Finding the focus


SCC’s Digital Do’s students turn lessons into colorful array of photographs

By Sherry Matthews - smatthews@clintonnc.com



A mist rising from the waters of James Lake and the reflections of the pier were two aspects of Kathryn Eakins’ photo that judges liked most. Eakins, a member of the Digital Do’s and Don’ts class at Sampson Community, College, said she selected this picture as one of her final exam photos because the mist she captured could almost be felt just looking at the digital print.


Lynn Best’s photo of downtown Clinton, aptly titled ‘Small Town Life,’ clearly depicts a quaint town on a quiet evening, judges remarked, choosing it as Best’s top final exam photo. The lighting, judges said, was great and the use of landscape mode to capture the feel for downtown was a great choice. Best said she liked the photo because ‘the lighting makes the stores look so inviting in the quaint little town of Clinton.’


Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, SC was the site of this photograph by Digital Do’s student Barbara Alsip. Called ‘Red Bridge,’ Alsip said she chose the photo for one of her exam shots because she ‘loved the lines.’ Judges agreed, selecting it as her best of five. ‘The lines definitely make this photograph, drawing the eye,” judge and former photography teacher Gloria Edwards noted.


Calling her selection ‘Cotton-puff clouds,’ student Sallie Adams said she chose this picture, taken in a Sampson County cotton field, because the cotton boll and the cloud in the background looked almost like mirror images of one another. Judges said the photograph was a good one and showed effort on the part of the photographer who ‘had to get down low, fill the frame and shoot.’


Lynn Best aimed her camera at the colorful balloons found during a trip to the Carolina Balloon Fest 2017 in Statesville. She took the photograph, she said, because it allowed her to use some of the things she had learned in the Digital Do’s class, including framing, filling the frame and capturing geometric shapes. ‘The balloons were absolutely beautiful and colorful so I naturally wanted to take a picture,’ Best noted.


Framing was the key to this shot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, as taken by Digital Do’s student Barbara Aslip who took the picture while on vacation in France. She liked the photo, she said, because of the framing she was able to capture. Although judges chose another of her pictures as best of her five, this was a close second.


Sallie Adams caught the sun setting at White Lake in this photograph taken during one of the Digital Do’s class field trips earlier this semester. She chose it among her five exam photos, she said, because of the way the eye is drawn from the piers to the sunset in the background. ‘It was such a peaceful portrait; I was thrilled I caught it on film,’ she said.


The only bad photograph is the one you don’t take.

That, students in Sebrinia Johnson’s Digital Do’s and Don’ts class at Sampson Community College said, was one of the most important take-aways from the 10-week first-level photography class which ended a few weeks back. A close second was enjoying their cameras and the moments those cameras could capture.

The class provided students an opportunity to get hands-on lessons in photography, complete with field trips that allowed them to hone the skills they were being taught during the classroom portion.

“I learned a lot of really good things,” student Sallie Adams said on the final night of class as she presented the five pictures she had selected as her best from the semester. “I can tell the biggest difference in the first few pictures I took and the last. I was amazed at how much I learned.”

From the rule of thirds and framing to lighting and the all-important rule of “noticing your surroundings,” students said they not only walked away from the class with far more knowledge of their cameras but also an increased passion for taking photographs.

“I look at things around me a lot differently now,” noted student Lynn Best. “I take my camera with me everywhere I go, and I jump out and take pictures all the time. There’s always something to photograph.”

Johnson said she was thrilled that students were seeing the world through different eyes since taking the class. “I wanted them to enjoy the class, but more importantly I wanted them to enjoy their camera and what it can do. They are amazed at the photographs they have taken.”

Barbara Alsip said it was true that she had been amazed every time she looked at a digital image she produced. “I learned so much about framing, thirds, lighting, but I guess the most important thing I learned was to enjoy myself. Sebrinia made each class fun, too. We all became good friends as we learned together. There were a lot of reasons this was fun.”

To a person, the fledgling photographers agreed that the bonding and the growing love of taking pictures made the class one they looked forward to each week. The photographs they took became the icing on the cake.

“I never had any real experience taking pictures,” said Kathryn Eakins, “and then I took this class. I had never heard anything about the rule of thirds and other aspects of taking pictures, but I do now. I learned a great deal and had fun learning it. I just had a great time.”

Eakins said she now got excited every time she looked at a picture she had taken. “It’s something new all the time. I love it, I really do.”

And that, Johnson said, is the real point of the class — falling in love with the camera, focusing on the world around you and filling the frame with the moments of a person’s life.

Johnson will be back at SCC in February for the spring semester Digital Do’s and Don’ts class. For more information or to register, call the Continuing Education department at SCC at 910-592-8081. Digital Do’s classes begin Feb. 19 and run through April 30. Shutterbugs II begins Feb. 19 and runs through April 30; and Shutterbugs III begins on Feb. 20 and runs through May. 1. You must have taken Digital Do’s and Don’ts to participate in Shutterbugs II and III.

