Snowfall Saturday

Woke up to the snow this morning? I did, and so did everyone else in the United Kingdom. Just when we all thought the snow disappeared, the Beast of the East decided to return for another go.

I was happier yesterday when it was sunny and warm because I thought: “Great, loving this sunny and warm weather, about time!” and then BAM! It decides to snow again into this morning.

Luckily, because I finished my first week back at work following the annual leave, I was able to wake up to the snow and stay nice and warm with the boiler on, but I dread when it snows now, especially considering that I’m working now. If it snowed when I was at school or college, I would have happily stayed at home and called in sick, but because I’m working now, I dread when it snows, but the snow won’t stop me from getting into work as I’m not going to let one bit of snow hinder my chances of getting into work.

Despite the snowfall, I was glad that I didn’t go out today, as it’s freezing outside and it was good to stay in the nice and warm all day.

Did it snow heavily where you are? Please tell me, I would love to know.

Alex Smithson

Brrrrrr….It’s a Winter Wonderland!

Just as the Beast of the East was set to reach its end, Storm Emma wasn’t letting the wintry weather disappear fast enough. Snow continued to batter the United Kingdom, with schools, colleges and even stores shutting early due to the blizzard.

I photographed this moment on my phone and made an edit to give the photo the wintry warmth it truly needed. It definitely was like Winter Wonderland as it was freezing cold, but what a brrrrrrilliant time it sure was to seize this opportunity of a lifetime to photograph the snow!

I was lucky to photograph this moment as I finished earlier than my shift time as my place of work closed early due to the weather, which couldn’t have come at a better time as I’m on annual leave now for a whole week, and with my annual leave being my first, I’ll be making sure to use the time wisely to go out and have a good time, and even photograph some friends of mine.

Did it snow heavier where you are? Please tell me, I am so keen to hear whether you made the most of this snowy weather.

Alex Smithson

Device Used: Motorola C

Monthly Roundup: January 2018

January flew like clockwork…literally. It’s been a slow but busy month but it’s good to know we got through January despite the torrential weather conditions over the first few weeks of 2018.

Without further ado, I’ll crack on with the first monthly roundup for 2018.

1.1.2018 – 2018 kicked off with a bang, and I mentioned I would publish now and then due to the fact I’m working full-time, meaning articles will be published less frequently so I can prioritise my time more on my job over writing and publishing articles.

10.1.2018 – On every magazine cover or newspaper you’ve read, you may notice there’s been the odd airbrushing or two on all of the magazine and newspaper covers of someone famous you know. “The Discomforting Perceptions of Airbrushed Photographs” aimed to get the point over clearly and concisely as an episode of the talk show, Loose Women, aired before this article went out as the Loose Women talked about airbrushing on photographs considering body dysmorphia is becoming worryingly common, considering a vast majority of some people feel insecure about how they look and appear, and that they feel they should fix what makes them insecure when they shouldn’t.

20.1.2018 – Far too often, mental health is often shunned to one side by many of those who believe it doesn’t exist. Some see it as an excuse to make anyone who suffers from mental health feel like they cannot prove their worth because they’re different to everyone else. “Mental Health: Make a Difference” allowed me to lay down on the line my realistic views and I refused to hold back my real emotions and views and I felt so much better to speak up in confidence about it considering mental health is something that’s very close to my heart and that I always support anyone suffering from a mental health condition.

31.1.2018 – Kicking off the first photography article of the year, I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to photograph my close friend, Wesley Baker. With his work being featured in and Croydon, with one of his most notable pieces of artwork being the centrepiece of Croydon Flyover of the hit cartoon, Astro Boy, Wesley’s CDNZine and CDNStore Instagram accounts boom with artistic values and energy, and I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to photograph him. To see the full article, click here.

Ready for the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games? I sure am ready! Let’s kick off next month with a bang! See you all in February and thanks for such a fantastic month, everyone!

Alex Smithson

The Concept of Expression / Wesley Baker (CDN)

Kicking off the first photography article of the year, I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to photograph my close friend, Wesley Baker.

