Croydon in Broad Daylight

Croydon in Broad Daylight

During the course of yesterday, and just before my 367 bus arrived today, I took some photos of Croydon again, but this time in broad daylight, and because I took these photos in broad daylight, this was the perfect opportunity for me to get these photos in before I headed home from college.

I was really pleased with one of the photos I took though, because I was able to get the photo of the area of Croydon that I’ve been wanting to get for quite a while now, and because there were no trams or buses going past, I was able to get the photo exactly how I wanted it to look.

I’ve taken these photos as I wanted to show the beauty of Croydon, as well as to how quiet it can be at times when there is not as much traffic on the road.

Again, I took these photos with the Camera+ app, which I strongly recommend you all get if you’re someone who likes to get a good photo, whether it would be something photography-based or not, and believe me, you won’t be disappointed if you switch to Camera+, it is that good to use, and you can adjust and change certain elements of how you want to take a photo before you take it, which is something that the traditional standard Camera app doesn’t have.

Please feel free to feedback what you thought of the photos I took in and around Croydon yesterday and today in the comments below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Croydon Before Dusk

Croydon Before Dusk

While I waited yesterday at one of my bus stops further down from the one I usually wait at to board my 367 bus, I took some photos with the Camera+ app, considering that my bus was taking some time to arrive (like it usually does), which tells you just what the level of transport is like in this day and age, also because of road-works, and I must admit, I do sometimes, on the odd occasion, use the Camera+ app to take some of the good, if not best photographs that I wouldn’t be able to take so well sometimes with the pre-installed Camera app.

As the sky stayed bright for a little longer yesterday, I was able to get these photos in a really good resolution with the Camera+ app, which I strongly recommend you all use, as it is much better to use if you’re someone who uses the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad on a frequent basis. Also yesterday, I took two photos outside Croydon College‘s Rotunda of the landscape, with Fairfield Halls being easy to spot in the distance, but one of the photos is panoramic, as I was able to get a full, wide-scale view of the outside of the college, but of the whole landscape. Luckily, and for the first time in quite a long while, this is probably the best panoramic photo I’ve taken in a long time.

Which app do I prefer to use more to take these kind of photos, the pre-installed Camera app or the Camera+ app? I personally prefer the Camera+ app, as there are more features at hand that can prevent the photos I take from looking fuzzy and diminished, and not only that, but it’s one of the best camera apps out there, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to you all.

Tomorrow, I will be publishing another article of photos, which will centre again on Croydon, but this time showing Croydon in Broad Daylight, but you might just be surprised at how well I’ve taken these photos, considering that there was some nice weather today, despite it being chilly of course. It is safe to say that I am absolutely enjoying the UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course that I’m on. I can promise you that the photographs that I took will not disappoint you.

Please feel free to feedback your thoughts on the photos I took yesterday. This is my first attempt at taking photos just before dusk.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to February!!!!!

Welcome to February!!!!!

Welcome to February on Mother Nature everyone!!!!! As this month is set to be possibly a complete washout because of the odd weather we’ve been getting, given that we’ve also been getting large gusts of wind and the odd spot of rain, I will be making sure to do a lot more articles this month.

I must admit, despite a sad start to 2016 because of the fact we lost the likes of David Bowie, Alan Rickman & Sir Terry Wogan, Sir Terry Wogan of whom sadly passed away at the age of 77 yesterday after a short battle with cancer, I did find that I published more frequently last month, which did, however, kick 2016 off on a good, but sad note, but still, I will be making sure to keep to my promise of publishing those tribute articles as soon as I can.

What will be happening over the course of this month? Oh yes, as I love photography, I have managed to dig out some of the forgotten photos from yesteryear, which I will be uploading sometime during the course of this month, and also, I’ll be doing a lost files article, which will contain some photos from when I was on my previous course last year, as well as some photos that don’t relate to my previous course at all.

As I can expect this month to be quite busy, given that I have my studies to think about, I will do my best to publish more articles, as I want to stay as productive as possible this time, last year, although albeit I was productive, I wasn’t as productive as I wanted to be, but this time around, I want to make sure I can keep myself as busy as possible.

