Monthly Roundup: May 2017

May flew like the wind! The time flew so fast and this month has been so much of hard work in terms of getting coursework and revision done but I can honestly say that I am glad to have worked my socks off. I feel so pleased to have showcased my photography work here to give all of you the chance to see the Final Major Project work I have produced.

Without further ado, I will take a look back over the course of this month.

1.5.2017 – Welcoming you all to May on Mother Nature, I mentioned that May was set to be one of the busiest months for me considering I had a lot of revision and coursework to, and I also went on to mention that the next few weeks would be full of a lot of hard work and dedication.

7.5.2017 – As this day marked the end of such a fantastic weekend, considering I went out and partied the night before at my friend’s house, I seized the opportunity to photograph BOXPARK before heading home after staying at my friend’s house for the night.

11.5.2017 – I continued the Headshot photographic collection I was developing for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project by photographing my close friend, Leonardo Mouza, for Headshot #5. This headshot photography collection came after I photographed the famous actor and Mental Health Awareness Campaigner, Oli Regan.

15.5.2017 – I continued the research phase of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project by picking August Sander as the fourth photographer I would research and I included Harvard Referencing as Harvard Referencing is essential for my coursework.

16.5.2017 – Headshot #6 continued on from Headshot #5, as I photographed Leonardo Mouza for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, along with his close friend, Terrence Mathew. The photographs I produced for Headshot #6 involved photographing both Leonardo and Terrence in the walkway outside Croydon College.

18.5.2017 – For Headshot #7, I photographed my close friend, Mhamad Rauf, but just like before, I photographed Mhamad in the walkway outside Croydon College, and also did some modelling headshots whilst the etched graffiti walls were present.

20.5.2017 – My good friend, Miles Khan, launched his website, and his website contains work he has produced of his multi-coloured pills, which he has been advertising on Instagram. I also detailed the pill designs that Miles Khan has produced so that you can choose from a wide array of choices of the type of pill design you want to purchase.

Also, on this day, I drew the research stage of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project to a remarkable close, as the fifth and final photographer I chose to research for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project was David Bailey.

22.5.2017 – As part of my Final Major Project, Headshot #8 followed on from Headshot #7, which focused on the subject, Mhamad Rauf, as I photographed my close friend, Kasra Soltani, for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project. I used the walkway again outside Croydon College to create an entirely different approach to the facial expressions I wanted Kasra to make by getting him to do those facial expressions I asked him to make in the way he does those facial expressions naturally.

Also, on this day, I notified all of you in advance of the General Election on Thursday 8th June 2017 that you had until 11:59 PM on this day to register to vote so that you could vote for your choice of government, including getting the chance to get your voice heard on Thursday 8th June 2017.

24.5.2017 – I continued on from Headshot #8 by photographing my close friend, Kasra Soltani, again for Headshot #9 of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, but instead, just like with the subjects I photographed earlier on in the Final Major Project, I used a black backdrop to bring out the emphasis in the facial expressions I asked Kasra to make.

26.5.2017 – Headshot #10 brought my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, as I photographed my close friend, Kasra Soltani, for my Final Major Project. As Headshot #10 was the final collection of photographs I had produced for my Final Major Project, I did make sure to adjust the lighting so that the lighting could accommodate for better focus on Kasra so that each expression he has made would connect to the photography work I have already produced.

30.5.2017 – As I prepared to end my Final Major Project, which I mentioned would come to a close on Monday 5th June 2017, I produced Contact Sheets for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project which I would stick into my sketchbook once they were printed. All of the Contact Sheets I produced would feature all of the photography work I have produced throughout the duration of my own Facial Expressionism Final Major Project work, which would feature my photographed subjects; Jonathan McCartney, Steven Geer, Oli Regan, Leonardo Mouza, Terrence Mathew, Mhamad Rauf & Kasra Soltani.

Also, on this day, I mentioned to all of you that after a lot of hype, anticipation and a lot of excitement, Sonic Mania would officially grace our screens on the 15th August. I also mentioned that this news couldn’t have come at a better time, as 2017 would mark 26 years since Sonic the Hedgehog graced our screens.

It’s been such a busy month but was worth being busy and I won’t lie, although there have been a few ups and downs over the past few weeks with the coursework, stress and other things personal-based, I am glad to have got through this month knowing I worked my socks off and being so dedicated to aiming high and achieving the best out of the work I have produced and all of this wouldn’t have been possible without all of you by my side, so thank you so much for everything everyone.

Thanks for such a fantastic month and I will see all of you in June!

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: April 2017

Wow! This month sure flew like the wind. I’ve been so busy with coursework and revision lately that the time has flown! I am so pleased to have got so much coursework done and I’m so glad to have shown all of you the work I have produced for my Final Major Project, including the research I have done for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

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

1.4.2017 – Welcoming you all to April on Mother Nature, I mentioned that this month would set to be just as relaxing and as peaceful as March, but that it would also be set to be quite the busy month for me, considering I would need to travel to places up in London that I can photograph, including heading to certain galleries in London to further my research and development for the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project that I’ve been working on.

7.4.2017 – The Blossoming Feels of Spring highlighted how wonderful this day was because it was nice and sunny, the temperature was just right. and I had ceased the opportunity to photograph some parts of my garden. I experimented with the ISO frequently to see which ISO setting suited the lighting conditions the best.

8.4.2017 – Nature is Beautiful proved that even Mother Nature herself continued to amaze us and because there was a small breeze in the air with the lovely sunny weather on this day, it was safe to say that this weather was beautiful and that Mother Nature is also beautiful.

9.4.2017 – Inspire to be Positive was my way of inspiring others and to promote positivity, equality and diversity towards everyone, and that we should all drown out negativity and inequality.

11.4.2017 – This day marked the beginning of a new chapter for Windows 10. As Windows Vista officially ended extended support on this day, the Windows 10 Creators Update was officially released. I gave a full run-down on the features I came across in the Creators Update considering that I made the jump to the Windows 10 Creators Update a week early ahead of this day’s official release and mentioned that another major Windows Update was set to be released in the coming months.

15.4.2017 – As it was four years since I last visited Battersea Park, it was safe to say that not a lot had changed since my last visit. During the course of my time that I revisited Battersea Park, I produced a large photographic collection that consisted of my journey to Battersea Park, including perspective photographs that I took throughout certain areas of Battersea Park itself, even though two dogs had caught two of the tennis balls me and my family were using when we played cricket on the large field, which were eventually knackered after a few whacks with the cricket bat.

21.4.2017 – As part of my Final Major Project, I did research on the photographers that influenced me in the photography work I wanted to produce, considering that my Final Major Project is based on Facial Expressionism. The first photographer I researched for my Final Major Project was Fazal Sheikh, as his work aimed to document and even personalise the power of portraiture whilst bringing the displaced parts of the world, including its own people, into focus.

