Headshot #2 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Jonathan McCartney

Following on from the first set of headshot photographs I took of my good friend, Jonathan McCartney, I present to you the second headshot photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan, but this time, with a black backdrop, which I must say actually works much better compared to a white backdrop, and the black backdrop was an idea a close friend of mine suggested to me after he critiqued the Headshot #1 photographs I took of Jonathan.

These headshot photographs have not only improved my photography skills, but it does make a lot of sense to use a black backdrop in these photographs, including any other photographs that I will produce.

I have made sure to experiment carefully with these photographs by editing them in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) so that they can retain the facial expressions I asked Jonathan to make, as these headshot photographs tie in with my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, including the research I have done so far on the Facial Expressionism photographers, Fazal Sheikh and Irving Penn.

Below are the Headshot #2 photographs of my friend, Jonathan.

Just like before, I have edited these photographs with WordFoto and used more than one word on one of the edited photographs shown below.

I have made sure to develop the photographs further by also changing the selected photographs to black and white whilst raising and lowering some of the curves on the photographs so that the lighting on Jonathan brings out his facial expressions better with a sense of depth and detail.

Overall, I am absolutely pleased with the end result that has come out of these photographs, and being critiqued on my work has actually helped me to develop my photography skills better, not just from receiving peer critique whilst in my Film & Photography lesson, but also from receiving critique from a close friend of mine.

The Headshot #2 photographs I have taken of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, including the edited versions of these photographs that I produced in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) can be found in my E-Folio.

I would love to get your feedback on these photographs and please let me know what improvements I can make for when I produce more Facial Expressionism headshot photographs for next time. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Headshot #1 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Jonathan McCartney

Following on from the research I have done so far for the Final Major Project, I have started to develop my photography skills further, and the first subject I have photographed for my Final Major Project is my good friend, Jonathan McCartney.

As Fazal Sheikh and Irving Penn’s photography work has inspired me in the development of my Facial Expression Final Major Project, I have experimented with a white backdrop on the first set of photographs I have taken of my friend, Jonathan. Below are the headshot photographs I produced showing Jonathan doing different facial expressions. I acknowledge that some of the emotions might not connect to some of the photographs depending on the way these photographs are viewed, but I will be improving on this over the next few weeks.

Below are the headshot photographs I have produced so far.

I also experimented further by using the same photographs again, but this time, using the WordFoto app and I was able to use the WordFoto app to convert these photographs into words. The edited versions of these photographs can be found below.

I am pleased with the end result that has come out of the headshot photographs I produced. I have taken into account the peer critique I received on Friday 21st March 2017, especially the peer critique a close friend of mine gave to me on how to improve, and for the next set of photographs I produce which will consist of a different subject I photograph, I will be making sure to use a black backdrop as this will give me the chance to get the subject I will photograph to stand out better. A black backdrop is what I will use next time as the subject’s facial expressions can stand out more with some depth behind it to back up the facial expressions that are made.

The Headshot #1 photographs I have taken of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, including the edited versions of these photographs that I produced in WordFoto can be found in my E-Folio.

I would love to get your feedback on these photographs and please let me know what improvements I can make for when I produce more Facial Expressionism photographs next time. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Irving Penn / Research

Continuing on from the first photographer I have researched for my Final Major Project, the second photographer I have chosen to research is Irving Penn.

Irving Penn was an American photographer who was best known for his portrait, still life and fashion photography collections, and his photography career consisted of work he produced with the top fashion magazine company, VOGUE, including Clinique and Issey Miyake.

Below are the slides in the exact order, and the work I have done Harvard Referencing for which references Irving Penn’s photography work I take absolutely no credit for. I also take absolutely no credit for the self-portrait photograph produced by Irving Penn himself. I’ve merely referenced Irving Penn’s work in my research as inspiration to inform and develop my own photography work further inspired on Irving Penn’s photography work.

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, the award that Irving Penn received for his work, as well as the various exhibitions he did in his life, including the posthumous exhibitions after he passed away that showcased his work, not to mention Irving Penn’s bibliography, which consists of publications and ISBN numbers, and also his major collections, with external links to further research. All credit goes to Irving Penn & The Irving Penn Foundation.

This research will give me the chance to develop my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project better. As I’ve mentioned before, I will be photographing some subjects for my Facial Expressionism Project, so you’ll be seeing some photography work soon. This research presentation can also be found in my E-Folio and any of the subjects I photograph will also be in the E-Folio once the subjects I have photographed are published. There’s a lot of great opportunities in store so I am sure that I will be able to present to you a lot more of my creative photography work.

If you found this research presentation on Irving Penn useful, please let me know. I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

Fazal Sheikh / Research

As part of my Final Major Project, I have been doing research on the photographers that influence me in the photography work I want to produce, which will be based on Facial Expressionism. The first photographer I have researched for my Final Major Project is Fazal Sheikh.

