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

Battersea Park / Revisited / 13.4.2017

As it has been four years since I last visited Battersea Park, it is safe to say that not a lot hasn’t changed since my last visit.

The weather was absolutely lovely; the scenery gave me a sense of relaxation because it is a place to relax and unwind.

Whilst me and my family were at Battersea Park, we played a game of cricket, and twice in one day, two dogs grabbed the tennis balls we were using, though two of the tennis balls were knackered after a couple of whacks with the cricket bat, but it was good for us all to get out and enjoy ourselves while the two-week holiday lasts.

It’s hard to think it was four years ago that I last visited Battersea Park. Where has the time gone? I still find it hard to believe that I was just about to sit my final year at Oasis Academy: Shirley Park and 4 years down the line, I am sitting the last few months of my UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma Film & Photography Course at Croydon College. That’s quite scary knowing just how fast the time has flown, because it only felt like yesterday I started my first year at Croydon College and now I’m in my last year at Croydon College and it just feels so unreal knowing I’m sitting the last few months of my education before I finish my education for good and go into the world of work.

Below is the large photographic collection I have produced of Battersea Park.

iPhone 5

Nikon D3300

I won’t lie to you, I’m absolutely glad to have revisited Battersea Park after such a long while, because the weather was just right, the temperature was just right and not only that, but there wasn’t a single spot of rain which was a bonus! Mind you, I will revisit Battersea Park in the future as I want to photograph the plants again soon considering I photographed the plants mostly the last time I visited Battersea Park back in 2013.

Overall, I absolutely enjoyed my time at Battersea Park after such a long wait and I cannot wait to go there again soon.

If you enjoyed this photography collection, please feel free to submit a response. Your feedback is much appreciated and if you have visited Battersea Park before, please let me know, I would love to know what you think of Battersea Park.

Alex Smithson

Pecha Kucha / Japanese for Chit-Chat

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.

For me, because I am fascinated by Facial Expressionism, which was a concept I worked on last year, I am interested in a photograph that captures the subject’s facial expression and emotion, and for me, I will make sure I can 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.

These are all the notes I gathered together as part of my Pecha Kucha presentation yesterday, which went brilliantly for me yesterday considering I was nervous but showed confidence the moment I presented the work I am looking to produce for my Final Major Project. Please keep in mind just a few of the noted photographs that aren’t mine will have the name of the photographed subject, including the year the photograph was produced, also the name of the website I found the photograph from, including the website address and the recorded date that specific website was last visited. The photographs that aren’t mine at all that I referenced in this presentation as part of my Film & Photography coursework can be found on Page 4 & 9. I take absolutely no credit from the photographers who produced the work I have referenced. Those photographers whose work I have referenced in this presentation are Thomas Ruff & Bert Stern.

Over the coming weeks, I will be making sure to work my absolute hardest to really push for the best final grade possible as I want to succeed in my final year of the UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma Film & Photography Course. I will also be making sure to work as hard as I can to really push for the highest possible grades in both GCSE English & GCSE Maths.

If you enjoyed reading the notes and research I gathered together for this Pecha Kucha presentation, please feel free to comment below. All feedback is much appreciated and the all of the notes and research from the Pecha Kucha presentation, including the photographs I produced from my visits to Kelsey Park, Dulwich Park and Beddington Park can be found in my E-FOLIO.

Alex Smithson

Dulwich Park / Croydon School of Art / Curiosity / Self-Directed Project / 31.1.2017

Continuing on from my first set of photographs that I took previously at Kelsey Park, I headed to Dulwich Park to photograph the scenery and also some ducks and birds. I saw some Mallards and Parakeets whilst I was there, including some squirrels, though to tell you the truth, some of the squirrels I came across looked bigger than their usual size, so I did make sure to walk very slowly to photograph them and I am pleased with the end result that I have achieved from this photographic collection.

One of the Moor Hens actually came a lot closer than I expected, which was perfect for me as I was able to photograph the Moor Hen with such detail and visual imagery, and because I frequently changed the ISO on my Nikon D3300 DSLR, this allowed me to play about with the light balance, including the saturation of colour and clarity of the photos.

This photographic collection I have documented of Dulwich Park showcases my current knowledge and photography skills, based on the 5 photographers I have researched; Ansel Adams, David Muench, John Shaw, Art Wolfe & Joel Sartore.

I feel that I have managed to produce this nature-based photography collection of Dulwich Park to the best standard where possible, as I have made sure to change the ISO to suit the mood of each photograph, and I have also made sure that my photographs are in full focus and aren’t too overexposed but more or less balanced.

I have deliberately altered the ISO to make some of the photos appear as if they were taken right before the crack of nightfall, because I wanted to explore the concept of nature and its wilderness. Some of the photos I took that were quite dimmed I wanted to try and create my own inspired form of photography based on the BBC TV Programme, Planet Earth, as I remember the camera crew did record video footage using time-lapse but with the camera focusing entirely at the sky with the trees in the distance, which is what I wanted to try and recreate myself but with my own form of nature photography.

I have researched the 5 photographers above as part of my Self-Directed Curiosity Project and I strongly feel that their photography work has informed my creative knowledge including the processes I have developed for this photographic collection of Dulwich Park.

What are your thoughts on this photography collection I have created of Dulwich Park? I would love to hear your feedback.

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.

Kelsey Park / Croydon School of Art / Curiosity / Self-Directed Project / 24.1.2017

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 I last visited Kelsey Park 3 years ago, it is safe to say that my photography skills have dramatically and rapidly improved quite a lot over time.

This large collection of photographs that I took of Kelsey Park would comprise of some species of ducks and geese, including some squirrels as well.

As I have a strong passion for nature and photography, I was lucky enough to photograph at least two swans, one of which you can see above which I changed to black and white.

I was surprised to notice that Kelsey Park’s lake was mostly frozen from the blisteringly cold weather, though one of the Moor Hen’s decided to land and slid across the ice. I did change the ISO mostly to photograph this collection considering that nightfall wasn’t far behind, so I did make sure to make the most of the daylight to snap these photographs.

I got some photographs of the Canada Geese up, close and personal, but I did make sure to walk very slowly and crouch down slowly in order to produce these photographs to the best standard where possible.

In terms of these photographs, I feel this is my best photographic collection to date because I have changed the ISO and got a bit more close up with nature which is what I’ve been looking to do for a while. I must admit, I took these photos with an 18 – 55 mm Nikkor Lens which came bundled with the Nikon D3300 DSLR and I didn’t need to opt for a bigger camera lens. On the plus side, I was absolutely glad that I took these photographs on Tuesday as this photographic collection will help me with my self-directed project.

If you have been to Kelsey Park before, please let me know, I would love to hear what your thoughts are on Kelsey Park and if you have never been to Kelsey Park, don’t worry, this photographic collection will give you an in-depth look on Kelsey Park and the beauty of nature. Mind you, I am pleased with the final results I’ve achieved from this photographic collection and I will continue to improve my photography skills and get behind the DSLR more.

If you enjoyed this photographic collection of Kelsey Park, please let me know. I would love to hear your feedback.

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.

Welcome to January!

Welcome to January on Mother Nature! Happy New Year Everyone! 2017 has officially opened its doors and the New Year begins with high spirits. The firework display in London paid tribute to the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, including the Thin White Duke himself, David Bowie and even the comedy legend, Ronnie Corbett, the man of mighty humour.

Ringing in the celebrations of 2017, 2017 will be a year of looking forward to the future, and is also the year to never look back but to look forward and to enjoy life and also to enjoy the future.

Breaking the tradition with Spotify, instead of Mother Nature having one new mix every year, there will be one mix from this year onwards that will continuously be updated, as I have finally decided to do away with the old tagline: “The Mix of…” in favour for: “Alex’s Mix”. This is because after a while, constantly replacing a Spotify playlist year after year just eventually gets boring, so now, my new mix playlist is called: “Alex’s Mix” and will remain a permanent fixture on this website from today onwards.

