Irving Penn / Research

Continuing on from the first photographer I have researched for my Final Major Project, the second photographer I have chosen to research is Irving Penn.

Irving Penn 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.

Below are the slides in the exact order, and the work I have done Harvard Referencing for which references Irving Penn’s photography work I take absolutely no credit for. I also take absolutely no credit for the self-portrait photograph produced by Irving Penn himself. I’ve merely referenced Irving Penn’s work in my research as inspiration to inform and develop my own photography work further inspired on Irving Penn’s photography work.

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, the award that Irving Penn received for his work, as well as the various exhibitions he did in his life, including the posthumous exhibitions after he passed away that showcased his work, not to mention Irving Penn’s bibliography, which consists of publications and ISBN numbers, and also his major collections, with external links to further research. All credit goes to Irving Penn & The Irving Penn Foundation.

This research will give me the chance to develop my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project better. As I’ve mentioned before, I will be photographing some subjects for my Facial Expressionism Project, so you’ll be seeing some photography work soon. This research presentation can also be found in my E-Folio and any of the subjects I photograph will also be in the E-Folio once the subjects I have photographed are published. There’s a lot of great opportunities in store so I am sure that I will be able to present to you a lot more of my creative photography work.

If you found this research presentation on Irving Penn useful, please let me know. I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

Fazal Sheikh / Research

As part of my Final Major Project, I have been doing research on the photographers that influence me in the photography work I want to produce, which will be based on Facial Expressionism. The first photographer I have researched for my Final Major Project is Fazal Sheikh.

Fazal Sheikh’s photography work aims to document and personalise the power of portraiture whilst bring the displaced parts of the world, including its own people, into focus.

Below are the slides in the exact order, and the work I have done Harvard Referencing for which references Fazal Sheikh’s photography work I take absolutely no credit for. I also take absolutely no credit for the photograph of Fazal Sheikh produced by the MacArthur Foundation. I’m just merely referencing Fazal Sheikh’s work and the photograph of Fazal Sheikh produced by the MacArthur Foundation in my research as inspiration to inform and develop my own photography work inspired by him.

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, the awards that Fazal Sheikh has received for his work, as well as the various exhibitions he has done that showcases his work, not to mention the publications and ISBN numbers, and also his collections, with external links to further research. All credit goes to Fazal Sheikh and the MacArthur Foundation.

This research will help me to develop my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project better, as I will be photographing some subjects for my project, so you should see some photography work very soon. This research presentation can also be found in my E-Folio and any of the subjects I photograph will also be in the E-Folio once the subject photographs are published. There’s a lot of good photography opportunities in store so I can be sure that I will be able to present to you a lot more of my creative film and photography work.

If you enjoyed or found this research presentation useful, please let me know. I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

INSPIRE TO BE POSITIVE

There’s no denying that inspiring someone can spread positivity; inspiration holds the key to positivity.

To inspire everyone around you not only allows you to spread positivity, but gives you the ability to give everyone around you the best outlook on life, and that life is special, even if at times it can be dull.

Inspire someone today. Your positivity is what this world needs, and is also the key to giving you the best possible start in life, and also the best possible career you want in life.

I believe with my hand on my heart that we should inspire others and spread positivity because this world needs to drown out inequality and negativity and bring out the best in everyone with inspiration and positivity.

Start today by drowning out all negativity and inequality and filling the empty spaces where the negativity and inequality were with equality, diversity, love, care, compassion, respect and diversity.

If this inspired you, please let me know. I’m here to inspire and want to make this world a better place and I want for all of you to be in a world where equality and diversity stomps on hatred, inequality and a lack of diversity.

This world needs equality and diversity, and with love, compassion, care, acceptance and respect, this world can be a better place.

Alex Smithson

Nature is Beautiful.

Nature is absolutely beautiful. The Spring weather continues to amaze us and with a small breeze in the air with the lovely sunny weather, it’s safe to say that this weather is beautiful and that nature is also beautiful.

I used the Camera+ app to photograph the Rose Bush again, and then I made some small edits to this photograph to give the rose-bush more of a friendly approach so that it rings true to the lovely and traditional Spring weather.

Do you love the Spring weather? I’d love to know. Please feel free to comment below. I would love to hear what you think of this wonderful weather :-).

Alex Smithson

The Blossoming Feels of Spring

Yesterday was such a wonderful day. It was nice and sunny and the temperature was just right, and I ceased the opportunity to photograph some parts of my garden. Mind you, it’s long overdue but I’ll be making sure to completely cut down my garden soon as it really needs to be cut. It’s like a forest. In terms of my garden, I did make sure to capture the beauty and essence of my garden with a forest-like approach and I had also made sure to experiment with the ISO frequently to see what ISO suited the lighting conditions best.

