Blue, red and yellow are the primary colors 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 can be the color of sadness but can also symbolize loyalty and courage. It is the color of law enforcement and some sports officials. There is royal blue, baby blue and midnight blue. Turquoise, cyan and periwinkle are also alternative shades of blue.

You can approach using a color, in this case blue, in a few different ways. The first and most obvious is that most of your photo can be blue. Think of the deep blue sea meeting a blue sky at the horizon or a field full of blue wildflowers covering a hillside.

It could be part of your background, like a bird flying against a deep blue sky or white puffy clouds floating against that same azure sky.

You an isolate the color against a neutral or contrasting color to make it pop out, like blue on a field of red or yellow. Or you can do just the opposite with the opposing color on a field of blue. Either technique also works well with the rule of thirds: dividing the frame into thirds horizontally and vertically, so where the lines intersect become the points of interest. Placing your subject near one of those points can make your composition stronger.

Time of day is important. You can shoot during the so-called “blue hours” of just before sunrise and after sunset, where the low light imbues the ambient light with a blue hue. Obviously there is less light at those times of the day, so watch your exposure. You may even need a tripod to help you hold the camera steady as it gets darker.

So whether you’re close at home or out in the wild blue yonder, shoot until you’re blue in the face and send in your photos.


Contact photographer Clifford Oto at (209) 546-8263 or Follow him at


1. Email your entries to Type “Blue” in the subject line.

2. Photos must be shot between Feb. 8 and Feb. 22.

3. Entries are limited to no more than 12 photos from each photographer.

4. Include your name (first and last), hometown, and the kind of camera/lens you used and where it was taken (e.g.: “John Doe of Stockton. Location: Victory Park, Stockton. Camera: Canon Rebel T3 w/ 55-300mm lens”).

5. If there is a recognizable person in the photo, please identify them (name, age, hometown) and what they are doing in the photos, and if they’re related to you. (e.g.: Jimmy Doe, 8, of Stockton plays in the grass at dusk at Victory Park in Stockton).

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

7. The deadline for submission is Feb. 22. A photo gallery of all the pictures submitted will run on March 1 at