Community Ed offers a class for everyone

This will be the first year that Charles Bush of Houma offers a macro photography course with St. Charles Parish Public Schools Community Education and he’s ready to share his skills as a veteran photography to those who want to capture the world through a lens.

The class will provide the hands-on experience of going out into the field, shooting an extreme close-up photograph of nature such as flowers or insects and critiquing those images in the classroom, Bush said.  Students will take what they learn from this experience and apply it to their next photo shoot.

The two-hour class comes in four installments.

“Digital really made the difference,” Bush said of a growing number of people who want to get into photograph. “There are a lot of people who invest in really nice cameras, but only know a fraction of what they can do. My value add is teaching them what it’s doing and how it’s going to get consistent results.”

In photography, light is the critical issue, he said.

“With macro photography, you’re dealing with very small subjects then it’s about keeping the camera steady, making sure the image is sharp and the quality of the light,” Bush added.

Bush’s career started as an engineer building computer systems. Fifteen years ago, he shifted to his lifelong love of digital photography. He’d learned the art from his father, who was an aerial photographer. He teaches classes at his home on a custom basis and at the New Orleans School of Art and Craft.

As for community education, he said, “I think it’s actually fabulous. I’m in my 60s at this point and try to learn something everything new every day and this offering the courses for people of any age is something fabulous for us to do.”

Spring classes begin March 14, with more than 150 courses offered to the public. The classes will be held at Destrehan High School and Hahnville High School. Fees and times vary depending on the course offered, with many of them offered for free.

Art, business and careers, culinary, health, music, parenting, dance and safety are among the subjects tackled in the classes, with specialized offerings under each of those themes. For example, under the topic of business and careers, there are classes titled “How to sell your books” and “Working in television and film.”

Under the dance heading one will find a tribal belly dancing course along with “Hey Now Hooping!” The latter is a new course offered, a hoop dance class designed to offer a low impact, full body workout.

Those interested in music will find guitar lessons offered for people of varying skill levels. Dog owners can learn how to better train their canine friends, while self-defense courses are offered by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.

“People who move into our parish say, ‘Oh, my goodness, we’ve never had anything like this where we came from,’” said Jayne Tate, community education coordinator. “We offer a lot of extracurricular activities and a chance for people in our community to learn new things and make new friends.”

Tate also noted that those benefits aren’t limited to only people in the community.

“We’ve had people come from Cut Off, Lockport, Belle Chasse,” she said. “A lot of people come out here because sometimes it’s the only place to get these classes. We have an abundance of classes.”

The deadline to register is Feb. 29. For more information, one may call (985) 785-7268 or visit the community education webpage at www.stcharles.k12.la.us/communityeducation. There is a printable registration form and the full list of classes at the website.

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