Monthly Roundup: April 2018

The time flew really fast this month, though it’s been a quiet and tough couple of weeks for me considering I lost another close friend of mine after the beginning of this month, which is why things have been rather quiet on here lately.

I’m getting a lot stronger now but will be making sure to stay strong for my friend as I know she would want for me to be happy and to be strong for her.

I’ll take a quick look-back at the articles published over April.

1.4.2018 – As the next few weeks were set to be very busy, this meant I wouldn’t publish as much due to work, but that I would try to find the time now and then over the course of April to see if I could publish some articles when the free time becomes available.

On the same day, I officially published a new landing page for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” as I wanted to make sure the photography series gets its own designated page.

5.4.2018 – After much hype, anticipation, rumours and a social media storm that sparked frenzy about the iconic roast master following the success of Activision’s reboot of the bestselling original Crash Bandicoot trilogy with Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, Spyro the Dragon finally marked his comeback in Spyro Reignited Trilogy, which, just like the Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, comes with fully remastered versions of all three of the original Spyro games originally produced by Insomniac Games.

6.4.2018 – Since the start of 2018, the rise in knife crime has worsened, as it was revealed that more than 50 lives were lost, with most of the stabbings taking place in the space of the week commencing Monday 2nd April 2018.

14.4.2018 – It was an emotional rollercoaster, and I was away for a whole week as I paid my respects to a close friend of mine of two years who passed away on the 6th April. I chose to not publish anything for a week as I needed to come to terms with losing my close friend suddenly, but also so that I could process the news better. I paid tribute to my close friend by publishing a tribute that featured a photograph I produced of the moon with inspiration from Bruno Mars‘ ballad, Talking to the Moon.

15.4.2018 – Societies nowadays, especially now, expect you to suppress your real emotions to build an image of emotions that they expect of you. In this case, you put on a face where you look happy to everyone else, and that you are made to look like you can make it alone, but deep down, you feel broken, torn up inside, and you feel the true pain where you have been forced to suppress your real emotions because societies want you to look strong, when in reality, you are strong, but they feel the need to nitpick and make you feel like you’re weak for showing the real emotions you were born with.

21.4.2018 – Whilst on my way to work, I couldn’t resist seizing the opportunity to photograph mother nature in her finest form.

29.4.2018 – A week before, the United Kingdom baked in hot and muggy weather, with temperatures soaring to nearly 30°c.

Thanks for a great month, everyone. I’ll see you all in May.

It has been an emotional time for me mainly, but I’m feeling a lot stronger now and I’m coping better now compared to how I’ve been feeling in recent weeks, but I’ll try and find some time when I can to publish more and to make sure to get the best out of the time available as my friend would want me to go out and make sure to value every single day and to make sure to value the precious time wisely.

Alex Smithson

The Natural Wonders of Spring.

Last week saw the United Kingdom bake in hot and muggy weather, with temperatures soaring to nearly 30°c.

The hot, muggy and beautiful Spring weather came after a few months of heavy rain and recent snowfall.

It did feel good to ditch the coat for a change considering how hot the weather was last week, though I hope the warm weather returns again soon, as I want to get out and enjoy the warm weather more now that Summer is almost here.

How did you find last week’s baking hot weather? Did you enjoy it while it lasted?

I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

Spring! You Beauty!

Whilst on my way to work, I couldn’t resist seizing the opportunity to photograph mother nature in her finest form.

Her charismatic beauty brought about the sunny weather, the warmth of the world and the beauty of colour made her boldly shine through and her vibrant and positive energy shone through.

Did you enjoy the lovely, warm and sunny Spring weather?

Please tell me. I would love to hear if you soaked in the sun and made the most of the wonderful outdoors.

Alex Smithson

Real Emotions: A True Sign of Strength.

Societies nowadays, especially now, expect you to suppress your real emotions to build an image of emotions that they expect of you.

In this case, you put on a face where you look happy to everyone else, and that you are made to look like you can make it alone, but deep down, you feel broken, torn up inside, and you feel the true pain where you have been forced to suppress your real emotions because societies want you to look strong, when in reality, you are strong, but they feel the need to nitpick and make you feel like you’re weak for showing the real emotions you were born with.

From experience of losing a family relative and two close friends of mine, I refuse to not show my real emotions as I would rather everyone know I am okay, but I’m not okay and that I’m showing real emotion rather than suppress the real emotions and bottle the emotions up.

If you want to cry, then cry. If you want to show real emotion, then show real emotion and if someone tells you to suppress your real emotions, don’t suppress your real emotions at all.

Showing your real emotions is a true sign of strength, and not a single soul can tell you otherwise.

This has taken me a lot of courage to write, and although I’m still grieving, I’m gradually getting stronger as the day goes by.

One more thing. Never suppress your real emotions, but always show your real emotions, as it’s a true sign of strength.

Alex Smithson

I Know You’re Somewhere Out There, Somewhere Far Away.

It’s been an emotional rollercoaster this week, getting through each day has been quite hard, and I was away for a whole week as I’ve been making sure to pay my respects as I lost a close friend of mine of two years last week.

I won’t make this too long-winded, but I want to take this opportunity to pay my full respects to my close friend who was an absolute inspiration to me and everyone else, and that she’ll be remembered for spreading positivity and happiness with everyone she came across.

I thought it would be wise to use this photo of the moon I produced as Bruno Mars‘ ballad, Talking to the Moon, moved me to tears but in a way where it helped me to understand and come to terms with her sudden passing at such a sudden, yet saddening time.

This week has been really emotional for me and everyone else, but with each day, I’ll get stronger. We’ll get stronger. I want to be strong for my friend and continue to get stronger and value the time me and all of you have.

I want to make the most of every opportunity to go out and make the most of the time, as going out and making the most of the time and valuing every single second is what my friend would want for me to do.

I know you’re somewhere out there, somewhere far away, but I’ll always be thinking of you in my heart, and the inspiration you gave me and everyone else.

You are and always will be greatly missed, but I shall remember you for the positivity and happiness and that you’ll always be my close friend.

Rest in peace, my dear friend.

Alex Smithson x

Who’s Going to End This Bloodshed?

Since the start of 2018, the rise in knife crime has worsened, as it’s been revealed that more than 50 lives have been lost so far, with most of the stabbings taking place in the space of this week. There were two more stabbings just a few hours ago, and there are some victims, especially the most current victims who have just been stabbed whose lives now hang in the balance.

For the current generation, they see violence as an answer to their problems by using knives, guns and acid as weapons of choice, and it’s disgraceful behaviour.

To the current generation, put down the knives, put down the guns and acid and stop hurting everyone around you.

Do you think you’re going to get anywhere by seeing violence as the only answer to your problems? No! Violence isn’t the answer to your problems, but getting a life and being able to live your life is better than losing your life.

You’re hearing this come from someone who has experienced losing someone through these kinds of means, and it’s traumatic and heartbreaking to lose someone you know who went to the same school as you, but it’s even more heartbreaking when you know you and that friend of yours were close friends at secondary school. I know how that feels, and I cannot imagine you must be worried that your life isn’t safe knowing there’s a bloodshed currently on the streets of London.

Who’s going to end this bloodshed? Only you can, so please put down your knives, put down your guns, put down the acid and stop seeing violence as the answer because it’s not the answer to your problems. Stand up, be counted and start making a difference!

A positive difference!

Alex Smithson

New Page!

I have officially published a new page for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” as I wanted to make sure the photography series gets its own designated page.

The page details a short and brief description of what the photography series is all about and to access the page, you can now click on the drop-down menu to access the page.

The drop-down menus remain the same, and the photo-sets can be accessed as usual, but the menu: “The Concept of Expression” will now link to its own page.

The page will receive some tweaks over the course of the next few months so keep your eyes peeled for more as more photo-sets will be published and the page will receive some updates to better accommodate the photography series, as well as the models I have photographed and the models I will be photographing for the series.

I hope this helps and please feel free to suggest anything I may have missed as this can help me to tweak the page more should there be any further improvements I may need to make.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to April!

Welcome to April! As the days begin to get brighter over the next few weeks and the days lasting longer, it’s safe to say that the next few weeks will not only be busier, but the time will be a little slower than usual.

As the weather is set to improve over the next few weeks, make sure you wrap up warm if the Beast from the East returns as there is a possible chance of snow, but hopefully, if we do suddenly get a blanket of snow, hopefully the wintry weather shouldn’t last too long considering that Spring is here and the warm weather is slowly but surely returning.

As there are a very busy couple of weeks ahead, it’s safe to say I won’t be publishing as much due to work, but I’ll be trying to find the time now and then over the next few weeks to see if I can publish some articles when I get the free time available. On the plus side, as Summer is approaching, it’s safe to say that the time will fly and it will be a lot warmer than last year.

Until then, Welcome to April and have a Happy Easter!

Alex Smithson

Just Launched! Get Your Daily Dose of Pills from Miles Khan!

My good friend, Miles Khan, launched his website, and his website contains work he has produced of his multi-coloured pills, which he has been advertising on Instagram.

His work is inspired by counter-culture and anti-consumerism and focuses on the notion of people who conform to capitalism by consuming more than what they really need, which can create the idea for luxury brands to indulge and feed on other’s self-esteem. His work consists of screen-prints that he has handmade and worked on for the last 5 years, and his work was originally inspired by manga and the Super-Flat Movement, a movement of which was created by the retrospective contemporary artist, Takashi Murakami.

These are the pill designs you can get from the man himself, Miles Khan:

  • Charm
  • Confidence
  • Self-Worth
  • Confidence
  • Self-Esteem
  • Dignity
  • Dis-Illusioned
  • Broken Dreams + Golden Eggs
  • Broken Dreams + Vitamin C
  • Broken Dreams / SkBl-FlFu-Blk
  • Multivitamins
  • Majestic
  • Trippin’ Jelly Babies and Balloons T’s
  • Trippin’ Parrots and Tree Pythons T’s
  • Trippin’ Smurfs and Barbies T’s
  • Splash

If you want to get to know more about Miles Khan, head to his website, http://www.mileskhan.com, and you’ll be able to find out more about his work and how his influences in the art and design industry influenced him to start up his own business. Please take a look at his work and if you like his work, then his work is available to purchase from his website.

If you also want to contact Miles, he has set up a contact page on his website so you can get in touch with him regarding returns or requests you want to make for personalised pieces and if you want to get in touch with him regarding general enquiries, then the contact page on his website will be your first point of call.

Alex Smithson

© Miles Khan

© All of the Pill names, including the Confidence Pill are copyright of Miles Khan. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Instagram: @miles.khan

Twitter: @miles_khan_

Monthly Roundup: April 2017

Wow! This month sure flew like the wind. I’ve been so busy with coursework and revision lately that the time has flown! I am so pleased to have got so much coursework done and I’m so glad to have shown all of you the work I have produced for my Final Major Project, including the research I have done for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

Without further ado, I shall now take a look back at the articles I published over the course of April.

1.4.2017 – Welcoming you all to April on Mother Nature, I mentioned that this month would set to be just as relaxing and as peaceful as March, but that it would also be set to be quite the busy month for me, considering I would need to travel to places up 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’ve been working on.

7.4.2017 – The Blossoming Feels of Spring highlighted how wonderful this day was because it was nice and sunny, the temperature was just right. and I had ceased the opportunity to photograph some parts of my garden. I experimented with the ISO frequently to see which ISO setting suited the lighting conditions the best.

8.4.2017 – Nature is Beautiful proved that even Mother Nature herself continued to amaze us and because there was a small breeze in the air with the lovely sunny weather on this day, it was safe to say that this weather was beautiful and that Mother Nature is also beautiful.

9.4.2017 – Inspire to be Positive was my way of inspiring others and to promote positivity, equality and diversity towards everyone, and that we should all drown out negativity and inequality.

11.4.2017 – This day marked the beginning of a new chapter for Windows 10. As Windows Vista officially ended extended support on this day, the Windows 10 Creators Update was officially released. I gave a full run-down on the features I came across in the Creators Update considering that I made the jump to the Windows 10 Creators Update a week early ahead of this day’s official release and mentioned that another major Windows Update was set to be released in the coming months.

15.4.2017 – As it was four years since I last visited Battersea Park, it was safe to say that not a lot had changed since my last visit. During the course of my time that I revisited Battersea Park, I produced a large photographic collection that consisted of my journey to Battersea Park, including perspective photographs that I took throughout certain areas of Battersea Park itself, even though two dogs had caught two of the tennis balls me and my family were using when we played cricket on the large field, which were eventually knackered after a few whacks with the cricket bat.

21.4.2017 – As part of my Final Major Project, I did research on the photographers that influenced me in the photography work I wanted to produce, considering that my Final Major Project is based on Facial Expressionism. The first photographer I researched for my Final Major Project was Fazal Sheikh, as his work aimed to document and even personalise the power of portraiture whilst bringing the displaced parts of the world, including its own people, into focus.

23.4.2017 – Continuing on from the first photographer I researched for my Final Major Project, the second photographer I chose to research was Irving Penn, as he 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.

24.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far for my Final Major Project, I started to develop my photography skills further, and the first subject I photographed for my Final Major Project was my good friend, Jonathan McCartney. As Fazal Sheikh & Irving Penn’s photography work inspired me in the development of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, I experimented with a white backdrop on the first set of photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan and acknowledged that some of the emotions might not connect to some of the photographs depending on which way the first headshot photographs were viewed. I also experimented further with the same photographs by converting the photographs into words with the app, WordFoto.

25.4.2017 – Following on from the first set of headshot photographs I took of my good friend, Jonathan McCartney, I presented to you the second headshot photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan, but this time, with a black backdrop, which I must say actually worked 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 not only improved my photography skills, but it made a lot of sense to use a black backdrop in these photographs, including any other photographs that I would produce. I made sure to experiment carefully with these photographs by editing them in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) so that they could retain the facial expressions I asked Jonathan to make, as these headshot photographs would tie in with my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, including the research I did so far on the Facial Expressionism photographers, Fazal Sheikh and Irving Penn.

28.4.2017 – Continuing on from the first and second photographer I researched for my Final Major Project, the third photographer I chose to research was Thomas Ruff. Thomas Ruff is a German photographer who lives and also works in Düsseldorf in Germany. As he shares a photography studio with other German photographers, such as Andreas Gursky, Axel Hütte and Laurenz Berges on Düsseldorf’s Hansaalee, the photography studio itself formerly comprised of a municipal electricity station, which was converted between the course of 1998 and 2000 by the architects, Herzog & de Meuron, who are part of Tate Modern fame, with an updated basement gallery that was completed in 2011.

29.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far on the photographers, Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn and Thomas Ruff, the second subject I chose to photograph for my Final Major Project was Steven Geer. For the Headshot #3 photographs, just like I did with the Headshot #2 photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, I had made sure to use the black backdrop again, so that the facial expressions I would get Steven to do wouldn’t just have a real sense of depth, but that the expressions that Steven would make would capture a real sense of emotion. I experimented very carefully with the photographs as these photographs would build on the research I did so far on the 3 facial expressionist photographers; Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn & Thomas Ruff.

30.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far on the photographers, Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn and Thomas Ruff, the third subject I am honoured to have photographed for my Final Major Project was the famous actor and Mental Health Awareness Campaigner, Oli Regan. For the headshot photographs I took of Oli, I experimented with a black backdrop so that the facial expressions I asked Oli to make would give the emotion from the facial expressions he made more emphasis and more depth. After I photographed Oli with the black backdrop, I then opted to try out a red backdrop, so that I could capture some of the facial expressions again, but this time, I wanted to try and photograph Oli like as if I photographed him for a magazine cover photoshoot.

Thanks so much to all of you for such a fantastic, fun-filled, exciting and fun-filled month. I am so honoured to have shared my photography work and the research I’ve done with all of you. I have noticed I’ve been a whole lot more productive with the work I’ve produced, as well as the research I’ve done and I am so determined to succeed with a much higher grade this time around that I am making sure to work my socks off to get the best grades I want to get before I finish my final year of college at the beginning of July. I will make sure to work hard to succeed and to make sure I end my education on a high note and to also go out with a bang!

Again, thanks so much to all of you for such a fantastic, fun-filled, exciting and fun-filled month and I will see you all in May.

Alex Smithson