Art + Design pro­fessor Neal Rantoul, head of the pho­tog­raphy pro­gram in the Col­lege of Arts, Media and Design at North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, spends his Sat­urday morn­ings snap­ping photos in Cam­bridge, Mass., a per­fect set­ting, he says, “to take won­derful pic­tures.”

“I don’t believe pic­tures must be made from glo­rious sub­jects,” says Rantoul, whose camera of choice is a Nikon D3X. “You can make a good pic­ture almost any­where if your frame of mind is right.”

Rantoul, who earned an MFA in pho­tog­raphy from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1973, began teaching at North­eastern in 1981. His 30-​​year teaching career, which will come to a close at the end of the year, is the sub­ject of the new exhibit in Gallery 360 called “Neal Rantoul: 30 Years.”

The exhibit — which will run through Dec. 5, with a gallery dis­cus­sion on Nov. 3 at noon — is broken up into three dis­tinct sec­tions that con­tain a total of more than four-​​dozen pho­tographs taken over the last three decades.

One sec­tion includes sev­eral color pho­tographs of wheat fields in south­eastern Wash­ington state. An all black-​​and-​​white series fea­tures pho­tographs of cabins and graves framed by over­hanging trees. A third sec­tion includes a score of pho­tographs of abnormal or deformed ani­mals and humans, such as con­joined twins.

Senior studio arts major Alyza Wen­ning, who took an advanced pho­tog­raphy course with Rantoul, was par­tic­u­larly drawn to the images of animal and human spec­i­mens, which sculptor David Ray­mond has said, “insist upon delib­er­a­tion … that seeks to find the inter­sec­tion of provo­ca­tion and valuing.”

As Wen­ning puts it, “They are iron­i­cally sci­en­tific.”

Rantoul, who has show­cased his work in nearly 60 exhi­bi­tions throughout the United States and in Italy, Eng­land, Ger­many and Switzer­land, is a self-​​described per­fec­tionist. “I always feel that I could have made a better print, or framed a pho­to­graph better or gotten better lighting,” he says.

His stu­dents, who he encour­ages to become “trained observers of their envi­ron­ment,” will be missed. “They keep me young and in touch with their gen­er­a­tion,” Rantoul explains. “We are able to chal­lenge each other and create an amazing, rich energy.”

His words of wisdom to aspiring pho­tog­ra­phers reached one stu­dent, who penned an uplifting mes­sage to Rantoul in a Mole­skine note­book in which vis­i­tors com­mented on the exhibit: “Your work will be seen and admired for many years to come.”

Pho­tog­raphy by Christo­pher Huang.