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!

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

Should We Listen to the Non-Believers?

I personally think none of us should listen to the non-believers; the bad people who spread poison wherever they go, intentionally bringing others down when they don’t deserve it.

The non-believers all too often make the lives of those around them a misery whilst they get a thrill out of doing it. The non-believers intentionally make the lives of those around them hell whilst expecting to drag them down, when in reality, the non-believers who treat those around them like dirt are often the ones who end up in the cold on their own, purely because the people they hurt are often the people that go on to do the best in life.

My message to the non-believers:

‘GET A GRIP! GROW UP! BE AN ADULT!’

That’s better. It’s my way of saying to the non-believers that if they carry on being the non-believers they are, then they will end up going nowhere in life.

It actually feels good to let off steam now and then and I feel so much better now I have had the chance to say this.

Should we listen to the non-believers?

Please let me know your thoughts.

I would love to hear what you’ve got to say about the non-believers and please feel free to let off steam.

All responses welcome.

Alex Smithson

Camden!

Camden is a wonderful and friendly place to visit. I went up to Camden last Monday to get an idea of the place and how I could go about getting there, but honestly, the people of Camden are so friendly and welcoming, and even though I was only there for at least a few minutes after an hour-and-a-half-long journey that I took to get from Croydon to Camden, it was worth paying a visit.

Camden is home to the late music legend, Amy Winehouse. A legendary musician who, despite being taken from all of us too soon, changed the music industry with her raw and powerful voice, which changed the course of the music industry. Although she released two albums in her lifetime, with a posthumous third album being released a few months after she passed away, her music revived and gave Camden the best recognition it deserved!

It is hard to believe the late music legend, Amy Winehouse, studied at the BRIT School, because you don’t get homegrown talent like Amy Winehouse come around often, so it’s best to make the most of the musicians you hear of now, as they will leave this mortal coil like we all will towards the end of our lives, so there’s no point wasting time on what’s not important. What is worth our time is making the most of the musicians we have come to love and listen to through albums, and even though Amy Winehouse is no longer around, her music, soul and mind live on forever.

If you ever get the chance to visit Camden, I suggest you do, because it is so friendly there that it will even put your mind at ease. It is also a great photography hotspot, so make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to visit Camden at any stage.

At some stage, I do want to travel to Camden again but for now, I am staying grounded to Croydon whilst I familiarise myself with travel routes.

Alex Smithson

Mindfulness.

Meaning of Mindfulness:

– The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
– A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Mindfulness in the present is often a certain aspect of our everyday lives that can help us to develop and grow, whilst we also get a sense of understanding. In this case, our sense of understanding would need to rely on the life experiences we have gone through.

For example, if you lost something that was of sentimental value to you or you lost someone close to you, whether it was a piece of jewellery or even a photograph, or if you lost a family relative, family friend or a friend you knew either from school or college, especially work, your sense of understanding would require being aware of what you as a person may be going through, as opposed to what others go through.

I’ve learned to be more mindful now than I was last year, as I have been able to not only be open to everyone, but opening up about what I have or may be going through was a big step, as it was a small step for me, but is one giant leap over leaps and bounds to mindfulness.

To show mindfulness is to experience life, but to show mindfulness means you can open up to others, but in doing so, you become stronger and more confident than you were before.

Mindfulness is powerful, and if used correctly, can help you get the best support possible, but can also help you to get to the best places in life.

If you are someone or you know someone who has been through that stage in their life and has experienced a sense of mindfulness that has helped you or someone you know to get back on track, please tell me. I would love to hear your story.

Alex Smithson

My Personal Note to Reality.

To be as open as possible about what I feel and how I feel, I just want to put this out there for everyone to hear as it’s time I made my feelings well and truly clear as I refuse to hold back how I actually feel.

I will not tolerate, let alone mix with the judgmental type who are in-equal, that lack diversity for others regardless of where they come from, what sexuality they are, what culture and background they are, what skin colour they are, the language or languages they speak, what ethnicity they are, what religion they are, what beliefs they have, what country they come from and the gender and sexuality they choose to be identified by.

I’ve written this because after having to tolerate inequality and a lack of diversity from a small number of those who don’t know how to be equal and diverse towards others including me, this is my way of saying get a life and stop acting like I don’t exist, like we don’t exist, like all of us don’t exist, but more importantly, like you don’t exist.

We all exist and so do you, so be grateful and be thankful for the fact you actually exist, that I actually exist, that all of us actually exist, otherwise, what would be the point of living?

The point of living is to start living now, to embrace life and to treat one another equally and diversely without spreading inequality, hatred, a lack of diversity and not an ounce of respect and dignity for others.

Don’t ever tell someone to ‘man up’ as you’re only adding to the problem. Let someone open up to you about their problems and how they actually feel and give them all the support they need.