Fazal Sheikh’s photography work aims to document and personalise the power of portraiture whilst bring the displaced parts of the world, including its own people, into focus.

Below are the slides in the exact order, and the work I have done Harvard Referencing for which references Fazal Sheikh’s photography work I take absolutely no credit for. I also take absolutely no credit for the photograph of Fazal Sheikh produced by the MacArthur Foundation. I’m just merely referencing Fazal Sheikh’s work and the photograph of Fazal Sheikh produced by the MacArthur Foundation in my research as inspiration to inform and develop my own photography work inspired by him.

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, the awards that Fazal Sheikh has received for his work, as well as the various exhibitions he has done that showcases his work, not to mention the publications and ISBN numbers, and also his collections, with external links to further research. All credit goes to Fazal Sheikh and the MacArthur Foundation.

This research will help me to develop my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project better, as I will be photographing some subjects for my project, so you should see some photography work very soon. This research presentation can also be found in my E-Folio and any of the subjects I photograph will also be in the E-Folio once the subject photographs are published. There’s a lot of good photography opportunities in store so I can be sure that I will be able to present to you a lot more of my creative film and photography work.

If you enjoyed or found this research presentation useful, please let me know. I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

Battersea Park / Revisited / 13.4.2017

As it has been four years since I last visited Battersea Park, it is safe to say that not a lot hasn’t changed since my last visit.

The weather was absolutely lovely; the scenery gave me a sense of relaxation because it is a place to relax and unwind.

Whilst me and my family were at Battersea Park, we played a game of cricket, and twice in one day, two dogs grabbed the tennis balls we were using, though two of the tennis balls were knackered after a couple of whacks with the cricket bat, but it was good for us all to get out and enjoy ourselves while the two-week holiday lasts.

It’s hard to think it was four years ago that I last visited Battersea Park. Where has the time gone? I still find it hard to believe that I was just about to sit my final year at Oasis Academy: Shirley Park and 4 years down the line, I am sitting the last few months of my UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma Film & Photography Course at Croydon College. That’s quite scary knowing just how fast the time has flown, because it only felt like yesterday I started my first year at Croydon College and now I’m in my last year at Croydon College and it just feels so unreal knowing I’m sitting the last few months of my education before I finish my education for good and go into the world of work.

Below is the large photographic collection I have produced of Battersea Park.

iPhone 5

Nikon D3300

I won’t lie to you, I’m absolutely glad to have revisited Battersea Park after such a long while, because the weather was just right, the temperature was just right and not only that, but there wasn’t a single spot of rain which was a bonus! Mind you, I will revisit Battersea Park in the future as I want to photograph the plants again soon considering I photographed the plants mostly the last time I visited Battersea Park back in 2013.

Overall, I absolutely enjoyed my time at Battersea Park after such a long wait and I cannot wait to go there again soon.

If you enjoyed this photography collection, please feel free to submit a response. Your feedback is much appreciated and if you have visited Battersea Park before, please let me know, I would love to know what you think of Battersea Park.

Alex Smithson

Windows 10 Creators Update. Out Now!

Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for Windows 10. As Windows Vista officially comes to an end on extended support today, the Windows 10 Creators Update has officially been released!

The Windows 10 Creators Update is the first major update for Windows 10 this year, and this update follows on from the Windows 10 Anniversary Update that was released on the 2nd August 2016. As another major Windows Update is set to be released in the coming months, I wanted to give you a run-down of the features I have discovered in the Windows 10 Creators Update, considering that I made the jump to the Windows 10 Creators Update a week early ahead of today’s official release:

