Monthly Roundup: April 2017

Wow! This month sure flew like the wind. I’ve been so busy with coursework and revision lately that the time has flown! I am so pleased to have got so much coursework done and I’m so glad to have shown all of you the work I have produced for my Final Major Project, including the research I have done for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

Without further ado, I shall now take a look back at the articles I published over the course of April.

1.4.2017 – Welcoming you all to April on Mother Nature, I mentioned that this month would set to be just as relaxing and as peaceful as March, but that it would also be set to be quite the busy month for me, considering I would need to travel to places up 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’ve been working on.

7.4.2017 – The Blossoming Feels of Spring highlighted how wonderful this day was because it was nice and sunny, the temperature was just right. and I had ceased the opportunity to photograph some parts of my garden. I experimented with the ISO frequently to see which ISO setting suited the lighting conditions the best.

8.4.2017 – Nature is Beautiful proved that even Mother Nature herself continued to amaze us and because there was a small breeze in the air with the lovely sunny weather on this day, it was safe to say that this weather was beautiful and that Mother Nature is also beautiful.

9.4.2017 – Inspire to be Positive was my way of inspiring others and to promote positivity, equality and diversity towards everyone, and that we should all drown out negativity and inequality.

11.4.2017 – This day marked the beginning of a new chapter for Windows 10. As Windows Vista officially ended extended support on this day, the Windows 10 Creators Update was officially released. I gave a full run-down on the features I came across in the Creators Update considering that I made the jump to the Windows 10 Creators Update a week early ahead of this day’s official release and mentioned that another major Windows Update was set to be released in the coming months.

15.4.2017 – As it was four years since I last visited Battersea Park, it was safe to say that not a lot had changed since my last visit. During the course of my time that I revisited Battersea Park, I produced a large photographic collection that consisted of my journey to Battersea Park, including perspective photographs that I took throughout certain areas of Battersea Park itself, even though two dogs had caught two of the tennis balls me and my family were using when we played cricket on the large field, which were eventually knackered after a few whacks with the cricket bat.

21.4.2017 – As part of my Final Major Project, I did research on the photographers that influenced me in the photography work I wanted to produce, considering that my Final Major Project is based on Facial Expressionism. The first photographer I researched for my Final Major Project was Fazal Sheikh, as his work aimed to document and even personalise the power of portraiture whilst bringing the displaced parts of the world, including its own people, into focus.

23.4.2017 – Continuing on from the first photographer I researched for my Final Major Project, the second photographer I chose to research was Irving Penn, as he 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.

24.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far for my Final Major Project, I started to develop my photography skills further, and the first subject I photographed for my Final Major Project was my good friend, Jonathan McCartney. As Fazal Sheikh & Irving Penn’s photography work inspired me in the development of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, I experimented with a white backdrop on the first set of photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan and acknowledged that some of the emotions might not connect to some of the photographs depending on which way the first headshot photographs were viewed. I also experimented further with the same photographs by converting the photographs into words with the app, WordFoto.

25.4.2017 – Following on from the first set of headshot photographs I took of my good friend, Jonathan McCartney, I presented to you the second headshot photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan, but this time, with a black backdrop, which I must say actually worked much better compared to a white backdrop, and the black backdrop was an idea a close friend of mine suggested to me after he critiqued the Headshot #1 photographs I took of Jonathan. These headshot photographs not only improved my photography skills, but it made a lot of sense to use a black backdrop in these photographs, including any other photographs that I would produce. I made sure to experiment carefully with these photographs by editing them in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) so that they could retain the facial expressions I asked Jonathan to make, as these headshot photographs would tie in with my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, including the research I did so far on the Facial Expressionism photographers, Fazal Sheikh and Irving Penn.

28.4.2017 – Continuing on from the first and second photographer I researched for my Final Major Project, the third photographer I chose to research was Thomas Ruff. Thomas Ruff is a German photographer who lives and also works in Düsseldorf in Germany. As he shares a photography studio with other German photographers, such as Andreas Gursky, Axel Hütte and Laurenz Berges on Düsseldorf’s Hansaalee, the photography studio itself formerly comprised of a municipal electricity station, which was converted between the course of 1998 and 2000 by the architects, Herzog & de Meuron, who are part of Tate Modern fame, with an updated basement gallery that was completed in 2011.

