually bone dry this time of year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find or create images of water […]

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