Headshot #9 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Kasra Soltani

Continuing on from Headshot #8, I have photographed my close friend, Kasra Soltani, for Headshot #9 of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

For these headshot photographs, just like I did with Jonathan McCartney, Steven Geer, Oli Regan & Leonardo Mouza, I have used a black backdrop to bring out the emphasis of the facial expressions I have asked him to make.

As my research has influenced, informed and helped me to develop my critical thinking and photography skills further, I have made sure that these photographs stand out and give the facial expressions I have asked Kasra to make a better insight, so that each facial expression brings to the surface the emotion that goes with that specific facial expression.

As well as the facial expressions I have asked Kasra to make, I have also photographed him doing different facial expressions naturally, so in this case, when I say natural, I mean he has been able to do facial expressions I wouldn’t usually expect him or anyone else to do. I’ve even got him to do some of the expressions again, but this time, in his own way, so at least then his natural facial expressions compared to the facial expressions I have asked him to make put more emphasis on the photography work I have produced.

Below are the headshot photographs, including the WordFoto Edits and the Black & White Versions of these photographs I have produced featuring my cl0se friend, Kasra Soltani.

Canon EOS 1200D

WordFoto Edits

Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

I feel that these photographs I have produced of my close friend, Kasra, for Headshot #9, show dramatic improvements in my photography skills, as I have made sure to adjust the position of the light to set the tone of these photographs correctly to the emotions I have asked Kasra to make, and I have noticed that my photographs have more of a shallow depth of field. I have also noticed and improved over the course of time with the clarity of the photographs I have taken, and I strongly feel that Headshot #9 has helped to inform and note the improvements and changes I have made to make these photographs stand out. To improve for next time, I will be making sure to explore the emotions effectively as opposed to Kasra’s body language, so that his body language can reflect the facial expressions I have asked him to make, as well as the facial expressions he has made himself.

These photos of my close friend, Kasra Soltani, that I have produced for Headshot #9 can be found in my E-Folio.

I am open to your responses, so please let me know if there are any improvements I can make for next time and if so, please highlight the areas you feel I could improve on for next time when I publish Headshot #10. which will be the final headshot article to close much of the practical side of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

Your responses and critique are greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

If you want to follow my close friend, Kasra, on Instagram, I have provided his Instagram username here: @Kass.ll7

Headshot #8 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Kasra Soltani

As part of my Final Major Project, Headshot #8 follows on Headshot #7, which focused on the subject, Mhamad Rauf, and Headshot #8 focuses on my next subject, which is my close friend, Kasra Soltani.

For these photographs, I wanted to create a different approach to the facial expressions I wanted Kasra to make by getting him to do those facial expressions as to the way he makes those facial expressions naturally.

I experimented, just like with Headshot #6 of Terrence & Leonardo and with Headshot #7 of Mhamad, with the graffiti as a backdrop, as I wanted to photograph Kasra down in the walkway that is just on the right-hand-side outside the rotunda of Croydon College.

All of these headshot photographs build further on all of the research I have done over the course of the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, and the five photographers I have done research on are Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff, August Sander & David Bailey.

Below are the headshot photographs I have produced of Kasra, including some Monochrome photographs that I produced after I finished photographing Kasra making the facial expressions I asked him to do for these photographs.

Canon EOS 1200D

WordFoto Edits

Monochrome (Black & White) / Facial Expressionism Photographs + A Continuation of the First Set of Facial Expressionism Photographs

I feel that the research I have done over the course of the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project has really informed and developed my photography skills further. I have noticed with these photographs I have taken of Kasra that my photography skills have rapidly improved. Up until I photographed Terrence, Leo, Mhamad & Kasra, I was initially against the idea of photographing outside the college, but I was glad to have experimented further with my photography skills by photographing outside the college. as I have noticed in just the short space of a few weeks that my photography skills are now a lot better.

These photographs I have taken of my close friend, Kasra Soltani, including the edits I have produced can be found in my E-Folio, but stay tuned, as I will be publishing Headshot #9 very soon, in which I have photographed Kasra again, but this time in the photography studio. I can guarantee that the next batch of photographs I have produced for Headshot #9 featuring Kasra will be the best photographs I have produced yet.

I would most certainly love to get your response on these photographs and please let me know if there are any improvements I can make for next time. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

If you want to follow my close friend, Kasra, on Instagram, I have provided his Instagram username here: @Kass.ll7

David Bailey / Research

Drawing the research stage of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project to a remarkable close, the fifth and final photographer I have chosen to research for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project is David Bailey.

David Bailey is an English Fashion & Portrait photographer, who became a photographic assistant at the John French studio in 1959 and in 1960, David Bailey was a photographer for John Cole’s Studio Five before he was contracted for the iconic and internationally renowned fashion magazine, British VOGUE.

Below are the slides in the exact order, and the work I have done Harvard Referencing for which references David Bailey’s photography work I take absolutely no credit for. I also take absolutely no credit for the self-portrait photograph produced by David Bailey himself. I’ve merely referenced David Bailey’s photography work in my research as inspiration to inform and develop my own photography work and photography skills further as I approach the end of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, which describes in short detail who David Bailey is, the best photographic pieces of work he has produced, the publications he has released, the exhibitions he has done to showcase his photography work, including the awards he has received, with references and external links to further research. All credit goes to David Bailey.

Now that I have managed to cover all five photographers for the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project I have been working on, David Bailey’s photography work, including Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff & August Sander‘s work have helped me to develop my headshot photographs better. As I am wrapping up the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project very soon, I can promise there are three more headshot photography articles on the way.

This research presentation on David Bailey can also be found in my E-Folio and the next subject I have photographed, who is the last subject I have photographed for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project before I submit all of my Final Major Project coursework on Monday 5th June 2017 will also be featured in the E-Folio once they’re published. I can confirm there are three more headshot photographs on the way, so keep your eyes peeled, as these photographs I have taken have shown my improvements in my photography skills, as well as the locations I have shot these photographs whilst in Croydon.

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

Alex Smithson

Headshot #7 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Mhamad Rauf

Continuing on from Headshot #6, in which I photographed Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza, Headshot #7 focuses on my next photographed subject, which is Mhamad Rauf.

For this photographic set, just like I did with Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza, I photographed Mhamad outside and got him to do the facial expressions I asked him to make, but also photographed him in different positions, including some modelling headshots.

The graffiti on the walls of the walkway really help as they put an emphasis on the facial expressions I have got Mhamad to make, as the colour of the walkway, including the graffiti, can help to compensate for the facial expressions I have asked Mhamad to make.

At this stage, these photographs have informed the research I have done on Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff & August Sander.

Below are the headshot photographs of Mhamad Rauf, including the WordFoto Edits and Black & White Versions of the Original Photographs.

Canon EOS 700D

WordFoto Edits

Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Overall, I am so pleased with the end result that has come out of these photographs I have produced and by experimenting again with the walls of graffiti found in the walkway outside Croydon College, this has actually allowed me to let my creativity run wild, ultimately giving me the chance to produce these photographs with more vibrancy so that they connect to my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

These photographs I have produced will help me to build on, develop and inform my photography skills further and will most certainly inform the creative work, research and headshot photographs I have already produced.

The Headshot #7 photographs I have taken of my close friend, Mhamad Rauf, 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 most certainly love to get your response on these photographs and please let me know if I can make future improvements for next time. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

August Sander / Research

Continuing on from the first, second and third photographer I have researched for my Final Major Project, the fourth photographer I have chosen to research is August Sander.

August Sander was a German portrait and documentary photographer, and his first book, titled: “Face of Our Time (German for Antlitz der Zeit)”, was published in 1929. He was also described as being “the most important German portrait photographer of the early twentieth century.”

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

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, which includes August Sander’s legacy, the posthumous exhibitions done after August Sander passed away on the 20th April 1964, including the publication he released in 1929, titled: “Face of Our Time”, also noting the unreleased book that was left incomplete that detailed his travels, with references and external links to further research. All credit goes to August Sander Stiftung and Widewalls.

The research I’ve done on August Sander will help me to develop my headshot photographs better for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project. As I’ve mentioned before, I will be photographing some subjects for my Facial Expressionism Project, so you’ll be seeing some new headshot photographs very soon. This research presentation can also be found in my E-Folio and any of the subjects I photograph will also be featured in the E-Folio once the headshot photographs I produce of the subjects I photograph for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project are published. I can promise there are more headshot photographs on the way, so keep your eyes peeled!

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

Alex Smithson

Headshot #4 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Oli Regan

Following on from the research I have done 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 is the famous actor and Mental Health Awareness Campaigner, Oli Regan.

For these headshot photographs, 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.

Canon EOS 1200D / Black Backdrop

Canon EOS 1200D / Red Backdrop

WordFoto Edits (Black Backdrop)

WordFoto Edits (Red Backdrop)

Black & White Edits (Black & Red Backdrops)

Overall, I am so pleased with the end result that has come out of these photographs I have produced and experimenting with a red backdrop has actually helped me to produce better photographs alongside the black backdrop, but it is an absolute pleasure to have worked with Oli Regan and I am absolutely honoured to have photographed him. Oli Regan is such a lovely and down-to-earth guy and you would be absolutely honoured to work with him.

These photographs I have produced will help me to develop my photography skills further and will most certainly inform the creative work, research and headshot photographs I have already produced.

The Headshot #4 photographs I have taken of my close friend, Oli Regan, 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 most certainly 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 #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

Welcome to November!

Welcome to November on Mother Nature! As this month is set to be full of new challenges and full of productivity considering the large amount of coursework I’ve been doing recently, it is safe to say this month will not just be productive and very busy, but will also be a month for Remembrance, given that Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day) is just around the corner, with the Red Poppies officially being worn to remember our fallen soldiers who gave their lives during the First & Second World War.

I also bring good news on Book #4, titled: “Life From My Own Perspective”, and the good news is that the book is almost finished, which is a good sign as I will quite possibly be able to release Book #4 before 2016 officially closes its doors for good. It’s hard to think it only felt like yesterday we were all ringing in 2016 during the New Year’s Day Fireworks and Celebrations, but to think it’s almost that time, it just feels completely surreal.

Also, Saturday 5th November 2016 marks Bonfire Night, which is also known as Guy Fawkes Night, in which dozens upon dozens of fireworks will be set off to celebrate Bonfire Night, including the foiled Gunpowder Plot that saw Guy Fawkes being hung, drawn and quartered over 400 years ago.

As previously mentioned before regarding Book #4, Life From My Own Perspective is much bigger than originally planned, so this book will have tons upon tons of information to offer you. I can promise you that this book will be worth reading, considering it’s over 500 pages.

Until then, Welcome to November on Mother Nature!

Alex Smithson

The Trek to Dungeness: 23.9.2016

On Friday 23rd September 2016, me and my class headed up to Dungeness as part of our course, and considering that the trip was an hour and a half via coach, I can honestly say that Dungeness is actually really peaceful and quiet. Despite the fact that I have heard it is a depressing place, to me, that is a complete understatement, as Dungeness is not a depressing place, even if the huge landscape around it suggests otherwise.

Dungeness is one of the most tranquil landscapes around and is also peaceful, and despite the fact that there is a nuclear plant on site, you can’t miss it even if it’s by a mile. The smell of the sea brings back the memories of childhood, as I forgot what the smell of the sea was like until Friday 23rd September 2016, and the trek to Dungeness couldn’t have come at a perfect time, as it was nice and sunny, the weather was absolutely beautiful and I even got to soak in a bit of the sun.

I can take a lot of good memories away now from this place, as I’ve got a collection of photos here to show you how I documented my trip to Dungeness, and I even ended up with sunburn, but luckily because I had my Apple Watch on, my wrist wasn’t burned at all, though the sunburn made my completely underexposed wrist obvious to see once I took my Apple Watch off when I got home. Usually, sunburn doesn’t go well for me, but I am glad I caught the sun on this trip to Dungeness, as I can say that I enjoyed myself regardless. Believe it or not, I didn’t have enough time to put sun-cream on because I thought it was going to rain on the trip, but luckily the sunburn was only mild as it could have been a lot worse. Still, I loved the trip and I would go back to Dungeness again any day.

We were told the moment we got off the coach that we were not allowed to take photos of the nuclear power plant even from the distance we were standing at, as certain parts of Dungeness are closely policed with restrictions to some areas. On the bright side, however, we were allowed to photograph certain areas of Dungeness, considering that some areas were completely restriction-free for photography.

The huge collection of photographs that I took while on the Trek to Dungeness can all be found below:

iPhone 5 (Standard Camera App & Camera+)

Nikon D3300 DSLR (Some Edited for Better Viewing)