With his work being featured in and Croydon, with one of his most notable pieces of artwork being the centrepiece of Croydon Flyover of the hit cartoon, Astro Boy, Wesley’s CDNZine and CDNStore Instagram accounts boom with artistic values and energy, and I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to photograph him.

Despite the wet and windy weather conditions near Ambassador House, Thornton Heath, I was able to produce a good set of photographs, which can be found below.

I acknowledge the ISO was on the noisiest setting, but that was due to the torrential weather conditions on Saturday. I will be improving on making any future photographs I take less noisy and more focal and masked. At least then, this gives me a chance to learn from and improve on the final outcomes of any photo-sets I produce in the future.

Other than that, I am really pleased with how this photo-set turned out as I was able to get Wesley to do some facial expressions, natural and put-on, as this helped me to understand his personality and charisma through his work.

If you have Instagram, follow Wesley’s Instagram accounts, @cdnzine and @cdn_store and sign up to his mailing list by clicking here.

Also, if you are interested in getting some art installed on your living room walls or anywhere you know or you want to get a fleecy top, support Wesley’s brand by purchasing his branded CDN Shirts and his most current work: “NEVER MIND THE CONCRETE” through his BigCartel store by clicking here.

Please tell me in the comments below your tips on how I can improve my photography sets next time, as this will help me to improve and help me to develop my photography skills better. Also, please share this photo-set with everyone you know and even share it on social media platforms.

Alex Smithson

© Wesley Baker, CDNZine & CDNStore, 2018

© Permission was granted by Wesley Baker to use the CDN logo. Full copyright goes to the respective owners.

Camera Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: 18 – 55 mm NIKKOR Lens

Welcome to January!

Welcome to 2018! Happy New Year Everyone!

Now that 2017 has finally closed its doors, 2018 opens with a bright, busy and fresh year ahead.

Things will be changing now. As I will be working a lot more, please expect to notice I will be publishing now and then over the course of this year, as I will be focusing a lot more now on my full-time job instead of publishing articles as often as I used to. I’ll still be publishing articles now and then and I will be making sure to produce more photography work this year whilst I work in my job, but I shall be prioritising my job a lot more over writing and publishing articles.

Mother Nature continues to be equal and diverse, and to make a change, Mother Nature goes green as of today as this website is going to be more about photography, as photography, to me, is an initiative of creativity, not just naturistic, but is about being able to explore the core aspects of what photography is all about, as well as the beauty of photographs and how each photograph doesn’t just tell a story, but explores the story of that photograph a lot more in-depth, whether it’s about nature, or whether it’s about close-up photography or anything else that involves landscape and portrait photography. To put it quite simply, in other words, photography isn’t just an initiative of creativity, but is about a freedom of expression in what you can see in a photograph that no-one else may be able to see the first time.

2018 sure is going to be an exciting year full of new challenges and projects but I will be making sure to continue working on my photography series, The Concept of Expression, over the course of this year, so today is where the hard work will now really begin!

Happy New Year Everyone and Welcome to 2018!

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: December 2017

How about that? It’s hard to think it’s finally New Year’s Eve. Where has the time gone?

These last few weeks of 2017 sure flew! It’s crazy when you consider how fun this year has been, but it’s good to end 2017 knowing so much good has happened this year. Of course, let’s not forget some months of the year were bad due to the terrorist attacks, but my heart goes out to every single person who has passed away this year, whether it’s from being a victim of a terrorist attack or whether it’s anyone famous or not, but always know I am thinking of you and everyone you know and also, always know I will always provide support to you if you ever feel you cannot open up. Never be ashamed to open up, opening up will always be a good way of helping you get back on track, so always know I’ll support all of you.

Without further ado, it’s time to take a final look back at the last few articles published over the course of December, in fact, the last few articles published for this year.

1.12.2017 – Welcoming all of you to December, I mentioned it was hard to believe that we finally reached the last month of 2017. I also mentioned that time flew so fast, but that 2017 was a fun year and a better one too.

