iPhone X Wallpaper Pack #1

Ahead of Friday’s release of the hotly anticipated tenth anniversary iPhone, the iPhone X (officially pronounced 10), I have created some new wallpapers, some with the logo’s cube on and some without, depending on the wallpaper and colour choice you may have for your choice of wallpaper.

They are sized exactly to the wallpaper specifications of the iPhone X, as noted in the tech specs on Apple’s website, though if you want to create your own iPhone X wallpapers, here are the width and height dimensions of the iPhone X screen:

Width: 1125

Height: 2436.

Mother Nature Cube

Plain

Please feel free to download these wallpapers. To save these wallpapers to your iPhone X on release day, press and hold the image and then press ‘Save Image‘.

Are you excited for the iPhone X? I sure am. Please let me know in the comments below your thoughts on the iPhone X. All comments welcome.

Alex Smithson

Headshot #2 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Jonathan McCartney

Following on from the first set of headshot photographs I took of my good friend, Jonathan McCartney, I present to you the second headshot photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan, but this time, with a black backdrop, which I must say actually works 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 have not only improved my photography skills, but it does make a lot of sense to use a black backdrop in these photographs, including any other photographs that I will produce.

I have made sure to experiment carefully with these photographs by editing them in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) so that they can retain the facial expressions I asked Jonathan to make, as these headshot photographs tie in with my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, including the research I have done so far on the Facial Expressionism photographers, Fazal Sheikh and Irving Penn.

Below are the Headshot #2 photographs of my friend, Jonathan.

Just like before, I have edited these photographs with WordFoto and used more than one word on one of the edited photographs shown below.

I have made sure to develop the photographs further by also changing the selected photographs to black and white whilst raising and lowering some of the curves on the photographs so that the lighting on Jonathan brings out his facial expressions better with a sense of depth and detail.

Overall, I am absolutely pleased with the end result that has come out of these photographs, and being critiqued on my work has actually helped me to develop my photography skills better, not just from receiving peer critique whilst in my Film & Photography lesson, but also from receiving critique from a close friend of mine.

The Headshot #2 photographs I have taken of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, 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 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

Headshot #1 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Jonathan McCartney

Following on from the research I have done so far for the Final Major Project, I have started to develop my photography skills further, and the first subject I have photographed for my Final Major Project is my good friend, Jonathan McCartney.

As Fazal Sheikh and Irving Penn’s photography work has inspired me in the development of my Facial Expression Final Major Project, I have experimented with a white backdrop on the first set of photographs I have taken of my friend, Jonathan. Below are the headshot photographs I produced showing Jonathan doing different facial expressions. I acknowledge that some of the emotions might not connect to some of the photographs depending on the way these photographs are viewed, but I will be improving on this over the next few weeks.

Below are the headshot photographs I have produced so far.

I also experimented further by using the same photographs again, but this time, using the WordFoto app and I was able to use the WordFoto app to convert these photographs into words. The edited versions of these photographs can be found below.

I am pleased with the end result that has come out of the headshot photographs I produced. I have taken into account the peer critique I received on Friday 21st March 2017, especially the peer critique a close friend of mine gave to me on how to improve, and for the next set of photographs I produce which will consist of a different subject I photograph, I will be making sure to use a black backdrop as this will give me the chance to get the subject I will photograph to stand out better. A black backdrop is what I will use next time as the subject’s facial expressions can stand out more with some depth behind it to back up the facial expressions that are made.

The Headshot #1 photographs I have taken of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, including the edited versions of these photographs that I produced in WordFoto can be found in my E-Folio.

I would 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 photographs next time. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

CROYDON / REVISITED

Kicking off 2017 with a bang, I decided to revisit the photographic collection I took on the 15th December 2016 by publishing this more up-to-date collection that will revisit Croydon with more of a positive approach and given the lovely weather in my first few weeks back at Croydon College, I couldn’t have picked a better time to take these photographs. Some of these photographs consist of the Pret a Manger & Caffé Nero, including other parts of Croydon I may have not visited in a while.

I also used the opportunity to snap a few photos of Reeves Corner, considering it is more or less quiet now considering it will be six years in August since the riots took place in Croydon, which saw the bigger half of the Reeves Furniture Store being burned down as a result.

I must admit, I was taken aback by just how quiet it was around Reeves Corner, because I last went down to Reeves Corner two years ago when I was studying Art & Design, and even then it did feel uncomfortable, much like it does now.

