Relaxation

To set the tone of this article, I recommend Madonna’s True Blue to soothe the soul.

“…the sun is bursting right out of the sky…” – Madonna

After a relaxing day, despite doing the mock exam for GCSE Maths yesterday, I can honestly say I am not stressed, which is a first for me in a long time considering that I’ve been so focused on the coursework lately.

I was so relaxed after yesterday morning because I submitted all of my coursework on time for the Formative Assessment and I was able to sign-post which sketchbooks went with the coursework I produced and I wasn’t at all stressed.

The mock exam I did for GCSE Maths yesterday went really well and I wasn’t stressing myself over it at all but I answered the questions I could do that I already have a knowledge of and the questions I couldn’t do I decided to leave blank only for the sole purpose that I still need a little bit of help here and there on the questions I am not good at, but other than that, yesterday went really well.

How was yesterday for you? I would love to know. Please feel free to submit feedback below. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Beddington Park / Croydon School of Art / Curiosity / Self-Directed Project / 1.2.2017

Following on from my visit to Dulwich Park, I decided to visit Beddington Park to photograph some of the scenery, and I also photographed some of the gravestones, given the names on some or most of the gravestones consisted of people who may have died a few years earlier, including those that may have died up to more than 100 years ago.

Of course, as I am continuously making sure to improve my photography skills every time I make a photographic collection, I like to make sure I can play around with my Nikon D3300 DSLR‘s camera features, as this can help me to produce a professional collection of photographs, so I made sure when I was at Beddington Park to try and photograph certain areas in and around the graveyard, especially the scenery and also the church.

It was freezing cold, but wasn’t raining when I took these photographs which was a relief for me, as I was able to produce this photographic collection to a much better standard than I expected, but I did make sure to change the ISO throughout producing this photographic collection as I wanted to make sure these photographs were full of clarity and also full of vibrant colour, so that they were presentable and professional enough to be a photographic collection.

As far as my photography skills go, I am pleased to say I have experimented more with the ISO, as this has helped me to produce this photographic collection of Beddington Park to the best standard where possible. I have acknowledge some of these photographs may be slightly darker than they should be, but it’s because I want for you to see how I’ve worked with the landscape, as well as to how I see Beddington Park generally.

Have you been to Beddington Park before? If you have, please let me know, I would love to hear your feedback, and if you haven’t been to Beddington Park before, don’t worry, as this photographic collection I have created of Beddington Park will give you an insight into what Beddington Park, not to mention the hindsight of the landscape.

Alex Smithson

© The Croydon College Logo & Croydon School of Art Logo are both copyright of Croydon College & Croydon School of Art. Permission has been granted for these logos to be used. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Dulwich Park / Croydon School of Art / Curiosity / Self-Directed Project / 31.1.2017

Continuing on from my first set of photographs that I took previously at Kelsey Park, I headed to Dulwich Park to photograph the scenery and also some ducks and birds. I saw some Mallards and Parakeets whilst I was there, including some squirrels, though to tell you the truth, some of the squirrels I came across looked bigger than their usual size, so I did make sure to walk very slowly to photograph them and I am pleased with the end result that I have achieved from this photographic collection.

One of the Moor Hens actually came a lot closer than I expected, which was perfect for me as I was able to photograph the Moor Hen with such detail and visual imagery, and because I frequently changed the ISO on my Nikon D3300 DSLR, this allowed me to play about with the light balance, including the saturation of colour and clarity of the photos.

This photographic collection I have documented of Dulwich Park showcases my current knowledge and photography skills, based on the 5 photographers I have researched; Ansel Adams, David Muench, John Shaw, Art Wolfe & Joel Sartore.

I feel that I have managed to produce this nature-based photography collection of Dulwich Park to the best standard where possible, as I have made sure to change the ISO to suit the mood of each photograph, and I have also made sure that my photographs are in full focus and aren’t too overexposed but more or less balanced.

I have deliberately altered the ISO to make some of the photos appear as if they were taken right before the crack of nightfall, because I wanted to explore the concept of nature and its wilderness. Some of the photos I took that were quite dimmed I wanted to try and create my own inspired form of photography based on the BBC TV Programme, Planet Earth, as I remember the camera crew did record video footage using time-lapse but with the camera focusing entirely at the sky with the trees in the distance, which is what I wanted to try and recreate myself but with my own form of nature photography.

