Category Archives: Light

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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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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Waste not, want not II

A few weeks ago I covered the announcement of an at-risk youth school run by the National Guard, called the Youth ChalleNGe program. The Guard plans to convert vacant buildings at the Sharp Army Depot in Lathrop. California Army National Guard Brigadier Gen. James Garbielli led a small group of dignitaries and media on a [...]

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Waste not, want not

Sometimes there you can encounter some beautiful light but because of positioning or other reasons, you can’t always use it for your specific job, but that doesn’t mean that it always has to go to waste. I recently had an assignment to photograph the Reconnect program in Stockton. Operated by the Probation department and the [...]

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Stage lighting on the cheap

Big name singers and many mid level performers can spend a lot of time, effort and money on lighting for their shows. Good light can add drama, beauty and even entertainment to a performance. At best, musical artists of lesser financial means often have to do with perfunctory lighting or none at all. While looking [...]

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Out of the unclear blue sky

Here’s an example of what the blue hour can do for your photographs. Just this past weekend my family and I took a mini vacation to San Diego. A light summer rain had fallen earlier in the day, and in the evening we went to dinner at the Old Town Mexican Café in the historic [...]

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Gold again

All the great entries that were sent in for the last Readers Photo Challenge assignment, the golden hour, inspired me to head out and do some shooting during that magic time of day. Lindsay Street between Harrison and Edison Streets near the Stockton Ballpark in downtown Stockton isn’t what you might call the prettiest place [...]

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Golden years

“Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered for they are gone forever.” – Horace Mann Back in the 1980s when I was a photo student at Sacramento City College (SCC) I became good friends with fellow student Randy Allen. He went on [...]

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Random photo #28: This little light of mine.

A light shines in the livestock barn at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton.

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Natural studio

Sometimes we’re called to shoot just a head and shoulders portrait of a person (often referred to as a mugshot). In a studio a photographer can control the light, but out in the field the lighting conditions usually aren’t ideal. You can often ameliorate bad light by using a fill-flash technique or simply moving 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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