I am pleased with the end result I have received from these photographs, though I do feel that I need to improve better on taking photographs from a perspective where the scenery can be a mockup of a forest, but in a conceptual style that makes it more forest-like and not just as a plain garden that’s overgrown.

If you feel there are improvements I can make to my photography skills, please let me know. I would love to hear your feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to April!

Welcome to April on Mother Nature! As this month is set to be just as relaxing and as peaceful as last month, it’s safe to say that the weather is set to get better, and this month is also set to be quite the busy month for me, because I will need to travel up to places 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 am currently working on.

During the holiday break, I will be doing coursework and revision, as I’ve got my GCSE English exam on the 5th May which I have to prepare for and I also have my GCSE Maths exams coming up soon as well, so I can only apologise in advance if I don’t publish as much on here over the next few weeks.

It’s hard to think, by the end of June, beginning of July, I will have just finished my last year of being in education. The time has flown so fast! I wish it could slow down but time isn’t slowing down anytime soon, so it’s time to make the most of it and make use of the time available whilst I am still in education to work hard and to succeed in my coursework.

Who has been loving this nice and sunny weather lately? I’d love to know if you love the nice and sunny weather that we’ve been seeing more of lately.

Until then:

WELCOME TO APRIL!

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

CROYDON / FRIDAY 31ST MARCH 2017

Today, as part of the photographic collection of Croydon I produced last week and published yesterday, I continued to develop my photography skills further with the pre-installed Camera app, and as today was such a wonderful, lovely, peaceful and happy day, I couldn’t resist producing an up-to-date collection of photographs of Croydon. For this photographic collection of Croydon, I wanted to make sure that the beauty and essence of Croydon were captured in these photographs, considering that on a sunny and beautiful day like today, Croydon is vibrant, colourful, bold and bursting with life.

Shown below are the most current photographs of Croydon that I produced today.

What a better way to end March! For once, the weather has been lovely for a change and right at the end of the month too. It’s safe to say I was not at all disappointed with the way this photographic collection turned out and I am so happy with the final end result I have managed to achieve from this photographic collection.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this photographic collection I have produced of Croydon. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

CROYDON / FRIDAY 24TH MARCH 2017

Last Friday, considering we have had such lovely sunny weather lately, I ceased the opportunity to photograph Croydon from different perspectives that I felt stood out the most, and I used the traditional Camera app that comes pre-installed with all versions of iOS.

The weather has been absolutely peaceful lately, and it’s good to see that the weather is finally looking up and it is most certainly shaping up to make the two-week holiday as relaxing and as peaceful as ever!

Below are the photographs I have produced, including two of the same photos that have notable edits.

Which photography hotspots interest you the most? Please let me know. I would love to hear which photography hotspots interest you the most.

Alex Smithson

Does the UK Need More Policing?

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 the 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.

It’s disgraceful to know that the police numbers have been cut, but the bigger picture myself and everyone have to look at is how the lack of policing is going to have an impact on all of us as a country. The harsh reality of the bigger picture is that by there being a lack of policing, this country and its counterparts where security is concerned is seeing a potentially dangerous downside in protection where security is concerned.

I am sickened by the fact that there is not enough policing on the streets. Years ago, the gun and knife crime rates were much lower compared to today’s gun and knife crime rates, as the odd occasional stabbing and gun crime was committed, but was nowhere near as frequent as it is today, and it really does get under my skin knowing that myself and every single one of us have to face the harsh reality of knowing our own safety is at risk no matter where we are.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, broke his silence following the devastating terrorist attack that took place down Westminster Bridge, London, which has officially been dubbed the worst terrorist incident since 7/7:

Today London suffered a horrific attack near Parliament Square which we are treating as a terror attack. A number of people have lost their lives and at least twenty people have been injured. My heart goes out to those who have lost loved ones and to everyone who has been affected. Tragically, a Metropolitan Police officer who was doing his duty protecting out city is amongst those who have been killed and my thoughts are with his family this evening. I want to express my gratitude, on behalf of all Londoners, to the police and emergency services who have shown tremendous bravery in exceptionally difficult circumstances. I have spoken to the Acting Commissioner Metropolitan Police Commissioner Craig Mackay and national lead for Counter-Terrorism Policing and Acting Deputy Commissioner Mark Rowley and remain in close contact with them. Londoners should be aware that there will be additional armed and unarmed police officers on our streets from tonight in order to keep Londoners, and all those visiting out city safe. I want to reassure all Londoners, and all our visitors, not to be alarmed. Our city remains one of the safest in the world. London is the greatest city in the world and we stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and destroy our way of life. We always have and we always will. Londoners will never be cowed by terrorism.” – Sadiq Khan’s official statement released to all mainstream media sources on the 22nd March 2017.

