Category Archives: Column

Readers Photo Challenge: Hot fun in the summertime

The current Readers Photo Challenge assignment is “summertime.” In my job, we call this time of year the “summer doldrums.” Assignments involving school activities and sports are minimal and photos of people out and about can be harder to find because many are out of town on vacation or holed up inside trying to avoid [...]

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Think like a camera

One way to improve your photographic skills is to think like your camera, or more precisely, know how your camera thinks. Today’s digital cameras are technological wonders. Not only are they imaging devices but mini computers as well. The contain algorithms for auto exposure, auto focus and many other complex functions. However, with all its [...]

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Readers Photo Challenge: There’s no place like home

“When I think of home I think of a place where there’s love overflowing, I wish I was home” – by Charlie Smalls (from The Wiz) The latest Readers Photo Challenge assignment was on finding the beauty in hometowns. One has to become a tourist in and see familiar sights with a fresh eye. A [...]

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Graduation day

May is the season for graduations and soon the sounds of Pomp and Circumstance will be playing at high schools, colleges, arenas and stadiums throughout the country. Graduations are among the milestone moments of our children’s lives and it’s only natural that we want to preserve those moments in photographs. The best and easiest times [...]

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Lens culture

Occasionally I’ve been asked: “what’s your favorite lens?” My answer is: “the one I need at the time.” It may sound a bit flippant but I don’t have any single lens that I use over the others. Instead, I’ll use a lens that I need for a particular job. Each type of lens has its [...]

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Readers Photo Challenge: Spring has sprung

“Spring” is the theme of the current Readers Photo Challenge assignment and judging from the response spring has indeed sprung. Twenty-one readers sent in a whopping 134 photos. Most dealt with the growth that springtime brings. Flowers, both wild and homegrown, were a common subject. It’s also the season for the rebirth of living things, [...]

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Born to be wild(flowers)

Spring is the season of wildflowers and the El Nino rains that we’ve gotten seem to have caused an explosion in the growth of wildflowers. There are reports of a “super bloom” in the usually barren Death Valley. A few weeks ago reader Pete Silva of Jackson sent me pictures a of beautiful poppies growing [...]

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Readers Photo Challenge: Kid’s stuff

Children are our pride and joys and the apples of our eyes and they are the subjects of the latest Readers Photo Challenge assignment. Kids are natural subjects for many photos. They tend to wear their personalities close to the surface and are easily photographed. Six readers sent in 26 photos. Here are the top [...]

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In the blink of an eye

In portrait photography a single blink can ruin a picture in, well, a blink of an eye. We have all taken pictures of people – friends, relatives acquaintances – and at some point there will be photos of them with their eyes closed. Some people blink more often than others and we capture their bright [...]

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Making the best of a situation

When we travel we all like to take pictures to capture the memories of the trip. It’s always preferable to find or wait for the best light of the day. That usually means the quality of light that one finds early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Sunlight at those times usually has [...]

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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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