23.4.2017 – Continuing on from the first photographer I researched for my Final Major Project, the second photographer I chose to research was Irving Penn, as he was an American photographer who was best known for his portrait, still life and fashion photography collections, and his photography career consisted of work he produced with the top fashion magazine company, VOGUE, including Clinique and Issey Miyake.

24.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far for my Final Major Project, I started to develop my photography skills further, and the first subject I photographed for my Final Major Project was my good friend, Jonathan McCartney. As Fazal Sheikh & Irving Penn’s photography work inspired me in the development of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, I experimented with a white backdrop on the first set of photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan and acknowledged that some of the emotions might not connect to some of the photographs depending on which way the first headshot photographs were viewed. I also experimented further with the same photographs by converting the photographs into words with the app, WordFoto.

25.4.2017 – Following on from the first set of headshot photographs I took of my good friend, Jonathan McCartney, I presented to you the second headshot photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan, but this time, with a black backdrop, which I must say actually worked much better compared to a white backdrop, and the black backdrop was an idea a close friend of mine suggested to me after he critiqued the Headshot #1 photographs I took of Jonathan. These headshot photographs not only improved my photography skills, but it made a lot of sense to use a black backdrop in these photographs, including any other photographs that I would produce. I made sure to experiment carefully with these photographs by editing them in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) so that they could retain the facial expressions I asked Jonathan to make, as these headshot photographs would tie in with my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, including the research I did so far on the Facial Expressionism photographers, Fazal Sheikh and Irving Penn.

28.4.2017 – Continuing on from the first and second photographer I researched for my Final Major Project, the third photographer I chose to research was Thomas Ruff. Thomas Ruff is a German photographer who lives and also works in Düsseldorf in Germany. As he shares a photography studio with other German photographers, such as Andreas Gursky, Axel Hütte and Laurenz Berges on Düsseldorf’s Hansaalee, the photography studio itself formerly comprised of a municipal electricity station, which was converted between the course of 1998 and 2000 by the architects, Herzog & de Meuron, who are part of Tate Modern fame, with an updated basement gallery that was completed in 2011.

29.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far on the photographers, Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn and Thomas Ruff, the second subject I chose to photograph for my Final Major Project was Steven Geer. For the Headshot #3 photographs, just like I did with the Headshot #2 photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, I had made sure to use the black backdrop again, so that the facial expressions I would get Steven to do wouldn’t just have a real sense of depth, but that the expressions that Steven would make would capture a real sense of emotion. I experimented very carefully with the photographs as these photographs would build on the research I did so far on the 3 facial expressionist photographers; Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn & Thomas Ruff.

30.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far on the photographers, Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn and Thomas Ruff, the third subject I am honoured to have photographed for my Final Major Project was the famous actor and Mental Health Awareness Campaigner, Oli Regan. For the headshot photographs I took of Oli, I experimented with a black backdrop so that the facial expressions I asked Oli to make would give the emotion from the facial expressions he made more emphasis and more depth. After I photographed Oli with the black backdrop, I then opted to try out a red backdrop, so that I could capture some of the facial expressions again, but this time, I wanted to try and photograph Oli like as if I photographed him for a magazine cover photoshoot.

Thanks so much to all of you for such a fantastic, fun-filled, exciting and fun-filled month. I am so honoured to have shared my photography work and the research I’ve done with all of you. I have noticed I’ve been a whole lot more productive with the work I’ve produced, as well as the research I’ve done and I am so determined to succeed with a much higher grade this time around that I am making sure to work my socks off to get the best grades I want to get before I finish my final year of college at the beginning of July. I will make sure to work hard to succeed and to make sure I end my education on a high note and to also go out with a bang!

Again, thanks so much to all of you for such a fantastic, fun-filled, exciting and fun-filled month and I will see you all in May.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: March 2017

This month flew like the wind, and it only felt like yesterday we just kicked off 2017! Time has flown so fast lately that it’s impossible to keep up with the speed of time.

I will make sure to take a look back at the articles published over the course of this month, and of course, I will be making sure to remember the victims and the police officer that died on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 down Westminster Bridge, London, as a result of the horrific terrorist attack.

1.3.2017 – Welcoming all of you to March on Mother Nature, I mentioned that I decided to go retro with the article image and did it up in the inspired style of Sonic Mania, considering that Sonic Mania and Project Sonic 2017 (now officially titled ‘Sonic Forces’) would be released over the next few months. I also mentioned that the next few weeks would be much busier considering my Summative Assessment deadline for the Self-Directed Curiosity Project was just around the corner.

3.3.2017 –  After a three-year break from music, and after his hotly anticipated second studio album became the most streamed album on Spotify and other music services, Ed Sheeran is back with his third studio album, ÷. Shape of You really sets the tone of his latest album, because it has a unique vibe that really sets the mood you want to experience when listening to this album. I mentioned that ÷ is the first ever vinyl record I have owned and that I felt so honoured to go retro for the first time and it was an absolute honour to review Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Deluxe) album.

8.3.2017 – As this day marked International Women’s Day, I wanted to make sure all women across the world get to celebrate being the women they are and to always be themselves. I also mentioned that all women deserve equality, diversity, respect, compassion, care and love regardless of skin colour, sexuality, gender, culture, religion and place of origin and that it’s right for all of us, including myself to celebrate all women as part of International Women’s Day.

15.3.2017 –  Let’s face it. We’ve all seen for ourselves the negative stigma that has become attached to Mental Health. The negative stigma has all too often put a strain on all governments and organisations, with Mental Health sufferers having to experience the harsh reality that they may end up not being allowed to access the help, support and treatment they need. Writing this article gave me the chance to be open about my anxiety, and although I am not officially diagnosed, I do suffer from Anxiety, and writing this article gave me the chance to be open about my Anxiety, as well as to how I have been able to manage and keep my Anxiety under control.

20.3.2017 – It was an absolute honour for me to share with you, my review of Oli Regan’s recently released début album, My Diary of Pain. I talked about how the rawness of Oli’s voice on this album really stands out, as he spoke from the heart, the mind and the soul about how he really feels. If you get a chance, please do listen to his album, My Diary of Pain, it is so good!

22.3.2017 – 24.3.2017 – No articles were published as I released an open statement on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 in light of the horrific terrorist attack that took place down Westminster Bridge, London, in which 3 victims died, including the police officer, PC Keith Palmer.

25.3.2017 –  After months of rumours and speculation that she was pregnant, Cheryl & Liam officially announced a few weeks before that they were expecting their first child together. It became official that Cheryl & Liam officially welcomed their first ever child together!

Also, on this day, I asked you all if you were ready for the clocks to go forward, considering that the time went quicker than expected and that it had only felt like it was yesterday we had just put the clocks back one hour, which proves and rings true even to this day that time sure does fly.

26.3.2017 – As this day marked Mother’s Day, I wished all mothers around the world a Happy Mother’s Day and hoped that all mothers had their Mother’s Day filled with love, happiness, joy, respect, compassion and care.

