Celebrating 5 Years of Mother Nature!

It’s hard to believe exactly five years ago today, I started this website.

I remember publishing my first ever amount of photography work during the Summer season on the 6th June 2013, and the photos I produced were all taken on the old Samsung ST200F camera I used to use.

Nature didn’t just fascinate me when it came to photography. It was the beauty of Mother Nature that interested me.

I remember when I first joined WordPress before I started this website that I tried to write reviews on some technology-based products and some albums for two blogs I used to use and both of those blogs never took off, despite trying to keep at being consistent with publishing articles, and initially I gave up hope thinking I would never get my work noticed.

It was only when I asked a friend of mine and a former lecturer who used to teach me at secondary school whether they thought it was a good idea for me to try again, and they did, and I gave publishing articles another go, only this time, I wanted to make sure I could create a website where I wouldn’t just want to be consistent with publishing, but where I could set my creativity and photography skills free.

Fast forward to now, and I never thought I would be able to achieve so much in the space of exactly five years.

It gives me peace of mind knowing I can publish either frequently or now and then, as I’ve kept at publishing on this website and it’s kept me active and has taken me places I thought I would never go.

Having a website is an achievement in itself, but to publish consistently and to keep at it is a lot of hard work, especially if you want everyone to see the work you can produce, as well as pouring your heart and soul into a hobby you love.

Photography, for me, isn’t just a hobby, but feels more like a job, as it’s a visceral and interesting career aspect as you could take a photo, and deep down, that photo has meaning, and for me, because I love photography, I love to make sure my photographs have meaning, where they can be understood from more than one opinion, perspective or point of view rather than the photo be just a photo.

I intend to produce more photography work and I intend to continue raising awareness for mental health, so thank you so much for sticking by, as I shall continue to publish and raise awareness, but for now, I want to propose a toast and celebrate five years of Mother Nature.

Here’s to another five years, and if you’re thinking of starting up your own website, blog or business, WordPress is the best platform to use.

Alex Smithson

Generous Geranium!

The warm, Summer air was generously filled with geranium.

It’s good to see Mother Nature finally go back to her roots and really get into the spirit of Summer!

I’m excited for the Summer season and cannot wait to get out more and soak in the wonderful sunny weather.

Excited for the Summer Season? I would love to know what gets you in the mood for the Summer Season.

Alex Smithson

The Concept of Expression: Christian Aranda Montilva

The next model I have picked to photograph for this photography series is my close friend, Christian Aranda Montilva.

For this photoshoot, I wanted to capture Christian’s emotions, but with a realistic approach. In this case, I wanted to make sure I could explore his emotions from a realistic perspective that surrounds mental health.

Mental health is close to my heart considering it’s an area of life that is often overlooked, often ignored and often brushed under the carpet. I aim to make sure this photo-set and the photography series, in general, can capture the emotions of mental health where everyone may feel like they cannot open up, even if they put on an expression where they look happy, but deep down, they feel broken, depressed and worried about opening up about how they really feel in case they’re judged, targeted or even vilified for the real emotions they have underneath the image they’re expected to present, as opposed to the actual image of themselves they want to present.

Christian is a natural when it comes to pulling facial expressions, especially expressions he’s made that are completely off-guard. Most of these photos I produced of him were in the moment when he was off-guard, and even talking to him whilst photographing him at certain segments over the space of two hours gave me the chance to photograph off-guard, off-the-cuff facial expressions I wouldn’t necessarily be able to capture if I asked him to make up a facial expression.

The photo: “Hold Your Head Up High & Believe in Yourself!” stood out for me, as I was able to get Christian to recreate the iconic pose from the 1986 release of True Blue, produced by the Queen of Pop, Madonna, with the iconic photograph being produced by Herb Ritts.

The reason this photo also stood out for me is that it’s like he’s releasing negative energy and embracing the positive energy but in his own way that is unique and different to everyone else.

Hold Your Head Up High & Believe in Yourself!
Hold Your Head Up High & Believe in Yourself!

Christian is very expressive in his personality and considering he was able to be himself in how he appears free from judgment, these, for me, stood out the most in this photo-set, and I also feel this is the most expressive photo-set I’ve produced to date.