15.12.2017 – Living our lives outside the comfort zone means there are new challenges that can help us to prosper and succeed if we work hard, and writing this article: “Living Life Outside the Comfort Zone: What Was it Like for You?” was my way of expressing what life was like after I started living it outside the comfort zone considering I had completed my first month of working full-time in my first ever full-time job, and then I asked all of you what it was like for you the moment you started to live life outside the comfort zone.

28.12.2017 – Going back to the drawing board with the photographs I previously produced that featured my close friends, Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford, I produced some more photographs that followed on from when I photographed my close friend, the actor and mental health awareness campaigner, Oli Regan, of Saviyon & Shaquille. Considering this was an updated collection of the photographs I produced that featured both Saviyon & Shaquille previously, I had made sure that the updated photo-set would have that cut and thrust appeal about them by going beyond the expression, in which I would explore their personalities a little more in-depth.

I also published another photography collection on this day, but this time consisting of my trip up to London on the 26th September 2017, which was a wonderful day considering it was breezy, warm and sunny.

It’s the end of the monthly roundup for December, and also the final monthly roundup of the year and I’m pleased to say I can bring this final monthly roundup to a remarkable close.

Thank you so much, everyone, for such a fantastic 2017, and although we have lost quite a lot of people this year, let’s all take a moment to remember everyone we lost and always value the fact we need to value our time and make the most of the valuable time we all have on this mortal coil we call Planet Earth.

Again, thank you so much, everyone, for such a fantastic 2017, and I shall see you all in 2018. Have a wonderful and Happy New Year and stay safe and wrap up warm. 2018 will be the best year of our lives, and I’m so sure of it. See you in 2018!

Alex Smithson

Living Life Outside the Comfort Zone: What Was it Like for You?

Living our lives outside the comfort zone means there are new challenges that can help us to prosper and succeed if we work hard, but what is so different about living life outside the comfort zone?

The difference of living outside the comfort zone means you are not used to working hard on something in the same way you would originally think at first. For instance, before I started working full-time, I got so used to having bundles of free time that I would, on some days, go out and have a good time, whereas, other times, I would stay at home and either write articles or play on one of my consoles, and often enough, it did get to the stage where I would want to be working in a job at some point, as working full-time now in the job I have has enabled me to step outside of my comfort zone and do a lot of working hard that I underestimated I would be used to, but as the weeks have gone by and considering I just finished my first month of working full-time, my mindset has changed from being the student who just left college to working full-time and getting up early in the mornings.

I’ve noticed I have a much better mindset now compared to when I was at college, as I’m working all the time and I don’t sit down as often as I used to as I love to be busy, as I can keep myself occupied with my job whilst being able to work hard on my photography work and anything else that may be job-related.

You can probably tell I have written differently for the first time in this article compared to all the articles I have already published, as my mindset has changed; I’m focused on the job and the tasks in hand and I have noticed I am busy mostly which is better than doing nothing at all.

What was it like for you? Was life different for you once you started to live your life outside the comfort zone? Did you begin to notice you had a better mindset once you started living life outside the comfort zone?

I would love to know your thoughts on living outside the comfort zone in the comments.

Alex Smithson

I Just Got a Full-Time Job!

After months of job-hunting and a lot of hard work, I have finally secured myself a full-time job! I’ve not given up once despite some stress along the way following rejections from some companies left, right and centre, which isn’t too bad as I got used to that, but I am pleased to say I am officially in a full-time job.

I have felt euphoric about the positive news since I woke up at 8:30 AM this morning, and even now I still feel the sense of euphoria in the air. As it is a retail assistant full-time apprenticeship, this is beneficial for me considering I’ve had some retail experience following a two-week work experience placement with Tesco PLC which I completed from the 13th May to the 25th May 2013, with my most recent work experience placement being with Watches2U, but this full-time job will really help me to gain confidence whilst I retake GCSE Maths.

I wanted to share this fantastic news with you today as it is my first ever full-time job and I’ve been bursting with excitement to tell everyone, including all of you, the fantastic news.

