Monthly Roundup: August 2017

This month sure flew like clockwork, didn’t it? I’ve been so busy and so productive lately with job-hunting and other things, whilst going out and enjoying myself with friends that it’s officially the end of the month.

I would love to hear how your month went, I am keen to find out whether you enjoyed August, and if not, please feel free to submit your response below in the comments. I would love to hear what you got up to over the course of August.

Without further ado, I will take a look back on the articles I published over the course of August.

1.8.2017 – Welcoming all of you to August, I mentioned that the next few weeks were set to be peaceful, but also a little busy, as I had my next batch of photographs on the way very soon, which would feature a certain someone who is a very close friend of mine.

2.8.2017 – “Should We Change at the Expense of Others?” was my way of getting all of you to see the way I see things from a personal perspective, considering that changing ourselves at the expense of others would mean we would put ourselves in a position where we’re made to change ourselves in order to be socially acceptable to everyone else.

9.8.2017 – A few weeks prior to writing the article: “Croydon Murals Defaced Beyond Recognition”, I spoke about the beautifully exquisite Amy Winehouse: “Tears Dry On Their Own” mural, which was produced by the artist, Bareface, in conjunction with and as commissioned by the RISE Gallery.

I published this article, because on Saturday 5th August 2017, me and two close friends of mine paid a visit to Katharine Street because we wanted to find out if the mural of Amy Winehouse was still in the same finished state it was when I photographed it just a few weeks before.

Sadly, on closer inspection, I was devastated to discover that not only had the mural been defaced, but a grey block and teardrop were drawn just below her eye, with some graffiti etched onto the back of Bareface’s clothing, which ultimately destroyed Bareface’s true work of art.

15.8.2017 – It was a long time coming! Sonic Mania finally arrived and officially marked a nostalgic return to form with the help of Christian Whitehead, Tee Lopes, PagodaWest Games, Lola Shiraishi & Headcannon!

Reliving 26 years of some of the most iconic levels from Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sonic CD and Sonic & Knuckles, Sonic Mania revisited Green Hill Zone with an easter egg of an old landscape that was ditched from the final release of Sonic the Hedgehog, with the zip-line being re-introduced, and a lost level which was meant to appear in the original Sonic games but never got used finally came to Sonic Mania, and that was Mirage Saloon Zone. Studiopolis Zone, which is an all-new level, officially débuted in Sonic Mania with a city-like landscape that made it feel a little like Stardust Speedway, Casino Nights and Carnival Night Zone mixed in.

22.8.2017 – Following on from when I photographed my close friends, Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford, I was honoured to have been given the opportunity to photograph my close friend, the actor and mental health awareness campaigner, Oli Regan, again, but this time for my photography series: “The Concept of Expression”.

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

Thanks for such a great month everyone. Although it has been quite the busy month, I wanted to take a moment to remember the TV legend and Strictly Come Dancing presenter, Sir Bruce Forsyth, who sadly passed away on the 18th August 2017, but I also wanted to take this opportunity to also pay my full respects to all the victims and all the families who have lost their loved ones as a result of Hurricane Harvey. My thoughts are with all of you at this time.

Again, thanks for a great and busy month everyone and I will see you all in September. To everyone going through Hurricane Harvey, stay strong, but always know I’ll keep you all in my prayers and hope this hurricane ends soon.

Alex Smithson

The Concept of Expression / Oli Regan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

The 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

Beddington Park / Croydon School of Art / Curiosity / Self-Directed Project / 1.2.2017

Following on from my visit to Dulwich Park, I decided to visit Beddington Park to photograph some of the scenery, and I also photographed some of the gravestones, given the names on some or most of the gravestones consisted of people who may have died a few years earlier, including those that may have died up to more than 100 years ago.

Of course, as I am continuously making sure to improve my photography skills every time I make a photographic collection, I like to make sure I can play around with my Nikon D3300 DSLR‘s camera features, as this can help me to produce a professional collection of photographs, so I made sure when I was at Beddington Park to try and photograph certain areas in and around the graveyard, especially the scenery and also the church.