  • Night Light / Just like f.lux and Apple’s Night Shift feature that comes bundled with all iOS devices, the Creators Update brings this feature to the table and is useful for power-hungry users like me who don’t want to strain their eyes whilst looking at the computer or laptop screen for hours on end. This feature is beneficial if you want to sleep better at night.
  • Speed & Performance / There is a noticeable change in speed and performance after installing this update, as the Windows 10 Creators Update appears to have fixed any problems I may have come across before in previous updates, not to mention the operating system itself appears to be a lot faster than before.
  • Microsoft Edge / Microsoft’s Edge Browser is more responsive and has a new tab preview option, with the ability to set aside tabs that you can revisit later on. Web Notes come bundled with the browser as part of the Windows 10 Creators Update.
  • Custom Colours / Custom Colours comes to the Windows 10 Creators Update, so if you’re looking to customise the colours of the title bars, including the Start Menu, the Taskbar and Action Centre in the Creators Update, head to Start –> Settings –> Personalisation –> Colours.
  • Storage Sense / Similar to Disk Cleanup, Storage Sense in the Windows 10 Creators Update allows you to optimise your system storage by allowing you to free up space by deleting temporary files and anything else that may be cluttering your system’s memory.
  • Windows Defender Security Centre / Windows Defender Security Centre comes bundled with the Creators Update, which gives you more control over security; App & Browser Control, Family Options, Firewall & Network Protection, Device Performance & Health, Virus & Threat Protection, Settings & Home.
  • Windows Settings / As part of the Creators Update, Windows 10 gets more hands-on with gaming, and in some / most software programs now, a Game Bar, which was present in the Windows 10 Anniversary Update but wasn’t often shown in the Anniversary Update now appears more frequently in the Creators Update, which is beneficial if you are someone who loves playing games on a Laptop / PC.
  • Themes / Custom Themes are now a part of the Creators Update, so if you want to change the background on your Laptop / PC, the colour of the theme, including the sounds and the Mouse Cursor, you can now change those in the Creators Update.
  • Taskbar / You now have the options of hiding the taskbar in desktop and tablet mode while also being given the option to show badges on taskbar buttons, with the added option of being able to replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when you right-click the Start button or press the Windows Logo Key.
  • Mobile Hotspot / Mobile Hotspot is now in the Creators Update, as you can now connect 8 devices to your Laptop / PC’s Internet, even if your laptop is connected to your standard Wi-Fi connection.
  • Troubleshoot / If something doesn’t work properly in the Creators Update, then it’s worth using Troubleshoot, as you can troubleshoot any internet connection problems, fix any problems with audio, even problems with printing wirelessly and even resolve problems that prevent you from updating Windows. The Troubleshoot category also allows you to fix other problems, such as the Blue Screen of Death, Bluetooth, Hardware and Devices, HomeGroup, Incoming Connections, the Keyboard, the Network Adapters, Power, the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter, Recording Audio, Search and Indexing, Shared Folders, Speech, Video Playback & Windows Store Apps.
  • Cortana / The Microphone button has been redesigned along with other notable changes and has been improved for better use with the Creators Update.
  • Picture in Picture / Just like iOS, the Windows 10 Creators Update now supports Picture in Picture mode, so if you want to watch a music video, a film or footage you may have captured whilst seeing your favourite musician, author or film actor on tour, then Picture in Picture mode will be useful for you whilst you work on something else.
  • Dynamic Lock / If you own a Windows Phone that runs on the latest software build of Windows 10 Mobile and your Windows Phone is away from your Laptop / PC running the Windows 10 Creators Update, Dynamic Lock will automatically lock your Laptop / PC when your Windows Phone goes out of the Laptop / PC’s range.
  • Inking / Inking is a new feature that has come to the Photos app, which is useful if you want to annotate a photograph or design you have created.
  • Windows Hello / Microsoft have improved the recognition process for facial scanning, making the login process faster for users who have Windows Hello Support on selected Laptops / PCs.
  • Improved Control Over Privacy & Updates / You are now able to pause updates you don’t want to download for up to a week, and you can set the Active Hours on Windows 10 up to 18 hours, which is useful for if you want to install any updates outside of work hours. Privacy controls can now be changed, so if you want to turn off or review certain features in Windows 10, such as diagnostics, location, speech recognition, as well as relevant ads, you can now do so thanks to the Windows 10 Creators Update.
  • Paint 3D / Paint officially goes 3D in the Creators Update, which, for the first time, modernises the old with the new and you can now design something in Paint 3D and share it with community members of Remix 3D and if you want to see any work that other Remix 3D community members have produced, you can do so now with the Creators Update. If you want to share your creations to the Remix 3D website or you want to use it on a Windows Mixed Reality Headset or Microsoft HoloLens, thanks to the Creators Update, this is now possible.

What are my thoughts on the Windows 10 Creators Update?

Personally, the Creators Update is a remarkable improvement on Windows 10, because I have noticed the update has made my old HP Stream 11 much faster, and I didn’t think the Creators Update would be so fast on the HP Stream 11 but it surprisingly is and I have noticed that this update has fixed problems I had with my HP Stream 11 initially and made it a whole lot faster and much easier to use. Of course, I installed the Windows 10 Creators Update early on the HP Notebook 17 I currently use, which as it happens, is the current laptop I have used to write this review and I must say that Microsoft have done such a good job with this update because I’ve noticed that my HP Notebook 17 is a lot faster and easier to get around, and not only that, but I’ve noticed that Windows 10 has become a whole lot faster and much easier to get around.

Is the Creators Update more hands-on?

Of course, it is. The Creators Update has allowed me to be more productive in the work I want to produce and has come as a boost in speed and performance for me. In terms of playing games, such as Sonic CD, I have noticed that there are absolutely no drops in the frame rate and the Creators Update has made sure to keep Windows 10 fast and consistent and as it doesn’t require as much RAM (Random Access Memory), I have noticed that Windows 10 has become a lot faster as each major update has been released.