To show solidarity in light of the horrific terrorist attack, Paris switched off the lights of the Eiffel Tower to pay full respect to the injured victims, including those who lost their lives. The police officer that was sadly confirmed to have passed away as a result of being stabbed was named as PC Keith Palmer. Other landmarks around the world showed solidarity to the United Kingdom by lighting themselves up in the colours of the Union Jack, and today, thousands of people came together to remember the victims exactly a week after the horrific terrorist attack took place down Westminster Bridge, London.

The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Theresa May, broke her silence following the devastating terrorist attack that took place down Westminster Bridge, London, which saw 4 people (3 victims and one police officer), with the 5th person being Khalid Masood, who was shot dead after committing this disgraceful terrorist attack:

I have just chaired a meeting of the Government’s emergency committee, COBRA, following the sick and depraved terrorist attack on the streets of our Capital this afternoon. The full details of exactly what happened are still emerging. But, having been updated by police and security officials, I can confirm that this appalling incident began when a single attacker drove his vehicle into pedestrians walking across Westminster Bridge, killing two people and injuring many more, including three police officers. This attacker, who was armed with a knife, then ran towards Parliament where he was confronted by the police officers who keep us – and our democratic institutions – safe. Tragically, one officer was killed. The terrorist was also shot dead. The United Kingdom’s threat level has been set at severe for some time and this will not change. Acting Deputy Commissioner Rowley will give a further operational update later this evening. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been affected – to the victims themselves, and their family and friends who waved their loved ones off, but will not now be welcoming them home. For those of us who were in Parliament at the time of this attack, these events provide a particular reminder of the exceptional bravery of our police and security services who risk their lives to keep us safe. Once again today, these exceptional men and women ran towards the danger even as they encouraged others to move the other way. On behalf of the whole country, I want to pay tribute to them – and to all our emergency services – for the work they have been doing to reassure the public and bring security back to the streets of our Capital City. That they have lost one of their own in today’s attack only makes their calmness and professionalism under pressure all the more remarkable. The location of this attack was no accident. The terrorists chose to strike at the heart of our Capital City, where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech. These streets of Westminster – home to the world’s oldest Parliament – are engrained with a spirit of freedom that echoes in some of the furthest corners of the globe. And the values our Parliament represents – democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law – command the admiration and respect of free people everywhere. That is why it is a target for those who reject those values. But let me make it clear today, as I have had cause to do before: any attempt to defeat those values through violence and terror is doomed to failure. Tomorrow morning, Parliament will meet as normal. We will come together as normal. And Londoners – and others from around the world who have come here to visit this great City – will get up and go about their day as normal. They will board their trains, they will leave their hotels, they will walk these streets, they will live their lives. And we will all move forward together. Never giving in to terror. And never allowing the voices of hate and evil to drive us apart.” – Theresa May’s official statement released to all mainstream media sources on the 22nd March 2017.

It sickens me to the core that violence still exists in this world. Why can’t we all just get along? There should be no violence, no hatred, no inequality and there most certainly shouldn’t be a lack of diversity in this world. All of have to come together and end violence, end hatred, end inequality and end a lack of diversity, and we should all come together and respect one another, and always be equal and diverse towards one another. Regardless of sexuality, religion, gender, skin colour, background, place of origin and culture, we should all stick together and treat one another with respect and also treat one another equally and diversely.

Here’s the open statement I issued on Thursday 23rd March 2017, exactly one day after the horrific terrorist attack took place down Westminster Bridge, London:

In light of the devastating terrorist attack that took place down Westminster Bridge on Wednesday 22nd March 2017. Listen to this. We stand with solidarity. We stand with dignity. We shall not be silenced by violence. We, as a country, as a nation, as a community, will not be silenced. We are all stronger than you think and we will not & shall not be silenced! We shall never bow down, let alone take this horrific attack lying down. We shall all stand together and never be silenced. Take this opportunity to pay tribute to the victims who sadly lost their lives on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 and also take this opportunity to pay tribute to PC Keith Palmer, but take this opportunity to know we are not afraid. We shall never be afraid.” – Alex Smithson

I will say this. We shall never bow down to violence, we shall never be silenced. We shall stand resilient and never be defeated. This world doesn’t deserve violence at all. We are not afraid. We shall never be afraid.

Do you agree that this world should never be full of violence, inequality and a lack of diversity, and should be filled with equality, diversity, love, care, compassion and respect? If you agree, please let me know by commenting below. We shall all remember the victims who lost their lives and also pay our full respects and condolences to the family of PC Keith Palmer.

Alex Smithson