Monthly Roundup: July 2017

This month certainly has been busier than the last, though I have been working on finding jobs in the meantime, whilst also trying to fit a few articles in. I can only apologise again for being less frequent with publishing articles, I’ve been making sure to prioritise my time more on finding a job whilst also going out and enjoying myself with friends following the end of my time in education at Croydon College.

I will be publishing some articles over the next few weeks but please keep in mind that it might be less frequent depending on how busy I have been lately considering I am searching around for jobs, so I can only apologise if I don’t publish articles as much.

Without further ado, I will take a look back at the articles I have published over the course of July.

1.7.2017 – Welcoming you all to July on Mother Nature, I described that the weather was expected to be getting much hotter and more humid, whilst also mentioning that I would be looking around for jobs considering that my time at Croydon College had almost reached the end.

14.7.2017 – This day officially marked the end. My education came to a remarkable close as I finished my final year at Croydon College. The end result from my final year of the two-year UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma Film & Photography Course was that I passed with my final grade being a Pass.

25.7.2017 – After hearing about the beautifully artistic mural that the artist, Bareface, had produced of the late music legend, Amy Winehouse, who sadly passed away at the age of 27 on the 23rd July 2011, on the Croydon Advertiser, I just could not resist seizing the opportunity to photograph the mural.

31.7.2017 – Would you find it hard to believe that it was exactly 21 years ago since Crash Bandicoot graced our screens? Remember the days where you would jump over obstacles, smash through boxes and tackle side-scrolling levels? Well, those days are finally back! As the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy is back to true form, with all three of the original Crash Bandicoot games completely remastered from scratch.

Well, those days are finally back! As the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy is back to true form, with all three of the original Crash Bandicoot games completely remastered from scratch.

Also, to kick off my own photography series, titled: “The Concept of Expression”, I photographed two close friends of mine as I mentioned I would be intending to explore the concept of expression, as well as to how a facial expression can alter or change the mood of a photograph. In this case, the two close friends I photographed for my own photography series were Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford.

Thank you so much for such a great month. It’s been quite a busy month but it sure has been a great one.

Thanks again for such a great month and I shall see you all in August!

Alex Smithson

The Concept of Expression: Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford

To kick off my own photography series, titled: “The Concept of Expression”, I have photographed two close friends of mine as I am intending to explore the concept of expression, and how a facial expression can alter or change the mood of a photograph. In this case, the two close friends I have photographed for my own photography series are Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford.

Just like when I did my Final Major Project when I was at Croydon College, when my Final Major Project was based solely on Facial Expressionism, the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” completely focuses on my own photography work post-college and post-education, and this photography series intends to explore facial expressionism in more detail, as I want to make sure I can cut to what really matters in any facial expression, whether it’s natural or not, and that’s the emotion of that specific facial expression.

After I photographed the beautifully exquisite Amy Winehouse mural which was produced by Bareface in accordance with the RISE Gallery, I decided to photograph both Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford, and by getting them to do some facial expressions, this helped me to lay the foundations of the photography work I wanted to produce. Some of the expressions that Saviyon & Shaquille made were completely natural and off-guard, though they weren’t aware that I photographed them completely off-guard until I showed them the photographs I took of both of them near the mural, and away from the mural.

Below are the facial expressions that I photographed of Saviyon Thomas.

Below are the black and white versions of some of the photographs I took of Saviyon, with different captions that I felt worked really well with the selected photos.

Below are the facial expressions that I photographed of Shaquille Roachford.

Below is a black and white version of one of the photographs I took of Shaquille, with a caption that I felt had a powerful connection with Mental Health.

Overall, with the photographs I have produced that feature my close friends, Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford, I am absolutely glad to have finally got the chance to use my own Nikon D3300 DSLR after some time of not being able to use it due to using the Canon DSLR’s at Croydon College.

The photos I changed to black and white, which are present on this website’s Instagram account, received quite a lot of good responses, which stunned me as I have now noticed my photography work is slowly but surely getting noticed, which is what I worked so hard for.

These photographs will be in my E-Folio, so please make sure to visit my E-Folio as I will be updating it more and more over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more, as I will be photographing a certain someone again very soon who I photographed for my Final Major Project when I was at Croydon College, so I can guarantee you won’t want to miss the next person I am photographing very soon.

Please feel free to submit your response on the photographs I have produced featuring Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford. I am open to criticism as this will most certainly help me to outline the necessary areas for improvement.

Alex Smithson

For the Love of Amy

After hearing about the beautifully artistic mural that the artist, Bareface, had produced of the late music legend, Amy Winehouse, who sadly passed away at the age of 27 on the 23rd July 2011, on the Croydon Advertiser, I just could not resist seizing the opportunity to photograph the mural.

Artistically and eloquently visual as it is, Bareface made sure that his mural spoke volumes. This mural he has produced sure did speak volumes as it is not just powerful, is not just colourful, but is very musical considering that the mural is inspired on Amy Winehouse’s record, Tears Dry On Their Own, taken from her second and last album before her death on the 23rd July 2011, Back to Black, with the third and final posthumous album that was released shortly after Amy Winehouse passed away, titled Lioness: Hidden Treasures.

You have to admire Bareface’s hard work, effort and time as he has stuck to Croydon’s roots and produced such a fantastic piece of art work that connects to the BRIT School & Sylvia Young Theatre School, both schools of which Amy Winehouse was alumni for.

It’s such a beautiful and wonderful tribute to the late musician and I can honestly say that this mural is worth preserving for anyone who wants to visit and see this beautiful mural.

To see the mural in full, I have provided below three photographs of Bareface’s own take on the late music legend, Amy Winehouse.

 

Scratch that, it’s not just beautiful, it’s exquisite as Bareface’s take on the late music legend stands out from the crowd.

If you live in Croydon or you are looking to visit Croydon to see this mural, please seize the opportunity to see this artistic and eloquently beautiful mural of Amy Winehouse, produced by Bareface in accordance with the RISE Gallery.

Alex Smithson

If you want to follow and be kept up to date on Bareface’s exquisite and powerful art work, please follow him on these Social Media Accounts shown below.

Instagram: @bareface_art
Twitter: @BarefaceTee

© Amy Winehouse Art Work Mural Copyright of Bareface, commissioned by the RISE Gallery. Full Copyright goes to the respective owners.

The End of the Road! I’ve Passed!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Smithson

Welcome to July!

Welcome to July! As the weather is expected to be much hotter and more humid over the course of the next few weeks, it’s safe to say that everyone, including myself, will need to be prepared in the event of sunburn, given the scorching hot weather we had at the beginning at June made us all feel like parts of our houses were saunas even after letting some fresh air in.

As I am looking around for jobs considering my time at Croydon College has almost reached the end, it’s safe to say I am going to miss Croydon College so much, given that this college gave me so much and helped me to realise my potential, and the fact that this college got me through difficult times that I went through in the past year, I am so glad that Croydon College was my first choice of college as this college changed my life for the better. Fingers crossed I can get myself a job as I don’t want to be sitting at home doing nothing when I could be going out and earning money for myself, whilst also contributing to my family.

Fingers crossed I can get myself a job as I don’t want to be sitting at home doing nothing when I could be going out and earning money for myself, whilst also contributing to my family.

I will be making sure to publish more articles this month considering June was an extremely busy month for me, even though it was a fantastic month for me in the process given that I celebrated my 19th Birthday on the 16th June, whilst also celebrating the Crash Bandicoot: N⋅Sane Trilogy which only came out exactly two weeks after my 19th Birthday. On the 8th July, I will be heading around to my friend’s house as she is holding a party at hers, so it’s me and quite a few people who’ll be going next Saturday, so if there’s no sign of an article or signs of any articles on that day, it’s because I’ll be partying and making sure to make the most of the free time considering I won’t be able to do this as often once I’ve secured myself a full-time job.

The holiday is almost here so that’s a good sign but for now, welcome to July!

Alex Smithson

Headshot #10 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Kasra Soltani

Bringing my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project to a remarkable close, Headshot #10 marks the end of my Final Major Project Practical Work as I have photographed my close friend, Kasra Soltani.

For this final collection of headshot photographs, I have made sure to get Kasra to do some facial expressions like before, but for these headshot photographs, I have adjusted the lighting to accommodate for better focus on Kasra so that each expression he has made connects to the photography work I have already produced. Taking a new direction on the photographs, Kasra has done some new facial expressions that I initially didn’t have in mind at first and this has given me a better outlook as to how I can assign each expression with its own name, as well as to how that specific emotion connects to the facial expression I have not only asked him to make, but the facial expressions he has made naturally in most of these photographs.

This final headshot collection has informed my critical thinking, as well as the research I have done on the five photographers, which are Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff, August Sander & David Bailey.

Below are the final headshot photographs for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, complete with the WordFoto Edits and Black & White Versions of the Original Photographs.

Canon EOS 1200D

WordFoto Edits

Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

I am so pleased to have achieved such fantastic results from the photography work I have produced throughout the course of the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, and I have noticed that every headshot collection I have produced I’ve seen improvements every time. Now that I have got together all the photographs I have produced for my Final Major Project, I will be making sure to pick a selected number of photographs from all of the headshot articles to present them as my chosen final pieces. Contact sheets are being produced at this stage which will be going in my sketchbook and my aim is to get the Final Major Project Proposal done and finalised and then get the last of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project work done and ready before Monday 5th June.

All of the research and headshot photographs I have produced as part of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project coursework can be found in my E-Folio.

Headshot #10 brings the practical work for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project to a remarkable close. I am so pleased to have worked my socks off over the last few weeks. All this hard work will eventually pay off and considering it’s my final year at Croydon College and my final year of the two-year film and photography course, I want to make sure I can aim for a higher grade with all of this coursework. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I can get the best final result possible by the end of this year.

I am open to your responses and critique, so please feel free to suggest any improvements you feel I could make when it comes to producing any future photography work.

Your responses and critique are greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

If you want to follow my close friend, Kasra Soltani, on Instagram, I have provided his Instagram username here: @Kass.ll7

Headshot #9 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Kasra Soltani

Continuing on from Headshot #8, I have photographed my close friend, Kasra Soltani, for Headshot #9 of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

For these headshot photographs, just like I did with Jonathan McCartney, Steven Geer, Oli Regan & Leonardo Mouza, I have used a black backdrop to bring out the emphasis of the facial expressions I have asked him to make.

As my research has influenced, informed and helped me to develop my critical thinking and photography skills further, I have made sure that these photographs stand out and give the facial expressions I have asked Kasra to make a better insight, so that each facial expression brings to the surface the emotion that goes with that specific facial expression.

As well as the facial expressions I have asked Kasra to make, I have also photographed him doing different facial expressions naturally, so in this case, when I say natural, I mean he has been able to do facial expressions I wouldn’t usually expect him or anyone else to do. I’ve even got him to do some of the expressions again, but this time, in his own way, so at least then his natural facial expressions compared to the facial expressions I have asked him to make put more emphasis on the photography work I have produced.

Below are the headshot photographs, including the WordFoto Edits and the Black & White Versions of these photographs I have produced featuring my cl0se friend, Kasra Soltani.

Canon EOS 1200D

WordFoto Edits

Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

I feel that these photographs I have produced of my close friend, Kasra, for Headshot #9, show dramatic improvements in my photography skills, as I have made sure to adjust the position of the light to set the tone of these photographs correctly to the emotions I have asked Kasra to make, and I have noticed that my photographs have more of a shallow depth of field. I have also noticed and improved over the course of time with the clarity of the photographs I have taken, and I strongly feel that Headshot #9 has helped to inform and note the improvements and changes I have made to make these photographs stand out. To improve for next time, I will be making sure to explore the emotions effectively as opposed to Kasra’s body language, so that his body language can reflect the facial expressions I have asked him to make, as well as the facial expressions he has made himself.

These photos of my close friend, Kasra Soltani, that I have produced for Headshot #9 can be found in my E-Folio.

I am open to your responses, so please let me know if there are any improvements I can make for next time and if so, please highlight the areas you feel I could improve on for next time when I publish Headshot #10. which will be the final headshot article to close much of the practical side of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

Your responses and critique are greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

If you want to follow my close friend, Kasra, on Instagram, I have provided his Instagram username here: @Kass.ll7

Headshot #8 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Kasra Soltani

As part of my Final Major Project, Headshot #8 follows on Headshot #7, which focused on the subject, Mhamad Rauf, and Headshot #8 focuses on my next subject, which is my close friend, Kasra Soltani.

For these photographs, I wanted to create a different approach to the facial expressions I wanted Kasra to make by getting him to do those facial expressions as to the way he makes those facial expressions naturally.

I experimented, just like with Headshot #6 of Terrence & Leonardo and with Headshot #7 of Mhamad, with the graffiti as a backdrop, as I wanted to photograph Kasra down in the walkway that is just on the right-hand-side outside the rotunda of Croydon College.

All of these headshot photographs build further on all of the research I have done over the course of the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, and the five photographers I have done research on are Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff, August Sander & David Bailey.

Below are the headshot photographs I have produced of Kasra, including some Monochrome photographs that I produced after I finished photographing Kasra making the facial expressions I asked him to do for these photographs.

Canon EOS 1200D

WordFoto Edits

Monochrome (Black & White) / Facial Expressionism Photographs + A Continuation of the First Set of Facial Expressionism Photographs

I feel that the research I have done over the course of the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project has really informed and developed my photography skills further. I have noticed with these photographs I have taken of Kasra that my photography skills have rapidly improved. Up until I photographed Terrence, Leo, Mhamad & Kasra, I was initially against the idea of photographing outside the college, but I was glad to have experimented further with my photography skills by photographing outside the college. as I have noticed in just the short space of a few weeks that my photography skills are now a lot better.

These photographs I have taken of my close friend, Kasra Soltani, including the edits I have produced can be found in my E-Folio, but stay tuned, as I will be publishing Headshot #9 very soon, in which I have photographed Kasra again, but this time in the photography studio. I can guarantee that the next batch of photographs I have produced for Headshot #9 featuring Kasra will be the best photographs I have produced yet.

I would most certainly love to get your response on these photographs and please let me know if there are any improvements I can make for next time. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

If you want to follow my close friend, Kasra, on Instagram, I have provided his Instagram username here: @Kass.ll7

David Bailey / Research

Drawing the research stage of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project to a remarkable close, the fifth and final photographer I have chosen to research for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project is David Bailey.

David Bailey is an English Fashion & Portrait photographer, who became a photographic assistant at the John French studio in 1959 and in 1960, David Bailey was a photographer for John Cole’s Studio Five before he was contracted for the iconic and internationally renowned fashion magazine, British VOGUE.

Below are the slides in the exact order, and the work I have done Harvard Referencing for which references David Bailey’s photography work I take absolutely no credit for. I also take absolutely no credit for the self-portrait photograph produced by David Bailey himself. I’ve merely referenced David Bailey’s photography work in my research as inspiration to inform and develop my own photography work and photography skills further as I approach the end of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, which describes in short detail who David Bailey is, the best photographic pieces of work he has produced, the publications he has released, the exhibitions he has done to showcase his photography work, including the awards he has received, with references and external links to further research. All credit goes to David Bailey.

Now that I have managed to cover all five photographers for the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project I have been working on, David Bailey’s photography work, including Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff & August Sander‘s work have helped me to develop my headshot photographs better. As I am wrapping up the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project very soon, I can promise there are three more headshot photography articles on the way.

This research presentation on David Bailey can also be found in my E-Folio and the next subject I have photographed, who is the last subject I have photographed for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project before I submit all of my Final Major Project coursework on Monday 5th June 2017 will also be featured in the E-Folio once they’re published. I can confirm there are three more headshot photographs on the way, so keep your eyes peeled, as these photographs I have taken have shown my improvements in my photography skills, as well as the locations I have shot these photographs whilst in Croydon.

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

Alex Smithson

Headshot #7 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Mhamad Rauf

Continuing on from Headshot #6, in which I photographed Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza, Headshot #7 focuses on my next photographed subject, which is Mhamad Rauf.

For this photographic set, just like I did with Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza, I photographed Mhamad outside and got him to do the facial expressions I asked him to make, but also photographed him in different positions, including some modelling headshots.

The graffiti on the walls of the walkway really help as they put an emphasis on the facial expressions I have got Mhamad to make, as the colour of the walkway, including the graffiti, can help to compensate for the facial expressions I have asked Mhamad to make.

At this stage, these photographs have informed the research I have done on Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff & August Sander.

Below are the headshot photographs of Mhamad Rauf, including the WordFoto Edits and Black & White Versions of the Original Photographs.

Canon EOS 700D

WordFoto Edits

Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Overall, I am so pleased with the end result that has come out of these photographs I have produced and by experimenting again with the walls of graffiti found in the walkway outside Croydon College, this has actually allowed me to let my creativity run wild, ultimately giving me the chance to produce these photographs with more vibrancy so that they connect to my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

These photographs I have produced will help me to build on, develop and inform my photography skills further and will most certainly inform the creative work, research and headshot photographs I have already produced.

The Headshot #7 photographs I have taken of my close friend, Mhamad Rauf, including the edited versions of these photographs that I produced in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) can be found in my E-Folio.

I would most certainly love to get your response on these photographs and please let me know if I can make future improvements for next time. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson