Rolene Williamson leans into her tripod and twists the dial that sets her camera to timer. She studies it closely for a second more, than quickly moves to the front of the lens, positioning herself a few feet away. She smiles just as the timer counts its last second before her portrait is made.
Not quite satisfied, she repeats the steps, her Digital Do’s and Don’ts instructor carefully watching in the background, nodding her assurance as Williamson one more steps in front of the camera.
“You got it right,” noted Sebrinia Johnson, first-time Level 1 photography instructor for Sampson Community College, assures. Johnson took over the first level class from long-time instructor Gloria Edwards, who also taught Johnson the four levels of photography the college offered for a number of years. Now, they are back to three, with Johnson handling the entry level and Kelly Jones handling instruction of Shutterbugs 2 and, next semester Shutterbugs 2 and 3.
Not to far away Williamson’s husband Samuel is focusing on some bright pink azaleas, trying to get a sharp close-up of the bloom. And just a few hundred feet from him are other students, Lynette Honeycutt and Alvinia Parker. They are putting into practice on this field trip what they had been learning during the 10-week class, and they were loving every minute of it.
“This is a lot of fun,” Parker exclaimed as she grinned at the image she had just taken, satisfied with the framing.
Johnson nods as her student shows off the picture. “You got another good one.”
To a person, they all said the SCC class had been eye-opening and a real learning experience, one they would recommend to anyone who wants to not only learn more about their camera but get immense enjoyment from searching for those great shots.
From learning action shots to taking photos without a flash, from self-portraits to landscapes, rules of third and really looking closer at the environment around them, students said they had grown as photographers.
“I’ve learned a lot, Honeycutt said, “and I have loved every minute of it.”
Digital Do’s and Don’ts student Rolene Williamson’s orchid photo caught the eye of judges during the class’ final exam. Using the close-up setting and filling the frame with the beauty of the flower, Williamson said she just wanted a shot of the flower she found while exploring the Sampson Community College campus.
‘Lainey sliding’ was the judges favorite photo by Digital Do’s student Gloria Braswell who caught this young player with the Carolina Flamses in Princeton sliding into base. With the dust up, the ball in view and the looks captured on the faces of all those in the frame, judges said Braswell had gotten a great photograph.
‘A weed or a wish?’ that’s the question student Lynette Williams Honeycutt pondered as she turned her camera to this close-up photograph of dandelions growing in a lumber yard in Clinton. ‘I took this picture,’ Honeycutt said, “because it shows that you can find beauty in the smallest things.’
Samuel Williamson showed off his understanding of taking photographs that show lines in this photo of the overlook at Blowing Rock. He liked the photo, he said, because it demonstrated not only lines but also shapes and contrast in scenery.
A horse grazing in a coral caught Rolene Williamson’s eye as she was searching for photographs to take during her Digital Do’s class. Using what she had learned about the rule of thirds, Williamson captured the horse, the bucket and the field, giving those who view it both a look at life in the pasture and the tranquility of the scene.
Digital Do’s student Alvinia Parker was thrilled when she captured this photograph of azaleas backlit by the sun with none other than a blurred background. But what she was most thrilled about was getting the bee nestled inside the flower. The close-up photograph, with the blurred background, she said, allowed the eye to focus on the main subject.
The old tree standing in front of a pack house on land near where Samuel Williamson grew up took on special meaning to him as he captured it with his digital camera. He loved the picture because of the emotions it stirred but also, he said, because it showed off various shapes and contrasts, something he learned in the SCC class.
Learning to take action shots was one of the things Alvinia Parker liked about her digital class at SCC. She took this photograph of Madison Tart practicing her soccer moves one night on the SCC campus. She liked the photo, she said, because of its clarity, something difficult to do in a shot showing movement.
Framing was another aspect of photography students learned in the Digital Do’s class. Here Lynette Honeycutt shows off her framing in a photograph she called ‘God’s House,’ a picture taken of Piney Green Baptist Church near Salemburg. ‘I like the way the pine trees frame the church,’ she said.
Using a close-up setting, Gloria Braswell honed in on this pansey, found during a field trip to downtown Clinton. She used the macro setting on her camera to get in close to show off the bright and colorful flower.
Reach publisher and editor Sherry Matthews at 910-249-4612. Follow her on Twitter @sieditor1960; follow the paper @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.