remembering-steve-jobs-5-years-on

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 Before Dusk

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

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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 - November 2015

Monthly Roundup: November 2015

After an eventful month, I will be rounding off November by taking a look back at the articles I’ve published over the course of this month.

1.11.2015 – I welcomed you all back to Mother Nature for what would be a bitter cold and chilly November, as this month would see the cold and bad weather getting even worse, given that patches of mist and fog had opened November to a near-wintry landscape. In this article, I also mentioned that the next few weeks were going to be very busy for me, considering that I had my studies to worry about, among other things.

3.11.2015 – As censorship is often the most-talked about controversial issue that is still going on today, I decided to express my own views, and also explained why I thought that censorship was a very good idea, and how it would help all of us to put an end to abuse, forms of bullying, including cyber-bullying.

7.11.2015 – It was exactly one year ago to this day that I had my braces off, and I explained what it’s been like for me since I had them off on the 7th November 2014, and I mentioned that not much had changed, though I did admit that it felt completely different to the way my teeth felt before I had the braces fitted. I also mentioned that there would come a time in life where we would all face the possibility of having a few teeth out in order for the process to become a lot easier for us. Well, my time came to experience the pain of having two of my teeth out, and yes, it was horrible, but at the same time, it was going through that horrific pain that got me the perfect smile that I wanted.

Also on this day, I asked you all how life in general would matter to you, as I saw from my own perspective that life in general matters to us, as we should value the lives that we are given, and to make sure that we make the most of the time that we all have in this world. I also said that I appreciate life entirely and that I am entirely grateful for the fact that I was brought into this world, as I have learned so much in the space of the time I’ve been around.

8.11.2015 – On this day, I gave a 5 bullet-pointed list based on the five main fears that scared me, given that I asked all of you: “What 5 Main Fears Scare You?”. My 5 main fears were having a fear of heights, the second fear was to do with the level of protection that the United Kingdom has at the moment. The third fear was to do with travel, given that I often fear for my own safety. The fourth fear was to do with falling over when I would least expect it and the fifth fear was the tendency of fearing the element of time going so quickly.

13.11.2015 – Exactly 5 weeks after he released his collaboration of Second Hand Heart with the Piece by Piece American singer, Kelly Clarkson, Ben Haenow finally released his long-awaited debut album to the world. After spending 10 months out of the spotlight, considering he won the 2014 version of The X Factor, Ben Haenow decided to take as much time as he needed to make sure that this album would achieve the sound that he wanted. I gave my full overview on his debut album, considering that it was absolutely perfect, and I also mentioned that his debut album would be available to listen to on Mother Nature through the Spotify widget located in his own widget, which would also remain as a permanent fixture on this website. I gave the overall album rating of Ben Haenow’s self-titled debut album a 10/10.

15.11.2015 – In light of the horrific events that occurred in Paris, following a devastating massacre that resulted in the loss of 132 or more lives on Friday 13th November 2015 (Vendredi 13 Novembre 2015), I announced on Mother Nature that I would not publish any articles for one whole week, as I wanted to pay my full respects to the victims who lost their lives in Paris on the night of the 13th November. I also requested for all of you to put the Pray for Paris sign up on your blog, as I wanted to make sure that we could all pay respect to all of those who lost their lives as a result of the devastating massacre.

Also on this day, Mother Nature changed it’s orange and white colours to the blue, white and red flag colours, as I wanted to make sure that my full respects were paid to the 132 victims who lost their lives on the 13th November 2015.

[1 Week Hiatus Out of Respect to Paris – 16th – 22nd November 2015]

27.11.2015 – With their EP, Life Goes On, being made available for release the following day, my close friend Charlie Philbrick from the Drowned Out band treated me to an early listen of him and his band’s EP (Extended Play), and it was an absolutely awesome EP, and also mind-blowing as well. I also mentioned that one of the band members in Charlie’s band has certain vocal elements in her voice that remind me of Christina Aguilera.