Other than that, I do feel that last month was quite a busy one, but a busy month I enjoyed quite a lot, but still, I will make sure to keep my promise and be more productive and to keep publishing on a frequent basis.

Until then, I just wanted to say:

WELCOME TO FEBRUARY!!!!!

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: January 2016

Monthly Roundup - January 2016

Well I’ve been quite a busy bee since we all welcomed in 2016 on New Year’s Day, but in the first few weeks of 2016, we have lost some notable icons of the film and music industry. On the 10th January 2016, David Bowie sadly passed away at the age of 69 from liver cancer, just two days after releasing his final album, Blackstar, and just four days after his passing, the Harry Potter actor, Alan Rickman also passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I’ve also just heard the news as of lunchtime that Sir Terry Wogan has sadly passed away today after a short battle with cancer. I must admit, I’m really shocked to hear of his passing, because I didn’t know he had cancer until his death was announced earlier today.

Please accept my sincere apologies if I wasn’t able to publish two tribute articles on both of them this month, it’s mainly been because of the fact I’ve been so busy with the current project that I’ve been on that I’ve had trouble with finding the time to do both of the tribute articles. Please don’t worry too much though, because they are currently being made and are in progress, and hopefully, fingers crossed, I can get them published over the course of February or March, depending on the workload I receive from college. I can promise you that I won’t be leaving them to chance, so I will be making sure to work on them as soon as I get a large amount of time on my hands. I can also promise you that I will be, in light of Sir Terry Wogan’s sudden passing earlier today, writing a tribute article on him to pay my full respects and condolences to him and his family at such a sad time.

To round off what has been a really good, but sad start to 2016, I will be taking a full look-back on the articles published over the course of this month.

1.1.2016 – To kick 2016 off with a bang, I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for the New Year, and with a redesigned appearance, I mentioned that Mother Nature had changed its colours to: “accommodate for a maturer appearance, given that Mother Nature has now evolved into more of a presentable appearance.” I also mentioned that I would be doing some housekeeping, as I would be taking down some articles and some pictures to free up the website space for Mother Nature.

I had also mentioned that this news had come as I wanted to get back to my roots fully of doing more photography articles. However, all wouldn’t be lost though, because any articles I would be taking down would have their spaces filled with some new articles, as I wanted Mother Nature to focus more on photography, but also on certain interests, as I don’t want to talk too much about one thing, knowing full well that the whole idea of this website is to be a photography site.

3.1.2016 – To kick 2016 off with a bang in terms of photography, I did the first Historical Photographer article for 2016 on Walker Evans, who is the second in the Historical Photographers series that I introduced back in December 2015. In this Historical Photographer article, I would talk about Walker Evans’ life, as well as the timeline of events that unfolded up until his death on the 10th April 1975.

Also on this day, I published an article based on my thoughts about maturity and communication in modern society, as I felt that in modern society, maturity was something that shouldn’t really go amiss, especially in our generation and in this day and age, but when it came to maturity in modern society, among many other areas of life, our generation unfortunately lack almost all of maturity.

6.1.2016 – As I wanted to make sure to keep to my promise of being more productive and by also promising to publish more articles on a frequent basis, I started by doing a topic that would focus on whether the media was responsible for promoting eating disorders and negative body image problems in young people. I did also mention that I would tread very carefully when it came to writing this article, as I knew something like this would be sensitive.

8.1.2016 – As I wanted to refer to studying in general, I decided to talk about study time, and whether a large workload from school, college or even university stressed you out. I mentioned that: “Although I believe study time is crucial, I have known on some, if not, a lot of occasions, that it can be stressful, especially when you’re in school, college or university. Over the course of last year, I did notice how stressful the workload was, because I would get on a number of occasions, a lot of work piled on top of me, which, when deadlines were around the corner, I would sometimes panic about any work that may have not been completed, and in a lot of cases, I would often get stressed out.”

15.1.2016 – As violent video games are overruling modern society and my generation nowadays, given that violence is one of the most controversial subjects to talk about, I thought it was good to create a topic of discussion based on whether you thought violent video games should be banned. In this article, I had made sure to give my reasons for why I felt they should be banned, and how banning violent video games could help to prevent the younger generations of today from being brainwashed into committing violence against those around them. I did keep in mind though that a topic like this one is often touchy, and that I would tread very carefully whilst talking about it.

