My First Week of College: A Perfect Success!!!


Following from the first article I did about Croydon College on Monday, I wanted to follow that first article up by saying how much of a perfect week it has been. Despite going in for 3 days this week (Monday, Tuesday & Thursday), I was actually relieved to move on from school life quicker than I first imagined, because Croydon College gives you not just confidence in yourself, but also to give you a way to map out a future you have always longed for. I love photography so much that I actually took some photos around the outside of the College.



My first week, all in all, has been perfect. Not just perfect, absolutely wonderful!!! I bumped into so many of my school friends from Oasis Academy: Shirley Park, as some of my friends also went to Croydon College, and not only that, but I also bumped into some old school friends from primary school, which I was quite shocked about, because when you haven’t seen some of your friends in a long while, the time gap is quite a lot to take in, but I absolutely enjoyed my perfect first week at the college, and I want every week to be just like the first week.

My excitement has gone through the roof like never before, and I cannot wait for Monday to arrive soon enough, as I’m going on my first trip with everyone. The trip that arrives tomorrow consists of two different museums. The National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, where both collections consist of some of the best visual works based around the world. Both of these museums are also located in Trafalgar Square in London.

Overall, this week has been the perfect week for me, considering I was in for only 3 days, and I hope for the perfect trail to continue on from this week.

Tomorrow is set to start off what will be not just an interesting week, but also a fantastic set of opportunities for all of us, and I cannot wait to go through an interesting week that will help me to build my ideas further for this Level 2 Art & Design Course.

Alex Smithson



The Invictus Games

The Invictus Games

Hello everyone, after following the news that focuses on the Invictus Games, the day is finally here. For the next 4 days, the Invictus Games will hold many different events, focusing on the soldiers who were wounded while they were out fighting in Afghanistan.

The Invictus Games also shines a light on the soldiers, as the soldiers will show us all what it’s like and how they can send a positive message to those with a life beyond disability.

It is an amazing opportunity for our soldiers, and for everyone else, as everyone comes together as one to make a massive difference. The Invictus Games on its own will not just help those who experience life beyond disability, but it will also help to raise everyone’s spirits, as these games will make sure that there is a positive impact not just on those who have a life beyond disability, but also for those who are lucky to have someone that they love the most.

I actually feel excited about the Invictus Games, as everyone comes together to make a positive impact on everyone’s lives, knowing that what may happen now may leave a positive and lasting impact on everyone, with these games also creating a happy memory that will always live on forever.

To find out more information about The Invictus Games, click here to be directed to the Invictus Games website.

Thank you for viewing this article.

Alex Smithson

U2 Announces and Releases New Album: “Songs of Innocence”

Songs of Innocence - U2 - Article Image

After a few months of rumours circulating around the rumoured iPhone 6, the time has finally arrived. Apple have unveiled two new iPhone 6’s, one dubbed the iPhone 6, and the other dubbed the iPhone 6 Plus.

Also, to much excitement, and what has most likely caused a spike on the internet, U2, a long-time 4-piece running group, whose careers have spanned almost 40 years, have released an all-new album tonight. Titled “Songs of Innocence”, this is the first album that U2 have released in 5 years since their previous album: “No Line on the Horizon“.

Songs of Innocence

© U2 2014

After downloading my copy of U2’s new album via iTunes, which I was over the moon to hear that it’s free to download the whole album without paying a single penny, I listened to my copy of U2’s new album: “Songs of Innocence”, and it was absolutely perfect. This album defines how music should be made, and because I’ve followed U2’s music since my childhood, I was absolutely delighted that the album was free. For the first time in history, U2 released this new album, following speculation that was drawn in from the Apple Media event that finished at 8:00PM.

This is an exclusive album to iTunes users now, so if you have an iTunes account with Apple, you will be able to turn on Music Purchases in the Cloud via the Settings app, then iTunes & App Store and then, just under: “Show All”, you just toggle the Music switch to on.

Once you’ve done that, you just go into the Music app, and then scroll down to the “S” section where you will be able to download the album from your iTunes account.

This album is exclusive to iTunes as a free download to all Apple iDevice users, and will be released as a physical copy on the 13th October as a Deluxe Version of the new album, which will also be available on Vinyl.

Please make sure to head to iTunes now to download U2’s new album for free, you don’t want to miss it while it is free.

