Tiffany Sessoms glanced up at the sky, pointed her camera toward the waning sun and smiled as she triggered her camera, capturing what the viewfinder would show was a perfect orange and gold sunset.
She shouted with glee, sending her classmates in Gloria Edwards’ first semester class of Digital Do’s and Don’ts running her way.
They were in Edwards’ yard earlier this year, cameras aimed toward the sun, trying to capture the perfect sunset that Edwards had told them about during classes at Sampson Community College. On that night, they were trying to put into practice what they had learned, and Edwards was giving them the thumbs up, a signal that, they had, indeed.
“This is so much fun,” Sessoms declares as she heads off to find yet another perfect shot during the field trip, one of many the students took during the 10-week class, the final ones for Edwards, who has decided to hang up her instructor’s cap to spend more time, as she said, “enjoying her own camera.”
“It’s time to let someone else do this for a while,” Edwards noted as she shared her intentions to halt the three level classes she has taught for nearly eight years.
The Level 1 students said they were saddened at her planned departure but thankful they had at least gotten one 10-weeks under her tutelage.
“I will miss not having her as a teacher,” Sessoms noted on her final exam paper, “but I have learned so much from her already. I really learned a lot more in this class than I had even hoped to.”
Among those things was how to efficiently use the automatic focus on her camera as well as how to use the different modes, all parts of the Digital Do’s plan.
All the Level 1 students echoed Sessoms’ remarks, including the many things they learned in the 10 weeks, most especially Edwards’ mantra – no flash.
“Oh, we learned that one quickly,” photography student Kimberly Cannady attested. “And we learned how important it is to pay attention to the details. I can tell so much difference in my pictures because of that lesson.”
Sylvia Steinmiller and Ned Highsmith agree. The lessons, they said, were invaluable, and the love they have developed for their camera and the art of taking photographs immeasurable.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed this class. It has given me the vision of seeing things from a different view. Gloria has given us pointers on photography that we will use in the future, and I can’t thank her enough for opening up a whole new world to me.”
Ditto, noted Highsmith. “Of all the things I learned, using the digital camera was the most important. I actually bought three and took them back, but I love the one I have now because I enjoy using it.”
From the looks of each student’s final exam photos, judges, who selected the photographs which appear on this page, believe they learned a great deal.
“Their photographs were wonderful,” noted judge Joanna Dunlap.
Reach publisher and editor Sherry Matthews at 910-249-4612. Follow her on Twitter @sieditor1960; follow the paper @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.