Of course, I will continue to improve the whole concept of expressions in every photograph over the course of time, as this will help me to give the photography series a better understanding, so that mental health isn’t just acknowledged, but that no one is allowed to judge someone because of the mental health condition they have.

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.

I want to make sure mental health is acknowledged and I hope that this photography series can raise awareness and give anyone suffering from mental health hope that you don’t need to hide your real emotions, but express them freely, as this will help you to regain your confidence and give you the best stability you want.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: 18 – 55 mm NIKKOR Lens

Date of Photo-Set Produced: Monday 28th May 2018

Mellow Yellow!

Nature blossomed beautifully in her mellow yellow form and in all her glory, on Saturday, she couldn’t help but seize the opportunity in this photo moment I captured to show that she was in high spirits for the Royal Wedding Celebration.

Did you get out and photograph the landscape and nature in her finest form on Saturday during the Royal Wedding Celebration?

Please tell me. I would love to hear your responses.

Alex Smithson

The Lightning’s So Electrifying on This Gloomy Day!

The lightning was so electrifying on this gloomy Spring day that it almost knocked my internet out.

It was sunny but gloomy and it did try to rain, but I didn’t chance it today but instead walked to the bus stop to catch my usual bus to work as I usually take two buses, though one of the two buses was unavailable due to road-works subjecting buses and other vehicles on diversion, but it was good to do a bit of exercise on the way to work as it kept me going all through to the end of my shift today.

This photo moment I produced on the way home from work defined how much of a close shave it was for me almost losing my internet connection today as a result of the sudden bolt of lightning.

What was the weather like for you? Was the lightning electrifying where you are?

Please tell me. I would love to hear your responses.

Alex Smithson

Silky Spring!

As well as yesterday’s Royal Wedding Celebration, this silky plant caught my eye, and it reminded me of a four-leaf clover in some aspects, like it was a plant to symbolise luck in disguise.

Nature is a beautiful sight! She blossoms comfortable silk in this plant and you cannot help but think that it’s a blessing to see Mother Nature in her finest glory.

Does Mother Nature fascinate you?

Did yesterday’s Royal Wedding Celebration get you in the Silky Spring mood to go out and soak in the beautiful sunny weather?

I would love to hear your responses.

Alex Smithson

Royalty’s Red Carpet of Flowers!

To continue the Royal Wedding Celebration, I seized the opportunity to photograph Mother Nature in her finest form whilst I was on my way home from work yesterday.

Mother Nature certainly blessed us with wonderful weather and for such a special occasion. Talk about a perfectly warm and sunny day, but yesterday was no different.

If you watched the Royal Wedding unfold yesterday, please tell me, as I would love to hear your thoughts on Meghan Markle and Prince Harry getting married yesterday.

Did you make the most of this wonderful weather? Please tell me, I would love to hear how you made the most of this wonderful, breezy, warm and sunny weather.

Alex Smithson

Mental Health Awareness Week: Be in Your Friend’s & Family’s Corners!

As this week is Mental Health Awareness Week, I urge all of you to come together to support everyone and be in your friend’s corner.

Whether you, a family member or relative, or even a friend, suffer from a mental health condition, diagnosed or undiagnosed, I urge all of you to be in your friend’s and family’s corners by asking them how they are, how they’re really feeling, and if they suffer from a mental health condition or they have a mental health condition that has been left undiagnosed, help them and encourage them to open up, as they will know you support them, that you’re there for them, and that you’ll always provide them with the best support regardless of the mental health condition they may have, especially if they are or have gone through losing someone close to them.

Make sure to spread the word and raise awareness for Mental Health and know that you are not in this alone.

We will all experience moments where we feel down, lost and even broken, but it’s okay to feel that way.

Never be ashamed to open up, but always be in your friend’s corner and your family’s corners. Support one another and be there for one another, but most of all, open up.

Don’t man up for anyone, open up. Cry if you want to, let all that frustration out if you want to, but more importantly, be open with your real emotions and know that you’ll always be the stronger person even if you break down because you’ve been strong for too long.

You’ll always be strong, but one more thing.