28.3.2017 – As part of my Final Major Project for the last year of my UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma Film & Photography Course at Croydon College, I was asked to produce a 6 minute and 40 second presentation on a time-keeping tool called Pecha Kucha, which is the Japanese term for Chit-Chat.

Pecha Kucha, which is Japanese for Chit-Chat, is where you produce 20 slides that have to be exactly 20 seconds each. For every slide, you would need to explain in 20 seconds for each slide a brief run-down of the kind of work you are going to produce, regardless of whether it is project-based or not. The 20 slides would have to consist of one or more short sentences you can talk about within 20 seconds, including any work you have currently produced to date.

As my Pecha Kucha presentation focused solely on Facial Expressionism, I mentioned that I would research certain photographers, such as Cecil Beaton, Walker Evans, August Sander, Thomas Ruff and any other photographer that specialises in Facial Expressionism; the field of work I want to produce.

29.3.2017 –  In the last few years, the police numbers have gone down due to cuts that have been made to save our government money, our money of which is supposed to be used to keep our police officers on the streets. On Wednesday 22nd March 2017, exactly one year to the day of the devastating attacks that took place in Brussels, which saw 35 people killed (32 victims, 3 perpetrators), with more than 300 people injured, a terrorist attack took place down Westminster Bridge, where 5 people were killed as a result, one of which was the terrorist, while the other was a police officer who was stabbed and sadly died as a result of his injuries.

31.3.2017 – I published two photographic articles that focused on Croydon, considering that I ceased the opportunity to photograph Croydon while the lovely weather lasts. The weather has been absolutely peaceful lately and it was good to see that the weather was finally looking up and that it was most certainly shaping up to make the two-week holiday as relaxing and as peaceful as ever!

Thanks so much for a great month everyone, and although it was a great month, it was also quite devastating as a result of the terrorist attack that took place down Westminster Bridge, London and I shall take this opportunity to pay my full respects and condolences to the families of the victims who lost their loved ones on Wednesday 22nd March 2017, including paying my full respects and condolences to the family of the police officer, PC Keith Palmer.

Again, thanks so much for a good month everyone, and I will see you all in April!

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup / January 2017

What a busy month! January sure did come and go like the wind and we only started 2017 a few weeks ago. It does feel completely surreal considering the time has flown. Over the first few weeks of 2017, I have been extremely busy with coursework to tell you the truth and I haven’t published as much, which is a good thing in certain aspects as I have been working very closely on my self-directed film and photography project, as the Self-Directed Curiosity Project I am working on is based around Nature. As you’ve seen just recently, I published a photography collection of Kelsey Park as part of my coursework, as I have been using the film and photography skills I have learned or built on and improved them over the course of time.

Without further ado, here is the full Monthly Roundup for January.

1.1.2017 – Kicking off 2017 with a bang, I welcomed you all to January on Mother Nature. As 2017 officially opened its doors and began with high spirits, I mentioned that 2017 will be a year of looking forward to the future and not back. As I finally decided to break the tradition with Spotify, I decided to do away with “The Mix of…” playlist and replace it with “Alex’s Mix” as I was getting bored of constantly replacing playlists every year, and I mentioned that “Alex’s Mix” would remain a permanent fixture on this website from this day onwards.

10.1.2017 – As it was exactly one year to the day since the Thin White Duke, David Bowie, passed away at the age of 69 from liver cancer, I had made sure to pay my full respects to the Starman by drawing David Bowie, also because the 8th January 2017 would have marked his 70th birthday. Blackstar, which was David Bowie’s 25th and last ever studio album, which was released on his 69th birthday, was classed as “…a parting gift,” to his fans.

18.1.2017 – As I wanted to kick 2017 off with a bang, I decided to revisit the photographic collection I took on the 15th December 2016 by publishing a more up-to-date collection titled: “CROYDON / REVISITED”, which would revisit Croydon with more of a positive approach, given that there was some lovely weather in my first few weeks back at Croydon College.

On the same day I published this photography article that revisited Croydon, I published another photography collection, titled: “NIGHTLIFE IN BECKENHAM”, which followed my close friend’s birthday party the week before. I mentioned that Nightlife in Beckenham was absolutely tranquil and so peaceful, and the quietness of Beckenham gave me goosebumps as it was pin-drop silent, even though it is usually busy during the daylight hours. I kept in mind there were some blind spots in and around Beckenham so I did make sure to keep myself aware of everything around me so that I could make sure that I was safe.

24.1.2017 Mental Health is not a laughing matter, especially considering that the negative stigma is attached to anyone who suffers from Mental Health, but when social media gets involved, it does everything to exploit mental health in such a negative way that you can’t help but feel disgusted at the level of negativity that makes your blood boil. I worked with the famous actor, Oli Regan, on this article as I wanted to raise awareness and join forces with him to end the negative stigma against Mental Health, and I also mentioned in this article that I had set up a page on Mother Nature called: “Mental Health Organisations“, given that I wanted to do my bit to help end the stigma against Mental Health, even though I don’t suffer from Mental Health myself. I published this article as a way of highlighting the negative stigma against Mental Health and that I wanted to help end the stigma, given that I previously worked with Oli Regan on the article: “Are Autism & Mental Health Overlooked? (Parental Guidance is Advised)”.

27.1.2017 – 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 it was three years since I last visited Kelsey Park, I wanted to make sure to showcase how much my photography skills had improved over the course of time. This photography collection was created on the 24th January 2017 and published on this day (to reduce confusion).

29.1.2017 – As I joined forces with more than a million people who signed the petition to block Donald Trump’s State Visit to the United Kingdom, I published a small article with the link to the petition. I also published this article as I highlighted that I am entitled to a freedom of speech and also my own human rights, given that Equality & Diversity always matter in this world, and that all women are entitled to the same type of freedom as men and that they shouldn’t be controlled, shouldn’t be forced and shouldn’t be objectified just for being themselves. I also mentioned that if all of us men can have freedom, then all women can have the same freedom as all of us men.

Thank you for a fantastic start to 2017 everyone and I shall see you all in February.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: December 2016

Marking the end of 2016, here is the final monthly roundup of 2016. It’s hard to think it only felt like yesterday we started 2016 but now that 2016 is ready to close its doors for the last time, I will take a look back on the articles published over the course of December.

1.12.2016 – As December is the last month of the year, I welcomed all of you to Mother Nature. I mentioned that it was hard to believe that it was the last month of the year, given that the time has gone so fast, which made it unbelievable considering just how quick the time flies nowadays.

3.12.2016 – A short while ago, I wrote an article that followed my excitement of the first three Crash Bandicoot games being remastered after years of rumours and speculation, and on this day, Activision, while they were at the PlayStation Experience event, unveiled the first ever look of Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy. I saw the comeback trailer and it’s so good! It reminisces the nostalgic fever of the original levels from the PS1 Classic Crash Bandicoot and Sony & Activision couldn’t have picked a better time to show off the new Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy.