It was freezing cold, but wasn’t raining when I took these photographs which was a relief for me, as I was able to produce this photographic collection to a much better standard than I expected, but I did make sure to change the ISO throughout producing this photographic collection as I wanted to make sure these photographs were full of clarity and also full of vibrant colour, so that they were presentable and professional enough to be a photographic collection.

As far as my photography skills go, I am pleased to say I have experimented more with the ISO, as this has helped me to produce this photographic collection of Beddington Park to the best standard where possible. I have acknowledge some of these photographs may be slightly darker than they should be, but it’s because I want for you to see how I’ve worked with the landscape, as well as to how I see Beddington Park generally.

Have you been to Beddington Park before? If you have, please let me know, I would love to hear your feedback, and if you haven’t been to Beddington Park before, don’t worry, as this photographic collection I have created of Beddington Park will give you an insight into what Beddington Park, not to mention the hindsight of the landscape.

Alex Smithson

© The Croydon College Logo & Croydon School of Art Logo are both copyright of Croydon College & Croydon School of Art. Permission has been granted for these logos to be used. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

A Splash of Vividness

On the 1st July, I took the opportunity to get some photos of the raindrops after a downpour of rain, as the calm before the storm came and went, and then the calm after the storm came after the storm passed.

I ceased the opportunity to take these photos, as I wanted to create an updated set of photographs, with inspiration from the photos I took last year for the article: “Raindrops on Crystal Clear Glass“.

Below are the photographs in their natural glory, including a photo of the rainbow as the storm from the 1st July passed.

I feel pleased with the overall result I achieved from these photographs, as I was able to change the exposure to make these photos receive the results that I wanted. I am continuously making improvements to my photography skills so I can promise you that there is more to come. I feel quite pleased with the way these photos turned out, though I will make sure to retain an improved set of photographs for my photography collection next time.

If you enjoyed this photography article, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Mother Nature’s Blooming Flowers

As today’s weather has been absolutely peaceful, relaxing and also tranquil, I was able to cease the opportunity to take some photos of some of the blooming flowers that were in my garden. I have attempted for the first time with my Nikon D3300 with Aperture Priority, as you’ll notice that much of the photos, apart from the first one, are focused more and are balanced better in terms of white balance, exposure and aperture.

Overall, I loved today’s weather and I hope it continues.

If you like the photos I’ve taken above, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

A Tranquil, Peaceful & Happy Day Out in Merton.

As I headed down to Charlie’s Rock Shop in Merton earlier today, 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.

Below are some of the photos I was able to annotate, including some of the photographs I also took on my way home. Below also are some of the same photos but in black and white, as I felt these photos would stand out more if I changed them to black and white.

Colour

Black & White

Overall, I did enjoy today, and despite the fact that it was really quiet this time in Merton, I enjoyed my day and I hope to revisit Merton soon.

If you enjoyed this photo article, please feel free to submit feedback. Your feedback is absolutely appreciated.

Alex Smithson

The Natural History Museum | Tuesday 26th January 2016

On the same day that I went up to London with my class for a trip to the Science Museum, we also went to the Natural History Museum to study further for our stop-frame animation project. While we were there, I also took a large number of photos, considering that I took a trip up to the Science Museum. It was also the first time in nearly 15 years since I last visited the Natural History Museum.

At the forefront of the museum was Dippy the Dinosaur (Diplodocus Carnegii), and not only that, but the enormous scale model of the blue whale was in full view, but there is a lot more information there now than there was before, and I won’t deny it, but it’s a very interesting museum that has a soft spot for photography.

When I went, I did find that the second floor of the museum was closed, as they are currently doing some improvements to the dinosaur gallery, and between now and the Summer of 2017, the Hintze Hall will be reimagined, as they will be laying bare the relationship between humans, and also the natural world. During the course of the re-display, they have said that some areas of the hall will be closed to the public, with some “specimens” being temporarily taken off of public view.

