Headshot #4 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Oli Regan

Following on from the research I have done 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 is the famous actor and Mental Health Awareness Campaigner, Oli Regan.

For these headshot photographs, 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.

Canon EOS 1200D / Black Backdrop

Canon EOS 1200D / Red Backdrop

WordFoto Edits (Black Backdrop)

WordFoto Edits (Red Backdrop)

Black & White Edits (Black & Red Backdrops)

Overall, I am so pleased with the end result that has come out of these photographs I have produced and experimenting with a red backdrop has actually helped me to produce better photographs alongside the black backdrop, but it is an absolute pleasure to have worked with Oli Regan and I am absolutely honoured to have photographed him. Oli Regan is such a lovely and down-to-earth guy and you would be absolutely honoured to work with him.

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

The Headshot #4 photographs I have taken of my close friend, Oli Regan, 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 feedback on these photographs and please let me know what improvements I can make for when I produce more Facial Expressionism headshot photographs for next time. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson


Today, as part of the photographic collection of Croydon I produced last week and published yesterday, I continued to develop my photography skills further with the pre-installed Camera app, and as today was such a wonderful, lovely, peaceful and happy day, I couldn’t resist producing an up-to-date collection of photographs of Croydon. For this photographic collection of Croydon, I wanted to make sure that the beauty and essence of Croydon were captured in these photographs, considering that on a sunny and beautiful day like today, Croydon is vibrant, colourful, bold and bursting with life.

Shown below are the most current photographs of Croydon that I produced today.

What a better way to end March! For once, the weather has been lovely for a change and right at the end of the month too. It’s safe to say I was not at all disappointed with the way this photographic collection turned out and I am so happy with the final end result I have managed to achieve from this photographic collection.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this photographic collection I have produced of Croydon. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Mother Nature Marks its 3rd Anniversary!

3 years ago today, Mother Nature started up as Photography – Nature: To bring the vibrancy back into your life. What started as a nature blog has turned into a website, as I have expanded my interests beyond nature into technology, college-related studies, music, games and also topics, some of which focus on certain things that have gone on throughout the course of everyday life.

I still find it hard to believe that it has been three years down the line since I started Mother Nature, because three years ago, I was nearing the end of Year 10, going onto Year 11 and three years later, Mother Nature marks its third anniversary and I’ve almost wrapped up my second year of college already. Now that is surprisingly scary, considering how far I’ve come within that time.

Obviously putting your heart, mind and soul into setting up a blog, turning it into a website and expanding your horizons is a big ask, but for me, that’s exactly the point. It’s taken me three years to put my heart into making this website become what it is today and I feel absolutely fortunate to have worked so hard on making this website a reality.

In the three years since Mother Nature started, I’ve talked about nature, including publishing tribute articles to remember those who sadly passed away over the past 3 years, including writing music and technology reviews, most recently a technology review of which I did on the Apple Watch. I feel I have come a very long way since then, and not only that, but I’ve just managed to finish all my coursework for the Final Major Project two weeks early, which is a bonus, as I can continue revising ahead of tomorrow’s Paper 1 exam, including finishing up revision ahead of the GCSE English Paper 2 exam on Friday.

Overall, I feel absolutely proud with how far I’ve come since I started Mother Nature and I hope that Mother Nature is around for many years to come.

So all I can say is:

Happy 3rd Birthday Mother Nature!

Alex Smithson

For the First Time in this World. Do You. Be Happy.

Always be yourself, and be happy in this world.

It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of you, and it doesn’t matter if you’re different to everyone else, just be you and only you, and also be happy, that’s what really matters the most.

Stay true to yourself, and realise that you are better than you think.

There’s more to your life than you think, and it’s also about doing what you love the most. If you love a hobby that much, keep doing that hobby, and if there’s something that makes you smile, keep smiling.

What matters the most is that you keep doing you, but most of all, that you keep being happy.

Always keep positive and always keep strong because your life is what matters.

So for the first time in this world, just do you and be happy.

But most of all, be yourself and just stay true to who you are, and you will find that your life gets better as the time flies by.

Do You. Be Happy. Be Yourself.

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.


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

Topic: Does Each Photograph Capture a Memory or Emotion?

Photographs. They can capture all kinds of happy memories, including all kinds of emotions, but they can be the photographs that are permanently attached in our minds, but most importantly, in our hearts. Each photograph tells a story, and also has a memory or emotion behind it that somehow can still make you have goosebumps, for instance, when you’re older and you look back on a photograph you took about 5-10 years ago, that photograph becomes a part of you and never leaves you, even when you feel it may have done.

To spread and encourage positivity in this topic, I will talk about whether each photograph captures a memory or emotion, and I’ll be making sure to give my views on why I believe that a photograph does capture either one of them or both.

Does Each Photograph You Take Capture a Memory?

To me, each photograph that I take captures a memory, and a happy memory too. Why? Because each photograph I take tells a story, and is also a memory because I can remember the day I took it, whether there has been good or bad weather, I see each photograph as a happy memory, as each photograph I take feels like a happy achievement at that stage or point in my life.

Each photograph I take, whether it is a photograph of something that is landscape-based, or even if it is a photo I’ve taken with my friends, I see those photographs as happy memories, as they count as memories that will not only live with me forever, but will also be the footprints that have been left on my heart.

Also, every photograph that I take, it doesn’t matter what kind of photograph it is, is a permanent memory that will stay with me for the rest of my life, as I can look back and know how many happy moments I have had along the way.

Does Each Photograph You Take Capture an Emotion?

Each photograph I take captures a different kind of emotion, but the kind of emotion that I can connect with. For example, if I took a photo with a close friend of mine who went to my school or college, and those years passed, looking back would make me miss that close friend of mine, as that photo has a connection behind it, which makes me feel a bit teary, but happy at the same time, because I know I have got that photo to prove the happiness I would share with a close friend of mine, even with all of my friends as well.

Each photograph carries its own emotion, especially where the photos I’ve taken or the photos that I’ve asked my friends, or even anyone else to take for me that I couldn’t take properly are concerned, as each photo, whether I’ve taken it or not, carries a bundled connection of emotions, including any happy emotions that I can reminisce in at any time in my life, no matter whether I’m younger or older than them. To me, each and every photo memory makes me smile, as I can prove that I’ve been through a lot of happy times with everyone, and had a lot of happy experiences along the way too.

For every photo I take, or for every photo I ask someone to take for me, every photo, to me, is an everlasting and happy memory that will last a lifetime, as a photograph is like an album, you take the photo or get someone to take that photo for you, and then you add it to the photo album, so that as you get older, those photos can be handed down to the younger generations, so that they can see how much of a good life you had, and that it can influence them to have a happy life as well.


In conclusion, I feel that a photograph, whether you are the one that took it, or whether you asked someone else to take that photo for you, captures both memories and emotions. I also believe that if a photograph can carry both memories and emotions, then those photos are worth keeping, as they will be something you can reminisce and look back on as you grow older. To me, every photograph is a happy memory, and a happy memory that’s full of mixed happy emotions is the key to a wonderful life.

If you feel that a photograph captures not just memories but also emotions that have made you have a happy and wonderful life, then please feel free to comment below. After all, a photograph that contains happy memories and mixed happy emotions can tell more than a thousand words, so your feedback is absolutely appreciated :-).

A quote from me to put a spring of happiness in your step :-).



Alex Smithson

Happy Christmas!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Christmas Everyone!!!!!!!!! As this day is the day where everyone comes together to celebrate a landmark event that occurs only once every year, I wanted to make this a short article and wish you all a Happy Christmas, and a wonderful New Year into 2016!!!!!!!!!

Alex Smithson

Raindrops on Crystal Clear Glass | Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!!

With a wet storm that did hit us hard where I live, the rainy weather really poured it down, with hints of thunder that followed in the process. I ceased the opportunity of getting some gorgeous photos of the raindrops just after the storm passed, and by using the Nikon D3300 DSLR, I was able to capture some beautiful shots of the raindrops from certain angles.

The wind speed was absolutely strong, and has been since the beginning of 2015, with the bad weather set to continue all the way through to the beginning of March.

Now, with the first month of 2015 officially behind us, I will showcase in this article the close-up photography of the photos I took on one of the days I was off from college last month. I guarantee you’ll love these photos, because, despite how difficult these photos were to take, I made sure that they had a bold, sharp and relaxing appearance to them.

When I took these photos, I opted to take them manually by having the VR (Vibration Reduction) function turned on for the NIKKOR Lens, as well as adjusting the focus to get these photos exactly as to how I wanted them to turn out. I would have used the auto-focus function to take these photos, but I mainly prefer to take my DSLR photos manually, as I get the best results at the end of it.

In the long run, after the storm passed, these photos turned out a lot better than how I had first imagined them. These photos really exceeded my expectations, as I hadn’t realised just how intricate and delicate the detailing of the photos really were.

A lot of the photos I took had really defined the outlook of mother nature, as well as her capability to leave behind a trail of slight destruction, which would, in turn, create a beautiful image in the process.

As I stayed inside in the warm when the torrential downpour happened, I made sure that once the bad weather was out of the way, I would take some photos of the raindrops, considering just how well the raindrops were formed.

I was taken by surprise when I took these photos, as I didn’t realise just how good they looked and appeared until I used my computer to view these photos. Overall, I was overwhelmed and delighted with the final result, and I couldn’t have picked a better time to take these photos after the storm passed.

For many photographers like myself that want to know which setting is best for taking photos in this format, I recommend that you take photos by setting the camera lens of your make of DSLR to manual, as manual is better, as you get more of a chance of taking photos how you want them to appear. Auto-focus is a good function for any DSLR, but I prefer to take photos manually with the Vibration Reduction (VR) Function set to ON via the NIKKOR Lens for the Nikon D3300.

Overall, I couldn’t have been more happier considering the fact that my photography skills had exceeded a lot better than expected, and I am absolutely over the moon to have taken such good photos, which is probably set to be my best yet, and on that note, I want to say……..


Alex Smithson