Monthly Roundup: June 2018

This month sure flew like the wind! It’s been such a busy month, but the last two weeks of June have been special and also eye-opening.

The eye-opening and eye-watering moment of the last two weeks was being able to say the final goodbye to my close friend who passed away almost three months ago, but it gives me comfort knowing I will always think of her and will always remember her for the happy memories and the bundles of joy and happiness she brought me and everyone else.

I’ve been feeling so much more positive now and I’ve been able to feel happier more now as that is what my close friend would have wanted, but I made the most of the two weeks by going to a party, which was absolutely wonderful, and especially as it was a night out, it sure was a good time and I made the most of it.

I’ve been quite the busy bee this month, as I’ve been publishing photography work non-stop almost every day, and it feels good to be able to publish a bit more regularly knowing that each photo moment is worth treasuring.

Without further ado, I will take a quick look back at what I published over the course of June.

1.6.2018 – June was set to be a whole lot busier considering I would be doing two early morning shifts, with my annual leave holiday coming up at the end of the month.

It certainly was a joyful start to June, as the weather was wonderful despite the start of the month being hot and humid.

It was rare to find a beautiful begonia plant during the Summer season, as it’s a plant I hardly see around nowadays.

2.6.2018 – There was a dazzling daisy and a generous geranium around, but it was good to see nature in full bloom.

3.6.2018 – A beautiful and sunkissed sunrise lit up the rest of the day, while the fragments of Summer began to shine through, and what topped it all off was the valley of the lilies.

5.6.2018 – Calmer Camellia! They come and go and they give off a calm and relaxing feeling, putting your mind at ease, but holy hollyhock! It was warm.

6.6.2018 – Mother Nature celebrated 5 remarkable years as I started this website on the 6th June 2013, and I remember publishing my first ever amount of photography work during the Summer season, with the photography work being produced on the then Samsung ST200F Camera I used to use.

What marked the occasion on a special note was when I spotted a cheeky Cherokee plant that had blossomed so early just days prior to the 5-Year Anniversary of Mother Nature. Ending the celebration on a high note, Mother Nature put her buttercup in the air to show the world some love, whilst showing the same love back.

7.6.2018 – There was a precious primrose in sight, but because it’s a plant that I’ve not seen much of, I was fascinated as to whether it was a rare plant. The weather, however, was wonderful, but it was good to make the most of the warm weather, especially considering the sun was out.

8.6.2018 – I saw red as the rose was a sight for sore eyes!

10.6.2018 – It was a happy halcyon and serene summer for the daisies I found, but the dainty dandelion stood out in its full glory for the warm and sunny weather. I saw an adorable azalea plant which, to me, was quite rare to see it blossom so early in the morning when there was no one out with everywhere being so quiet and peaceful. There were leaves of green as I was on my way home from work following the last early morning shift I completed ahead of going on annual leave.

12.6.2018 – Mother Nature certainly had a spindled heart, and her spindled heart was worth witnessing!

13.6.2018 – Mother Nature blossomed her Magic Mallow!

15.6.2018 – A luxurious lily blossomed so beautifully!

16.6.2018 – I marked a milestone as I celebrated turning 20 years old, which was surreal and was also perfect timing considering I was officially on annual leave for two weeks.

Whilst on the way home from a friend’s house after a perfect day out, oh boy! Sweet Carolina sure did blossom on such a perfect day!

18.6.2018 – Mother Nature had a case of the Hebe Jebes!

19.6.2018 – Following a visit to Mayfield Lavender Farm, the next model I photographed for my mental health-inspired photography series was my close friend, Hamid Haq.

21.6.2018 – The Summer Solstice officially arrived! The weather was beautiful and breezy!

22.6.2018 – Following my visit to Mayfield Lavender Farm on Sunday 17th June 2018, the next model I picked to photograph for my photography series was my close friend, Akash DeSilva.

27.6.2018 – The ligustrum plant sure was lively!

28.6.2018 – There was a wild, wild rose in sight, meanwhile, there was a bush of lovely lavender!

29.6.2018 – There was a mild milkweed in sight which allowed Mother Nature to blossom her true colours!

Also, coming up to exactly one year to the day the best-selling trilogy was released, the Crash Bandicoot: N. Sane Trilogy, which featured two additional levels, Stormy Ascent (previously unfinished and unreleased on the original PlayStation) and Future Tense (drawing inspiration from the cut ‘Waterfall Level’ that never made it into the final release of the original Crash Bandicoot from the original Crash PS1 Trilogy), was re-released on all platforms (XBOX One, Nintendo Switch and Steam).

Thank you so much for such a perfect month, and thanks for your support, everyone. Your support got me through after recent events, and I don’t know what I would do without all of you.

Again, thank you so much, everyone, and I shall see you all in July!