Conclusion

I strongly believe that the Windows 10 Creators Update has fixed a lot of problems and even given me a boost in speed and performance. I’ve noticed an improvement in productivity as well as being able to be more creative with any work I produce, as well as any articles that I love to write and publish and thanks to the Windows 10 Creators Update, I can work much better now than before.

If you haven’t downloaded and installed the update, I strongly recommend you update your Laptop / PC to the Windows 10 Creators Update. Also, if you have a Windows Phone running Windows 10, the Windows 10 Creators Update for Windows Phone will be released on the 25th April. The Windows Phone Devices that will support the Windows 10 Creators Update for Mobile are:

  • Alcatel IDOL 4S
  • Alcatel OneTouch Fierce XL
  • HP Elite x3
  • Lenovo Softbank 503LV
  • MCJ Madosma Q601
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
  • Microsoft Lumia 640XL
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
  • Microsoft Lumia 950 XL
  • Trinity NuAns Neo
  • VAIO VPB051.

If you own one of the 13 Windows Phone Devices listed above, then your Windows Phone is eligible for the Windows 10 Creators Update once it is released to Windows Phone on the 25th April.

If you enjoyed this review and found this review helpful, please let me know. I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

© Microsoft Corporation, 2017

© The official Windows 10 Wallpaper, including the official Windows 10 Trademark are all copyright of Microsoft Corporation. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Windows 10 Creators Update Rating: 10 / 10

INSPIRE TO BE POSITIVE

There’s no denying that inspiring someone can spread positivity; inspiration holds the key to positivity.

To inspire everyone around you not only allows you to spread positivity, but gives you the ability to give everyone around you the best outlook on life, and that life is special, even if at times it can be dull.

Inspire someone today. Your positivity is what this world needs, and is also the key to giving you the best possible start in life, and also the best possible career you want in life.

I believe with my hand on my heart that we should inspire others and spread positivity because this world needs to drown out inequality and negativity and bring out the best in everyone with inspiration and positivity.

Start today by drowning out all negativity and inequality and filling the empty spaces where the negativity and inequality were with equality, diversity, love, care, compassion, respect and diversity.

If this inspired you, please let me know. I’m here to inspire and want to make this world a better place and I want for all of you to be in a world where equality and diversity stomps on hatred, inequality and a lack of diversity.

This world needs equality and diversity, and with love, compassion, care, acceptance and respect, this world can be a better place.

Alex Smithson

Nature is Beautiful.

Nature is absolutely beautiful. The Spring weather continues to amaze us and with a small breeze in the air with the lovely sunny weather, it’s safe to say that this weather is beautiful and that nature is also beautiful.

I used the Camera+ app to photograph the Rose Bush again, and then I made some small edits to this photograph to give the rose-bush more of a friendly approach so that it rings true to the lovely and traditional Spring weather.

Do you love the Spring weather? I’d love to know. Please feel free to comment below. I would love to hear what you think of this wonderful weather :-).

Alex Smithson

The Blossoming Feels of Spring

Yesterday was such a wonderful day. It was nice and sunny and the temperature was just right, and I ceased the opportunity to photograph some parts of my garden. Mind you, it’s long overdue but I’ll be making sure to completely cut down my garden soon as it really needs to be cut. It’s like a forest. In terms of my garden, I did make sure to capture the beauty and essence of my garden with a forest-like approach and I had also made sure to experiment with the ISO frequently to see what ISO suited the lighting conditions best.

I am pleased with the end result I have received from these photographs, though I do feel that I need to improve better on taking photographs from a perspective where the scenery can be a mockup of a forest, but in a conceptual style that makes it more forest-like and not just as a plain garden that’s overgrown.

If you feel there are improvements I can make to my photography skills, please let me know. I would love to hear your feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to April!

Welcome to April on Mother Nature! As this month is set to be just as relaxing and as peaceful as last month, it’s safe to say that the weather is set to get better, and this month is also set to be quite the busy month for me, because I will need to travel up to places in London that I can photograph, including heading to certain galleries in London to further my research and development for the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project that I am currently working on.

During the holiday break, I will be doing coursework and revision, as I’ve got my GCSE English exam on the 5th May which I have to prepare for and I also have my GCSE Maths exams coming up soon as well, so I can only apologise in advance if I don’t publish as much on here over the next few weeks.

It’s hard to think, by the end of June, beginning of July, I will have just finished my last year of being in education. The time has flown so fast! I wish it could slow down but time isn’t slowing down anytime soon, so it’s time to make the most of it and make use of the time available whilst I am still in education to work hard and to succeed in my coursework.

Who has been loving this nice and sunny weather lately? I’d love to know if you love the nice and sunny weather that we’ve been seeing more of lately.

Until then:

WELCOME TO APRIL!

Alex Smithson