Alec Crandall's Photography Portfolio

Photography 1:

In Photo 1, we learned the technical and compositional skills required to take a photograph using a digital single lens reflex camera. We learned about shutterspeed, aperture, rule of thirds, field of view, mergers, and ISO, and learned to manipulate the various aspects to produce a good photograph.


Aperture is the size of hole in which light enters the camera to expose the image. It affects both the exposure and depth of field of the photograph. Opening up the aperture to as large as it goes (f/3.5 on our cameras) results in a more exposed photo with a very short depth of field while decreasing the size of the hole results in a less exposed picture with a larger depth of field. I shot a series of markers set upright on the school floor.

Shutter speed:

The other technical aspect that affects exposure in shooting photos without flash is the shutter speed. By definition, it is the length of time that the camera shutter opens to expose the film or sensor behind, but it essentially does two things. First, the longer the shutter is open, the more exposed the picture will be and vice versa. Second, it changes what is actually in the picture. For example if the shutter speed is very fast, say 1/4000th of a second, what is captured in the image is exactly one moment while if you slow down the shutter speed to say 10 seconds the image will show everything that happened within that 10 seconds. We also learned how to pan. Panning is when you use a slow shutter speed to photograph a moving subject by following the subject with the camera so that the object is in focus while the background is blurred.

Rule of Thirds:

In photography it is common for beginners to shoot pictures aiming to put the subject directly in the center, but we learned that this is typically not a good way to shoot. Because there is nothing directly centered or symmetrical in nature, it is strange for us to see a photo that is too balanced or symmetrical. Instead it is optimum to shoot so that the subject follows the rule of thirds, meaning if you split the photo into thirds, both vertically and horizontally, the subject would fall somewhere on these lines or on the cross hairs where they intersect.

Field of View:

Field of view in photography is determined by the focal length of a camera. Basically, it is zoom. For this project we had to shoot three photos of an object while standing in one spot: one wide angle photo (less than 50mm), one had to be between 50mm and 80mm, and one photo had to be a telephoto (more than 80mm).


My favorite project in photo 1 was landscape. It forced us to get outside and go take pictures of the world. One of my favorite parts of photography is the solitude so I enjoyed going out to cool places with just my camera. We learned that to get quality landscape photographs, it is a good idea to use a high aperture, utilize the foreground, and shoot during the golden hours.


Portrait photography for me was not my strongest subject; it required incorporating other people into the photographing process and that was not something that I was good at. We were taught 20 different techniques for taking portraits and were required to try out all of them on three people. The first photo is an example of experimenting with angles, the second of framing a subject, and the third of shooting only body parts and using a prop.

Photography 2:

In Photo 2, we were given free reign: one semester to do four projects on whatever we wanted.

For my first project, I initially chose to shoot nature photos. I took my camera out in the winter to interesting locations and walked around shooting whatever I could find. Gradually my subjects changed from a more broad theme of "nature" down to a more narrow theme of "snow".




I chose to use film for my second project. I used the Pentax camera to take double exposure photos with the theme "music". I layed out a bunch of overlapping sheet music on my floor and took a bunch a pictures of the music and music books from different angles. Then I rewound the film and reshot the role, taking pictures of insruments. Although they are only double exposures, because the first and the second exposures were not perfectly lined up, there are parts of three exposures on each image.
My third project I chose to do on backcountry skiing. Several times I packed up my camera equipment alongside my avalanche gear and drove to Turnagain Pass. I would hike a couple hours up to the summit with some friends and then we would turn around and ski down, me taking pictures all the while. The hardest part for me was that after I put all the work into getting to the top of the mountain, the last thing I wanted to do was slowly ski down, stopping every few hundred feet to take pictures, but that was what was necessary. Even then a whole days effort put into the skiing would only yield about 5 opportunities to take pictures. In organizing the photos, I tried to show what a day of skiing was like, starting with the hike, the summit, then finally the descent.


My last project of the year was macro. The idea of macro is to take really close up pictures of objects that show details that wouldn't be visible to the naked eye. I took a lens, flipped it around, and took pictures of anything that I could find that looked like it would make a good picture. The first photo is of a necklace, the second of a Terra Cotta warrior figurine, and the third of a budding plant.

Throughout the semester, we were required to learn some aspects of photo manipulation in photoshop.

The first set of pictures is the result of using the selection tool. In photoshop, I selected the moon out of the first picture and pasted it into the landscape photo on the right.
This second set of photos is the result of using the brightness and contrast tools. I brightened the photograph so that the foreground would be more visible, then upped the contrast so that the different colors in the photo would pop.