I want this photographic collection to help you explore what Croydon is like as a place, including how Croydon is in general. For instance, there are so many stores in Croydon that you cannot exactly miss, including banks, landmarks, restaurants etc. and many more.

As I was lucky to snap these photographs when the lovely weather arrived before the slight snow storm, I was pleased to have achieved much better results this time compared to the previous collection and I wanted to make sure that you saw Croydon from a much better perspective than before.

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

Alex Smithson

Recommended App: Camera+

Remembering Steve Jobs: 5 Years On

It’s hard to believe it was five years ago today that Steve Jobs died. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago. It really doesn’t seem real.

Steve Jobs, the man best known for shaping Apple into the company it is today with the Apple Mac, including the iPod product line and the iPhone and iPad product lines, passed away on the 5th October 2011 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Steve Jobs helped to redefine technology as we know it, as he introduced the Apple Macintosh back in the 1980s, which would forever change the way we use computers, then he introduced the iPod line in 2001, which increasingly grew over the years, and then, with the introduction of the iPhone, that was the complete game-changer and was the phone that would go on to compete with other leading phone companies, such as Samsung, LG, HTC, you name it, any phone company competed with the iPhone.

Then, in 2010, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPad, a device of which would go on to sell and become almost a computer in its own right.

I wanted to keep this tribute short as I don’t want to dwell and ramble on, so as a mark of respect, I want to say this:

“Thank you Steve Jobs for revolutionising and shaping this world with your iconic inventions. Thanks to you Steve, you have changed mine and everyone’s lives for the better and have also helped to shape our lives not just into something better, but into a far better perspective that even me and everyone else didn’t see in ourselves before. We miss you dearly, but you will never be forgotten, and you shall always remain in mine and everyone’s hearts forever. Thank you Steve Jobs. Thank you for everything.”

Alex Smithson

CROYDON

Early yesterday morning and sometime during the afternoon when I was on my hour-long lunch break, I ceased the opportunity to snap a small set of photographs in and around Croydon as I arrived over an hour early before my 9:30 AM lesson time. I must admit, I used the Camera+ app again after a while, and I must say I have noticed a dramatic improvement in my photography skills, but at the same time, I’ve also noticed I can take better photographs than before.

The concept I have used here is how I want you to see Croydon, the urban area that is known for being one of the most graffitied places in London, but is also known for being one of the most artistic places in London, considering there are actual murals that were commissioned that would decorate Croydon in vibrant, bold and eye-catching colours.

The title of this photo-set has the obvious graffiti style to it, considering that graffiti can symbolise or be a certain work of art, or even the kind of graffiti where someone decides to leave their mark. Graffiti can also be a symbol for gangs, depending on what the story that piece of graffiti may carry.

How would I describe Croydon? I would describe Croydon to be an urban area, with endless amounts of colourful graffiti, artistic pieces, including the new and recently commissioned artistic Winston Churchill mural, with a lot of structural buildings that stick out like a sore thumb. Those buildings that stick out like a sore thumb are Fairfield Halls, which officially closed in July as part of expansion work which is expected to be completed some time in 2018, the Saffron Tower, the new BOXPARK opposite Lloyd’s Bank, the Nestlé Building, including the No. 1 Tower and the Whitgift Centre.

Below is the photo set I created yesterday before and during college hours.

If you like the photo set I have produced, please feel free to let me know by submitting feedback below in the comments. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Make of Phone Used: iPhone 5

App Used: Camera+ (Recommended)

Apple Watch Sport: Your Get Up & Go Daily Exercise Watch and Why the Apple Watch Sport Edition is Beneficial for You. (38MM)

As Apple released their first ever Apple Watch last year, I thought it would be nice to review the Apple Watch Sport considering I brought it a short time ago. With Apple’s first iteration becoming a part of the watch industry, the Apple Watch has been able to help those who own the Apple Watch Sport, the standard Apple Watch, the Apple Watch Edition and the Hermés version of the Apple Watch have the ability to track the person’s Activity in terms of exercise, steps taken, not to forget the amount of calories it tracks that you burn off over the course of 24 hours.

Having owned the 38MM 7000 Series Edition of the Apple Watch Sport for over a month now, I absolutely enjoy the things it can do. In this instance, I can play/pause music and skip or go back to the previous track, no matter whether I’m using the official Music app or even the Equaliser Music Application, TuneShell. TuneShell is like the Music app, but comes with the ability to use an equaliser, including being able to listen to previews of songs from the iTunes Store, not to forget to mention the ability to listen to songs or remixes through SoundCloud.