There is so much information at hand and it’s absolutely amazing and also absolutely interesting and fascinating to find out more about certain things that I didn’t know about before. I really enjoyed going there to view what was available and I’m absolutely pleased that I’ve been able to do more this time around than I did the last time I went.

On the way back after coming from both the Science Museum & the Natural History Museum, I took some photos of the tube and also in and around Victoria Station. A few of them are blurred deliberately, as I want these photos to be a blurred vision that will remind me of my trip up to both the Science Museum & the Natural History Museum.

To conclude, I will leave you with 5 questions:

  1. Have you ever been to the Natural History Museum?
  2. Was it your first time going up to the Natural Museum?
  3. What parts of the Natural History Museum did you enjoy the most?
  4. Do you plan on going to the Natural History Museum in the future?
  5. Most of all, do you love the Natural History Museum?

Alex Smithson

© Croydon College 2016.

© The Croydon College Logo is Copyright of Croydon College. Permission has been granted for the logo to be used on here. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

The Science Museum | Tuesday 26th January 2016

With it being in the last couple of years since I last visited, and despite the fact my feet were killing me as a result of going up to London for this trip, I went on a trip up to the Science Museum with my class, and while we were there, I wanted to get some photos of the museum, considering that the last time I went, it had a dramatic overhaul in design, and not only that, but some or most parts of the museum had changed from when I made my first ever visit to the Science Museum.

There is so much information that the museum can offer, and I must say, I absolutely enjoyed going there. I took quite a large number of photographs in and around the museum, especially outside the museum too. One of the photos I took inside may look like it was taken outside, considering I took it in a way where there was no reflection, but I can admit, there’s so much information at hand now than there was before, so it was safe to say that I wouldn’t go without any information in my hands.

Also, there are some photographs I took of some of the 3D Miniature Models while in the Science Museum, and just by looking at them, they can be easy to mistake for landscape photographs, or even paintings in that matter. Please do keep in mind though that the photo that shows the tractor and the big tree was slightly cropped to give the photo more depth, and to make it look a lot more presentable for viewing.

Overall, despite the fact my feet were absolutely killing me by the time I got home, it’s safe to say that I absolutely enjoyed my trip up to the Science Museum with my class, and I hope to go up there again at some point in the future.

To conclude, I will leave you with 5 questions:

  1. Have you been to the Science Museum before?
  2. What parts of the Science Museum did you visit?
  3. Is there a certain piece of work there that you like?
  4. If it’s not the first time you’ve been to the Science Museum, when was the last time you went?
  5. What did you enjoy the most about the Science Museum?

Alex Smithson

© Croydon College 2016.

© The Croydon College Logo is Copyright of Croydon College. Permission has been granted for the logo to be used on here. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Photography: Mother Nature’s Path into Darkness

As the sun was beginning to set earlier yesterday afternoon, I wanted to make sure to show Mother Nature’s Path into Darkness by taking these photos. Thankfully, because it wasn’t as cloudy as I thought it would be, and thankfully because there was some forms of clear sky, I was able to take these photos in the style that I wanted them to turn out.

Please keep in mind that these photos were taken just as it was getting dark, so some of the photos may look like they were taken in broad daylight because of how my camera took them. I can point out that there is a dutch angle in photo 7, as I’ve tilted the camera to make them look like as if it has tilted on its side, when in reality, it hasn’t.

I took these photos to show you all the small, but noticeable improvements that I’ve been making to my current photography skills. As I’m currently doing this UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course at Croydon College, this course will be able to help me expand on the photography skills I currently have, and over time, you’ll begin to notice differences in the photos that I take.

Despite it being freezing cold, luckily I had a fleece on to keep me warm as I could feel the breeze of the freezing cold weather impacting my face. I did find that I liked the photographs from photo’s 13 to 21 more, the rest I thought were somewhat okay, but a few were somewhat either out of focus or the lighting was just a little bit too bright. Apart from that, I felt that all of the photographs I took were pretty good overall.

Please feel free to feedback what you thought of my photography skills, and if possible, please feedback in the comments what I did good and what I could improve on. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson