Sampson Independent

A whole new world

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.

Shutterburgs 2 student Donna Blanchard’s photograph, entitled ‘Morning at the cabin,’ was chosen by judges as the best of her 5 exam shots. Taken in the early morning, Blanchard said she chose this picture because of the elements within in – the fog, the sunlight and the reflection in the pond. ‘Those elements were impressive to me,’ she said, adding ‘the cabin and pond are beautiful.’
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Blanchard8878.jpgShutterburgs 2 student Donna Blanchard’s photograph, entitled ‘Morning at the cabin,’ was chosen by judges as the best of her 5 exam shots. Taken in the early morning, Blanchard said she chose this picture because of the elements within in – the fog, the sunlight and the reflection in the pond. ‘Those elements were impressive to me,’ she said, adding ‘the cabin and pond are beautiful.’
An artsy shot using different modes on her camera is why Gloria Braswell used this photograph as one of her five exam shots for Kelly Jones’ Shutterbugs 2 class at Sampson Community College. Calling the picture ‘Softball splash,’ Braswell said she selected the photo because she absolutely loved the way the camera caught the water sloshing out of the bowl.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Gloria-Braswell.jpgAn artsy shot using different modes on her camera is why Gloria Braswell used this photograph as one of her five exam shots for Kelly Jones’ Shutterbugs 2 class at Sampson Community College. Calling the picture ‘Softball splash,’ Braswell said she selected the photo because she absolutely loved the way the camera caught the water sloshing out of the bowl.
Dabbling in macro photography with this shot of the ‘Bee,’ Shutterbugs 2 student Donna Blanchard said she chose this shot because of the way it illustrates what the camera can show with upclose photography. ‘You have the ability to see the fine details of the bee’s body,’ she pointed out.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Blanchard.jpgDabbling in macro photography with this shot of the ‘Bee,’ Shutterbugs 2 student Donna Blanchard said she chose this shot because of the way it illustrates what the camera can show with upclose photography. ‘You have the ability to see the fine details of the bee’s body,’ she pointed out.
Lynn Best’s photograph,’ Under the Pier,’ offers a view into what the photography student has learned over the course of her two classes, including capturing lines in a unique way. ‘I loved the lines,’ Best said, adding, ‘and I loved the door at the end of the pier because it looked like the doorway to the ocean.’
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Lynn-Best.jpgLynn Best’s photograph,’ Under the Pier,’ offers a view into what the photography student has learned over the course of her two classes, including capturing lines in a unique way. ‘I loved the lines,’ Best said, adding, ‘and I loved the door at the end of the pier because it looked like the doorway to the ocean.’
‘The Blooming Tree’ was the second of Lynn Best’s top exam photos, as chosen by judges for Kelly Jones’ class. She submitted the photograph for judging, she said, because she loved how vibrant the colors were in the photograph. ‘I just thought the tress was very beautiful with the flowers growing on the limb and trunk of the tree.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Lynn-Best-2.jpg‘The Blooming Tree’ was the second of Lynn Best’s top exam photos, as chosen by judges for Kelly Jones’ class. She submitted the photograph for judging, she said, because she loved how vibrant the colors were in the photograph. ‘I just thought the tress was very beautiful with the flowers growing on the limb and trunk of the tree.
Trying her hand at architectural photography, Karen Melvin submitted the photo she took of the Old Bluff Church in Wade as one of her top five photos. She liked the picture, she said, because of the unusual angle she was able to get of the structure.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Melvin-2.jpgTrying her hand at architectural photography, Karen Melvin submitted the photo she took of the Old Bluff Church in Wade as one of her top five photos. She liked the picture, she said, because of the unusual angle she was able to get of the structure.
Prince would have loved the title of this photo that Gloria Braswell took, the second runner-up among her five exam photos. She selected ‘Purple Rain’ as one of her top photos because, she said, it was a good example of macro photography, ‘with a great view of the rain droplets on the flower.’
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_purple-rain.jpgPrince would have loved the title of this photo that Gloria Braswell took, the second runner-up among her five exam photos. She selected ‘Purple Rain’ as one of her top photos because, she said, it was a good example of macro photography, ‘with a great view of the rain droplets on the flower.’
Samuel Williamson’s picture ‘Dogwood,’ was his runner-up shot and one he liked because it showed some of the skills he has learned, including blurring the background of a photography while keeping the flower in complete focus. He also loved the detail that the upclose photo shows in the flower.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Williamson6.jpgSamuel Williamson’s picture ‘Dogwood,’ was his runner-up shot and one he liked because it showed some of the skills he has learned, including blurring the background of a photography while keeping the flower in complete focus. He also loved the detail that the upclose photo shows in the flower.
Judges selected Samuel Williamson’s photograph, titled ‘Evening lights,’ as the best of his five exam pictures. He chose it to include among the five, he said, because of the framing he was able to do using objects in his path.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Williamson-Lights.jpgJudges selected Samuel Williamson’s photograph, titled ‘Evening lights,’ as the best of his five exam pictures. He chose it to include among the five, he said, because of the framing he was able to do using objects in his path.
‘Sunrise Reflections’ was judges top choice among Karen Melvin’s five exam photos. She submitted it, she said, because of the light. ‘I loved the way the sun’s rising was reflected in each of the steps,’ she pointed out. The photo was taken at sunrise during a visit to Fort Cashwell.
https://www.clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Karen-Melvin.jpg‘Sunrise Reflections’ was judges top choice among Karen Melvin’s five exam photos. She submitted it, she said, because of the light. ‘I loved the way the sun’s rising was reflected in each of the steps,’ she pointed out. The photo was taken at sunrise during a visit to Fort Cashwell.
SCC’s Shutterbugs 2 students say class has opened their eyes to what’s around them

By Sherry Matthews

smatthews@clintonnc.com