To conclude, Apple have completely redesigned the appearance of their website to blend the website in with the new iPhone 6, the new iPhone 6 Plus and the Apple Watch, including iOS 8, which releases next Wednesday.

Alex Smithson

——————————Credit to U2 for the free copy, cheers guys!!!!!!!!——————————

——————U2 deserve a mention on this blog for the free album download.——————

————–© U2 2014 (Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr.)—————–

My First Day at Croydon College

Croydon College

A New Year, a New Journey, a New Beginning.

Hello everyone, I wanted to share my excitement of my first day at Croydon College with you all, as I was eager to begin a new chapter in my life. I actually enjoyed my first day at Croydon College, because it felt relaxing, knowing that I could go into the college to begin my first day, and with the relief of being able to wear my own clothes instead of a suit, it made my first day at college feel absolutely peaceful.

While I was there, we all introduced ourselves and we also gave a background detail based on the kind of things that we like based on our personalities. My personality is that I like nature and technology, as well as photography, as I can express my creativity through the designs I create. As always, I make sure that what I create is my own and is also original. I hate to plagiarise on other people’s works, as I aim to create something that I can call original, and that what I create defines not just what I have crafted by myself, but also the types of interests that I have overall.

Within an instant, I just clicked with everyone, as I got to know everyone so quick, I have already become friends with everyone. It’s amazing how only a few hours make such a positive impact not just on me, but also on everyone, because the atmosphere of the college itself is peaceful, everyone gets on with one another, the maturity is perfect, and it also marks a massive change from school life, which is now better than ever for everyone.

Expressing your own creativity is the best option, because you are expressing something that you know and also something that you want to be original. I have loved my first day, and I want the best of today to carry on over the next few years of being in college. Today was a wonderful day, and was absolutely perfect. College is a lot more different than school life, but you immediately get used to it.

The atmosphere of the college today was quiet, calm and peaceful, and it was a peaceful atmosphere that I instantly got used to, that is why I loved today, because it was peaceful and everyone enjoyed the day just like I did.

Overall, I loved today, and I hope that it continues. I shall aim for the dream career that I want and love the most, and that is to become a proper, full-on professional photographer. I will never give up and I shall intend to try and try again no matter what.

Alex Smithson

Tourist Captures the Shocking Moment Mount Tavurvur Erupts

Mount Tavurvur

Hello everyone, from the news that I have just found out about, I was shocked to find that an eruption occurred last week. Phil McNamara, who witnessed the eruption unfold instantly, captured shocking footage of the Mount Tavurvur volcano as it erupted.

The volcano, which is located in Papua New Guinea, blew its top off last week, sending nothing but ash, debris and smoke flying into the air. The footage that Phil recorded shows just how much of an impact the volcanic eruption had caused, as a circular shockwave ripped through the clouds, and following the shockwave was a Sonic Boom, which had instantly slammed into his boat, causing the Sonic Boom to create, as the Metro describes it, an: “ear-splitting bang.”

To sum the volcanic eruption up completely, Phil said: “Holy smoking Toledos.” as the shockwave and Sonic Boom caused such a loud bang. Following on from the volcanic eruption in the footage that Phil caught last week, the eruption of Mount Tavurvur continued for several days after it occurred.

The last time the Mount Tavurvur volcano erupted was in 1994. The volcanic eruption in 1994 was so powerful, that with such force, it actually destroyed half of the nearby city of Rabaul.

When you consider the footage was recorded last week, it is actually an eye-opener. Because I’ve loved watching films like Volcano, Dante’s Peak and 2012, this footage that Phil recorded has actually opened my eyes, because it is something that actually occurred, and could continue for many days, weeks or years to come.

Recently, news headlines surfaced of the Bardabunga volcano, which is still on alert (currently being closely monitored) as the volcano could erupt any moment. If this volcano is to erupt, it could end up causing similar problems like the volcano, Eyjafjallajokull, that erupted back in 2010.

If you take a track-back to the Mount St Helens volcano, the eruption of Mount St Helens was so powerful enough that it would kill anyone and anything that was caught in its destructive path. 57 people were killed in this eruption, 250 homes were destroyed, 47 bridges were also destroyed, 24 kilometres (15 miles) of railways and 298km (185 miles) of highways were destroyed. With the destruction of volcanoes happening almost every day, this just goes to show that Mother Nature herself shouldn’t be messed with, given the amount of Global Warming and Climate Change that is still going on today.