29.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far on the photographers, Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn and Thomas Ruff, the second subject I chose to photograph for my Final Major Project was Steven Geer. For the Headshot #3 photographs, just like I did with the Headshot #2 photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, I had made sure to use the black backdrop again, so that the facial expressions I would get Steven to do wouldn’t just have a real sense of depth, but that the expressions that Steven would make would capture a real sense of emotion. I experimented very carefully with the photographs as these photographs would build on the research I did so far on the 3 facial expressionist photographers; Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn & Thomas Ruff.

30.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far on the photographers, Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn and Thomas Ruff, the third subject I am honoured to have photographed for my Final Major Project was the famous actor and Mental Health Awareness Campaigner, Oli Regan. For the headshot photographs I took of Oli, I experimented with a black backdrop so that the facial expressions I asked Oli to make would give the emotion from the facial expressions he made more emphasis and more depth. After I photographed Oli with the black backdrop, I then opted to try out a red backdrop, so that I could capture some of the facial expressions again, but this time, I wanted to try and photograph Oli like as if I photographed him for a magazine cover photoshoot.

Thanks so much to all of you for such a fantastic, fun-filled, exciting and fun-filled month. I am so honoured to have shared my photography work and the research I’ve done with all of you. I have noticed I’ve been a whole lot more productive with the work I’ve produced, as well as the research I’ve done and I am so determined to succeed with a much higher grade this time around that I am making sure to work my socks off to get the best grades I want to get before I finish my final year of college at the beginning of July. I will make sure to work hard to succeed and to make sure I end my education on a high note and to also go out with a bang!

Again, thanks so much to all of you for such a fantastic, fun-filled, exciting and fun-filled month and I will see you all in May.

Alex Smithson

Success: How Good Does it Feel to Achieve Something?

When it comes to success, we all love to share our joys and excitement of succeeding at something that we have worked so hard for, but just how good does it feel to achieve success?

To me, it feels good to achieve success, as I always like to work as hard as possible to make sure that work is completed ahead of a deadline, so that I can stand more of a chance of completing other pieces of work quicker.

With success comes a lot of free time, and to get that free time, I always like to make sure I can get something done as soon as I’m given something to complete, as I hate to leave everything to chance.

In the past, I used to have the knack of procrastinating in my work, and everytime I procrastinated when it came to my studies, I used to become stress on a near-frequent basis as I would leave work to the last minute and cause myself a lot of untold stress as a result.

Procrastination is something that I use to have, but now I don’t, as I believe in completing anything work-wise that is given to me the second I am handed any pieces of work.

I have noticed that because of the fact I have completed all of my work ahead of each and every deadline, I’ve noticed that I have more free time on my hands to do my own thing, and I love the fact that I have a lot more of free time on my hands now than I did before, and it feels good to achieve success everytime I complete something early.

I hate the thought of not doing anything, as I get bored easily and it puts a drain on my energy, but I love the thought of keeping myself occupied with something as I can keep myself as active as possible with whatever I do.

I love writing and publishing articles, as writing articles for Mother Nature is like a job for me, as I like to write and publish as and when I can, and it feels so good to achieve success and also keep active.

So when it comes to success, how good does it really feel for you to achieve something that you have worked hard on? Please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

The Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games | The Closing Ceremony in Review

Hello again everyone. Following on from the Closing Ceremony of the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games, I will now do a review based on the Closing Ceremony as it unfolded. This blog post marks the final, last ever blog post for the Commonwealth Games.

For England, we managed to come up on top of the medal table with an astounding 174 medals overall, with Australia finishing with 137 overall medals. All the other Commonwealth countries that took part in this year’s Commonwealth Games in Glasgow did absolutely well, given the fact that the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games were on for just 11 days. Everyone’s excitement was at an all time high, as the medals were constantly building up for every Commonwealth country that took part.

The Closing Ceremony was absolutely wonderful, as famous acts such as Kylie and Lulu made appearances throughout the ceremony while it was slowly drawing to a close. There were a wide number of clips that took us all through a look-back over the past 11 days since the first few events got underway. Prince Imran delighted all the crowds that turned up to see the Closing Ceremony, as he branded the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games the best Commonwealth Games ever. He went on to add: “Scotland, and Glasgow, you really have delivered in every aspect the best Games ever.”

Lulu started off the Closing Ceremony with her classical rendition of one of the most famous songs she has ever done, which was Shout. Before singing Shout, she said to everyone: “tonight is all about saying thank-you” and then she introduced the athletes of this year’s 20th Commonwealth Games that took place in Glasgow.

Many pop-up tents were in place, and with such a remarkable display, Kylie sung one of her most well-known songs, Can’t Get You Out of My Head. For Kylie Minogue to sing one of her best remembered songs like this one, this was the song that would most definitely allow everyone to remember the best of the Commonwealth Games, as this song described perfectly just how well everyone did, and I’m thankful and absolutely proud of every Commonwealth country that took part, as all of us came together as one, and also made sure that none of us would ever give up. The determination was there from the very start of the 20th Commonwealth Games, and continued all the way from the very start to the very end of the Commonwealth Games.

When you consider that the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games would run for only 11 days, it’s a shock how all of the Commonwealth countries went from no medals to loads of medals, in an instant, time just flew so quick that it was slightly impossible to keep up with the excitement. I mean, I was absolutely excited, but the time needed to slow down. It made me laugh how the time flew, but time flies when you are having a lot of fun.

The 21st Commonwealth Games (XXI) will take place in Australia at the Gold Coast in 2018. From me, I bid a massive farewell to the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. I wonder what the next Commonwealth Games will hold for all of us come 2018. For now, bring on the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games!!!!!!!!

Thank you for viewing this final Commonwealth Games blog post :-).

Alex Smithson

A Cold, Wet Start to 2014

Following the New Year’s Day fireworks on Wednesday, I wanted to get some photos of the rain, but instead, wanted to go for a more difficult, hard-to-focus view-point by using my iPod touch’s 5 megapixel camera to capture these photos. I also recorded some video clips using the iPad mini (1st Generation), but noticed while recording the first clip that the bolt of lightning quickly appeared and disappeared in the space of just a split second.

In honesty, what I thought would be the last of this weather, well we were not prepared for this, because after the first bout of this horrible weather came and went, I hoped the first bout would be the last we see of it, but oh no, we have got this second bout of horrid weather, and now the UK is expected to get more of it over the next couple of weeks.

Below are the photos I took yesterday of the weather, but instead focused the iPod touch camera on the raindrops. It was a hard job to focus the camera on the raindrops, but was worth it. The photo of the raindrops works  perfectly as an iPad wallpaper or iPhone/iPod touch wallpaper. I have also provided 2 screenshots of how well the raindrops wallpaper works on the iPad mini, and 2 other screenshots of the same wallpaper on the iPod touch.

Feel free to download the photo of the raindrops on the glass anytime. I have also just finished uploading the video for this blog post “A Cold, Wet Start to 2014”. It’s available to watch now in Full HD for your viewing comfort :-).

Thank you for viewing this blog post.

-Alex Smithson

The Silhouette of Darkness, Light & Wonderwebs – Painting + Video

Hello everyone!! I have been using the Colors! application on the iPad mini I got today as a Christmas present, and created this Silhouette painting of the Rosebud in darkness, it took 15 minutes approximately to create this, as I wanted to go into a bit more detail with the clouds and the sun rays, so I made the clouds look almost completely dark to show the cloud formation, and the sun rays I wanted to blend the sky in a little more to show two different sides to the painting.

The video of yesterday’s storm is currently uploading now, so fingers crossed it doesn’t take as long as it did last night. Feel free to save the painting to your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to use as a wallpaper.

Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful Happy Christmas!!!

-Alex Smithson

20131225-041035 pm.jpg

[UPDATE]: The video is now available to watch in full HD here. Thank you for a fantastic 6 months, and I’ll post more in 2014 🙂

Check back on January 1st 2014 for the all-new blog experience!!!