I have researched the 5 photographers above as part of my Self-Directed Curiosity Project and I strongly feel that their photography work has informed my creative knowledge including the processes I have developed for this photographic collection of Dulwich Park.

What are your thoughts on this photography collection I have created of Dulwich Park? I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

© The Croydon College Logo & Croydon School of Art Logo are both copyright of Croydon College & Croydon School of Art. Permission has been granted for these logos to be used. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Kelsey Park / Croydon School of Art / Curiosity / Self-Directed Project / 24.1.2017

As part of my Self-Directed Project, I travelled to Kelsey Park to snap a collection of photographs given that my Self-Directed Project focuses around Nature. For this Self-Directed Project, I researched 5 different nature photographers; Ansel Adams, David Muench, John Shaw, Art Wolfe & Joel Sartore.

As I last visited Kelsey Park 3 years ago, it is safe to say that my photography skills have dramatically and rapidly improved quite a lot over time.

This large collection of photographs that I took of Kelsey Park would comprise of some species of ducks and geese, including some squirrels as well.

As I have a strong passion for nature and photography, I was lucky enough to photograph at least two swans, one of which you can see above which I changed to black and white.

I was surprised to notice that Kelsey Park’s lake was mostly frozen from the blisteringly cold weather, though one of the Moor Hen’s decided to land and slid across the ice. I did change the ISO mostly to photograph this collection considering that nightfall wasn’t far behind, so I did make sure to make the most of the daylight to snap these photographs.

I got some photographs of the Canada Geese up, close and personal, but I did make sure to walk very slowly and crouch down slowly in order to produce these photographs to the best standard where possible.

In terms of these photographs, I feel this is my best photographic collection to date because I have changed the ISO and got a bit more close up with nature which is what I’ve been looking to do for a while. I must admit, I took these photos with an 18 – 55 mm Nikkor Lens which came bundled with the Nikon D3300 DSLR and I didn’t need to opt for a bigger camera lens. On the plus side, I was absolutely glad that I took these photographs on Tuesday as this photographic collection will help me with my self-directed project.

If you have been to Kelsey Park before, please let me know, I would love to hear what your thoughts are on Kelsey Park and if you have never been to Kelsey Park, don’t worry, this photographic collection will give you an in-depth look on Kelsey Park and the beauty of nature. Mind you, I am pleased with the final results I’ve achieved from this photographic collection and I will continue to improve my photography skills and get behind the DSLR more.

If you enjoyed this photographic collection of Kelsey Park, please let me know. I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

© The Croydon College Logo & Croydon School of Art Logo are both copyright of Croydon College & Croydon School of Art. Permission has been granted for these logos to be used. No copyright infringement intended.

CROYDON / Thursday 15th December 2016

As I will be starting a self-directed photography project in 2017, I have decided to share with you all a small photographic collection I took of Croydon whilst I was at Croydon College yesterday before falling sick to a sore throat and cold, keeping in mind that my work for the past few projects were all submitted on Monday.

The reason I chose to create a cut-throat style kind of text in the name, Croydon, is because I want you to see Croydon as being a community that is divided, where some values are more or less stripped or tarnished of all credibility despite Croydon taking centre-stage when good things come out of it.

How do I see landscape photography in Croydon? I see landscape photography in Croydon as an opportunity for me to take photos of the landmarks, including the shops that surround me.

Landscapes interest me, as I am fascinated by how certain objects are positioned depending on the place. For example, I love nature, but I love to know how a plant blossoms in a certain location. The same idea can consist of a landmark, for example, the Lloyds Bank opposite BOXPARK CROYDON stands out instantly as it is a larger building that you cannot exactly miss from a distance.

Overall, I am really pleased I used the Camera+ app (recommended) to take these photos, as they came out a lot better than I expected.

If you liked my small photo collection of Croydon, please let me know by commenting below your feedback. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

BOXPARK CROYDON / CROYDON COLLEGE / DUSK / Monday 5th December 2016

Coming just a little over a few weeks since I published my photo collection of the recently opened BOXPARK, I used the opportunity after I finished college to photograph a photo collection of BOXPARK inside, in which I would feature the Meat Liquor Store that is a part of BOXPARK.

In doing so, I also photographed the Christmas Lights, and as So Solid Crew are set to perform on Thursday during the Christmas Light Switch On, this was the perfect opportunity for me to snap some photos while the organisers of BOXPARK Croydon put the finishing touches on their Christmas Decorations.