The volcano itself, Mount Tavurvur, is suspected to have erupted around the 29th, 30th or 31st of August.

Alex Smithson

—–Credit to Phil McNamara for recording this video, which has since gone viral.—–

—————Credit to Getty Images for the Photo of the Volcanic Eruption—————–

Small Changes | Quick Update Change of Certain Blog Pages


Hello everyone, in light of the features some blogs have got, I have only just learned to create a drop-down menu for the two “About” pages. Recently, you may have seen all the pages disappear suddenly without warning, as I was trying to find out how to create a drop-down menu, but it’s only now that I’ve just learned how to create one.

The process, for me, was actually quite hard to do, as this kind of process of creating a drop-down menu can be quite a bit to take in, considering the guidance of how to create one. I initially found it quite hard at first, but, once I learned how to do it, I was able to create a drop-down menu via the Dashboard by going to Appearance -> Menus.

Also, I wanted to quickly update you all that I have slightly tweaked the book a bit, as one of the page’s title fonts appeared to be somewhat squished, and I’ve also added in a really tiny bit of information. One or more images have been slightly enlarged to make sure there are no gaps left, so that any gaps that may have been in some pages are all gone now. If you have a copy of the book that was released on the 1st September, please make sure to delete the old one in order to download the updated copy. Don’t worry, the updated book is free, and always will be, and any future books I may create will always be free.

Thank you for reading this article.

Alex Smithson

A Year in Photography | Out Now. Welcome to September!!!

Welcome to September!!!

Hello everyone!!! Welcome back for an exciting month ahead. To start the month off with a bang, I finally managed to get the problems sorted with Microsoft Office Word 2013’s servers going offline, and just in the nick of time, I have managed to upload the book to its own Dropbox folder, and as of now, it is out now and is available for free as a standalone download.

The small change I have made are the buttons for both books. As I renamed the Widget: “Free Book (s)” to: “Free Books”, I thought it would be nice to make the buttons feel flat and retro, as a metro-looking, 80s-retro style for the buttons feels more of an appealing approach.

This book is well over 60 pages, and has just crossed the 70-page mark as I added a few photos to round off the whole book, though you might notice a few of the photos are the same for the front cover, and also throughout the book.

I opted for a lighter blue for the back cover as I thought it would make it feel more like a book. This would make the book feel more like a proper book, and not like as if it was carved. Since college is just around the corner, I wanted to notify you all that I may be posting at least a few articles over the next couple of weeks, as the workload I’ll receive while I’m at college may be double the amount of work I used to get when I was at school, though I’ll try my best to publish some articles as best as I can.

To conclude, I would like to announce that Mother Nature is now on Facebook, so please feel free to like my Facebook page at any time.

Thank you for reading this article, and I guarantee you’ll love the book. Enjoy!!!

Alex Smithson

Wooah!!! The Summer Holiday Ran Like the Wind!!!!!

A Look Back on August as it unfolded

Hello everyone. To mark an end to what has been one of the most important months in history, I would like to take you all through a lookback on August to talk about a few of the posts I put up over the course of this month.

At the beginning of this month, I finished up on the last few days of the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games, to mark the start of what would be an important month ahead.

With the 100th Anniversary of the First World War, almost everyone around the United Kingdom switched their lights off for 1 whole hour, which would highlight that the beginning of World War I started at 11:00PM on the 4th August.

During the course of August, we lost one of our most cherished actors, which was Robin Williams. He died on the 12th August at the age of 63, and was very well known for appearing in most films and TV shows, with a career spanning over 30 years.

Also, during the course of August, I was absolutely shocked and saddened to find out that one of our own fellow blogging friends passed away. Ajay Mody, who is very well known for his two photographical nature blogs: “AjayTao2010 | My Personal Opening to the World” and “Ajaytao Botanical Photography” passed away suddenly, and in honesty, I found out about the news of his death just a week after he died via Vijay Shah’s Half-Eaten Mind news blog, and I was actually upset and I also cried after hearing the news of his sudden passing because he was an inspiring blogger who nominated and also awarded all of us for all of the efforts we went to in order for our blogs/websites, and if there was something I was a little confused about, he was always there to guide me along the way with blogging. He was a fantastic and joyful blogging friend who guided us all along the right tracks, and I thank him for it. He will be sadly missed, but I will never forget all of the good things Ajay has done for all of us. We will miss you ever so dearly Ajay, we will never forget you. Your legacy lives on.

Before results day arrived, I did a review based on Whitaker Trebella’s flawless and classical masterpiece, Pivvot, which was recently released on Steam, and since the game saw its release internationally last year, it has become available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, the Humble Store and now Steam.

On the 21st August, I was like an absolute bag of nerves and cried because I was worried about what results I might get, though my nerves and tears were out of the window when I opened my results envelope to find I actually passed most of the exams I worked so hard on, though I was just 1 mark off a C in Maths, but hopefully it could be re-marked, but this day was a wonderful day for me, as all of that hard work for the subjects I passed in finally paid off, and I was able to secure my place at Croydon College.

In the few days leading up to today, the final day of August, I updated all of you with the latest and new information based on my second book: “A Year in Photography”, in which the article would talk about certain things I have included in this book, and what the design of the front cover looked like before and after. This book is the biggest book yet, containing well over 50-60 pages, and is more like a lookback, but also feels more like as if it has been crafted as a yearbook, given the final design of the front cover.

To mark the end of August, I wanted to notify you all that the book is virtually complete, and will be available for free download tomorrow evening at 6:00PM via a Dropbox link, which will be hyperlinked as a button.

Also, there are some small changes being made to this blog, such as the book buttons, and over the next couple of weeks, I will be looking to make some more additions to the social buttons, as there are currently 6 buttons on this blog, so hopefully the widgets will have a small refresh to blend in for the rest of this year.

For now, thanks for such an amazing August, and I’ll try my best to post some articles over the course of September. College will be a fresh start for me, and workloads are set to increase double the amount I used to do, but I’ll do my absolute best to try and get in a few articles as much as I can.

Thanks for such a wonderful August, and thanks also for viewing the final article for August :-).

Alex Smithson

A Year in Photography: Book Update

A Year in Photography - Alex Smithson - Out 1st September @ 6-00PM

Hello everyone, I wanted to quickly update you all on the new book that I’ll be releasing on September 1st by showing you an early preview of the final design of the book. “A Year in Photography” is set to be the biggest second installment.

Much bigger than the first, this book contains over 50 pages worth, though some page fonts have been shrinked to certain sizes and some have also been enlarged for some pages to fill up any gaps left near the bottom of cetain pages that had finished information beforehand.

There’s a lot of information and ideas that I have put into this book, some old, some new, but mostly exclusive information that talks pretty much about everything regarding when I started blogging, and many other things that I do when I’ve been away from blogging for a certain time.

Below, I have put a design comparison of both book designs, which will show you what the design looked like before, and what the new design looks like now. Also below this Book Design Comparison is the Final, Official Cover art of the book: “A Year in Photography”.

Book Design Comparison

Book Design Comparison

A Year in Photography

Final, Official Cover

Please let me know what you guys think of this final and official cover :-).

Thank you for reading this article :-).

Alex Smithson

Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I DID IT!!!!!!!! I'VE PASSED!!!!!!!!


I was like a bag of nerves yesterday morning, all of us were, and when I got to my school, Oasis Academy: Shirley Park, I was almost ready to cease up because the nerves almost got to me. Even then, after I arrived, I picked up my envelope containing my results, and I was absolutely petrified of opening it, because I was worried about the results I might get. I braved it, and went ahead and opened my envelope containing the results, and I was pleased to find I earned 6 GCSEs from 4 different subjects.

I passed in Art & Design with a C Grade, a P in BTEC PE (which is two GCSEs worth), a C in Science and a P in ICT (Also 2 GCSEs worth). I am absolutely over the moon I’ve now got 6 GCSEs right under my belt, and because of you, my family, my friends, my teachers and all of you, I never gave up.

I would like to say an absolute thank you to everyone for giving me the chance to achieve better, I couldn’t have done it without all of you. Thank you :-).

I’ve provided a link here of the Oasis Academy: Shirley Park website, featuring how all of us did, and how other students felt when they got their results.

Shirley Park Students celebrate their best ever GCSE results achieving 69% in English and Mathematics

Again, thanks so, so much to all of you, my friends, my family, my teachers and everyone else who wished me luck before yesterday, I couldn’t have done it without you all, and also a special mention and thanks to the singer, Marcus Collins for wishing me the best of luck for yesterday’s results day.

Alex Smithson