Category Archives: Column

Travel Practice

May is coming to an end soon graduations will take place and then after that summer vacation and all the photos you’ll take while you’re on the road. Vacation photos are essentially the same as travel photography. Like all things, the more you practice at travel pictures the better you’ll get at it. But short [...]

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Far and wide

When you purchased a DSLR camera, it usually comes with what’s know as a “kit” lens because it comes bundled as a part of a kit that probably includes things like a memory card, some filters, a spare battery and a camera bag. It tends to be a zoom lens that goes from a wide-angle [...]

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Readers Photo Challenge assignment: The call of nature

Spring is in full swing with warm weather and flowers blossoming which is the inspiration of the newest Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Nature. It’s a broad subject encompassing landscapes, wildlife and more, so you can approach it several different ways.   Landscapes and seascapes tend to be shot with wide angle lenses, which is fine. [...]

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Readers Photo Challenge: Rule of thirds

The rule of thirds, the subject of the latest challenge assignment, is a compositional tool that many learn when starting out in photography. It states that if you divide up the frame into equal thirds with imaginary lines vertically and horizontally, your main subject should be placed at one or more of the intersection of [...]

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Serendipity times two

Last week I had an assignment in the foothill town of Valley Springs to photograph local historian and author Terry Beaudoin. He was to show me where thousands of olive trees planted in the area in the early 1900s that still live today. The forecast for the day was for rain. As I left Stockton [...]

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Good moon rising

On January 31 the country was witness to a rare celestial event and I was determined to photograph it. A so-called “super blue blood moon” occurred in the wee hours of the morning of the month’s last day. The event was a heavenly hat trick of sorts. First, it was a “supermoon.” That’s when a [...]

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Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Into the blue

Blue is a primary color along with red and yellow upon which all other colors are based and it’s the subject of this month’s Readers Photo Challenge. Blue is the color of the sky and sea (though technically the sea’s color is reflected from the sky). There are bluebirds, blueberries and bluebell flowers. Blue is [...]

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Readers Photo Challenge: Rockin’ the house

Readers who sent in photos for the latest Photo Challenge assignment had rocks on their brains, but that was a good thing. Some sent in rocks where they lay, others strategically placed them in their compositions. There were painted and/or decorated rocks while others shot rocks in their natural, undecorated state. There were photos of [...]

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What it takes

When I was a photo student some of my classmates were extremely talented. Some of them, like me, went on to careers in photography, others never picked up a camera again. For me I can’t think of a better job. Its challenging, yet fun and creative . It’s been over 30 years since those days [...]

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Learning light

I recently visited my old alma mater Sacramento City Photo department. About a year ago they completed a new facility that’s completely different from what I knew when I took photo classes decades ago. Instructor Paul Estabrook (who himself is also a graduate of the program) gave me the 5-cent tour. There was a large [...]

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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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