A mist rising from the waters of James Lake and the reflections of the pier were two aspects of Kathryn Eakins’ photo that judges liked most. Eakins, a member of the Digital Do’s and Don’ts class at Sampson Community, College, said she selected this picture as one of her final exam photos because the mist she captured could almost be felt just looking at the digital print.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Eakins-new.jpgA mist rising from the waters of James Lake and the reflections of the pier were two aspects of Kathryn Eakins’ photo that judges liked most. Eakins, a member of the Digital Do’s and Don’ts class at Sampson Community, College, said she selected this picture as one of her final exam photos because the mist she captured could almost be felt just looking at the digital print.

Lynn Best’s photo of downtown Clinton, aptly titled ‘Small Town Life,’ clearly depicts a quaint town on a quiet evening, judges remarked, choosing it as Best’s top final exam photo. The lighting, judges said, was great and the use of landscape mode to capture the feel for downtown was a great choice. Best said she liked the photo because ‘the lighting makes the stores look so inviting in the quaint little town of Clinton.’
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Best.jpgLynn Best’s photo of downtown Clinton, aptly titled ‘Small Town Life,’ clearly depicts a quaint town on a quiet evening, judges remarked, choosing it as Best’s top final exam photo. The lighting, judges said, was great and the use of landscape mode to capture the feel for downtown was a great choice. Best said she liked the photo because ‘the lighting makes the stores look so inviting in the quaint little town of Clinton.’

Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, SC was the site of this photograph by Digital Do’s student Barbara Alsip. Called ‘Red Bridge,’ Alsip said she chose the photo for one of her exam shots because she ‘loved the lines.’ Judges agreed, selecting it as her best of five. ‘The lines definitely make this photograph, drawing the eye,” judge and former photography teacher Gloria Edwards noted.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Alsip.jpgMagnolia Plantation in Charleston, SC was the site of this photograph by Digital Do’s student Barbara Alsip. Called ‘Red Bridge,’ Alsip said she chose the photo for one of her exam shots because she ‘loved the lines.’ Judges agreed, selecting it as her best of five. ‘The lines definitely make this photograph, drawing the eye,” judge and former photography teacher Gloria Edwards noted.

Calling her selection ‘Cotton-puff clouds,’ student Sallie Adams said she chose this picture, taken in a Sampson County cotton field, because the cotton boll and the cloud in the background looked almost like mirror images of one another. Judges said the photograph was a good one and showed effort on the part of the photographer who ‘had to get down low, fill the frame and shoot.’
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Adams.jpgCalling her selection ‘Cotton-puff clouds,’ student Sallie Adams said she chose this picture, taken in a Sampson County cotton field, because the cotton boll and the cloud in the background looked almost like mirror images of one another. Judges said the photograph was a good one and showed effort on the part of the photographer who ‘had to get down low, fill the frame and shoot.’

Lynn Best aimed her camera at the colorful balloons found during a trip to the Carolina Balloon Fest 2017 in Statesville. She took the photograph, she said, because it allowed her to use some of the things she had learned in the Digital Do’s class, including framing, filling the frame and capturing geometric shapes. ‘The balloons were absolutely beautiful and colorful so I naturally wanted to take a picture,’ Best noted.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Best-2.jpgLynn Best aimed her camera at the colorful balloons found during a trip to the Carolina Balloon Fest 2017 in Statesville. She took the photograph, she said, because it allowed her to use some of the things she had learned in the Digital Do’s class, including framing, filling the frame and capturing geometric shapes. ‘The balloons were absolutely beautiful and colorful so I naturally wanted to take a picture,’ Best noted.

Framing was the key to this shot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, as taken by Digital Do’s student Barbara Aslip who took the picture while on vacation in France. She liked the photo, she said, because of the framing she was able to capture. Although judges chose another of her pictures as best of her five, this was a close second.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Aslip2.jpgFraming was the key to this shot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, as taken by Digital Do’s student Barbara Aslip who took the picture while on vacation in France. She liked the photo, she said, because of the framing she was able to capture. Although judges chose another of her pictures as best of her five, this was a close second.

Sallie Adams caught the sun setting at White Lake in this photograph taken during one of the Digital Do’s class field trips earlier this semester. She chose it among her five exam photos, she said, because of the way the eye is drawn from the piers to the sunset in the background. ‘It was such a peaceful portrait; I was thrilled I caught it on film,’ she said.
http://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/web1_Adams-2.jpgSallie Adams caught the sun setting at White Lake in this photograph taken during one of the Digital Do’s class field trips earlier this semester. She chose it among her five exam photos, she said, because of the way the eye is drawn from the piers to the sunset in the background. ‘It was such a peaceful portrait; I was thrilled I caught it on film,’ she said.
SCC’s Digital Do’s students turn lessons into colorful array of photographs

By Sherry Matthews

smatthews@clintonnc.com

Reach publisher and editor Sherry Matthews at 910-249-4612. Follow her on Twitter @sieditor1960; follow the paper @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

Reach publisher and editor Sherry Matthews at 910-249-4612. Follow her on Twitter @sieditor1960; follow the paper @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.

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