6.12.2016 – As it was a few weeks since I had 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 Croydon.

16.12.2016 – As I will be starting a self-directed photography project in 2017, I decided to share with all of you a small photographic collection that I took of Croydon before I fell sick the day before to a sore throat and a cold. I kept this in mind considering that my coursework from the past few projects were all submitted on Monday 12th December 2016.

23.12.2016 – As Sonic Generations marked the 20th Anniversary of Sonic the Hedgehog, it was clear that this game had everything to offer, because for the first time, and with Stereoscopic 3D, you would get to see Classic Sonic & Modern Sonic in an entirely nostalgic form that would shift between the past and the present. I will not deny this, but I have played the game myself and I absolutely love it, because it delivers and creates not just a nostalgic feeling that makes you think of the good old days of Classic Sonic, but it gives you the approach that Sonic is back and Retro is back too.

I wrote this review because as I have a copy of the game, I wanted to be nice and write an honest review on SEGA’s 2011 game, Sonic Generations, also given the fact that it’s such a good game to play.

25.12.2016 – I wanted to wish you all a Happy Christmas by publishing a small article, in which I said: “May your Christmas be full of joy, happiness, care, compassion and love.”

29.12.2016 – As I decided to treat myself to the new PlayStation 4 Slim 1TB console after a tough year, it’s safe to say I was not disappointed, as I was able to get in on a deal with PC World as they were selling three games bundled with the PlayStation 4 Slim; those games were DRIVECLUB, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End & The Last of Us Remastered. Thankfully, I was able to get in on the deal when I did because Sony never disappoints where consoles and gaming are involved, as the console itself is much quieter than the original PS4, given that I know a friend of mine who has the original PS4 whose PS4 actually makes a noise even if the console is standing upright or horizontally when gameplay is in progress or when a film is being played on the PlayStation 4.

I wrote this review considering that I purchased the PlayStation 4 Slim a few weeks before, given that the PlayStation 4 Slim, just like the original PlayStation 4, features the Share button on the DualShock 4 controller, which makes sharing gameplay to YouTube and other websites, such as DailyMotion, Facebook and even Twitch possible, also because Share Play allows you to invite your friends to a game they may not have or may already own, including the ability to play games that you may not own or may have never played before.

30.12.2016 – With it being just 4 years since Unorthodox Jukebox, which spanned the smash hit songs, Locked Out of Heaven & Treasure, Bruno Mars is Back! As 24K Magic marked Bruno Mars’ comeback to the music scene, two years after the smash hit record, Uptown Funk, which he released alongside Mark Ronson just weeks after Fleur East (The X Factor 2014 Runner-Up, 2nd Place to our Croydon lad, Ben Haenow, the winner of the X Factor 2014) performed the record on the X Factor, it was safe to say that it was like Bruno Mars had never been away from the music scene.

I wrote this music review considering I have listened to and own a copy of the album, which is so good, which is why I recommend you buy Bruno Mars’ album, 24K Magic.

Also on this day, I published a massive photo collection and footage of So Solid Crew, who performed at BOXPARK CROYDON on Thursday 8th December 2016 and honestly, they smashed it when I went to see them perform. I was also lucky to get some photos with Double Dee from So Solid Crew and again, he is such a down-to-earth and genuine guy and it was an absolute honour to meet him and also an absolute honour to see So Solid Crew at BOXPARK Croydon. Seeing So Solid Crew perform at BOXPARK Croydon on Thursday 8th December 2016 marked that night as the best night of my life.

31.12.2016 – As the legendary 1970s music group, MADNESS, recently released their album, Can’t Touch Us Now, it was safe to say a tour wasn’t far behind, as they would perform live at the O2 in London. I went to see them perform live at the O2 with my family on Saturday 10th December 2016 and I loved every second of the tour. I published a large photo collection and also included the footage I recorded whilst I was there in the article and it was also one of the best nights of my life.

Also, after almost 6 months, Life From My Own Perspective was officially released! This came after such a long while, considering the third book, My Journey Through a Lens, was released on the 4th July 2015 (Independence Day). I was initially supposed to start working on this book at the beginning of 2016, but because of coursework and personal problems in mind, that’s why I stopped working on the book until after I finished the first year of my two-year film and photography course.

This final Monthly Roundup draws to a close. Check back very soon for the Year in Review.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: September 2016

To end September on an extremely busy and productive note, I will take a look back on the articles that I published over the course of this month. I acknowledge that not many articles were published this month but the valid reason behind the amount of articles published is because I mentioned recently that writing and publishing articles are taking a backseat as I am focusing on my GCSE English, GCSE Maths and UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Courses. This will also apply for the entire year.

1.9.2016 – As it was set to be quite an interesting month, I welcomed you all to September on Mother Nature considering that I was to progress on to the final year of my two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course. I also mentioned that anything that’s not college-related would take a backseat as I am ultimately keen on wanting to succeed in the GCSE English & Maths subjects.

9.9.2016 – After three years, Lady Gaga, best known for her albums, The Fame, The Fame Monster, Born This Way and ARTPOP, is back! Perfect Illusion, which was released on the 9th September 2016, went straight to Number 1 on iTunes and before Perfect Illusion was even released, it was already topping the charts, which was obviously a good sign because it was Lady Gaga’s return to the music scene three years after ARTPOP.

18.9.2016 – With it being 18 years since Spyro the Dragon landed on PlayStation, I thought it would be nice to do a review of the game considering I have owned and completed the game. As the game contains 36 breathtaking levels split over 6 worlds in the game, with 12 eggs to collect, 15,000 gems to collect and 80 dragons to save, Spyro the Dragon’s journey to defeat Gnasty Gnorc would be the biggest challenge yet for the Purple Dragon.

20.9.2016 – Early Monday morning and sometime during the afternoon when I was on my hour-long lunch break (Monday 19th September 2016), I ceased the opportunity to snap a small set of photographs in and around Croydon as I arrived over an hour early before my 9:30 AM lesson time. I must admit, I used the Camera+ app again after a while, and I must say I have noticed a dramatic improvement in my photography skills, but at the same time, I’ve also noticed I can take better photographs than before. This photo set that I published would then go on to be a part of my coursework for the last year of my two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course.

I want to say to all of you this. Thank you for sticking by me following the events over the last few months, I don’t know what I would do without all of you by my side. I can only apologise for not publishing frequently, but now is the time to put priorities first before anything else, but most of all, now is the time to stay strong and to stand up and get your voice heard.

Again…from the bottom of my heart, thank you for sticking by me over the last few months, I don’t know what I would do without all of you by my side, and I will see you all in October.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: June 2016

After a busy and productive month, I will be taking a look back at the articles I have published over the course of June.

1.6.2016 – With the weather being expected to get warmer considering that Summer was almost here, I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for June. I mentioned that it was great to know that the Summer Olympics in Rio are almost here, considering just how amazing and how quick the time has flown since the London 2012 Summer Olympic & Paralympic Games concluded.

