Random Photo #66: Duck, duck…

7/13/2016: A white duck is reflected as it floats lazily on the still waters of one of the ponds at Victory Park in Stockton.

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Mother Nature Monday #22: Nectar hunt

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It’s a dog’s life

They’re are called “man’s best friend” and indeed they are among the most loyal of pets. Today is National Dog Day. to celebrate here’s a gallery of dogs that I’ve photographed over the past 12 months.


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Readers Photo Challenge:Bring on the heat

The current Readers Photo Challenge assignment is “heat.” Some readers sent in photos of the sources of heat (the sun, a flame, etc.), while others showed the effects of heat. Whichever tactic they chose, they showed that they were all hot stuff.

A total of thirty-seven photos were sent in by eight readers. Here are some of the top picks.


Steven Rapaport of Stockton was vacation in Paris, France when he saw a jogger running with a pair of small terrier type dogs along the Seine River. With a Canon 70D DSLR camera he photographed the jogger when he stopped and picked up one of the dogs to cool it off under the tap of a temporary drinking fountain set up for Paris’s summer La Plage festival.


Dave Skinner of Stockton captured the fun of cooling off from the heat. Skinner used a Nikon D5100 DSLR camera to photograph a child joyfully cooling off from a hot day under the spray from the interactive fountain at the Weber Point Event Center in downtown Stockton.


Sunsets aren’t necessarily hot but they can be at times the color of fire. Mariah Thomas of Stockton used a Lumix digital point and shoot camera to photograph a fiery orange sunset reflecting off of a basketball backboard from her home.


Richard Thomas of Stockton tackled the assignment both literally and figuratively. Using a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 smartphone he photograph sunlight pouring through the openings in a sun-shaped yard decoration in his backyard.


Sydney Spurgeon used an iPhone to photograph a sunflower at the Ted & Chris Robb Garden on the University of the Pacific campus in Stockton. The flower’s petals, which normally radiate out from its center, hang limp and withered apparently shriveled from the heat.

As always there is a gallery of all the photos at Recordnet.com. A new assignment will be issued on September 1.

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Random photo #65: That’ll do, pig

5/8/2016: Elaine Ostertag of Stockton walks her 5-month-old miniature pig in the DiRicco Field parking lot on the campus of San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton while attending a softball game between Delta and Cabrillo College.

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Mother Nature Monday #21: Mammatus clouds

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Picture day

It’s the annual World Photo Day where the art and craft of photography is celebrated. We encounter photos of one kind or another everyday of our lives. They inform, entertain and educate us and the best ones do it in a visually compelling way. Here’s a gallery of some of my favorite pictures of people taking pictures that I’ve shot over the years.

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Random photo # 64: Not a fish story

4/27/2016: Stockton artist Moises Valdez takes advantage of a break between rain showers to work on a mural that will feature several koi on the side of No Limits Painting 27 N. Grant Street in downtown Stockton.

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Mother Nature Monday #20: The flower of the sun

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Time has come today

In a recent article published by Popular Photography, photo agency Getty Images says that it will only take 120 seconds from the time a photo is shot at the Rio Olympics to when it get published on their website.

In this day of Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat when you can you can post pictures nearly instantaneously, that may not sound very fast. But for those of us who cut our teeth during the film era, sending a photo 2 minutes after shooting it is nearly miraculous.

Shooting an assignment during the film era 30+ years ago when I started then wasn’t too much different that doing one today. Where it diverges is afterwards.

In the old days we would go back to the office (drive time would depend on the distance, anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour) and immediately start developing the film. This process would take about 15 to 20 minutes to produce a dry negative.

Each photographer then edited their own negatives (at some papers photo editors did it with input from the photographers). Times varied depending on how much film was shot. I estimate on average it took a few minutes. Then making a photographic print would take a minimum of another 2 minutes and that’s if you made a perfect print on the very first try (a rare event). It’s another a few minutes for the print to dry while you typed out a caption for a photo. In later years, we got a film-processing machine by Wing-Lynch. It not only cut the development times, it also freed us up to write out captions while the film was machine.

At a bare minimum, it took roughly ½-hour to produce a print (not including shooting the actual event and drive time), but if we needed to send a picture to the AP, that was just the beginning. Associated Press would occasionally request that we send them a photo of a big event such as a political or breaking news event.

In the photo department we had an AP wire photo transmitter. It consisted of a drum scanner in a casing about the size of a countertop microwave oven hardwired to a phone line. A print would be placed into a slot that fed it to drum as it turned. “Turned” may be too generous a term. The drum moved so slowly that you couldn’t tell that if it was working or not.

Former record photographer the late Dave Evans showed me the trick of drawing a line on the back of print with a pen. If the line moved past a certain point as it descended into the machine then you knew it was working. If not then you had to start over again. The whole transmitting process took about 15 to 20 minutes, if memory serves, though it seemed longer.

So, in the “old days” producing a photo and transmitting it could take roughly and hour or so. Fast forward to the digital era of today and things are much different.

The Getty Images workflow has their photographers cameras hooked up to a network via Ethernet cables. They have are several cable ports set up in different locations if the photographers want to change vantage points. There are Bluetooth devices that are available but being hardwired is much more reliable.

JEPG images are sent directly from the cameras to Getty’s computers where a team of 3 editors look at the images. The first editor selects pictures for content. The second makes minor adjustments in color, contrast and cropping and the third adds caption information. The photos are then uploaded to Getty Images’ photo service for their customers to use.

It sounds fast and it is but it takes a lot to set up and to pull off. Getty Images estimates that they’ll shoot about 1.5 million frames and edit them down to about 85,000 finished photos. There were several years of planning and then setting up the Ethernet infrastructure. Getty has a team of 50 photographers and 18 editors along with support and technical staff for a total of about 110 people to make it all happen in as little as 2 minutes.

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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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