The things I can also do with the Apple Watch is that I can turn the volume of my iPhone up or down and as the Remote app comes bundled with the Apple Watch, this means I can turn the volume on my iTunes library up and down as well, including the ability to skip certain songs, including being able to play and pause.

The Activity app is the most beneficial way of keeping track of your health, as well as the amount of calories you burn off, the duration of time you spend exercising, including the amount of hours you stand. Bundled with the Activity app is Workout. Workout comes with a range of exercises you can use, which are:

  • Outdoor Walk
  • Outdoor Run
  • Outdoor Cycle
  • Indoor Walk
  • Indoor Run
  • Indoor Cycle
  • Elliptical
  • Rower
  • Stair Stepper
  • Other (If you’re planning on creating your own exercise regime that you can work with).

The ability to be notified of a text message, tweet, status update or even a notification, including being notified of progress updates by the Activity app with Prominent Haptics is a bonus, as this means I never miss out on a single thing. Gone are the days where I would have to keep taking my iPhone out of my pocket each time there was a notification, now I can raise my wrist to see the most recent notification available, including the time and also the amount of battery I have left before charging the device. This also includes being able to raise my wrist to track my activity, in terms of exercise minutes, standing hours and also the overall amount of calories that have been burned off each and every day.

The ability to track my heart rate (BPM – Beats Per Minute), including being able to track my activity, as well as being able to find out the latest updates on the weather forecast with Glances helps me to stay productive throughout the day and is beneficial for you in mind, as this can help you to keep yourself on top of the things that keep you productive throughout each and every single day.

What other kind of functions/abilities work with the Apple Watch?

It has a large range of functions you can use, such as Maps, Calendar, the Weather app and even the Camera app. The Camera app is bundled with the Apple Watch and even has the ability for you to take the perfect photo without you needing to hold on to your iPhone. All you have to do is press a button on the Apple Watch to take a photo and it even comes with a 3-second countdown timer that allows you to get the best group photo or group photos you want without your photo or photos becoming compromised.

There’s a lot of fun to be had when it comes to the Apple Watch, because if any friends of yours have an Apple Watch as well, you can send sketches to your friends, even taps and also your own heartbeat, which are just a few of the ways you can communicate. With Emojis, Apple allow you to send your friends your own customisable Emoji expression just by adjusting the emoji’s expression with the digital crown. This is also beneficial, because if you wanted to send your friends an Emoji that you customised and they didn’t have an Apple Watch, they will still be able to respond and even send the same Emoji back with their iPhone’s, their iPad’s or even with the use of an iPod touch. As I said, there is a lot of fun to be had with the Apple Watch.

You can also switch up the standard Apple Watch straps for a massive range of different watch bands, as there are customised watch bands available on sale. For instance, the standard leather watch straps, including many other watch straps, such as the fluoroelastometer watch straps, the same type of material Apple use for their own standard watch straps for the Apple Watch Sport, the standard Apple Watch, including the Apple Watch Edition. If you’re someone who likes to dress casually for the occasion, there are a range of casual straps you can buy, and not only that, but you can also customise the Apple Watch with the Milanese Loop watch straps, which are available online and in other available store outlets. It’s amazing what you can do with the Apple Watch.

Other functions, such as the Weather app are useful, especially when you’re on the Watch screen, as it puts up the times for Sunrise and Sunset, and not only that, but the ability to take calls with the Apple Watch is a must-have for anyone as this means you can speak to a friend of yours directly from your Apple Watch if your iPhone isn’t nearby.

You can receive your usual notifications through Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on your Apple Watch if your iPhone is nearby and the best things that it’s capable of doing are being able to use any alarms from your iPhone to wake you up, and you even have the ability to keep track of the world clocks you have added in the iPhone’s Clock app on the Apple Watch.

The ability to add photos to your Watch is possible through the Apple Watch iPhone app, as you can choose which photo collection you want to synchronise and it will synchronise your chosen photo album to the Apple Watch.

Other features, such as the Wallet app comes bundled with the Apple Watch, which is useful because if you have added any credit cards, plane tickets, vouchers or even event tickets to the Wallet app on your iPhone, these will appear on your Apple Watch and all you have to do to get instant access to your Wallet on the Apple Watch is to double press the side button below the digital crown to bring your credit cards, plane tickets, vouchers and event tickets up. Another feature that is a part of the Apple Watch is the Stocks app, which, just like the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, can tell you what is currently happening in each stock market, from FTSE 100 to AAPL, even to GOOG and YHOO.

To top it all off, you can even customise your Apple Watch Face, which includes the ability to create a Watch Face from a photo album, including the ability to look at your emails from your Apple Watch, not to forget to mention being able to instantly install any compatible Watch apps that are compatible with your iPhone’s standard apps.

Overall, I absolutely love the Apple Watch, not just because of what it can do, but I feel it has helped me in the long run with the things I couldn’t do before that I can do now and I strongly believe this will help you if you’re someone who is looking to purchase the Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch Sport, the standard Apple Watch and the Apple Watch Edition are available in 38MM and 42MM and range in price. To find out more about the Apple Watch, you can click here. If you’re looking to buy an Apple Watch, you can buy one from the Apple Store and at many other store outlets, such as Currys & PC World, and even at other outlets, such as Argos, Very.co.uk and even Amazon.

If you enjoyed my technology review of the 38MM 7000 Series Edition of the Apple Watch Sport, then please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Apple Watch Rating: 10/10

Performance: 10/10

Responsiveness: 10/10

Battery: 10/10

Overall Performance: 10/10

Croydon Before Dusk

While I waited yesterday at one of my bus stops further down from the one I usually wait at to board my 367 bus, I took some photos with the Camera+ app, considering that my bus was taking some time to arrive (like it usually does), which tells you just what the level of transport is like in this day and age, also because of road-works, and I must admit, I do sometimes, on the odd occasion, use the Camera+ app to take some of the good, if not best photographs that I wouldn’t be able to take so well sometimes with the pre-installed Camera app.

As the sky stayed bright for a little longer yesterday, I was able to get these photos in a really good resolution with the Camera+ app, which I strongly recommend you all use, as it is much better to use if you’re someone who uses the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad on a frequent basis. Also yesterday, I took two photos outside Croydon College‘s Rotunda of the landscape, with Fairfield Halls being easy to spot in the distance, but one of the photos is panoramic, as I was able to get a full, wide-scale view of the outside of the college, but of the whole landscape. Luckily, and for the first time in quite a long while, this is probably the best panoramic photo I’ve taken in a long time.

Which app do I prefer to use more to take these kind of photos, the pre-installed Camera app or the Camera+ app? I personally prefer the Camera+ app, as there are more features at hand that can prevent the photos I take from looking fuzzy and diminished, and not only that, but it’s one of the best camera apps out there, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to you all.

Tomorrow, I will be publishing another article of photos, which will centre again on Croydon, but this time showing Croydon in Broad Daylight, but you might just be surprised at how well I’ve taken these photos, considering that there was some nice weather today, despite it being chilly of course. It is safe to say that I am absolutely enjoying the UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course that I’m on. I can promise you that the photographs that I took will not disappoint you.

Please feel free to feedback your thoughts on the photos I took yesterday. This is my first attempt at taking photos just before dusk.

Alex Smithson

Welcome to 2016 to an all-new Mother Nature!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome to 2016 on Mother Nature!!!!!!!!!! Now that 2015 has finally closed its doors, Mother Nature got the much-needed redesign it truly deserves, and the colours of Mother Nature have finally been changed to accommodate for a maturer appearance, given that Mother Nature has now evolved into more of a presentable appearance.

Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be doing a lot of housekeeping, as I’ll be taking down some articles and some pictures to free up the website space for Mother Nature. This news comes as I want to get back to my roots fully of doing more photography articles. However, all is not lost though, because any articles I do take down will have their spaces filled with some new articles, as I want 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.

Also, a Revised Edition of my third book: “My Journey Through a Lens” will be released soon, in accordance to the articles I take down, as I’ll be doing some changes to the third book, by taking some bits out that I won’t be keeping in, but will also be filling those spaces in as well, just like what I’ll be doing with the articles that I’ll be taking down. Please don’t worry too much though about the third book, as some much-needed corrections need to be done. The book is okay the way it is, but I feel it would be fair if I actually did some corrections to the book, so that you get more of a chance of reading it a lot better.

In light of the housekeeping I’ve been doing, I have done away with The Mix of 2015 Spotify Playlist, and just like I did last year, I have now added The Mix of 2016 Spotify Playlist to Mother Nature.

Also, with regards to the website’s layout, some tidying is required, which means some things are being removed or re-worked, and with regards to the tabs, I will be making sure to remove and re-add certain tabs so that there is an easier way for you all to get to the desired article you want to view.