Never prove yourself to anyone and always be yourself and always show real emotion, as you’ll feel so much better knowing you’ll never be in this alone and that mental health is to be acknowledged and that you deserve to seek the best help, support and treatment where possible.

I hope I’ve inspired you, and please tell me if you were inspired by my words, as I want you to know I will always care and always will take you as I see you and respect you for who you are, what you do and how you really feel.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: March 2018

What a month it has been!

I didn’t expect to publish more articles this month considering I’ve been busy mostly with work and getting a lot of stuff completed, but this month has been so good considering I’ve been travelling and going out more, and the fact I’ve been able to make the most of the free time this month by going out photographing for my photography series has made these last few weeks special.

I’ll quickly summarise the articles I published over March before this month closes its doors.

1.3.2018 – March got off to a freezing cold start as the Beast from the East impacted the United Kingdom, with Storm Emma impacting the United Kingdom almost immediately after the first ounce of snowfall.

3.3.2018 – Storm Emma impacted the United Kingdom as the Beast from the East reached its end, but the wintry weather didn’t disappear fast enough, and as such, fell on the day I finished my shift to go on annual leave for a week. “Brrrrrr…It’s a Winter Wonderland!” gave me the opportunity to take a snapshot of the winter weather whilst I waited to get the bus home considering I finished earlier than the original time my shift usually ends as my place of work closed early due to the torrential snowstorm.

8.3.2018 – Following the first photography article I published after the start of 2018, which featured my close friend, Wesley Baker (CDN), I photographed my close friend who I’ve known since secondary school, Samuel Cato.

13.3.2018 – Art and colour are full of beautiful abstracts, but it’s the abstraction of abstract art that makes art unique and interesting. “Beautiful Abstraction.” allowed me to talk in more detail about the vibrancy art brings, as well as the time and effort someone has taken to make that art piece a masterpiece.

17.3.2018 – The United Kingdom woke up to a sudden blanketing of snow and as “Snowfall Saturday” suggests, you can probably tell I didn’t expect to wake up to the snow considering the weather was nice, sunny and warm the day before.

18.3.2018 – On Snowdrop Sunday, the Beast from the East decided to blanket the United Kingdom with more snow and freezing cold temperatures.

19.3.2018 Manic Monday sure made the start of the week manic and full of chaos considering anyone like myself getting into work would be a challenge because the roads were a little icy, while the pavements were more or less clear of the snowfall. Manic Monday, which was a record by The Bangles, written by the late music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, was what inspired me to write this article with the same name.

22.3.2018 – Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st March were wonderful days to visit Oxford Street, as the scenery was absolutely beautiful, and considering that it was nice and sunny, I seized the opportunity to photograph the landscape all of yesterday, but one of the stores that grabbed my interest the most was the Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Store.

The smell of the store as I walked in hit me straight away and it was so welcoming, it smelt like Starburst as I walked into the store, and the fact it spanned three floors full of bath bombs, make-up and even skin care products that smelt so nice meant I was able to produce a really good set of photographs.

They even provided me with a free sample of one of their products after they allowed me to dissolve one of their bath bombs in their sink and as a random act of kindness from one of their members of staff who was intrigued by the photos I showed them yesterday, they gave me a free bath bomb, which made my day so much happier. If you missed the photo-set I produced, click on “The Lush Life of Oxford Street!

After producing the photo-set of my visit to Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Store, I photographed my close friend, Mikey Andrews, and considering the photo-set of Oxford Street was my best work to date, the photo-set of Mikey Andrews for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” was also my best work to date considering I was able to produce both photo-sets with much less noise in the photos, which is a first in quite some time considering a few of the photo-sets I’ve produced have been noisy and somewhat grainy.

My trip to Oxford Street ended on a perfect note as I bumped into the Olympic Diver, Tom Daley, and the Oscar-Winning Actor, Dustin Lance Black. If you missed the photo-set I produced featuring my close friend, Mikey Andrews, click here.

March has ended on a perfect note and it’s safe to say that bumping into Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black has already become the best highlight of my year.

Thank you so much, everyone, for making March such a special month. I’ll try and publish a little more here and there if I get the time, but I’ll still be making sure to try and work on my photography series.

I’ll see you all in April, and stay safe and wrap up warm if the snow potentially hits where you are.

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