28.11.2015 – On Thursday 26th November 2015, I headed down to some parts of Croydon with some of my classmates from my UAL (University of the Arts London) Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course, as we were doing some filming for our project which is currently based around Ghost Stories. I thought, considering that I was with my group, it would be the perfect opportunity for me to snap some photographs down Surrey Street Market, Crown Hill and also around Croydon. As of Thursday 26th November 2015, filming for my group was actually finished, and I was absolutely pleased with the way the production of the film had gone, despite a small faux pas moment from a member of the public, but aside that, me and my group absolutely enjoyed filming for this project, despite the weather conditions. I snapped the photographs in that article with my iPod touch (5th Generation).

30.11.2015 – With her third album becoming the number one most pre-ordered album, with her album still remaining number one just after it was released, Adele finally delighted us all with her much awaited album, 25, which is the first album in a while since she last released music. In just the space of the first week alone, Adele officially broke the sales records in the US with 3.38 million in sales, with her ‘Hello’ video spanning over 500,000,000+ views, also with the sales record in the UK showing that a whopping 800,307 copies of Adele’s 25 album were sold in the first week alone, which had beaten the 18-year long record that the former music group, Oasis, once held with their 1997 album: “Be Here Now”.

Thank you all for a good month, and I’ll see you all in December. This month was eventful in so many aspects given what happened in Paris, including other events that happened in the world, but to any of those victims in Paris, including the victims outside of Paris that lost their lives this month, my full respects go to you and all your families at such a sad time, but, at the end of the day, we will all unite together now to make sure that everyone is protected, and that what happened in Paris and everywhere else never happens again, ever. Still, my full respects go out to you, your families and everyone you know at such a sad time xxxxxxxxx.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup - October 2015

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

🎃

iOS 9.1. Available Now.

iOS 9.1 | Available Now. Go & Get it!!!

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 have finally released iOS 9.1 to the public.

This update, for the first time, brings a large bundle containing over 150 all-new emojis with full support for Unicode 7.0 & 8.0 emojis. For the first time, Apple have included the most-requested middle-finger emoji, which has, in so many aspects, been on the cards for a very long time.

Also, a very large number of bug fixes and improvements have been made, which also includes stability across the iOS 9 Software, including improved performance while on the Multitasking User Interface (UI), as well as stability across apps and certain software functions, such as CarPlay, Music, Photos, Safari & Search. This is really good as this can streamline and improve the entire look of iOS 9 altogether.

Below is the full changelog, which gives a full rundown of the improvements made, the new features that have been included, as well as bug fixes that will squash and knock the kill switch on the pesky bugs.

This release includes new features, improvements and bug fixes, including:

  • Live Photos now intelligently senses when you raise or lower your iPhone, so that Live Photos will automatically not record these movements.
  • Over 150 new emoji characters with full support for Unicode 7.0 and 8.0 emojis.
  • Improved stability including CarPlay, Music, Photos, Safari, and Search.
  • Improved performance while in Multitasking UI.
  • Fixes an issue that could cause Calendar to become unresponsive in Month view.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented Game Centerfrom launching for some users.
  • Resolves an issue that zoomed the content of some apps.
  • Resolves an issue that could cause an incorrect unread mail count for POP mail accounts.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented users from removing recent contacts from new mail or messages.
  • Fixes an issue that caused some messages to not appear in Mail search results.
  • Resolves an issue that left a gray bar in the body of an Audio Message.
  • Fixes an issue that caused activation errors on some carriers.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented some apps from updating from the App Store.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1222

From what I’ve seen of this update since I downloaded and installed it today, it’s much, much better now, as it’s now stable to use, and I haven’t experienced any bugs with the software at all, it’s absolutely worth updating to iOS 9.1 as it will improve the stability of the OS, and has also received a large number of bug fixes, improvements and new features which will, in turn, make your iOS experience much better than before. I highly recommend that you update to iOS 9.1, I guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed.

To update your iOS Device, go to the Settings app, then to General, and then to Software Update, where the update will be available to download and install.

Until then, enjoy the update!!! I guarantee you’ll love using it.

Alex Smithson

© Apple 2015

© iOS Logo Copyright of Apple.

© The iOS Logo, that’s including the changelog that was used in this article are courtesy of Apple. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

iOS 8.4 - Available Now.

iOS 8.4 Available Now. Go & Get it!!!!!