18.1.2016 – As this is something that is close to my heart, which also often bothers me, vanity has been something that I’ve noticed in the real world. In this article, I wrote about how I’ve heard about all these celebrities who have either had work done or had something enhanced to boost their self-esteem, and the same has happened to some of those who aren’t famous at all, and it really bothered me how vanity could cause someone to change something about themselves when they don’t need to.

23.1.2016 – As gangs are becoming a major problem in modern-day life, I focused this topic of discussion on whether the media was responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people. I did know for a fact that this was something that some people may be too afraid to talk about, but I decided to stand up and speak up about this topic in detail because I would not hide my views on gang culture, as I would make sure to outline in this topic whether I thought the media was responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people.

Also on this day, I published two more articles, one of which focused on my trip up to the Croydon Museum, as the museum contains so much information and research “based on a large number of photographers, as well as certain collector’s items, such as an old-fashioned retro 1950s car.”, while the third article was based on uplifting photo moments, given that I took a photo of Croydon College’s Rotunda, as well as getting a photo with The One Show’s Marty Jopson, who is such a nice guy and so down to earth.

30.1.2016 – With it being in the last couple of years since I last visited, and despite the fact my feet were killing me as a result of going up to London for this trip, I went on a trip up to the Science Museum with my class, and while we were there, I wanted to get some photos of the museum, considering that the last time I went, it had a dramatic overhaul in design, and not only that, but some or most parts of the museum had changed from when I made my first ever visit to the Science Museum.

Also, on the same day that I went up to London with my class for a trip to the Science Museum, we also went to the Natural History Museum to study further for our stop-frame animation project. While we were there, I also took a large number of photos, considering that I took a trip up to the Science Museum. It was also the first time in nearly 15 years since I last visited the Natural History Museum.

As I published both of these articles on this day, I wanted them both to be like a two-part photography article, in other words, a 2-in-1 article.

Thank you so much everyone for making the first month of 2016 a really good one for me. I know this month hasn’t been as easy as first thought given that we’ve lost quite a few celebrity icons in the first few weeks, but to David Bowie, Alan Rickman & Sir Terry Wogan, all three of you will be remembered in our hearts forever and you shall never be forgotten.

Again, thank you for making the first month of 2016 a really good one for me, and I’ll see you all in February.

Alex Smithson

The Natural History Museum | Tuesday 26th January 2016

The Natural History Museum - Tuesday 26th January 2016

On the same day that I went up to London with my class for a trip to the Science Museum, we also went to the Natural History Museum to study further for our stop-frame animation project. While we were there, I also took a large number of photos, considering that I took a trip up to the Science Museum. It was also the first time in nearly 15 years since I last visited the Natural History Museum.

At the forefront of the museum was Dippy the Dinosaur (Diplodocus Carnegii), and not only that, but the enormous scale model of the blue whale was in full view, but there is a lot more information there now than there was before, and I won’t deny it, but it’s a very interesting museum that has a soft spot for photography.

When I went, I did find that the second floor of the museum was closed, as they are currently doing some improvements to the dinosaur gallery, and between now and the Summer of 2017, the Hintze Hall will be reimagined, as they will be laying bare the relationship between humans, and also the natural world. During the course of the re-display, they have said that some areas of the hall will be closed to the public, with some “specimens” being temporarily taken off of public view.

There is so much information at hand and it’s absolutely amazing and also absolutely interesting and fascinating to find out more about certain things that I didn’t know about before. I really enjoyed going there to view what was available and I’m absolutely pleased that I’ve been able to do more this time around than I did the last time I went.

On the way back after coming from both the Science Museum & the Natural History Museum, I took some photos of the tube and also in and around Victoria Station. A few of them are blurred deliberately, as I want these photos to be a blurred vision that will remind me of my trip up to both the Science Museum & the Natural History Museum.

