Monthly Roundup: January 2016

Well I’ve been quite a busy bee since we all welcomed in 2016 on New Year’s Day, but in the first few weeks of 2016, we have lost some notable icons of the film and music industry. On the 10th January 2016, David Bowie sadly passed away at the age of 69 from liver cancer, just two days after releasing his final album, Blackstar, and just four days after his passing, the Harry Potter actor, Alan Rickman also passed away after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I’ve also just heard the news as of lunchtime that Sir Terry Wogan has sadly passed away today after a short battle with cancer. I must admit, I’m really shocked to hear of his passing, because I didn’t know he had cancer until his death was announced earlier today.

Please accept my sincere apologies if I wasn’t able to publish two tribute articles on both of them this month, it’s mainly been because of the fact I’ve been so busy with the current project that I’ve been on that I’ve had trouble with finding the time to do both of the tribute articles. Please don’t worry too much though, because they are currently being made and are in progress, and hopefully, fingers crossed, I can get them published over the course of February or March, depending on the workload I receive from college. I can promise you that I won’t be leaving them to chance, so I will be making sure to work on them as soon as I get a large amount of time on my hands. I can also promise you that I will be, in light of Sir Terry Wogan’s sudden passing earlier today, writing a tribute article on him to pay my full respects and condolences to him and his family at such a sad time.

To round off what has been a really good, but sad start to 2016, I will be taking a full look-back on the articles published over the course of this month.

1.1.2016 – To kick 2016 off with a bang, I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for the New Year, and with a redesigned appearance, I mentioned that Mother Nature had changed its colours to: “accommodate for a maturer appearance, given that Mother Nature has now evolved into more of a presentable appearance.” I also mentioned that I would be doing some housekeeping, as I would be taking down some articles and some pictures to free up the website space for Mother Nature.

I had also mentioned that this news had come as I wanted to get back to my roots fully of doing more photography articles. However, all wouldn’t be lost though, because any articles I would be taking down would have their spaces filled with some new articles, as I wanted Mother Nature to focus more on photography, but also on certain interests, as I don’t want to talk too much about one thing, knowing full well that the whole idea of this website is to be a photography site.

3.1.2016 – To kick 2016 off with a bang in terms of photography, I did the first Historical Photographer article for 2016 on Walker Evans, who is the second in the Historical Photographers series that I introduced back in December 2015. In this Historical Photographer article, I would talk about Walker Evans’ life, as well as the timeline of events that unfolded up until his death on the 10th April 1975.

Also on this day, I published an article based on my thoughts about maturity and communication in modern society, as I felt that in modern society, maturity was something that shouldn’t really go amiss, especially in our generation and in this day and age, but when it came to maturity in modern society, among many other areas of life, our generation unfortunately lack almost all of maturity.

6.1.2016 – As I wanted to make sure to keep to my promise of being more productive and by also promising to publish more articles on a frequent basis, I started by doing a topic that would focus on whether the media was responsible for promoting eating disorders and negative body image problems in young people. I did also mention that I would tread very carefully when it came to writing this article, as I knew something like this would be sensitive.

8.1.2016 – As I wanted to refer to studying in general, I decided to talk about study time, and whether a large workload from school, college or even university stressed you out. I mentioned that: “Although I believe study time is crucial, I have known on some, if not, a lot of occasions, that it can be stressful, especially when you’re in school, college or university. Over the course of last year, I did notice how stressful the workload was, because I would get on a number of occasions, a lot of work piled on top of me, which, when deadlines were around the corner, I would sometimes panic about any work that may have not been completed, and in a lot of cases, I would often get stressed out.”

15.1.2016 – As violent video games are overruling modern society and my generation nowadays, given that violence is one of the most controversial subjects to talk about, I thought it was good to create a topic of discussion based on whether you thought violent video games should be banned. In this article, I had made sure to give my reasons for why I felt they should be banned, and how banning violent video games could help to prevent the younger generations of today from being brainwashed into committing violence against those around them. I did keep in mind though that a topic like this one is often touchy, and that I would tread very carefully whilst talking about it.

18.1.2016 – As this is something that is close to my heart, which also often bothers me, vanity has been something that I’ve noticed in the real world. In this article, I wrote about how I’ve heard about all these celebrities who have either had work done or had something enhanced to boost their self-esteem, and the same has happened to some of those who aren’t famous at all, and it really bothered me how vanity could cause someone to change something about themselves when they don’t need to.

23.1.2016 – As gangs are becoming a major problem in modern-day life, I focused this topic of discussion on whether the media was responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people. I did know for a fact that this was something that some people may be too afraid to talk about, but I decided to stand up and speak up about this topic in detail because I would not hide my views on gang culture, as I would make sure to outline in this topic whether I thought the media was responsible for making gang culture seem attractive to young people.

Also on this day, I published two more articles, one of which focused on my trip up to the Croydon Museum, as the museum contains so much information and research “based on a large number of photographers, as well as certain collector’s items, such as an old-fashioned retro 1950s car.”, while the third article was based on uplifting photo moments, given that I took a photo of Croydon College’s Rotunda, as well as getting a photo with The One Show’s Marty Jopson, who is such a nice guy and so down to earth.

30.1.2016 – 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.

Also, 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.

As I published both of these articles on this day, I wanted them both to be like a two-part photography article, in other words, a 2-in-1 article.

Thank you so much everyone for making the first month of 2016 a really good one for me. I know this month hasn’t been as easy as first thought given that we’ve lost quite a few celebrity icons in the first few weeks, but to David Bowie, Alan Rickman & Sir Terry Wogan, all three of you will be remembered in our hearts forever and you shall never be forgotten.

Again, thank you for making the first month of 2016 a really good one for me, and I’ll see you all in February.

Alex Smithson

Welcome Back to an All New Look for a Chilly 2014!!!

Hello everyone!!! Happy New Year!!! Now that 2013 has ended, a new journey begins for 2014. A cold and wet start to 2014 was expected and the New Year’s Day fireworks were amazing to watch on TV, but 2013 marks the end of an era, and the beginning of a better one.

As promised over the last few weeks running up to the last day of 2013, I would change the blog layout to the all new Twenty Fourteen theme; this new theme marks the beginning of Mother Nature in an all new light. The new name of this blog: “Mother Nature | Life at the touch of a button.” gives the blog a better focus around nature, and also focuses more on the photography of plants, insects, animals and city landscapes I’ve created for this blog overall.

Below, I have provided a set of screenshots of how the new blog theme renders for a standard computer or laptop, the iPad mini (1st Generation) and the iPod touch (5th Generation). This new look will also render the same on the iPhone 5, iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C:

New Blog Theme Preview

How this new look renders on a Laptop / PC

These screenshots may prove handy as they show what the new Twenty Fourteen layout does and how it appears in its formal glory. I have also updated the social buttons with a newer, up-to-date look so that this blog fits in perfectly with this year.

Thank you for reading this blog post, and a Happy New Year to all of you bloggers and viewers :-)!!!

-Alex Smithson

Photography | Nature is now Blog of the Year 2013!!!

Hello everyone!!! I wanted to say a massive thank you to all of you bloggers and all of you viewers out there for visiting this blog. Without you all, I wouldn’t have got this far in the first 6 months, and to top it all off, Photography | Nature has passed the 1,000+ view mark and has become the Blog of the Year for 2013. I owe a massive thank you to Vijay Shah of the HalfEatenMind blog who nominated me for the 5* on the Blog of the Year 2013 award, and also a massive thank you to Ajay of the Ajaytao2010 blog for the 1* to make it 6*. Another great announcement is that Vijay of the HalfEatenMind blog has just won the Blog of the Year 2013 award as well!!! To follow his blog, the link is below…and again, thanks for a wonderful first 6 months

Thank you Vijay and Ajay, without you both, I wouldn’t have won the Blog of the Year 2013 award, and a massive congratulations to you Vijay for winning the Blog of the Year 2013 award, you deserved it as well and have a Happy New Year Vijay Shah and also Ajay Tao :-)!!!

Have a Happy New Year, and I’ll see you all in 2014 :-)!!!!!!!!!

Vijay Shah’s HalfEatenMind blog: halfeatenmind.wordpress.com

Ajay Tao’s Ajaytao2010 blog: ajaytao2010.wordpress.com

The Worst Storm of December

This weather is absolutely horrible, all day I’ve been hearing constant, violent gusts of wind and it feels like the storm is battering on tenterhooks. Today has got to be probably one of the worst days the UK has experienced such violent weather forecasts. Just well over an hour ago, Sky News reported that a man has died after falling into the River Rothay in Ambleside, which has triggered a large rescue search also involving the police, the Royal Air Force, Coastguard and also many mountain rescue teams. This also came after two children in Horsham, West Sussex were treated for minor injuries after being hit by branches from a falling tree. This horrible weather is almost similar to the St Jude Hurricane we had back in October.

Hurricane St Jude: Warning

Hurricane St Jude: Update

This weather is worse for wear at this stage, as almost the whole of the UK was hit by relentless, constant rain which fell on grounds that are already completely saturated, and the battering winds went up to a whopping 70 to 80 miles per hour in the eastern and central areas.

Roughly 3,000 homes are now left without any source of power in Cornwall, and a further 2,000 homes in the South West are also affected after the battering high winds brought down power lines, according to the Western Power Distribution. There are 1,100 homes that are now without power in Berkshire, according to Southern Electricity.

The Met Office have now issued more than 140+ Amber “be prepared” weather warnings for London, the Southeast and also the Southwest of England, including South Wales.

25 “immediate action requiredflood warnings are now in effect and also one severe warning for the South West.

Please be extremely careful where you are, make sure you have a safe journey, and fingers crossed this horrendous weather passes by soon.

KEEP SAFE. KEEP WARM. STAY INSIDE. BRAVE IT OUT.

Thank you for reading, I hope we can all pull through this horrid weather.

– Alex Smithson