6.6.2016 – 3 years ago to this day, Mother Nature started up as PhotographyNature: To bring the vibrancy back into your life. What started as a nature blog turned into a website, as I expanded my interests beyond nature into technology, college-related studies, music, games and also topics, some of which would focus on certain things that have gone on throughout the course of everyday life.

12.6.2016 – After a few weeks of working on the drawing, I finally completed my third artistic interpretation of Madonna. This drawing was based on a photo that was taken back in 1994 for a song called: “I’ll Remember“, which Madonna produced for an Original Motion Picture film called: “With Honors“, which would see her undergoing a radical change in her image and style for this particular song.

13.6.2016 – In light of the recent events in which 50 victims lost their lives as a result of the deadly massacre that occurred in Orlando, I published an article announcing the news that I wouldn’t be publishing any articles for Tuesday 14th & Wednesday 15th June as I wanted to pay my full respects to all the victims and families who are grieving at this time. I also mentioned that Mother Nature would resume operation on Tuesday 16th June. I created a Pray for Orlando badge that could be used on any blog/website, in which I asked all of you to show your support by placing the Pray for Orlando Badge I created on your blog/website.

16.6.2016 – Almost two weeks before, I took the opportunity when we had the lovely sunny weather to take some photos out in my garden, and for the first time with my Nikon D3300 DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex), I used the Aperture Priority (Av) on all of the photos, which delivered spectacular results that I didn’t achieve as much as I used to before. The Natural Roots of June consisted of all 31 colour photographs, including 5 black and white photographs of some of the colour photographs I hand-picked at random from the photo collection.

21.6.2016 – We all experience certain moments of tranquility and euphoria at certain stages in our lives, but what is so good about tranquility and euphoria is that they both connect and merge together very well, as tranquility can be recognised from certain angles; peaceful, tranquil, quiet. Euphoria, on the other hand, can be recognised from other certain angles; happiness, excitement, and paradise. Having a mixture of both create a sense of joy and happiness which can be found to be overwhelming at the best of times. The article, Tranquility & Euphoria, was all about finding out different perspectives of tranquility and euphoria and how they both work well together.

Also, on the same day, I published another article, titled: “It’s a Beautiful Day.”, as we had such lovely weather on this day, and I ceased the opportunity to publish a photograph I took in its edited and original form so that you would get a choice of the same two, depending on which one took your interest the most.

23.6.2016 – Five years on since her untimely death on the 23rd July 2011, Amy Winehouse, the iconic music legend that made her mark with her unique musical sound, released two of her most iconic albums, which were Frank, and also Back to Black. Her posthumous third studio album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, consisted of some new songs which were previously unreleased, including different versions of certain tracks that we listened to and grew to love, given that the iconic look for Back to Black and Lioness: Hidden Treasures saw Amy Winehouse with the iconic beehive hairstyle, which has since become the biggest trendsetter for all independent women in fashion.

I took the opportunity to draw Amy Winehouse, as I wanted to pay my full respects and pay homage to the iconic music legend as it has been five years since her passing. She was a talented young musician who was gone too soon. I’ve put her age, 27, in brackets, in the article title, as that number is the age she was when she passed away on the 23rd July 2011.

I wanted to make sure to pay tribute to Amy Winehouse by drawing just her face, and nothing else, as I wanted to make sure the most important features of her face stood out, which were her eyes, her nose, her piercing and her mouth and teeth.

Also, on this day, I published an article about the EU Referendum being the most talked about event of the year, considering the controversy and history behind it. I chose to vote Leave and was pleased that the Leave side of the campaign won, and I gave my reasons for why I chose to Leave the European Union in the article: “The EU Referendum. The Historical & Most Controversial Voting Event in History.”

26.6.2016 – Since I voted to Leave the EU on the 23rd June, which I don’t regret in doing so, I have noticed the large amount of Facebook statuses on my News Feed, not to mention the large amount of tweets that have appeared on Twitter that are xenophobic, racist and even disgraceful, especially certain statuses that have come up on my News Feed from those who feel I should have to delete them off of my Facebook because I chose to Leave. I wrote this article in which I vented my frustrations loud and clear, and not for a split second did I even hold back.

I was sick and tired of the way everyone was reacting to the result on social media, and I felt by writing and publishing this note, I could get all of my frustration off of my chest, and it actually felt good to use this note as my opportunity to shut the kind of people down that kept complaining that they didn’t get the result that they wanted by giving those my full outlook on what I thought about the whole thing.

30.6.2016 – Recently, I mentioned to all of you I had some stuff personal-wise going on with college work, well these past few weeks haven’t been easy for me, as there has been so much stress and upset given something far more serious which I can’t discuss for certain reasons in mind, but the work has been stressful lately and with learning the news about something as horrible and grim, it just sent me over the edge.

I wrote this article explaining why I wasn’t as productive and I also apologised for not being as productive recently, but I also used this article I published as my own way of letting go of it all. Writing this article was my way of letting go and releasing it all, so that I could, in other words, never look back, but most of all, look forward.

Thanks so much to all of you for a really good month, and again, I am sincerely sorry for not being as productive lately, but as I am finally on the long Summer break, I will be concentrating more on getting more articles published on Mother Nature.

Until then, thank you all for a really good month and I’ll see you all in July.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: May 2016

With this month being the least productive since the start of 2016, I will be making sure to take a look back at the articles that were published over the course of this month.

1.5.2016 – As the next couple of weeks were set to get warmer considering that Summer would be just a few weeks away, I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for May. I also mentioned that I would be very busy with my college studies, which meant I would be publishing articles less frequently than the month before, considering that April was extremely productive. I did mention that I would be travelling up to London on Tuesday 10th May to the Barbican Gallery where Madonna was a few weeks before as I would be going to see an exhibition that would comprise of over 250 intuitive works produced by Martin Parr.

5.5.2016 – On the 20th April 2016, I ceased the opportunity to take some photographs for my Final Major Project, and I headed to the 96 George Street Building opposite Croydon College to snap a photograph from the viewpoint space that was free for use. I used the photograph for the featured image of this article, including showing it below in full colour, along with the details of the photograph. For instance, the dimensions of the photograph, including the make of the camera, not to forget to mention the F Number, Aperture Priority, including the ISO Speed etc.

6.5.2016 – As the weather on this day was absolutely peaceful, I was able to cease the opportunity to take some photographs of some of the blooming flowers that were in my garden. I did attempt for the first time with my Nikon D3300 with Aperture Priority, which delivered some fantastic results considering I never experimented with Aperture Priority on my own camera before.

15.5.2016 – On Tuesday 10th May 2016, I travelled with my Film & Photography class up to London on a trip to the Barbican Gallery. As it was the first time I had ever visited the Barbican Gallery, I was shocked to find just how massive it was inside the Gallery. There was so much information available at hand and whilst I was there, I was able to take photographs around certain parts of the Barbican Gallery where I was allowed, and I must say I was surprised. The damp and dismal weather that day didn’t stop me from getting a collection of photos together.

17.5.2016 – Over the years, I’ve known some people who can be thoughtless and heartless, no matter how hard you try to put yourselves out there for them, especially where your respect to them concerns. I’ve had my fair share of that experience and I’m not ashamed to say this, but I will not put myself out there for those who feel it’s okay to take others for granted, have a go at those who are trying to respect and help them and I will most certainly not put my neck on the line for some people who think it’s okay to treat me like I’m something they’ve trodden in.

I wrote this article based on how I felt not just over the few stressful and eventful weeks I had with my work, but also because I felt I needed to get everything off my chest about what I really thought about those who take others, including myself for granted, including the lack of equality, diversity and respect that goes amiss nowadays.

23.5.2016 – A hilarious Facebook Live video broke the internet within a few days after Candace Payne, who purchased a Chewbacca Star Wars mask for her birthday left herself in stitches due to the mask making a funny noise, which also left the internet amused and in stitches of laughter.

I thought it would be nice to write an article on Candace Payne’s hilariously infectious video because it made me smile and laugh for all the right reasons, given that the video put a smile on my face despite the amount of stressful and eventful weeks I had with my coursework. I also thought it would be nice to share this funny moment with all of you as Candace Payne brought me and everyone around the whole world 4 minutes and 4 seconds of happiness, joy and humour. Again to Candace Payne, thank you :-).

26.5.2016 – I published a note of sincere apology for all of you to see, as I wanted to apologise for not being as productive over the course of this month, considering I had a lot of personal things going on, including not being able to have the energy to publish as many articles as I hoped. I mentioned that the past few weeks hadn’t been easy for me as I had so much going on personal-based, but also a lot going on with my Final Major Project, which I’m ready to start wrapping up and finalising before the public show goes on at Croydon College from the 13th – 17th June.

28.5.2016 – Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. We have all worried that we might not be able to succeed in life and we have the dreaded existential crisis that may affect what we want to do in the future. We often worry about certain things that we shouldn’t worry ourselves over. For example, we may feel petrified of the thought of dying, including what happens to all of us when we are no longer here.

I wrote this article because I did, at certain stages, feel like that, where I wanted to give up, but I also thought at those stages in my life that my future was at stake and I couldn’t afford to give up now. I also know it’s not an easy ride where an existential crisis concerned, given that I have been there, but this article was about asking you whether an existential crisis had affected you, despite my experiences of going through an existential crisis of my own at certain stages of my own life.

31.5.2016 – As Apple released their first ever Apple Watch last year, I thought it would be nice to review the Apple Watch Sport considering I brought it a short time ago. With Apple’s first iteration becoming a part of the watch industry, the Apple Watch has been able to help those who own the Apple Watch Sport, the standard Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Edition and the Hermés version of the Apple Watch have the ability to track the person’s Activity in terms of exercise, steps taken, not to forget the amount of calories it tracks that you burn off over the course of 24 hours.

I decided to publish my review of the Apple Watch Sport 38MM 7000 Series Edition considering that I’ve loved and enjoyed using the Apple Watch Sport ever since I brought it, but I also wanted to publish my review of the Apple Watch Sport in case you are someone who has been looking to purchase an Apple Watch for a while. I wholeheartedly recommend the Apple Watch to every single one of you, as it’s absolutely useful for productivity and it has most certainly helped me to be more productive at what I do.

Thank you all for a good month. I sincerely apologise for not being as productive as much as I hoped but I will try my best to make sure I can get more articles published over the course of next month. Again, thank you all for a very good month and I’ll see you all in June.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: April 2016

As I’ve been extremely productive and have been a very busy bee as usual, I will make sure to take a look back on the articles that have been published over the course of this month.

1.4.2016 – As March ended on a productive note, I had made sure to welcome you all to April on Mother Nature, as this month would be set to get a little warmer considering the wintry spells had finally passed.

Also on this day, I published a tribute article which paid tribute to the nation’s most loved Agony Aunt, Denise Robertson, who sadly passed away at the age of 83 from pancreatic cancer on the 31st March 2016, with the news of her passing being announced just 24 hours after the news broke of Ronnie Corbett passing away.

2.4.2016 – After a lot of widespread anticipation, following its historical début on mobile, which saw 1 million users in Japan getting their hands on this app within 3 days of its release in Japan (17th March),Nintendo finally released their first mobile application, Miitomo, to the world. The release of Miitomo came exactly two weeks after it was released in Japan, and within less than 24 hours after its release worldwide, Nintendo’s first ever mobile application on the iTunes App Store and Google Play débuted at Number 1.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on finally setting your creativity free, as it was based around how we all have ideas of being creative, but would leave us wondering how we would all set that creativity free.

3.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on the truth that I had about abstract art, which was me answering that it was interesting and innovative. This article was based around an abstract art piece I created using a pen and a piece of paper, which took less than 24 hours to produce. I also made sure to create different colours of the same abstract art piece that I had finished, and I had made sure to do some significant editing, using the editing skills I currently have to make it look exactly as to how I saw it on paper, so that I could reproduce the same appearance I saw in drawing form, but in the form of a digital version as well.

Also on this day, I published my first Quote of the Day, which would be useful as I wanted to make sure to inspire you all and to put some light in your day.

4.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that I wanted to make sure would be short, but would be inspiring as well, as the article I published was based on doing something for the first time in this world, which was for you to do you and to be happy. It was my way of saying that you should be you, be happy, but most of all to be yourself.

Also on this day, I published another article which was based around three key factors of life, which were Strength, Courage & Willpower, and it was based around just how powerful they can be in all walks of life.

Ending Day 4 of the month on a high note, I had made sure to publish Quote of the Day #2, which was based on redefining ourselves for the better in this world.

5.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article which was based on how, over the years, we had all seen some disaster films, but the question was whether they were feasible in terms of real-life situations.

Also on this day, I published an article which was based on whether protective headgear should be worn at all times in boxing, following the news of the boxer, Nick Blackwell, who collapsed shortly after a boxing match between him and Chris Eubank Jr., the son of Chris Eubank Snr.

To end this day, I published Quote of the Day #3, which was based on helping you all to believe in yourselves, including being yourselves.

6.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that was based around expanding your horizons with all-new ideas. This article was also a 5-Step Guide that I created which was my way of being able to show you how you could broaden your horizons with all-new ideas.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based around the April showers, considering that the name of the article, which was called: “April Showers Bring Blossoming Flowers” was based around the small showers we were getting, which brought along with it some gusty winds.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #4, which was based on aspiration and inspiration, as well as inspiring anyone to do better.

7.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that expressed my excitement for the Summer Break, given that the time has been flying like clockwork and that the long holiday break was not far behind. I mentioned that although I may not be partial to the spells of hot weather, I did mention that I do love the thought of lovely Summer days where it’s nice and sunny and where it is also absolutely peaceful.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on music, as well as wondering how we’re able to relate our lives to songs. I talked about how it was the first thing we would make sure to listen to everyday, as well as how there would be something about music that would make us feel connected.

Hailstones Bring Showering Flows was based around the unexpected flow of hailstones that we had where I live and it came down so fast that it had felt like a torrential downpour during a thunderstorm.

To end the day on a good note, I published Quote of the Day #5, which was based around not the kind of people we become, but the kind of people who we choose to become in life that would really matter.

8.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article based on the two-week holiday, in which I asked you how yours went, given that I had two very productive weeks, which I had absolutely loved.

I also talked about success, as well as asking you all how good it felt to achieve something, given the joys and excitement of being able to succeed at something that we may have worked so hard for.

As the two-week holiday was quickly drawing to a close, I asked you all if you were ready to head back to school or college, considering that I felt more than ready to go back to college after a productive and relaxing break, given that I was able to recuperate fully considering I had a huge amount of energy that I still had on hand despite the productive and relaxing holiday break that I had.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #6, which was based on determination, success, as well as working hard for something, not to forget to mention the chances of being able to follow your dreams.

9.4.2016 – On this day, I published three Weekly Logs, the first two of which were based around the Light Play Project that I completed and passed, which was based around darkroom experimentation work, while the third one was based around the first week of the Ghost Stories Project, which would be based around the Uncanny, as well as a mixture of different backgrounds, such as supernaturalism, ghouls, as well as mysterious things, not to mention tension, including strange and horrid backgrounds.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #7, which was based on excelling in life, as well as working hard and producing something new, including being stronger than you think, not to mention believing in yourself, including being yourself.

10.4.2016 – On this day, I published three more Weekly Logs, two of which were based around the Ghost Stories Project, including the third, which was based around the first week of the Stop-Frame Animation Project.

Also on this day, I published an article that was based on an upcoming newspaper called: “The Word: Telling it As it Is.”, which would be launching on Friday 27th May 2016. As The Word is currently being funded on the crowdfunding site, crowdfunder.co.uk, I thought it would be nice to contribute and spread the word of this new community-based newspaper, as I wanted to make sure I could do my bit to help out. After a friend of mine sent me a logo of the name of the newspaper, I offered to help out by giving the logo a complete design overhaul, so that it would be bold and professional, but also create an in-your-face approach, so that it would be the community-based newspaper that people will read and enjoy.

To end this day on a high note, I published Quote of the Day #8, which was based on being yourself, including always being confident and to always to do you, which is what matters.

17.4.2016 – As I was requested by one of my friends about drawing them, I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and draw them. I published the final version of this drawing on Mother Nature as this was the first drawing I had done that didn’t require a single photo reference, but was all from memory. I loved the final result of the drawing as it was how I wanted it to be.

As we also had lovely weather on this day, I ceased the perfect opportunity to get a photo of the lovely silhouette sunset shift just before nightfall was due to commence.

20.4.2016 – The week before, I ceased the opportunity to take a collection of photographs around Croydon whilst I was on my way home from college via my 367 Bromley North bus. I used the Camera+ app (Recommended) to snap up to almost 40 photographs and I was absolutely pleased with the collection of photographs that I created and published on Mother Nature.

21.4.2016 – As I had photographed one of my friends at college the day before, I ceased the opportunity to take a few photos with the Canon EOS 1200D (provided by Croydon College), including my iPhone 5 and because of the lovely Spring weather, this meant I was able to set the aperture correctly to produce them. I also listed below in the article: “A Bright & Peaceful Spring!” the details of the photograph, which showed what the focal length was, including the exposure time and the F number, which was 5.6.

In light of the sudden death of the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, who died at the age of the 57 on this day, I had made sure to pay my full respects to him by publishing a tribute article that would give me and all of us the chance to remember him forever in our hearts as the iconic music legend he truly is.

22.4.2016 – On this day, I published an article that was based on my own views of my generation, as well as how my generation has changed how we live. I won’t deny that I didn’t hold back, but I wasn’t afraid to make my feelings known to those who treated others like dirt. I must admit, having a go at some of the secondary school students from a high school that’s near to where I live was a forced to be reckoned with, but after I lost my temper at the secondary school students, they never did anything to me, nor did they even say anything to my face as a result of how angry I was, but I did, however, receive an apology from some of the high school students for the way they were treating each other, but even though that apology was aimed at me, it was more or less aimed at everyone else on my bus, which just goes to show that if you cannot be considerate of the passengers who are on board the same bus as you, then the simplest thing is to not board the bus.

26.4.2016 – As the Croydon-born talented musician, also the winner of The X Factor 2014, Ben Haenow, kicked off his One Night Tour on the 15th April 2016, which ran until the 23rd April 2016, everyone was full of excitement, including myself, as he came back to his hometown, Croydon, on the 19th April 2016, to perform his One Night Tour at Fairfield Halls / The Ashcroft Theatre, which promoted his self-titled debut album, Ben Haenow, which was released on Friday 13th November 2015. This Special Tour Review was my way of saying a massive, massive thank you to Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer, as this was my first ever time going to see a musician perform on tour and for Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and James Plimmer to put on such a perfect night, I absolutely loved it. Thanks guys!!! Also again, thanks so much to Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow and to James Plimmer for getting photos with me on the night, it means so much :-).

29.4.2016 – A few weeks before, it was reported and confirmed that David Gest, who had recently made an appearance in the Celebrity Big Brother house, had passed away at the age of 62 at a London Hotel on the 12th April 2016, just before 10:20 AM. The news of his death seriously shocked me and I was absolutely gutted, as this news came nearly two weeks after we lost Ronnie Corbett and Denise Robertson, but when I heard the news of David Gest’s death on the 12th April, I was absolutely shocked and upset. I paid tribute to him by publishing this article as I wanted to make sure he was remembered in our hearts forever and also for the footprints he left on our hearts.

30.4.2016 – On Thursday 28th April 2016, whilst I was around Croydon during my lesson taking photographs as part of a concept I will be producing for my final piece towards the end of the first year of the two-year UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, I took just a few photos around some parts of Croydon that I hadn’t photographed properly before, and as I took these photos, these would help me to develop my ideas further for the concept I will be aiming to produce. I published this photography article as I wanted to give you all an in-depth look at the kind of concept I have in mind, as well as using the photos I took as ideas for how I could produce that concept for my final piece, but in a completely realistic setting.

This Monthly Roundup has officially drawn April to a remarkable close. Although we lost quite a few notable icons over the course of this month, they will never be forgotten in our hearts and will always be remembered forever in our hearts.

Thanks to all of you for making this month an extremely productive month for me and I’ll see you all in May.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: March 2016

The first few months of this year sure are flying by like clockwork, it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the speed of time. I’ve also been a lot more of a busy bee this month, as I’ve managed to publish more articles this month than the amount I’ve published in the last few months, following the end of 2015. Time does go like a flash nowadays, can you believe it?

To kick off this Monthly Roundup, I will take a look back at the articles I’ve published over the course of this month.

1.3.2016 – To kick March off with a bang, I welcomed all of you back to Mother Nature, with this month being set for some possibly nice weather, despite weather reports that suggested that there would be rain and snow. I also mentioned that I would add a widget that would state the times for each and every week that I would publish my articles, so that I could keep to a specific publishing timetable that would suit me best for when it comes to publishing articles on here.

4.3.2016 – As we had relatively mild but refreshing Spring weather in Croydon on this day, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity during my lunch break to get a large number of photos whilst I had the free time available. I took a large range of photographs with the Camera+ app (recommended), and because there was not a single spot of bad weather on this day too, this day was the perfect opportunity for me to get a large range of photos in before my lunch break came to an end.

5.3.2016 – Last year when I was on the UAL Level 2 Diploma Art & Design Course, I took some photos in and around Croydon, but around certain parts of Croydon that I hadn’t photographed before. I must admit, on the 7th May 2015, I went down to Reeves Corner with a student from my class, though I asked the fellow student from my class if they could come with me because I was worried about going down to Croydon on my own, considering that the Nikon D3300 DSLR I use to take my photos with is quite expensive, and that I was worried about it being stolen, given that what happened down that area with the Reeves Furniture Store being burned down during the riots in 2011 had worried me. On this day, I published the small set of photos that I had taken on the 7th May 2015, with Reeves Corner being the featured place I would use in the article’s Featured Image.

7.3.2016 – Life throws at us what we do or don’t like to experience, but it’s being able to accept who you are that really matters. Whether you have anyone around you who chooses to see you differently because of who you are and how you choose to appear, that doesn’t matter, it’s what comes from your heart and who you are that really matters the most. I wrote this article as a way of wanting to inspire you all.

11.3.2016 – Your life is a sensational and remarkable masterpiece. Why? Because it is. Your life is sensational because you have decided to be you and have decided to forget what other people think of you, and you are also a remarkable masterpiece as well, because not only have you decided to be yourself, but you have also proved that you are 10,000 times better than they will ever be. I also wrote this article as I wanted to inspire all of you to believe in yourself and to always be yourself, no matter what.

13.3.2016 – Security is the major key factor that plays its part in the digital world, but at the same time, we are left with the question that we sometimes ask ourselves or other people, and that is: “Are We Really Safe?“. I wrote this article mainly because I wanted to know whether you felt your security in the digital world was safe, considering I had fallen victim to a “malware and virus attack after some viruses and malware got past my security software, which resulted in me having restore problems, until I was advised to create storage media on one of my USB’s using the Media Creation Tool (provided by Microsoft) which actually helped, as I was able to completely wipe my laptop of any viruses, malware and even any other kind of general virus attacks.”

21.3.2016 – From Friday 11th March 2016 to Monday 14th March 2016, I worked on my drawing of the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, and this drawing that I worked on was inspired on one of the photos that was taken of Madonna during the Ray of Light era. I can be honest with you all, this was my first proper attempt at drawing someone including their face, considering that a few years ago, I couldn’t draw a face properly unless I used a photo to trace over the original. I published this article as I wanted to showcase to all of you my current drawing skills, given that my drawing skills have advanced in the last few years.

22.3.2016 – Let’s face it, we’ve all had our fair share of bad experiences, whether it would be to do with a fall or whether it would be to do with the consideration of any passenger‘s safety, especially for those who wait at their bus stops to get the next bus that’s due. I wrote this article in light of my recent experience in which a bus driver drove past me and a couple of passengers, even though full indication was given by a fellow passenger for the bus driver to stop at my usual bus stop, which resulted in me having to run to the next bus stop just around the corner, which as you can imagine left me in a seriously foul mood afterwards.

23.3.2016 – As the article had suggested, what was the one true thing that scared you? I outlined that the one true thing that scared me was “death, as I hate the thought ofdying, given that after death, nothing carries on, and not just that, but after death, everything just stops forever.” I did this article as I wanted to know what the one true thing was that genuinely scared you.

24.3.2016 – Back in 2012, I did a piece of creative work in my Art & Design class when I was in Year 9, and I had to create a kind of pop-art piece which would consist of two famous faces, which were of Marshall Mathers (a.k.a. Eminem) and the model, Kate Moss. This of course did require the use of different materials which would help me to produce this piece, but aside that, I also used the Colors! 3D app (available on the Nintendo eShop) to produce some pieces of art work, which does shock me to some extent given how my drawing and design skills were then compared to the drawing and design skills I have now. I also presented some drawings in this article that I created in 2013 and 2014.

25.3.2016 – Equality & Diversity are just two of the main key factors that make up all the societies in this world. Whether it would be to do with a person’s religious background, sexuality or even how someone chooses to look and appear, both key factors should be taken into consideration no matter what society any of us come from. I wrote this article as it’s the kind of subject that is close to my heart, as I always believe that we should be equal and diverse towards one another.

Also on this day, I published another article, but decided to keep the second article short by showing a photo of the lovely weather on this day, as I “wanted to relax a little bit just for a change, considering all of the hard work I’ve been producing for my film and photography course most recently.”

27.3.2016 – I published a moderately tiny article in which I had wished you all a Happy Easter.

29.3.2016 – As I headed down to Charlie’s Rock Shop in Merton on this day, I did notice that the landscape around me was full of tranquility, as everywhere around me was quiet, which was a change considering how busy it can be sometimes, but the landscape around me was peaceful and also refreshing. Despite the fact that the weather couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be sunny or to be pouring down with rain, I decided to get a set of photographs in that I took whilst I was there and while I was on my way back home. I also took some of the photos I selected that were originally in colour and converted a select range of them into black and white.

30.3.2016 – As I kicked my two-week holiday off with a bang, I took the opportunity to draw the Queen of Pop songstress, Madonna, again, but this time in her True Blue era, as I saw that a lot of fans had created pieces of artwork inspired by the True Blue photograph that Herb Ritts took of her back in 1986. This drawing took from the 25th March to the 29th March to complete, and I was absolutely over the moon with the final result that I was able to achieve.

31.3.2016 – I felt absolutely honoured to have been nominated by Brooke (The Utopia Universe) for the Blogger Recognition Award, which is the first award that Mother Nature has received since the start of 2016.

Today, I also paid tribute to the Man of Mighty Humour, Ronnie Corbett, who sadly passed away this morning at the age of 85. He will be greatly missed but will never be forgotten. We will miss you Ronnie Corbett.

To end this month on a really positive, but sad note, I wanted to say thank you so much everyone for making this month a good one, and although we lost Paul Daniels earlier in the month, including hearing the sad news of Ronnie Corbett passing away earlier this morning, I want to say that they shall always be remembered in our hearts forever.

Again, thank you so much for making this month a really good one, and I’ll see you all in April.

Alex Smithson