Adventures in photography

Shutterbugs III student Ronnie Aikens captured this Green Herring while on a visit to Huntington Beach State Park.

Sebrinia Johnson got upclose and personal with this bear during a Grandfather Mountain photography trip in late May. Johnson used her zoom lens to get a good shot of the animal’s face.

Level 3 photography student Ann Butler, who is also dean of Continuing Education at SCC, caught the light perfectly on this wood duck, illuminating his brilliant color.

During a visit to Ann and Don Butler’s aviary during a Shutterbugs III field trip, student Barbara Shook zoomed in on this pheasant, capturing his unique qualities.

Student Becky Aikens caught the tranquility of nature in this photograph of an egret. Using the close-up setting and capturing the bird in the foreground with the water blurred in the background, Aikens said she was able to depict the calm and peace of the day at Huntington Beach State Park.

Ann Butler took this photograph of Elvis 2, a colorful peacock in the aviary she and her husband Don have just outside their Clinton home. She used her Tamron lens to get a close-up of the bird who seems to be showing not only his finery but a little bird-atude as well.

Over the course of the last few years, Sebrinia Johnson has taken all three of Sampson Community College’s photography classes and joined the Shutterbugs Photography Club, all because she loves taking pictures and enjoys the educational adventures instructor Gloria Edwards has taken them on week after week, semester after semester.

This year, in Shutterbugs III, it was no different, as Johnson traveled across the state — and parts of the world — utilizing some of the tools Edwards has taught.

She’s not alone. To a person, those in Monday night’s Level 3 class were nearly teary-eyed as they went through their final exam, showing off some of the best of the best of photographs they’ve taken.

“We would love a Level 4,” noted student Donna Banks, who said she has grown as a photographer and a person under Edwards’ tutelage. “I just can’t get enough of Gloria’s instruction and the camaraderie we all share. It’s always an adventure.”

Edwards just shakes her head in astonishment, humbled by the way her students have taken to her instruction and overjoyed at their growing love of photography.

“I wanted them to love photography and to see the world differently,” Edwards noted. “I am so proud of all their accomplishments. They are great photographers, and I love knowing how much they have come to enjoy taking pictures.”

And they do. Shutterbugs III students say they have learned how to view their surroundings with different eyes, seeing things from new perspectives as they aim their camera toward the world, capturing images that often even amaze them.

“I love making pictures,” said student Barbara Shook. “I rarely leave home without my camera.”

While there won’t be a Shutterbugs 4 class at SCC next year, Edwards will be at it again in the fall, offering Digital Do’s and Don’ts, Shutterbugs II and Shutterbugs 3. The latter two courses require students to have taken the previous class.

For more information on the classes or to register, call 910-592-7176.