Don’t ever let someone tell you to ‘man up’ because they’re only adding themselves to the problem. If someone actually wants to support you and actually be by your side even when you get back on track, open up to them about your problems and how you actually feel so they can give you all the support you need.

Don’t let anyone, and I mean anyone, take advantage of how you really feel. If someone tells you to ‘man up and sort yourself out’ and someone tells you that you should be ‘strong’, then my advice to you is this.

Forget them.

Opening up actually makes you stronger than you think, stronger than you once were, but more importantly, gives you back your confidence and strength.

Even if before you didn’t open up, you were never weak. You always were strong, but sometimes to be strong is to not be strong as you can open up about how you actually feel so that you can regain that lost strength, but more importantly, the confidence you once lost.

It’s okay to not be okay and that’s totally fine. To open up to everyone and show you’re not okay even when you’re okay makes you stronger and more confident than you think.

There…I’ve said it! Now you know how I actually feel and I refuse to be unrealistic. This is me being realistic to reality and I refuse to change that.

I’m a realist and I certainly will speak how I actually feel and no-one and I mean no-one will tell me that I can’t be a realist where reality is concerned. No one shall stop me being myself and no one shall stop me from being a realist.

I would rather be at one with reality rather than be singled out and left out like I don’t exist and it’s about time you started to be at one with reality too and not be singled out and left out like you don’t exist.

It’s time to stand up and be counted.

I am keen to know if you feel or have felt the same way I felt now I’ve made myself perfectly clear about how I actually feel. If you have, please comment below. I would be most grateful to hear if you felt the same way I did before, during and after I finished writing this personal note to reality.

All your responses are welcome.

Alex Smithson

The Harsh Reality of Social Media (Parental Guidance is Advised)

This is a topic of discussion that needs to be talked about and I want to make sure this happens.

I’m just throwing this out there if you’re willing to read this article as there is a bit of fruity language included in this article, so my sincerest apologies in advance. I’m just expressing my views and venting my frustrations at certain core areas that revolve around social media.

Social media, as we know it, is often a foregone conclusion to the digital world nowadays, as it is used in many different ways, either to criticise someone based on their appearance and how they choose to appear, as well as what they look like.

The harsh reality of social media is this; a messed-up overzealous world that looks to criticise and judge those around them to make others feel low when they don’t deserve it.

It’s all well and good using social media where other’s comments are concerned, but how do people expect to treat others with total disrespect and then not have the bottle to say what they say to someone over social media to their faces? It is hypocrisy gone wild! The art of communication now has truly gone out of the window and it is no thanks to social media and the media in general, and I shan’t be ashamed, to say the least.

I always live by this rule. If you can’t say anything nice about someone on social media and then not have the bottle to say what you said to them on social media to their faces, then keep your mouth closed. No one wants to know your business. No one wants to know what you’ve got to say about others, so stop bitching about someone on social media if you haven’t got the nerve to say it to their faces.

To clarify, I do apologise if you feel I am aiming this at you because I’m not, I’m only aiming it at those who are willing to twist and manipulate others whilst also criticising them without them having the bottle to say it to the person’s face.

I had that fair share of experience last year when someone twisted and manipulated my kindness emotionally and it did get to me briefly, much like it would for anyone else who has had that fair share of experience themselves and I shan’t deny that but I felt better about myself after learning that that person who did that to me got nowhere and took control and learned to not take shit.

I won’t lie, for me to take no shit and give it back to those who gave it to me first has made me feel better and has made me more confident as I will treat that person the same way back if they aren’t willing to be nice.

Like they say, when push comes to shove, if you cannot handle the heat, then get out.

If the language I have used in this topic of discussion did by chance offend you, I sincerely apologise.

Have you had that fair share of experience from someone who has made comments about you or to you on social media but they didn’t have the bottle to say it directly to your face? Please feel free to sound off in the comments. I would love for you to express your views freely on the harsh realities of social media.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to September!

Welcome to September on Mother Nature! As this month is set to be just as busy at the last, it is safe to say I may be publishing not as often as I used to, considering I am making sure to prioritise my time as effectively as possible, given that I have been looking around for jobs, with some good news in mind.

I sent off my CV & Covering Letter late yesterday morning for a photography job, and received a phone call within 24 hours of applying as I’ve been invited to go along for an interview on Wednesday 6th September. It’s a big step for me considering it is my first ever proper job interview and I am nervous to tell you the truth, but hopefully it will go well. This came at such a good time, to be frank, as my dream job is to become a photographer, and hopefully, fingers crossed, if the interview goes well, then I might get the job. At this stage, as I’m preparing myself for the interview next week, I will be making sure to plan the route in advance so that I can get to and from Camden before, during and after my interview. It’s a big step for me so fingers crossed! This does mean I will be inactive a bit more often than usual as I am making sure to be as flexible as possible considering I really want this job.