Over the course of this year, I will be making sure to dedicate a whole lot more of my own time to my studies considering I have only 6 months left until I finish my time at Croydon College, including finishing education altogether, which is not far away, so I will be making sure to make use of the time wisely by working hard and to also achieve the best I can from my studies, but to also succeed in my education and to get myself a job after I finish education permanently. However, I will be making sure to find the free time when it becomes available to publish articles on here so that I can be sure that none of you are going to miss out.

I won’t lie, I will miss being in education and will miss Croydon College when me and everyone else reach the end of the road, because I love everyone so much, even everyone at my college, because Croydon College including everyone who goes to my college are the reason why I want a fantastic future and are also the reason why I want to have a fantastic life. My family and my friends mean everything to me and without them, I wouldn’t be in a good place now. I feel so fortunate and so lucky to have everyone by my side because I want a fantastic future and a fantastic life and I am so fortunate to have everyone there to support me. But again, Croydon College have given me a reason to want to have a good future and a good life and I am glad Croydon College was my first choice, as I have excelled so well and my time at Croydon College has gone so fast that I actually don’t want to leave.

Life goes on and I can say this for once in my life, 2017 is a year of finally moving on and to just enjoy yourself, but most of all, is also the year to just be happy and to enjoy life.

The sidebar has been tidied up a bit and I have done away with some widgets that are no longer relevant, but Mother Nature gets a better shade of blue, as I have made sure to change the colour so it appeals to 2017 and to make for better visibility on Laptops / PCs, including on smartphones, tablets and consoles.

To kick off 2017, I just want to say:

LET’S MAKE THIS YEAR A SPECIAL ONE!

Alex Smithson

CROYDON / Thursday 15th December 2016

As I will be starting a self-directed photography project in 2017, I have decided to share with you all a small photographic collection I took of Croydon whilst I was at Croydon College yesterday before falling sick to a sore throat and cold, keeping in mind that my work for the past few projects were all submitted on Monday.

The reason I chose to create a cut-throat style kind of text in the name, Croydon, is because I want you to see Croydon as being a community that is divided, where some values are more or less stripped or tarnished of all credibility despite Croydon taking centre-stage when good things come out of it.

How do I see landscape photography in Croydon? I see landscape photography in Croydon as an opportunity for me to take photos of the landmarks, including the shops that surround me.

Landscapes interest me, as I am fascinated by how certain objects are positioned depending on the place. For example, I love nature, but I love to know how a plant blossoms in a certain location. The same idea can consist of a landmark, for example, the Lloyds Bank opposite BOXPARK CROYDON stands out instantly as it is a larger building that you cannot exactly miss from a distance.

Overall, I am really pleased I used the Camera+ app (recommended) to take these photos, as they came out a lot better than I expected.

If you liked my small photo collection of Croydon, please let me know by commenting below your feedback. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

BOXPARK CROYDON / CROYDON COLLEGE / DUSK / Monday 5th December 2016

Coming just a little over a few weeks since I 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.

In doing so, I also photographed the Christmas Lights, and as So Solid Crew are set to perform on Thursday during the Christmas Light Switch On, this was the perfect opportunity for me to snap some photos while the organisers of BOXPARK Croydon put the finishing touches on their Christmas Decorations.

As a fire alarm suddenly went off towards the end of my Maths lesson yesterday, I managed to use the opportunity wisely whilst waiting with everyone else outside Croydon College‘s Rotunda to snap a photo of the recently closed building, Fairfield Halls, and with the lovely weather in sight, I captured a silhouette, which I must say I was absolutely pleased about as it was just right and the photograph came out perfectly and a lot better than I imagined.

Overall, I am really pleased with this photo collection and as I used the Camera+ app (recommended), this just proves that you can take better photos with Camera+, especially if you love to get the full details of a place you’ve been to.

If you loved my photo collection of BOXPARK, Croydon & Croydon College, please feel free to submit feedback below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: November 2016

After an eventful and busy month, I will be taking a look back on the short number of articles I have published over the course of November. I can only apologise for not being as productive recently. I have had quite a lot going on with coursework including things personal-based, but I will try to be as productive as I can over the course of December. Please keep in mind that on the 8th December, I will be doing a Mock Exam for GCSE Maths, so I will be revising for the duration of this week up until the day of my exam as I want to pass this mock exam. I can only apologise if, within this time, I don’t publish any articles.

1.11.2016 – As this month was set to be full of new challenges and full of productivity considering the large amount of coursework I’ve been doing recently, I welcomed you all to November on Mother Nature. Also, this month would be a month for remembrance considering that Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day) was just around the corner.

24.11.2016 – All around the world, everyone uses social media; it’s become the norm of the digital world, but on this day, I wrote an article on whether social media had a long-lasting impact on Mental Health. I gave my reasons for why I felt social media would have a long-lasting impact on Mental Health, given that in October, I had worked with the famous GIANTLAND actor, Oli Regan, and I mentioned that now was the time to stand up and fight to end the stigma against mental health, but that we should also raise awareness for mental health. I also mentioned that now was our time to really make the positive change and the best difference in this world and to take a stand for all of those suffering from Mental Health and to end the stigma against mental health.

26.11.2016 – As I share my love for SEGA‘s blue mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog, I wrote a review on the 1993 classic, Sonic CD, which went widescreen, thanks to Christian “Taxman” Whitehead, who is best known for porting SEGA’s iconic classic, Sonic the Hedgehog & Sonic the Hedgehog 2 to consoles, smartphones and even tablets. I mentioned how it was such a good game to play, given that it has the old-school retro appeal that can make you feel like as if you were in the 1990’s playing this game the moment it was released.

27.11.2016 – As I visited the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016 to see the Firework Display, I knew I was going to be in for a great evening, as the recreation ground was packed and had a turnout of nearly 3,000 visitors. I published a huge photo collection from bonfire night including a video, but before the firework display kicked off, the organisers of the firework display paid tribute to David Bowie, who sadly passed away on the 10th January 2016 at the age of 69 from liver cancer, and as the 5th November marked Guy Fawkes Night, celebrations came in light of the failed Gunpowder Plot, in which Guy Fawkes committed treason, which saw him being hung, drawn and quartered. Also, as the firework display came to a remarkable close, the organisers asked for donations for the bandstand as it was named in David Bowie’s memory, given that he used to perform down in Beckenham.

28.11.2016 – Shortly after I went to see the firework display at the Croydon Road Recreation Ground on Saturday 5th November 2016, I was on my way home and whilst I waited for my bus, I saw two drivers who were using their phones or tablets behind the wheel whilst I waited. I didn’t make it obvious that I was looking at them, but they were being ignorant enough to use their phones behind the wheel even when there was heavy traffic present. I also described how there were major health and safety concerns after a group of people set fireworks off which they relentlessly aimed at secondary school students as they were on their way home down Shirley Road, something of which I was only made aware of the moment I got home from college. As you can imagine, I was cross and frustrated at the fact that fireworks were set off, and I vented my frustrations by giving an example of how someone would think if they set a firework off, with them potentially almost causing someone else untold harm.

29.11.2016 – With a futuristic and technological approach, Tron: Legacy created a concept that involved Sam Flynn going on a journey into the alternative world, where instead of the world being normal with some partial technology, the alternative world would be completely digital, as Sam would encounter a clone of his father, the clone of which would be the evil force that could have potentially sealed Sam’s fate. I wrote this review given that I had seen Tron: Legacy most recently as it was on BBC One just weeks before, and I genuinely thought it was such a good film and I would recommend it to anyone.

I can only apologise for not publishing frequently over the course of November. I had so much going on with my coursework and other things personal-based, but I will try my best to make more of an effort to publish articles over the course of December.

Thanks for a good month everyone, it really means so much to have your support and I don’t know what I’d do without all of you by my side. It has been an eventful and busy month, I know, but I got through it, but again, thank you for a good month and I’ll see you all in December.

Alex Smithson