Alex Smithson

The Concept of Expression: Akash DeSilva

The next model I’ve picked to photograph for my photography series is my close friend, Akash DeSilva.

As I continue to raise awareness for mental health, I also aim to inspire and give hope and to also promote positivity.

For this photo-set, just like I did with Hamid, I was able to photograph Akash in the moment, so in this case, I caught him off-guard in some of the photos, with one of the photos I took showing him completely off-guard, even if the photo might suggest he was posing when he did not.

NIKON D3300

iPhone 7

Something's Caught My Attention.
Something’s Caught My Attention.

The photo that stood out for me and created quite a lot of humour, which made Akash laugh, was the photo I uploaded to Instagram from this photo-set: “The Man With the Energy Drink”, as the caption was inspired on the famous painting by Johannes Vermeer, produced in 1665 during the Dutch Golden Age: “Girl With a Pearl Earring”.

It was actually, for me, one of my best photos, and it was received very well on Instagram, keeping in mind that I love to upload sneak previews of the best photos I hand-pick to Instagram from the photo-sets I’ve produced.

Believe it or not, Akash wasn’t posing in this photo, as he didn’t know this photo was produced until I showed him. He was completely off-guard when I took this photo, but it’s true what they say though when it comes to off-guard photographs that they often tend to be the best photographs when the subject isn’t prepared, and in this case, I photographed him with him being unaware, and that’s why this photo, for me, stands out from the rest.

The Man With the Energy Drink
The Man With the Energy Drink.

It’s good to create photos that give off happy memories, but for me, happy memories bring power to photographs, even when you don’t expect them to.

For me, mental health isn’t just close to my heart, but because it’s often something that is brushed under the carpet, I want to bring mental health to the surface by raising awareness through my photography work.

If you feel there are any improvements I can make for next time, I would love to hear your responses and if you liked this photo-set, please feel free to share this photo-set on with everyone you know.

One more thing…never suppress your real emotions, let them go and be open, and you will feel so much better knowing you don’t need to hold back how you really feel.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: 18 – 55 mm NIKKOR Lens

Date of Photo-Set Produced: Sunday 17th June 2018

Device Used: iPhone 7

The Summer Solstice is Here!

The Summer Solstice has officially arrived! What a beautiful day and with breezy weather!

Did you enjoy Summer Solstice? I sure did!

I would love to hear your responses. Please feel free to comment below how you made the most of the longest day of the year.

Alex Smithson

The Concept of Expression: Hamid Haq

The next model I have picked to photograph for my photography series is my close friend, Hamid Haq.

With it being almost a year since I last met up with Hamid, it was so good to finally meet up with him again after such a long time, and on a decent day too, as me, Hamid, and a couple of friends paid a visit to Lavender Fields, which is a beautiful place to visit if you’ve got the free time on your hands, and also the best spot for photography.

With this small photo-set, I captured a few off-guard headshots of Hamid, with two headshots where I asked him to pose based on his mood and personality. Considering he’s a natural when it comes to modelling, this gave me the chance to explore his personality through the emotions he presented.

Below are the two photographs I’ve hand-picked from this photo-set which I feel are my two best photos to show in black and white.

Hamid’s modelling presence in this photo-set, to me, is evident, because out of the 7 photos, 5 of the photographs were actually off-guard of him in the moment unaware to me taking these photos,

Hamid has that quality to model any pose because his personality is unique and his emotions shine through in these photos.

The realisation is the emotions behind the expressions he’s made, as he appears confident, but from a perspective where mental health comes in, I can see some of his real emotions even though they may not necessarily be present on the first glance, and the emotions appear to show he may be happy, but in reality, he might be feeling unhappy deep down.

This the emotion I wanted to capture where just because you see him happy or confident here doesn’t necessarily mean he could be feeling the same behind the facial expressions he has made off-guard, including the poses I asked him to make.

Mental health is often ignored, but I want to change that, and I hope that the photo-sets I’ve produced so far, including this photo-set, inspire every single one of you who may be going through a tough time that there’s always hope and light at the end of the tunnel and that you deserve to seek the best help, support and treatment where possible.

Mental health shouldn’t be ignored. It should be acknowledged and everyone should know that we are all different, not the same and that you are always free to express yourself in your own personality.

You are always free to appear how you want to appear, and if anyone judges you, they’re only judging themselves. Dress how you want to dress, be who you want to be and be yourself in a world that expects otherwise. Be yourself.

You’re unique. No one can change that.

If you feel there are any improvements I can make for next time, I would love to hear your responses and if you liked this photo-set, please feel free to share this photo-set on with everyone you know.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: 18 – 55 mm NIKKOR Lens

Date of Photo-Set Produced: Sunday 17th June 2018