Meanwhile, over the course of this month, I will try and get some more of the photos I produced last month for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” published on here, as I have been noticing some of the photography work I have published for this self-produced photography series has gained quite a lot of good traction and feedback on Instagram, and while we’re on the subject of photography work, expect some photos to be edited to black and white to add effect to the original photographs, as I will be experimenting further with some of the photos I choose to edit.

What are your plans for September, everyone? I am keen to find out what you plan to do over the next few weeks. Please feel free to submit your responses below in the comments.

Until then, Welcome to September!

Alex Smithson

The Concept of Expression / Oli Regan

Following on from when I photographed my close friends, Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford, I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to photograph my close friend, the actor and mental health awareness campaigner, Oli Regan, again, but this time for my photography series: “The Concept of Expression”.

As I look to explore the concept of expression in the subjects I photograph, photographing Oli gave me the chance to explore his personality, regardless of the angle, but more importantly, as body language is a consistent boundary for the subject’s facial expression, photographing Oli again gave me the chance to explore his personality through these photo headshots, as well as his persona, so in this case, because he’s an actor, he puts on a serious face, which makes the photos interesting, considering that being serious really makes him stand out.

The serious impression and the modelling approach that Oli has taken to make sure the photographs I have produced look visually eye-catching are out of this world. Whilst I remember, keep an eye out for Oli on the latest EE advert that’s been on TV recently. You don’t want to miss it. To spot him, wait for Stormzy‘s song: “Big for Your Boots“, taken from his album, Gang Signs & Prayer, to come on after Kevin Bacon finishes with the word: “INCOMING!” and you should see Oli on the left-hand-side of the screen skanking to Stormzy’s record. It’s a bloody good advert and you will not be disappointed.

Below are the photos I’ve produced of my close friend, Oli Regan.

I am pleased with the way these photographs turned out, but I won’t lie to you, naming each photograph based on the expression and emotion is quite hard, and the photography work I produced when I was at Croydon College is living proof that naming each photo based on the expression and emotion is harder than it looks.

What I will need to improve on is angling the camera when I photograph any subject, so that rather than photograph the subject the way I would usually photograph them, I would need to put the camera up higher, but with the camera angled down a little so that there is little to no head-space on the portrait photographs. These photographs I have produced are really good as they capture the expressions and emotions I wanted Oli to make, but I will be making sure to improve on certain photography-based areas I may or may not be so good

These photographs I have produced are really good as they capture the expressions and emotions I wanted Oli to make, but I will be making sure to improve on certain photography-based areas I may or may not be so good at so that this gives me a better chance next time.

Other than that, I am actually pleased with the overall outcome from these photographs.

These photos will be in my E-Folio so please make sure to check my E-Folio as I will be updating the E-Folio as often as I can.

If you like these photographs I have produced of my close friend, the mental health awareness campaigner and actor, Oli Regan, please leave your comments below. I would love to hear your response and if there are any further improvements I can make for next time, please let me know. I am open to criticism as this will help me to improve the photographs I take for next time.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

The End of the Road! I’ve Passed!

It’s officially the end. My education comes to a remarkable close as I have finished my final year at Croydon College.

Who would have thought that this time three years ago I would be starting my first day at Croydon College, only for the time to fly so much quicker than school? Even I am shocked myself by how far I’ve come since I started at Croydon College.

This time, three years ago, I had just marked the end of secondary school for good as I finished Year 11, and I can even remember starting my first day at Croydon College. I introduced myself to everyone and within the first day, I had made a lot of friends, as we instantly clicked with one another. Three years later, I have so many friends who I keep in contact with and even now, the support I’ve received from my family and my friends has made me realise that I can talk to anyone if I ever feel down about anything.

Croydon College, despite the ups and downs I went through over the course of the three years I studied, gave me the chance to realise my potential and now as I am at the stage of applying for a full-time job, I have officially decided to take a gap year to apply for jobs as I am considering possibly doing a degree in photography next year, which, for me, will really help me in many years to come.

I have enjoyed this year better than the last, but it’s safe to say I will miss Croydon College and everyone in that respect. On the plus side, I have left with my head held high knowing that I have done so well and I cannot wait to take on the best opportunities that become available to me.

Although my work is sufficient enough for a Pass instead of a Merit, I will settle for a Pass instead as I have managed to pass my final year of the UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma Film & Photography Course. That’s good because I have passed my final year. Result!

I am so chuffed to have worked so hard because despite spending a countless amount of hours getting work done, even whilst having to pull all-nighters that would last up until 8:35 AM or 9:00 AM in the morning, I am glad to have passed because now I can officially bring my time at Croydon College to a remarkable close.

Thank you, Croydon College, for all that you have done to get me to where I need to be and I shall continue to go the extra mile to really get the best out of the work I produce in the foreseeable, and thanks for giving me the chance to realise my potential to become a photographer. None of this would have been possible without your help and guidance, so thank you, Croydon College, I’ll miss being at Croydon College but my time at Croydon College has now officially come to an end. Thanks for everything.

Alex Smithson