Annette Newton was pleasantly surprised when she captured the beauty of a sunset without the use of her camera’s flash. “It was a great lesson to learn,” Newton said, “that and the need to really look at your surroundings and appreciate what you are seeing.”
Those were among some of the lessons taught in Gloria Edward’s first level photography classes at Sampson Community College this fall, and the “no flash rule” likely one of the hardest for many of her students to grasp.
“I thought you were supposed to always use a flash at night,” one student remarked during a field trip to Edwards’ home during the 10-week Digital Do’s and Don’ts class, the first of three levels the photography instructor now offers through SCC.
But they turned them off any way, taking in their breath as they reviewed the shots they’d taken, amazed at the beauty before their eyes. “I couldn’t believe it,” Newton noted. “This is my favorite time of day (sunset), and I can’t believe I captured it without the flash. It’s unbelievable. But Gloria told us we would.”
A few weeks back, during the final night of class, other students echoed those, noting that shooting photographs without a flash was one of the many lessons they’d learned in the class.
“Lines and the rule of thirds are other lessons,” Rhonda Baker noted as she prepared to show off her five best photos to the class.
“And don’t forget to look up,” chimed in Newton.
“Go out and find the beauty in every day life,” interjected classmate Regina Williams.
All those and many others lessons were part of the mantra students learned as they turned their cameras to the world, honing their skills along the way.
With humor and a common sense approach to teaching students about their cameras, Edwards, students said, tapped into their best abilities and helped to make them stronger photographers.
“It was a wonderful class,” Paula Carter said. “I have learned so much. Gloria is a wonderful teacher.”
Don Butler agreed. “She is amazing. I can’t wait to take the other two levels.”
Butler, an avid photographer, said he had gleaned a lot from Edwards’ lessons. “The point she drove home is that there are great images at every turn if you look for them. Nature is a never ending buffet with thousands of possibilities.”
Edwards will be at it again come February 2016, when she will return to SCC to teach Digital Dos and Don’ts, Shutterbugs II and Shutterbugs III. For more information or to register call, 910-592-7176.
For the next few weeks, pictures taken by SCC photography studens will be featured on this page.