Donna Blanchard has been taking photographs since the 1970s, turning her simple point and shoot lens to an assortment of subjects through the years. With each picture, her love of taking them grew.
Then, she purchased a 35mm camera, and things changed.
“I struggled to understand all the settings much less use them in my photographs” the Shutterbugs 2 student wrote toward the end of her spring Sampson Community College class.”
But still wanting to perfect her skills and learn how to use the new camera, she enrolled in the SCC classes, starting with Digital Do’s and Don’ts and moving on to Shutterburgs 2, the second level class taught by instructor and photographer Kelly Jones.
“I have learned so much about my camera,” Blanchard noted, tipping her hat to Jones for the instruction that has allowed Blanchard to become comfortable, confident and able to take the photographs she loves once again.
“Kelly is able to share her knowledge of photography in a very comfortable and relaxed manner, and I have so enjoyed this class and being able to use the many techniques that she has taught.”
Blanchard’s sentiments are shared by all the students who took the Shutterbugs 2 class, one of two Jones teaches at the college. Shutterbugs 3 is the most advanced level and is taken after the second class. All students begin with what has been called Digital Do’s and Don’ts, currently taught by Sebrinia Johnson. That class, as with the other two, will be taught again in the fall but under the new name, Shutterbugs 1.
“I have truly enjoyed this class,” said Gloria Braswell. “I’ve learned a lot, but perhaps most about when to use different modes of my camera for photography.”
Samuel Williams goes a little farther, noting that in the second-year class he has learned settings on his camera that he’d never used before, opening the world of photography up to him even more than before. “I’m seeing things in my pictures now that I have never noticed before. I enjoyed learning about f-stops and aperture, blurring my background and the do’s and don’ts that go along with those things.”
Lynn Best said the best thing she garnered from the class was the way she can now use the camera knowledge she has learned in her every day life to become a better photographer. “I love taking pictures and these classes have helped me to see the beauty of the world in a new light. I look at things very differently now and I notice things I’ve never noticed before.”
And that is what Jones hoped they would glean from the class, along with myriad other things.
“The Shutterbugs 2 students took photos out of their comfort zones and were learning how to use more advanced features such as aperture and shutter speed,” Jones said.
“Each week students were given a photo challenge with a new skill taught in class. They did amazing jobs. I am so proud of how they got out of auto mode and I could see creativity and technical skills improving with each challenge,” Jones noted. “And, the best part, they were enjoying it.”
For Blanchard all the things Jones mentioned, and more, were among the many pluses to taking the class. “I use my camera in a way that I have wanted to be able to for many years. I would definitely recommend taking a class with Kelly to anyone interested in improving their photography skills,” she said.
Jones, along with Johnson, will be teaching photography again this fall at SCC. Classes for the fall begin on Aug. 20. For more information or to sign up call SCC’s Continuing Education Dept. at 910-592-7176.