To conclude, I will leave you with 5 questions:

  1. Have you ever been to the Natural History Museum?
  2. Was it your first time going up to the Natural Museum?
  3. What parts of the Natural History Museum did you enjoy the most?
  4. Do you plan on going to the Natural History Museum in the future?
  5. Most of all, do you love the Natural History Museum?

Alex Smithson

© Croydon College 2016.

© The Croydon College Logo is Copyright of Croydon College. Permission has been granted for the logo to be used on here. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

The Science Museum | Tuesday 26th January 2016

The Science Museum - Tuesday 26th January 2016

With it being in the last couple of years since I last visited, and despite the fact my feet were killing me as a result of going up to London for this trip, I went on a trip up to the Science Museum with my class, and while we were there, I wanted to get some photos of the museum, considering that the last time I went, it had a dramatic overhaul in design, and not only that, but some or most parts of the museum had changed from when I made my first ever visit to the Science Museum.

There is so much information that the museum can offer, and I must say, I absolutely enjoyed going there. I took quite a large number of photographs in and around the museum, especially outside the museum too. One of the photos I took inside may look like it was taken outside, considering I took it in a way where there was no reflection, but I can admit, there’s so much information at hand now than there was before, so it was safe to say that I wouldn’t go without any information in my hands.

Also, there are some photographs I took of some of the 3D Miniature Models while in the Science Museum, and just by looking at them, they can be easy to mistake for landscape photographs, or even paintings in that matter. Please do keep in mind though that the photo that shows the tractor and the big tree was slightly cropped to give the photo more depth, and to make it look a lot more presentable for viewing.

Overall, despite the fact my feet were absolutely killing me by the time I got home, it’s safe to say that I absolutely enjoyed my trip up to the Science Museum with my class, and I hope to go up there again at some point in the future.

To conclude, I will leave you with 5 questions:

  1. Have you been to the Science Museum before?
  2. What parts of the Science Museum did you visit?
  3. Is there a certain piece of work there that you like?
  4. If it’s not the first time you’ve been to the Science Museum, when was the last time you went?
  5. What did you enjoy the most about the Science Museum?

Alex Smithson

© Croydon College 2016.

© The Croydon College Logo is Copyright of Croydon College. Permission has been granted for the logo to be used on here. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Uplifting Photo Moments: The Croydon College Rotunda & Bumping into The One Show’s Marty Jopson

Uplifting Photo Moments - The Croydon College Rotunda & Bumping into The One Show's Marty Jopson (Final Version)

During my lunch break at college on Thursday, I took the opportunity to take a photo of Croydon College‘s Rotunda, given that I had enough time to get back to my class for my next lesson, but as I walked into Croydon College on Thursday morning, I bumped into The One Show‘s Marty Jopson, who is very well known for testing certain things that are available to the marketplace, among many other things that involve experiments and inventions that we have or haven’t seen before.

On Thursday, Marty tested out an impact resistant suit which would withstand a lot of pressure and force if you were to apply something to it, for instance, in this case, a baseball bat was involved, as this was used to test the impact resistant suit that Marty wore while his production crew were filming.

I must admit, because I had only just walked in on Thursday morning after getting off of my 367 bus, I had to duck out of the way because I had no idea that filming had commenced, so you can imagine I was worried about the possibility of filming being stopped in the event that they caught me or anyone else within the shot.

After the production crew finished filming Marty testing the impact resistant, I had the opportunity to speak to him regarding what they were doing, and told him what course I was on, and I can be honest to you all, Marty Jopson is one of the most down-to-earth TV Personalities I’ve ever spoken to, and he’s such a genuinely nice guy to talk to. It was an absolute pleasure getting the chance to talk to him and to also get a photo with him.

To me, this is an uplifting moment, because the last time I met someone famous was four years ago, when I met Sean Scannell, who had previously played for Crystal Palace Football Club (he currently plays for Huddersfield Town F.C.). But still, Marty is one of the nicest, most down-to-earth people I’ve ever met, and this is an uplifting moment for me that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

Below is the photo I took of the Rotunda, and below also is the photo that one of Marty’s production crew took for me when I was at college on Thursday.

Croydon College Rotunda

Marty Jopson - Photo Moment

Overall, despite a busy week, I absolutely enjoyed myself, and these moments were just the perfect end to such a fantastic week. Thanks so much to Marty Jopson and the production crew for ending my week on such a positively high note, I really appreciate it a lot, and I can’t wait to see more of you on TV, you’re an absolute credit to the BBC :-).

Alex Smithson

© Croydon College 2016.

© The Croydon College Logo is Copyright of Croydon College. Permission has been granted for the logo to be used on here. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

The Croydon Museum | Tuesday 12th January 2016

THE CROYDON MUSEUM - TUESDAY 12TH JANUARY 2016

As I’m currently in my second year at college, whilst being on the first year of the two-year film and photography course, I took a trip up to the Museum of Croydon with my class, and while we were there, there was an awful lot of research at hand based on a large number of photographers, as well as certain collector’s items, such as an old-fashioned retro 1950s car.

They also had a design model of the Anderson Shelter, which was often a call for protection during the Second World War, but from the objects that were installed into the wall just opposite the Anderson Shelter design model, they’re there so when you touch any of them, they play audio recordings of certain items or things that either occurred or may have been used during the course of World War II.

I must admit, when I went to The Croydon Museum, I was really surprised by the large amount of information and pieces that they had in store, because I was able to do research on them, whilst taking photos of them, I mean, of course, the old-school Commodore computer is in The Croydon Museum, and was once a computer that was often used back in the 80s and 90s, before Commodore went defunct in 1994. They have, as of last year, been revived, and they’ve released their first ever smartphone, called the Commodore Pet.

If any of you ever get the chance to, I recommend that you visit The Croydon Museum to see what they have on display, as they have got quite the large amount of information available in store if you want to check it out.

Alex Smithson

© Croydon College 2016.

© The Croydon College Logo is Copyright of Croydon College. Permission has been granted for the logo to be used on here. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Topic: Do You Think the Media is Responsible for Making Gang Culture Seem Attractive to Young People?

Topic - Gang Culture

With gangs becoming a major problem in modern-day life, I want to focus this topic of discussion on whether the media is responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people. I know for a fact that this is something that some people may be too afraid to talk about, but I’m going to stand up and talk about this topic in detail because I won’t and shall not hide my views on gang culture, as I’ll be making sure to outline in this topic whether I think the media is responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people.

If you don’t feel comfortable with this topic, I do sincerely apologise, but I want to make sure to talk in-depth about what I think of the media and whether it is responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to the younger generations.

In modern-day life, gangs have been known for creating and causing problems for everyone around them, especially when it comes to one of the main attractions, such as video-games, which have often been known to promote physical and verbal violence for those playing a certain game. The media, however, have also been known for making things a lot worse for people, as certain games, whether they’re digital or not, have been made to look worse for wear, with the end result being that someone ends up either in hospital, with it also being that someone ends up getting killed.

I personally believe that the media are responsible for making things worse, as the younger generations seem to believe that gang culture is attractive to them, when in reality, it is not attractive, let alone mature. The media, from my eyes, is amoral nowadays, because almost everyday now, I hear of a stabbing or a fatal shooting that has occurred either in Croydon or in London, or even elsewhere in that matter, and it’s disgusting behaviour that our generation and the younger generations are showing, and I’m sorry, but we need more police numbers out on the street, because I personally hate the fact that nothing is being done for all of us to be protected.

I know for a fact the police numbers were cut to save money, but if you want to know what I think, I think sod the cost, and just keep our police on the streets, because if it means that our lives are kept under protection, then the more protection there is, the better. I know all of you might think I sound cross as I’m writing this, and to be honest, I am cross about it all because nothing much is being done to keep the crime rates down.

Personally, I feel that nothing is being done to stop these gangs from committing crimes, and I also believe wholeheartedly that the media is just as responsible for making things worse for people, because by them making gang culture seem attractive to young people, this is their way of trying to lure people in, into doing something that they know they shouldn’t be doing. Take this as an example, it’s like they have dangled a carrot in front of a donkey or horse, and expected them to try to eat it. It’s that kind of bad example that is presented to the younger generations nowadays, and it’s sad to see that nothing is being done to stop it from happening.

