Category Archives: Column

True blue

The last Readers Photo Challenge assignment explored the time of day know as the golden hour. This month’s challenge is what’s known as the “blue hour.” Like the golden hour, the blue hour occurs twice a day, once in the morning and again in the evening. Unlike the golden hour, it happens about an hour [...]

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The devil is in the details

When I was a young photo student my instructors told me that there were always pictures within pictures. They would show a student’s photo of an overall scene as an example and then, using their hands, crop into a tighter portion to show how the student missed the show by not getting close enough. Many [...]

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Take me out to the ballpark

I know a lot of people love baseball, but I’m not a big fan of the game. It may sound funny coming from someone who’s photographed hundreds of games over the course of a 30-year career, but I don’t. Years ago I photographed a cropduster pilot who once described his job as “hours and hours [...]

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A tip on tips

I once heard a feature story on the radio about holiday cooking traditions. A woman said that she cut the end off of a roast before cooking it because that’s the way her mother did. Her mother said she did it that way because that’s how her mother did it. Finally she asked her grandmother [...]

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Our fine furry friends

I recently had an assignment to photograph Chenda Ouk of Stockton who had adopted a cat named Cupid from the Stockton Animal Shelter. Cupid had been shot in the head with an arrow and was saved by the shelter. The cat was understandably a bit skittish and I managed to get just a few frames [...]

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Turning a frown upside down

Getting a good a portrait can be a daunting task. There are a number of things that one has to consider. Composition is one. Lighting is another. Then one has to often figure out the proper settings on the camera for a correct exposure. It’s no wonder that many people may forget one last thing: [...]

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Piggy backing

In March I photographed the World of Outlaws dirt track racing event at the San Joaquin County fairgrounds in Stockton. I wanted to travel light so I left my camera bag with most of my gear in the trunk of my car. Using only a belt bag (sort of like Batman’s utility belt only not [...]

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Smiles, everyone

When my son was in kindergarten I volunteered in the classroom. The teacher found out I was a photographer and she put me to work taking headshots of her 20 students. With most of the kids it was pretty easy to get them to smile but there was this one boy who was a challenge. [...]

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Human of New York

“New York is the meeting place of the peoples, the only city where you can hardly find a typical American.” – Djuna Barnes About a year and a half ago, my daughter showed me the “Humans of New York” Facebook page. She, a budding young photographer, and I, a nearly 30-year veteran shooter, quickly became [...]

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Reflections of you

“The world is a looking glass and gives back to every man the reflection of his own face.” – William Makepeace Thackeray “Reflections” is the subject of the next readers Photo Challenge assignment. A reflection can add visual twist to an otherwise ordinary scene. You can use a reflection as a compositional element in your [...]

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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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