As a fire alarm suddenly went off towards the end of my Maths lesson yesterday, I managed to use the opportunity wisely whilst waiting with everyone else outside Croydon College‘s Rotunda to snap a photo of the recently closed building, Fairfield Halls, and with the lovely weather in sight, I captured a silhouette, which I must say I was absolutely pleased about as it was just right and the photograph came out perfectly and a lot better than I imagined.

Overall, I am really pleased with this photo collection and as I used the Camera+ app (recommended), this just proves that you can take better photos with Camera+, especially if you love to get the full details of a place you’ve been to.

If you loved my photo collection of BOXPARK, Croydon & Croydon College, please feel free to submit feedback below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to December!

Welcome to December on Mother Nature! It’s hard to believe it’s the last month of the year, the time has gone so fast, it’s unbelievable how quick time flies nowadays. It felt like it was only yesterday that 2016 just opened its doors and now we are in the last month of 2016 and this year is set to close its doors. Winter is officially here and the freezing temperatures are here to stay which now means we all have to wrap up warm, but that’s a good thing as wrapping up warm feels so soothing and so relaxing.

Given that the last few weeks of college are going to be extremely busy due to coursework and also a mock exam, I can only apologise in advance if you don’t see some articles over the course of this week into next week and also on Monday 12th December.

However, there’s some fantastic news in store. Book #4, titled: “Life From My Own Perspective” is finished and all I need to do now is just add some photos, then finalise the back cover of the book and then the book is all ready to go.

Also, even more fantastic news! Shortly after my Maths Mock Exam on Thursday 8th December 2016, So Solid Crew, best known for their smash hit record, 21 Seconds, will be performing live at BOXPARK Croydon for the Christmas Light Switch On from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, and as I am going along to the event next week, I will be able to use this fantastic opportunity wisely to get some film footage and possibly some photos of the event if it’s allowed. What a fantastic way to round off 2016!

You can expect after I have handed all of my coursework in on the 12th December that I may be able to publish a bit more frequently on here, and as my last day of college before the Christmas Holiday is on Friday 16th December, this will be fantastic for me as I will be able to publish the last amount of articles before 2016 finally closes its doors.

To make a change to the Christmas Tradition on Mother Nature, I have decided to keep the logo its usual colours, but have instead opted to change the colour of this website to Red, to ring in the festive Christmas season.

I can promise you that this Christmas is going to be the best Christmas on Mother Nature, and as soon as the book is finally ready to go, I will release it before the end of 2016. I can promise you that this book is massive and it contains more content that I guarantee will be worth the read.

Until then, Welcome to December on Mother Nature!

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

BOXPARK is Officially Open!

It’s been a long time coming, and after a long wait, BOXPARK is officially open in Croydon!

I used the opportunity today to snap a large collection of photos during my lunch break and also after I finished my first day back at college after the one-week holiday. It’s absolutely lovely and so peaceful in BOXPARK.

It’s absolutely peaceful in BOXPARK and is the best place in my opinion where you can meet up with good friends you may or may have not seen in a long time, also because there are so many benches and tables available, which is useful if you want to have something to eat with friends, and not only that, but if you’re someone who likes to study in your own free time, BOXPARK is a useful place to study if you’re someone who loves to be creative.

Below are all of the 56 photographs I took today, including an edited version of one of the photographs I took earlier today.

I wanted to take these photos to show you BOXPARK in its full glory for the remarkable design aspects and perspectives it carries. BOXPARK stands tall and makes a statement of its own, stating that they want you to be able to enjoy yourself and to have a good time. They aim to repackage and repurpose what is already known into the unknown, but into an entirely new concept that no one has even thought of or ever seen before.

If you’re in Croydon, and have visited BOXPARK, please let me know. I’d love to know your thoughts on BOXPARK. If you are someone who loves travelling the world and you plan to travel to Croydon, London or even Shoreditch to see BOXPARK, please let me know your thoughts about BOXPARK, I would love to hear your feedback.

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)

Overall, I can honestly say that I loved every second of the Trek to Dungeness and I would go back there any day. It’s absolutely peaceful down there, and they’ve got a café down there too, plus, they even have their own form of transport down there, as they have train carriages down there that you can get on which will take you to a certain part of Dungeness that you prefer.

Have you been down to Dungeness? Please let me know by submitting your feedback in the comments below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson