Editor’s note: Today continues a series of feature front pages from Sampson Community College’s Level 4 photography class. More photos from Shutterbugs 4 will be published Sunday, July 3 edition, rounding out the series. Photography classes resume in the fall for Digital Do’s and Don’ts, Shutterbugs II and Shutterbugs III. To register, call SCC at 910-592-8081 and ask for the Continuing Education Department.
Annette Johnson moved closer to the window’s ledge, eyeing first the list in her hand and then what she hoped was a spider’s web lodged between the glass and the metal frame. Assured it was, she lifted her camera, twisted the focus ring and begin to snap away.
“Got it,” she exclaimed, a smile spreading across her face.
Johnson rushes to some of her Shutterbugs 4 classmates, eager to show them the picture she’d just taken, one of dozens she had to complete on a photography scavenger hunt, one of many lessons taught during the advance level photography class at Sampson Community College.
Instructor Gloria Edwards watches her students closely as they meander across the SCC campus in search of rocks and tire tread, an up-close shot of a flower, a lady bug and assundry other items she has concocted to challenge her students.
“They really enjoy this and it teaches them to be aware of their surroundings,” Edwards said, explaining why the scavenger hunt was a part of this year’s first ever Shutterbugs 4 class.
“These students love photography and they wanted another level, so here we are,” Edwards said, turning to give a thumbs up to student Maggie Williams, who has just taken a photograph of a water drop.
Just a few feet away another Shutterbugs 4 photography student was stooped low to the ground, carefully angling her camera to get a close-up of a rock leaning against a tree trunk. “This is so interesting,” Michelle Wells said as she snapped the second of four photographs she took.
The scavenger hunt was just one of many adventures the level 4 students participated in during the 10-week course, which ended back in May. With a focus on manual settings, using the tripod, shooting night photography, especially the moon and the Milky Way and honing the skills learned in the first 3 levels of the SCC class, students said they now had a good handle on the ins and outs of photography.
Along the way, the students took night photographs of the Battleship North Carolina, captured reflections of the SCC campus in bubbles blown from an electronic machine, tried their hand at macro photography, learned what an infinity setting was on their cameras, and how to use it, and traveled to downtown Clinton to shoot night photographs around Milling Around public art display.
Many of the lessons, students said, opened their eyes to a whole new world of photography possibilities, as well as to their surroundings, something Edwards has honed in on in each of her four classes.
“I might just have to start all over again at Level 1,” noted student Judy Boney with a laugh. “This is so much fun, I just don’t want it to end.”
It is a sentiment shared by many of the students in the Level 4 class, who have joined the Shutterbugs Photography Club but still want more of what Edwards has to teach.
“I’m like Judy, I might just do it again,” noted Joanna Dunlap. “There is so much to enjoy about these classes.”
From the trips to the fellowship and, of course, the myriad photography lessons that have made each one of the students proud of what they take, the SCC classes, they said, have helped them grow.
“It’s just a special class. You don’t ever want to see it come to an end,” noted Williams. “We all just love Gloria. She’s a great teacher who makes it easy to understand your camera and fun to take pictures.”
Publisher and editor Sherry Matthews can be reached at 910-249-4612. Follow her on Twitter @sieditor1960 and like The Sampson Independent on Facebook.