(Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series of photos provided from the Digital Do’s and Don’t class at Sampson Community College. More photos will appear in the next two Weekend Editions of The Sampson Independent)
Cameras slung on their shoulders and eyes scanning their surroundings, over a dozen Sampson Community College photography students descended on their destination, armed with a desire to capture some of the best pictures they’d taken during their nearly 10 weeks in the Digital Do’s and Don’ts class taught by Sebrinia Johnson.
They made their way into the azalea-laden yard of former photography instructor Gloria Edwards back in April, ready to take instruction from Johnson even as they honed in on the subjects they most wanted to take during one of the many field trips they’d been on during the class.
“Just look around you and shoot,” Johnson said, as the students lifted their cameras and divided, prepared to conquer the yard and its wonders.
Some honed in on upclose shots of the azaleas; others stood back and tried to frame their photos, each trying to capture a moment, a memory and a scene, just as Johnson had been teaching them during their classes.
Their excitement was palpable.
“Look at this,” Angela Potts exclaimed as she reviewed her latest shot on the camera’s screen.
The photograph popped with color, the red azalea clearly the focal point with the background blurred just as she had hoped.
“Great job,” Johnson offered, as she observed her student’s work, before being pulled away to appraise another shot from yet another budding photographer.
Digital Do’s and Don’ts, the first of three photography levels taught at SCC (Shutterbugs 2 and 3 are taught by instructor Kelly Jones), is offered spring and fall and is open to anyone with a desire to learn both about the cameras they’ve purchased and how to use them to bring the world to life right before their very eyes. Next fall the first level class name will change to Shutterbugs 1.
The 10-week class has opened the world to many students, all who are quick to point out that after taking their first photography class they see the world far differently.
“The class was a lot of fun for me and, I think, for the students, too,” Johnson noted. “Everyone worked together very well, and the students made a lot of progress from the beginning. They really enjoyed getting to know their cameras and practicing new concepts.”
Students concurred with Johnson’s assessment.
“You just learn so much,” Potts noted during the final night of class, when students were urged to pick out their 5 best photographs, one of which was selected by judges as each students’ best of the best.
Trying to sum up the class and what she learned, Potts pointed out the rule of thirds as one of the many valuable lessons she walked away with, though by far not the only one. “You just see thing differently when you start looking at taking a picture.”
“I learned all the ways to frame a picture and what makes a good picture,” student Angie Naylor said. “I just thoroughly enjoyed this class; Sebrinia did a great job as our teacher.”
Those sentiments were shared by the large class of students, all who touted Johnson and the skills they were able to learn under her tutelage.
“I learned a great deal from this class,” said Deborah Grant. “For instance, you have got to take about a thousand pictures to get 50 good ones. You have to learn to be patient and enjoy the moment.”
And, of course, there were lessons like turning off the flash, the rule of thirds and stopping and looking around you.
“I see things differently now,” Dennis Westbrook admitted. “Taking this class literally opened my eyes.”