The transition from automatic focus photography to learning shutter speed, aperture and manual settings was challenging, but students in Kelly Jones Shutterbugs 3 class said it was an opportunity to step way outside their comfort zone and learn lessons they’d never really thought about before.
With cameras armed and ready, the third level class took field trips, walked outside their classrooms at Sampson Community College and took steps on their own to hone a set of new skills that the avid photographer, they said, would eventually want to try — even if they eventually went back to auto focus.
“Shutterbugs 3 was an enjoyable class,” noted Kimberly Cannady, who said that Jones, as instructor, had worked diligently to teach the class advanced modes photographers can apply to enhance their photographs.
“It was a great learning experience.”
Silvia Tanner agreed. “Kelly sort of opened the door for us and said it’s OK to venture outside our comfort zone, explore those settings and take the picture.”
And venture out they did, practicing in the field what they were learning in class. To do that, they had to change those camera settings from auto focus to manual and begin to play with shutter speeds and aperture settings, sometimes getting blurry results but learning in the process.
“It’s stepping into different waters for sure,” Jones said, “but the students wanted to see what they could do with a variety of settings. The end results were really good.”
Many turned to their creative side, using shutter speed to slow down the action of things like water being poured into a glass. Others turned to macro photograph getting upclose and personal with inanimate objects like flower petals. Still others tried their hand at using a tripod and capturing a sunburst or that perfect sunset.
Jones said her goal for the class was to successfully use manual mode to take photos, adjusting shutter speed, ISO or aperture to get the perfect exposure triangle, something she believed was accomplished by the small group.
In all, students said they walked away from the class with a lot more knowledge about their camera and a deeper love for the art that is photography.
“I believe all of us in the class had a great experience learning as we participated in class projects, going on field trips to practice with our cameras, but mostly discussing the camera’s ability to capture the moment you want in the photo,” Cannady said.
Tanner said she loved the exploration of new things, something Jones urged. “I just loved the class and the excitement Kelly has for teaching us.”
All agreed that the class was fun and a learning experience, and one they hoped SCC would continue. In fact, many are hoping for another level.
“Hopefully there will be a more advanced class to teach students white balance, metering, flash and so much more that a photographer and the camera can do to produce the perfect picture,” Cannady stressed.
For now, at least, SCC is gearing up for the next 10-week photography courses they currently provide — Digital Do’s and Don’ts, the first level class taught by Sebrinia Johnson and the one everyone must take before entering the second two class taught by Jones, Shutterbugs 2 and Shutterbugs 3.
Jones said the Shutterbugs 3 class will require a DSLR camera and tripod. A point and shoot camera, she added, will not work for this class.
For more information on the classes, call SCC at 592-8081 and ask for the Continuing Education department.