Alison Lubeck's Photography Portfolio!

Photography has been really great this year. I took Photo 1 and Photo 2 successively this year, and it has been a blast! For the class final, I have compiled some of my work from both Photo 1 and Photo 2 in order to illustrate the learning process. I will definitely take Photography as long as I can (I signed up for Photo 3 my senior year!) because it's been so much fun and I've learned a lot, and I am in no way ready to stop learning how to produce an excellent photo. So with that, I present my portfolio!

Photo 1

APERTURE- Aperture was possibly my most favorite aspect of photo taking skills. I really love low depth of field, because it makes the picture subject stand out from the background. Aperture is defined as the size of the hole that lets in light and produces the picture. For example, a high aperture number (they can go from as low as 1.8 to as high or higher than 32) such as 22 means that the opening in the lens is SMALLER, thus allowing for more to be in focus. A small number such as 3.5 means that the opening is LARGER and only the subject of the photo will be in focus. This often occurs when you want a portrait with only the person in focus, with the background having a dreamy blurred effect.

SHUTTER SPEED- Shutter speed was one of the hardest fundamental projects of Photo 1. Shutter speed is defined as the time it takes for the camera to take the picture, or how long the sensor is exposed to the image. Shutter speed is measured in seconds and represented as fractions until you get to the really slow ones that last for 30 seconds or even a few hours. A small number, such as 1/2000, will take the picture quicker, practically freezing the frame. A slow shutter speed, aka less than 1/60 seconds, will allow for a blurred effect, fitting in several images in one. This is how nature photographers achieve the "soft water" effect. A good sports setting would be at least 1/250 seconds. If the shutter speed is less than 1/60, you need to set the camera on a still level surface or use a tripod--you can no longer hold it because the image will become unfocused. Panning is when you set the shutter speed to anywhere between 1/15 to 1/40 and follow a moving object. Ideally, you want the object in focus and blurred lines behind, as if for example a car was going really fast.


RULE OF THIRDS- The rule of thirds is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of photo-taking skills. Imagine that the image is split into nine squares, or in thirds left to right and top to bottom. You never want to center a picture unless it works for the subject. You want to always keep in mind where your subject is, where your focal point is, before you take the picture. Place the focal point on one of the "thirds" in the picture, but not in the center! Morell will heckle you for it.


PORTRAIT- Portraits were hard in Photo 1, and I'm still learning how to take good pictures of people. Again, you never want to center the person's face! The best portraits are those that are taken with genuine smiles, or non-posed, candid ones. Some tactics of portrait taking are as follows: Play with eye contact(looking off camera), experiment with lighting(try silhouetting), obscure part of your shot, try unfocused shots, or fill the entire frame.

LANDSCAPE- Landscapes are pretty easy, but it's hard to get pictures that aren't the same as everybody else's. Make sure the horizon is level and not in the middle of the photo!!! Boost the aperture up higher, like f/18 or something like that so you get as much as possible in focus. Try using sun to your advantage: backlighting, silhouetting, sunbursts, sunsets, etc. And don't center them!

BLACK AND WHITE- For our last project we got to choose, and our class chose to do black and white photos. With black and white, you want to look for a lot of contrast and textures because you can't rely on color. Make sure your photo isn't washed out or too dark; sometimes the settings for color photos and black and white photos of the same lighting and subject are different. Sometimes photos are better suited to be black and white rather than in color; experiment and find the best option.

Photo 2

Project 1: Skipped. Instead I went to Brevig Mission for a week with Andrea Luper, Annalise Decker, Emma Steinzeig, Ambrose Karella and of course Mandy, for the Rose Urban Rural Exchange Program! Brevig Mission, for those of you who don't know, is north of Nome, on the Seward Peninsula. It is often very windy and very cold; it reached -38 with windchill the 2nd or 3rd night we were there. It was quite the experience.
Above: Dried seal meat

Project 2: Macro. I had seen that other people in the class were doing macro and doing it well, by way of disconnecting the lens and taking the picture with the lens turned around...the focus becomes very limited and you can get extremely close to your subject. I experimented with a few things before I decided to do macro flowers. My mom had just bought a bunch of flowers and put them around the house, so I took countless pictures of all the flowers and decided that I liked these three best. Macro is pretty fun and interesting because of the texture and detail you can get up close, but I think I prefer larger fields of view.
lubeck2.jpg lubeck3.jpg

Project 3: FILM! I decided to do my 3rd project on film, and I loved it! Film is exciting; in Photo 2 class, at least one of the projects has to be in film. I didn't really have a clear topic for my film project, it was just a collection of "found" things, as in stumble-upon objects. Film is exciting because you never know what you're going to get until it's developed. Some people don't like that aspect but I find it enjoyable because it's old-fashioned. Film pictures are harder to get just right, because there's no instant gratification. You just have to wait and see!

Project 4: For my final project I did film a second time, and it turned out really well. I did not edit any of my photos, and I achieved amazing vignettes, colors, and focus! It was exciting because it was the best roll of film I have gotten back from being developed. This is the project that I am most proud of this year, because of the quality and types of pictures. I turned in one picture that was purposely turned sideways, just for the effect of not knowing what the picture was. I got some advice from my friends on which ones to turn in, and the one I thought was strangest they seemed to like the best. So I took a chance. Photography, especially in film, is about taking chances, and sometimes it can surprise you.

Photoshop: This year we had photoshop tutorials, which were quite the learning experience. Every week we had a new assignment to do on photoshop, whether it was something simple like changing the color or cropping, or something harder such as picking out one part of a photo, changing it's color, then making everything else black and white. Layers were a confusing topic for me, but I imagine I'll get better. Photoshop is a useful resource, but I like the idea of photo genius as the photo itself, without any changes. It's like synthesizers for singers. It's just not the same kind of skilll, though something can be said for people who are REALLY good photoshop gurus. If you take pictures thinking, oh I can fix it later in photoshop, then you're not really trying your best when shooting. Regardless, photoshop is a useful tool.