Before the police numbers were cut, everyone was able to feel safe and feel that they had a sense of security that kept them at arm’s length, but after the police numbers were cut, security is now a major concern, and there’s so many risks of anyone being stabbed to death, and not just that, but with little of security, it will all become too much until someone is shot and killed, and I still go by what I’ve said, sod the cost of police numbers, and just keep our police on the streets, because we all need to be protected and we all need to be given all the security that we need in order for the streets to become safer to walk around again.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to one thing. Ignorance. We can only stop ignorance from occurring by stopping gang culture from growing, and the only way gang culture can stop multiplying is if the police numbers are brought back up, and the only way that gang culture can die out is if we have more security on the streets. It’s not just security we need, but we also need to make sure our health and safety doesn’t become a major concern and that it doesn’t become a massive target for gang culture.

The media can be a twisted, dark and amoral place to be brainwashed, and the only thing I can say is don’t fall into their trap, because you might never get out of it.

If you feel that the media is responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people, and if you believe that the police numbers should go back up, even if it costs too much, then please feel free to feedback your thoughts on what you believe should happen and how we can put an end to gang culture once and for all.

Alex Smithson

Vanity: Do You Believe That it Affects How We Look & Appear Over the Years?

Vanity - Do You Believe That it Affects How We Look & Appear Over the Years

Now this is something that is close to my heart and it often bothers me, as vanity is something that I’ve noticed in the real world. For instance, I’ve heard about all these celebrities who have either had work done or had something enhanced to boost their self-esteem, and the same has happened to some of those who aren’t famous at all, and it really bothers me how vanity can cause someone to change something about themselves when they don’t need to.

Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with someone changing something about themselves to enhance the way they choose to appear, but what I believe in is that you shouldn’t have to change or enhance something about yourself because you feel that you don’t feel secure in your body, I always believe that if you can be the strongest you can be, and if you have the willpower to not care what anyone thinks of you, then I believe that you shouldn’t have to change what you feel affects you.

In my early childhood years, I used to be bullied at school because of my weight and how I looked, and I admit, I did feel insecure at first because I used to be called fat, but after being in secondary school for a while, I had eventually let it go over my head, because I knew for a fact that those who were thinking about me in a bad way were in fact the ones that were insecure themselves, and I thought to myself that I shouldn’t let my imperfections and their insecurities get me down.

In an Instagram post I put up sometime last year, which I most recently took down after the start of 2016, I made up this quote, which reads:

“Reimagine your life with a much better view, and don’t let anyone else imagine it for you.

Don’t care about what others think of you, concentrate on yourself in mind and body and no-one else. You’ll quickly realise that you’ll feel much better and more secure in yourself, as you won’t feel insecure.

Remember, if anyone thinks of you in a bad way, they’re the ones that are insecure, so don’t let insecurities drag you down.

Get Yourself Up. Dust Yourself Down. Be Confident in Yourself. Concentrate on You. Be Yourself.” – Alex Smithson

I won’t lie to you, I’ve had my fair share of insecurities in my time, given that I used to feel insecure about my body because of the fact I looked different to everyone else, but I’m a lot stronger now, and I’ve realised now that I’m at my happiest because I haven’t changed anything about the way I look, as vanity is not worth thinking about.

The one thing I can say to those of you who may feel insecure is this:

“Don’t change anything about yourself because you might choose to or because other people might say something to you to make you feel insecure. Love yourself and the way you look. You’re precious, and all that matters is that you don’t change yourself because you feel you want to or because others may perceive you in a different light, but don’t change yourself and love yourself. Love every single thing about yourself, and just be yourself. What you look like doesn’t matter, it’s the ability of waking up every morning and being able to be yourself is what matters.” – Alex Smithson

To conclude, I will leave you with 6 questions:

  1. Do you feel that vanity is something that should never be thought of?
  2. Have you ever felt insecure before?
  3. Do you know someone who may be insecure?
  4. What would you want to do to help them feel comfortable with the way they look?
  5. Do you feel stronger now than you did before?
  6. If there was one thing you could tell your younger-self or your future-self, what would you say?

Alex Smithson