This year is going to be about photography, de-cluttering and making things better, as I want to make sure Mother Nature has an independent and more grown-up look.

To end the first article of 2016 on a high note, I bring fantastic news, after doing a lot of editing work with making sure the new look was ready, I’ve made some wallpapers that will work on any device of your choice, whether it would be a tablet device, a smartphone, a computer or a laptop. All of them are available now for free download below.

To kick 2016 off with a bang, I want to say to you all:

Welcome to 2016 on Mother Nature!!!!!!!!!!

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: October 2015

As October draws to an energetic and remarkable close, I will now take a look back on the articles that have been published over the course of this month.

1.10.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature, where an Autumnal Dawn broke and a cold and chilly working season had begun. I also mentioned that the clocks would be going back towards the end of October, given that it would be like it has been every year on record, while October would become a lot colder, and if not, a lot busier than usual.

3.10.2015 – Following a tangent that I went on a few days prior, I wrote an article that focused on the bad bus experience I had, when I suffered a nasty fall on my 367 Bromley North bus, which resulted in me having a juicy bruise on my right elbow, with a winded chest. As this accident had happened the year before, I wanted to take the opportunity to write the article so that I could talk about how my bad bus experience affected me, and what I wanted the bus drivers to do in the future, to prevent this bad bus experience from occurring ever again.

9.10.2015 – I remember asking you all how music shows our emotions, and how it affects us as well. Well I mentioned how many of the songs that you hear by a very huge number of musicians, they would create their music in a way where certain songs can capture elements of happiness, sadness, anger, but also capture a kind of feeling where you can relate to that musician in terms of certain life experiences.

16.10.2015 – 20.10.2015 – He’s back!!! After being hard at work and being all-hands-on-deck on recording his own music for his upcoming debut album, including shooting his music video for Second Hand Heart, Ben Haenow is back with a bang!!! Second Hand Heart, which features the Piece by Piece American musician, Kelly Clarkson, has a vibrant, energetic beat and bass that will really give you goosebumps on its first listen. On the 20th October, Ben Haenow finally released his much awaited music video for Second Hand Heart, which is absolutely fantastic.

19.10.2015 – Following a formal debate that was discussed in my English lesson the Monday before, I took the opportunity to share my own views on why I felt that violence was never the answer to any problems.

Also on this day a year ago, the world lost a national treasure and an icon. Lynda Bellingham, who was most famously known for being a regular panellist on the TV talk show, Loose Women, from 2007 until 2011, sadly passed away a year ago from colon cancer. I took the opportunity to pay my respects further, considering that she is always thought of and loved even after a year, and she left behind a legacy of her own, she will never be forgotten. We love you Lynda xxxxxxxxx.

21.10.2015 – Coming just a little over a month after Apple released iOS 9, which brought with it a revamped user interface and a software update for doing, Apple finally released iOS 9.1 to the public. This update, for the first time, brought with it a large bundle containing over 150 all-new emojis with full support for Unicode 7.0 & 8.0 emojis, and also for the first time, Apple included the most-requested middle-finger emoji, which has, in so many aspects, been on the cards for a very long time.

25.10.2015 – After sending Facebook & Twitter into a frenzy with her 30-second advert of Hello, Adele, after four years, came back with a bang. After the advert aired, Adele announced shortly after that this record would be available by the week’s end, and just like clockwork, the record was released, along with a comeback video for the new record, and during the course of the week, Adele announced her comeback album, 25, which hits all retail and digital stores on the 20th November.

28.10.2015 – After working hard behind the scenes on his EP, Vander is back!!! Last year, you might remember me telling you all about Vander, as he released a free download of his single: “Back to the Sun” last year. After I gave his Back to the Sun record its first listen, I knew straightaway that it would instantly grow on me, and it did, and I had a very good feeling that more of his music was to come. The Special Music Feature article was commissioned by the man himself, Vander, and it gave me the absolute pleasure to talk about his EP in full detail.

31.10.2015 – Happy Halloween everyone!!! As Halloween is the time of the year where everyone goes out celebrating fright night, I thought it would be good to celebrate Halloween with all of you. As Halloween is also the time of the year where everyone dresses up to go to Halloween parties, and to celebrate a yearly event, it’s often known that Halloween can be a bit of a scary part of the year, but also exciting at the same time, considering that there are often good elements of Halloween that connect well together.

Thanks so much to you all for a fantastic and energetic month, and have a Happy Halloween, and I’ll see you all in November!!!

Alex Smithson

🎃