Alex Smithson


Monthly Roundup: September 2017

September sure flew like the wind, though to be fair, because I’ve been so busy applying for jobs whilst getting a good result back despite having to send my laptop in for repair, it’s safe to say I have been quite the busy bee.

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

1.9.2017 – As I welcomed you all to September, I mentioned that this month was set to be just as busy as the last, as I mentioned I wouldn’t be publishing as often as I used to, considering that I would prioritise my time effectively around looking for jobs.

18.9.2017 – ‘The Harsh Reality of Social Media (Parental Guidance is Advised)’ was my way of expressing my own realistic views on how social media has changed the way we communicate with one another, as opposed to how negatively used social media can be, given that social media is often used by some or most people to criticise and judge those online without them even having the bottle to say their comments to that person’s face.

25.9.2017 – ‘My Personal Note to Reality’ was my way of finally being open to everyone about where I stand, and that I would treat everyone equally and diversely, but that I would refuse to tolerate, let alone mix with the judgmental type that are in-equal and lack diversity for others.

On the same day, I published an article, called: “Mindfulness”, in which I would give a short but straightforward run-down about how mindfulness can be helpful to certain aspects of our everyday lives, based on the life experiences that we are or may have already been through.

26.9.2017 – ‘Camden’ was an article I wanted to share with you all, as I had paid a visit to Camden a few weeks prior to writing the article, given that Camden is a wonderful and friendly place, which is home to the late music legend, Amy Winehouse.

29.9.2017 – ‘Should We Listen to the Non-Believers?’ was my way of describing how the non-believers were and always would be the bad people who would spread poison wherever they go, intentionally bringing others down when they don’t deserve it.

On the same day, I published a small but quick-fire article in which I announced I had decided to put publishing my photography work on hold, given that my laptop was sent off to be repaired after the Audio Enhancements tab wouldn’t work whilst headphones were connected, but that I would publish the photography work I wasn’t able to publish at a later stage. I also mentioned that I finally passed GCSE English after three years and that I no longer have to do GCSE English, which is the best result I wanted.

Thank you so much, everyone, for such a fantastic month, and although I haven’t published as much lately considering I have been making sure to put my priorities first, I will try to fit a few articles in now and then when I can get the free time.

Before I say goodbye to September, I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Coronation Street actress, Elizabeth Dawn, who sadly passed away on the 25th September 2017, but I want to take this opportunity to also pay tribute to Bobby Knutt, who also passed away on the same day. They will be greatly missed, but shall never be forgotten and we’ll all remember them for bringing positivity, humour and joy into our lives. Also, to the victims of the recent earthquakes that have devastated Puerto Rico, I want you all to know I am thinking of you at this time and that I am keeping you all in my prayers and hope that something good comes soon.

Again, thanks so much everyone for such a fantastic month and I shall see you all in October.

Alex Smithson

Photography Work on Hold. Please Read.

As my laptop went off for repair due to a problem with Audio Enhancements not working when headphones were connected, I have decided to put the photography work I produced in August for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” on hold, and an article which I was supposed to be publishing before the end of this month that is photography-based is also going on hold for the short time being.

However, I can still publish articles briefly with my HP Stream 11 whilst my other laptop is being repaired, but don’t worry, the photography work I have produced that is due to go up on here will be published soon, so rest assured they will still be published but at a later stage whilst I get everything sorted.

On the plus side, I have some fantastic news I would like to bestow.

As my former GCSE English lecturers felt the D grade I got was an unfair result, I am pleased to announce that after my former GCSE English lecturers sent my paper off to be re-marked, I have finally passed GCSE English with a C grade after three whole years! It took me long enough after some ups and downs, including some bumps in the road, but I finally got there and I no longer have to do GCSE English. Result!


On a positive note, the photography work will go up soon, but in the meantime, I will be continuing to apply for more jobs whilst I work hard.

Thank you so much for your patience so far, it really does mean a lot to me and I will do the absolute best I can to get everything back up and running soon.

With love,

x Alex Smithson x