Final Header Before 2014 + A New Addition to the Blog

Hello again everyone!!! I wanted to let all of you know that I have made a final header for the Christmas holidays before changing the look of this blog to the new Twenty Fourteen layout on New Year’s Day 2014, and I’ve also created a new page titled “Nominations / Awards” to show you how many nominations or awards I’ve received. Here’s a preview:

final-christmas-header-to-end-2013.png

Preview of new Nominations - Awards Page

Feel free to take a look at the new page on this blog, and to make things easier, I have provided a link to the HalfEatenMind blog created by Vijay Shah, and have also provided the Dear Kitty. Some Blog. page created by petrel41 (Kitty), so feel free to drop by at these 2 bloggers sites anytime. I guarantee you won’t regret viewing these 2 blogs as they are both clear, descriptive, informative and very easy to get around.

Thank you for reading this blog post, and a massive thank you to all of you followers and viewers for getting this blog past the 1000+ view mark, I couldn’t have done it without all of you…again, a massive thank you :-)!!!

– Alex Smithson

[UPDATE]: Nominations / Awards name changed to “Nominations” to prevent confusion, sorry about that.

Hello, and welcome back for the final, chilly month of the year, December!!!

After taking a trip to Wimbledon last week, which I mentioned in my last blog post for last month, I wanted to welcome all of you back for the final month of this year.

As this year draws to a chilly close, I wanted to mark the occasion by making the header and background blend in to every exact detail, giving the blog a flat, elegant Christmas festive feel.

As 2013 ends and 2014 approaches, I thought I’d supply the background for all of you to download and keep for everyday use.

Please let me know what you think of the new look for Christmas in the comments, or even drop me an email via the Contact page.

Thank you.

– Alex Smithson

20131201-200242.jpg

20131201-200546.jpg

1 Small Change – Accessibility made easier + New Header Design!

Hello again! I gave the blog a bit of a slight redesign, and to make the accessibility easier around the blog, I have made a home button, so if you want to get back to the home-page, the home button is in the top left-hand corner. I have also done away with the title and tagline of the blog, as I have designed a header, placing both the title of this blog and the tagline in the middle of the home-page, making it easier to view, so that the blog stands out.

Feel free to let me know what you think of the new ‘Home’ button, or drop me an email via the contact form on this blog.

20131013-090926 pm.jpg

The Beauty of Natural Form in Black & White

Hello, to keep this short, I thought I’d upload a drawing that was initially meant to take me at least 2 – 3 weeks to finish, but instead took me 4 weeks to complete.

To challenge myself with this drawing, I did this free-hand, and I wanted to make sure I could bring the surface texture out in the drawing, so I used shading, and one of the techniques I was taught by one of the teachers who came in from a different school was you could use a tissue and very gently smudge the areas that you have shaded really dark, and it does work wonders, because if you notice the areas on the drawing I did, some or most areas of the drawing were shaded in dark to light, and then I smudged them, giving the drawing a 3-Dimensional effect.

I have uploaded to this post the drawing that I finished off last night, and also a version of the original that I needed to change to black and white to help me with getting this drawing completed. Please comment on what you think of the drawing, and feel free to drop me an email via the contact form on the Contact button above this post.

Hello, and Welcome back for a Chilly October!!!

As you know I recently mentioned in the ”About this Blog” column about 2 weeks ago that I’ve had to make allowances for my GCSE’s and iGCSE’s on top, which I’ve just updated now. I have also given the blog a whole new look, and have also made the background blend in to fit with the Winter weather which is soon to arrive in the coming months. I thought ”update the appearance of the blog, give it a tidier layout and top it off with a background that will blend in with the new appearance”, because I want to be sure I can keep all of you up-to-date on the latest blog posts.

To get back to the home page, I have provided this picture of the new appearance, and I have also put an arrow facing to the Header of the site as a guide if you end up feeling a little lost around the site.

Please comment on what you think of the new design (The Eventbrite Single Event), and feel free to drop me an email via the ‘Contact’ column of this site, where I have made a contact form for all of you to suggest ideas, and your thoughts of future blog posts to come.

Thank you.

Photography |Nature - Bring Vibrancy to Life New Appearance