Dia De Los Muertos Street Fiesta

TOP LEFT: Johanna Dominguez with the California College of Babering and Cosmetology, left, creates Day of the Dead face paint on Veronica Esparza at the Dia De Los Muertos Street Fiesta. TOP RIGHT: Kathy Franco and her dog Kirby compete in the Catrina Pageant. MIDDLE: Brenda Sanchez competes in the Catrina Pageant at the Dia De Los Muertos Street Fiesta in downtown Stockton. Sanchez won the event. BOTTOM LEFT: Martha Hernandez competes in the Catrina Pageant. BOTTOM RIGHT: Jazzmin Martinez competes in the Catrina Pageant. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD] #mexicanheritagecenter #diadelosmuertosstreetfiesta #diadelosmuertos #downtownstockton

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UOP water polo vs Pepperdine

TOP LEFT: Pacific’s Wyatt Barker, left, looks to pass the ball around Pepperdine’s Sean Ferrari. TOP RIGHT: Pacific’s Jeremie Cote takes a shot to score a goal during a men’s water polo game against Pepperdine. MIDDLE: Pacific goalie Jonathan Barry blocks a shot during a water polo game against Pepperdine at Kjeldsen Pool on the UOP campus in Stockton. BOTTOM LEFT: Pacific’s Luis Araya guards Pepperdine’s Curtis Jarvis. BOTTOM RIGHT: Pacific fans cheer on the men’s water polo team during a game against Pepperdine at Kjeldsen Pool [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD] #pacificwaterpolo #pacificathletics #uopacific

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From The Vine harvest dinner

TOP LEFT: A charcuterie and cheese board is served as the appetizer at the Record’s From the Vine End of Harvest Winemaker Dinner at the Bella Vista Restaurant. TOP RIGHT: Chef Rima Barkett, left, and winemaker Markus Niggli welcome everyone to the Record’s From the Vine End of Harvest Winemaker Dinner. MIDDLE: Guests toast each other at the Record’s From The Vine End of Harvest Winemaker Dinner at the Bella Vista Restaurant in downtown Stockton. BOTTOM LEFT: Joe Deitrich tries the first course, zuppa di scampi e fagioli (Tuscan bean soup with shrimp). BOTTOM RIGHT: Georgia Lantsberger takes a sip of wine. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD] #recordnet #fromthevine #bellavista

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TCAL tennis championship

TOP LEFT: Tracy’s Quyhn Trosien hits a forehand during the Tri-City Athletic League girls singles tennis match against Lincoln’s Wendy Minn. TOP RIGHT: Lincoln’s Wendy Minn hits a backhand Tracy’s Quyhn Trosien. MIDDLE: Lincoln’s Wendy Minn casts a shadow on the court as she hits a forehand during the Tri-City Athletic League girls singles championship tennis match against Tracy’s Quyhn Trosien at the In-Shape Marina in Stockton. Trosien won 6-2, 6-3. BOTTOM LEFT: Lincoln’s Wendy Minn hits a forehand. BOTTOM RIGHT: Tracy’s Quyhn Trosien hits a backhand. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

#tcaltennis #tcal #tennis

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TCAL cross-country championship

TCAL cross-country championship
TOP LEFT: Tokay’s Kari Anema runs to a first place finish in the TCAL girls varsity cross country championships at Lodi Lake TOP RIGHT: A runner is silhouetted but he sun as she competes in the TCAL cross country championships. MIDDLE: Runners take off at the start of the Tri-City Athletic League boys varsity cross country championships at Lodi Lake in Lodi. BOTTOM LEFT: Runners turn a corner in the TCAL boys varsity cross country race. BOTTOM RIGHT: St. Mary’s Daniel Winter runs to first place finish in the TCAL boys varsity cross country championships. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD] #sjaa #crosscountry #lodilake

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Artists glaze bowls for fundraiser

Artists glaze bowls for fundraiser
TOP LEFT: Some of the finished custom, handmade soup bowls glazed by members of the ArtExpressions of San Joaquin artists collective. TOP RIGHT: Jessica Pantoja, left, and Ashifari Sinada, with the ArtExpressions of San Joaquin artists collective, apply glaze to bowls for the group’s annual Souper Supper fundraiser. MIDDLE: Members of the ArtExpressions of San Joaquin artists collective apply glaze to some 350 bowls for the group’s annual Souper Supper fundraiser for the arts. Held this year at the Hilton – Stockton on February 20, 2020, the event features 12 V.I.P. chefs who will make a soup. Guests will be able to pick out bowls to use during the dinner and then take home afterwards. The monies raised go to the free arts programs and summer youth classes the group holds in conjunction with the libraries and the Children’s Museum. BOTTOM LEFT: Celina Gonzalez Cortez uses a sponge to apply glaze to a bowl. BOTTOM RIGHT: Bob Austin carefully applies glaze to a bowl. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD] #artexpressionsofsanjoaquin #soupersupper

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Readers Photo Challenge assignment: Lay of the land

The subject of the next Readers Photo Challenge assignment, “landscape,” has been the staple of photography since its beginning nearly 200 years ago.

(10/21/10) The moonrises over an abandoned farmhouse on Lime Creek Road in Valley Springs. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

A landscape is something that takes in the beauty of the natural world. Some believe that a a perfect landscape should reveal a land that appears untouched by human hands. While that’s one way to do it, you can also add a person, animal or small farm building as small a point of interest in your composition to help give the scene some scale or to give some context to the photo. In the same vein you can have a horse or cow gazing on a hillside or pasture or a fence in the foreground can help lead the viewer’s eye into the photo.

(9/12/11) Seaside Daisies (Erigeron glaucus) grow along the Bodega Head trail at Bodega Bay. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Most landscapes are shot with a wide angle lens. This allows you to take in the entire scene. A pitfall that many new photographers fall into is that they don’t include a foreground in their wide angle photos. Adding a prominent helps to give some visual interest to an often neglected part of a landscape and can help draw the viewer into the scene. Having something like a flower or tree up front can give your composition more dimension.

(9/17/11) A couple take in the sun at the beach near the the Bodega Head trail at Bodega Bay. The rule of thirds isolates the couple in the lower left corner of the frame. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

You can also take a landscape with a telephoto lens. My old photo instructors always used to tell me that there photos within photos. The would show examples of overall scenes and then cropped versions that showed interesting details. Don’t be afraid to try a long lens on a landscape. I’ve shot sunsets where the majority of the color was at the horizon line and by using a telephoto, it helped me to capture that beauty that might have been lost with a wide angle.

(10/27/09) Sunlight breaks through the trees on a trail at Sly Park near Pollock Pines. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Try to do your shooting at either early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the quality of light is the best. If you’re on a trip, try to schedule your picture-taking around those times. While you’ll find that there is less of it, the light is warmer and comes in at a more pleasing angle.

(3/16/18) Clouds loom to the west of a tree on a hillside off of Ospital Road and Highway 26 in eastern San Joaquin County between Linden and Valley Springs. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Keep your fingers crossed for a sky with clouds in it. A sky full of clouds helps to give more visual interest than one without. Looks for clouds that have some shape to them and have some gaps between them so you can see some blue sky. Avoid the kinds clouds that blanket the sky with very little to no discernible features.

(10/22/11) Trees are reflected in the Calaveras River near the Trail of the Skulls at the base of New Hogan Dam in Valley Springs. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Try adding some sort of water feature to your landscape if you can. A river or stream meandering through you photo can help lead at the viewer’s eyes into your composition. By placing a still lake or pond in the foreground you can use the reflections as a compositional element.

(11/1/15) Snow covers the ground and trees outside of Dardanelle along Highway 108 in the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]


The terrain of California is very diverse. From mountains to deserts, on can find nearly every kind of geological setting once can imagine. The Sierras and Mother Lode are great places to find your landscape but there are closer places was well. The Delta, which is in our backyard, is also a wonderful place to shoot landscapes. Wherever you might go, keep your mind and eyes open and, photographically speaking, it will be the land of opportunity.

(2/4/12) The sun sets behind a tree on Thornton Road near Eight Mile Road in Stockton as wispy clouds grace the sky. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

How to enter:

1. Entries can be emailed to coto@recordnet.com. Type in “Landscape” in the subject line.
2. Photos have to be shot between October 29 and November 12.
3. The number of photos is limited to no more than 12 per person
4. Include your name (first and last), hometown, and the kind of device you used and where it was taken (eg.: “John Doe of Stockton. Lodi Lake, Lodi. iPhone6s”)

5. If there is a recognizable person in the photo, please identify them (name, age, hometown) and what they are doing in the photos (eg.: “Jane Doe, of Manteca, casts her fishing line in Lodi Lake in Lodi”). 

6. Please feel free to include any interesting anecdotes or stories on how you took the picture.

7. The deadline for submission is November 12. The top examples will be published on November 19 with an online gallery of all the photos on the same day.

(1/8/14) A lone tree stands on a hillside along Highway 4 near Telegraph Road near Copperopolis. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

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It’s the Great Pumpkin (harvest)

(10/10/19) Pumpkins, cut from their vines, await pickup during a harvest in a field on Highway 4 and Kaiser Road east to Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Today is National Pumpkin Day. Pumpkins aren’t San Joaquin County’s number one crop. According to the latest county crop report that mantle goes to almonds . Pumpkins aren’t even second (grapes). However, San Joaquin county produces the most pumpkins statewide. In fact, we’re second in the entire country in pumpkin growing just behind Tazewell County in Illinois. In 2018, San Joaquin County grew 2,180 acres of the orange gourd predicting 57,800 tons for a value of more than $21 million accounting for about 90% of the pumpkins grown in California.

(10/10/19) Farmworkers cut pumpkins from their vines and set them aside for pick up in a field on Highway 4 and Kaiser Road east to Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Ryan Van Groningen runs Van Groningen and Sons farms along with his cousins Paul and Jason. The farm was started by his great-grandfather Henry Van Groningen, Sr. in the Manteca/Ripon area in 1939. In the 40s they grew pumpkins for canning only. It wasn’t until the 1960s and ‘70s when Halloween became more popular did they start growing them for decorative use.

(10/11/19) Farmworker Profidio Boroquez, left, catches a pair of pumpkins tossed up to him by his brother Omar Boroquez while working with a crew harvesting the gourd in a Von Groningen and Sons Farm’s field on Highway 4 and Kaiser Road east to Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

The Van Groningens grow 45 different varieties of pumpkins on about 1,500 acres. While the traditional carving type pumpkins are grown on most of those acres, they also produce the tiny palm-sized type to the variety that can reach up to 150-pounds. The seasons starts around the last week in August and last up until Halloween. 

(10/11/19) Profidio Boroquez, left, catches a pair of pumpkins tossed up to him by his fellow farmworkers while harvesting the gourd in a Von Groningen and Sons Farm’s field on Highway 4 and Kaiser Road east to Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]
(10/11/19) Lorenzo Guiterrez prepares to toss a pair of pumpkins to a fellow farmworker while harvesting the gourd in a Von Groningen and Sons Farm’s field on Highway 4 and Kaiser Road east to Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

Harvesting pumpkins is rather a simple affair but hard, back-breaking work. First, farmworkers the pumpkin are hand cut from the vines from which they grow. As they’re cut, they’re placed in rows wide enough apart to accommodate a tractor pulling a pair of semi-trailers. At a walking pace, the tractors make their way through the field and farmworkers on either side of the trailers reach down an pick up a pumpkin in each hand. They toss them up to fellow farmworkers on the trailer who catch them and gently place them into the trailer’s bin. Once the bins are full, the tractor leaves and the process starts over again. 

(10/11/19) Farmworkers pick pumpkins in a Von Groningen and Sons Farm’s field on Highway 4 and Kaiser Road east to Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

The picked pumpkins are trucked back to the Van Groningen and Sons packing shed on Jack Tone Road in Manteca. There they are washed, sized sorted and packed. Ryan Van Groningen says that they ship pumpkins all across the western U.S. This year there’s a shortage in the Midwest and East, so they’re sending their products as far as Florida under the label Pamper’d Farms. So almost no matter where you get your pumpkin, there’s a likelihood that it came from San Joaquin County.

(10/11/19) Farmworkers pick pumpkins in a Von Groningen and Sons Farm’s field on Highway 4 and Kaiser Road east to Stockton. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

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SUSD students get free laptops

TOP LEFT: Edison High student Emmanuel Huerta, 17, left, receives a free laptop computer from Stockton Scholars volunteer Janae Aptaker in the Library at Edison High School. TOP RIGHT: Some of the 637 free laptop computers to be given out to students in the library at Edison. MIDDLE: Edison High student Elias Ororzco checks out the free laptop computer he got at the library at Edison High School. The Stockton Unified School District and the 1 Million Project Foundation have teamed up to recycle and hand out 3,500 used district laptop and internet hotspot devices to SUSD students who have otherwise hot previously had internet access at their homes. About 637 laptops were give out to Edison students. BOTTOM LEFT: SUSD special projects administrator Brooke Shields, left, gives an internet hotspot device to Edison student Dagoberto Mendoza, 16. BOTTOM RIGHT: Edison High student Jerelyn Tello, 17, left, receives a free laptop computer at Edison High School. CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD]

#susd#1millionprojectfoundation#edisonhs#soulvikes

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Throwback Thursday: Dia De Los Muertos Street Fiesta

Throwback Thursday: Fiesta de los Muertos The Dia De Los Muertos Street Fiesta is this Saturday at the Mexican Heritage Center on Sutter and Market Streets in downtown Stockton from 12:00 p.m to 5:00p.m. Here are some photos from last year’s event. TOP LEFT: Costumed women compete in the 2018 Catrina Pageant at the Dia De Los Muertos Fiesta in downtown Stockton. TOP RIGHT: Allison Atas, left, paints the face of 11-year-old Jenny Domingues, right, as her 2-year-old sister, Isabela Dominguez, looks on. MIDDLE: Amy Harrison competes in the Catrina Pageant at the Dia De Los Muertos Fiesta at the Mexican Heritage Center on Market and Sutter Streets in downtown Stockton. BOTTOM LEFT: Members of the Dazantes Del Puerto perform folkloric dances at the Dia De Los Muertos Fiesta. BOTTOM RIGHT: Lolie Gallardo, center, poses for a picture with Mr. and Mrs. Bones at the Dia De Los Muertos Fiesta. [CLIFFORD OTO/THE RECORD] #diadelosmuertosstreetfiesta #meixcanheritagecenter #diadelosmuertos #downtownstockton

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