Coming just weeks after iOS 9 was unveiled at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (also known as WWDC), iOS 8.4 has just officially been released to the masses. With this update comes the official Apple Music service, as well as many of the other new features that are now available in this update. This update came two hours early ahead of the usual release time that Apple have normally stuck to since the first ever iPhone, iPod touch and iPad were released.

Also, the Music app has officially been redesigned and includes new features, such as Recently Added, which is seen most commonly in iTunes. As well as that, the music player has finally got a mini player as you would most commonly see in iTunes as well, and to top it all off, Up Next and other further features in the Music app have finally been added.

Upon opening the Music application, you’ll be greeted with the Apple Music logo and background, with two options that will come up, giving you the chance to choose whether you want to start your 3-month free trial with Apple Music today, or if you don’t, you get the chance to just go to your music library.

Here is the full changelog for iOS 8.4, covering the features that are new to the software, as well as the music application’s icon being given a redesign, ready for the iOS 9 update coming in the Autumn:

This update introduces Apple Music — a revolutionary music service, 24/7 global radio, and a way for fans to connect with their favourite artists — all included in the redesigned Music app. iOS 8.4 also includes improvements for iBooks and bug fixes.

Apple Music

  • Become an Apple Music member to play from millions of songs in the Apple Music catalogue, or keep them offline for playback later.
  • For You: Members can see playlist and album recommendations, hand-picked by music experts.
  • New: Members can find the latest, greatest new music available — direct from our editors.
  • Radio: Tune in to music, interviews and exclusive radio shows on Beats 1, play radio stations created by our editors, or create your own from any artist or song.
  • Connect: See shared thoughts, photos, music and videos from artists you follow, then join the conversation.
  • My Music: Play from all your iTunes purchases, songs from Apple Music, and playlists in one place.
  • Completely redesigned music player that includes new features such as Recently Added, Mini Player, Up Next and more.
  • iTunes Store: Still the best place to buy your favourite music — one song or album at a time
  • Availability and features may vary by country.

iBooks improvements and fixes

  • Browse, listen and download audiobooks from inside iBooks.
  • Enjoy the all-new Now Playing feature, designed specifically for audiobooks.
  • Books that are Made for iBooks now work on iPhone in addition to iPad.
  • Find and pre-order books in a series straight from your library.
  • Improves accessibility of widgets, glossary and navigation in books made with iBooks Author.
  • New default Chinese font.
  • New setting to turn off Auto-Night theme in your library.
  • Resolves an issue that may have prevented Hide Purchases from working.
  • Resolves an issue that may have prevented downloading books from iCloud.

Other improvements and bug fixes

  • Fixes an issue where receiving a specific series of Unicode characters causes device to reboot.
  • Fixes an issue that prevented GPS accessories from providing location data.
  • Fixes an issue where deleted Apple Watch apps could re-install.

For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

http://support.apple.com/en-gb/HT1222

After an extremely long wait, iTunes Radio has officially arrived in the United Kingdom, and can now be found next to the playlist icon. Also, Beats 1 and many other various radio stations are now available within the Music app. Apple Music Connect is also a welcome of open arms, meaning that after some time, you can now follow your favourite musicians, either through tapping on the “Follow” button, or by tapping on the “Automatically Follow Artists” button when you add the music from your iTunes Library to your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad device.

At last, after a long wait, landscape mode for music videos has officially returned to the Music app, a commonly used feature that was in iOS 6.

The Music application has had a major design overhaul and has also been more of a focus for Apple, considering that the Apple Music service has just officially been launched today.

Below are the screenshots that show iOS 8.4, and the redesigned Music application all in action (including iTunes Radio UK & Beats 1 Radio).

I have checked in the Music app, and it’s a luck of the draw, if you feel that you don’t want to subscribe to Apple Music, there is an option to say no, as Apple have put an option below the “Start 3 Month Free Trial” button, saying “Go to My Music”. This is a wise move from Apple, as this means that you don’t have to worry about it, you can still use the Music app for free, and making purchases in the iTunes Store and the App Store, including the desktop version of the iTunes Store mean that you can still use iTunes and the Music app for free without having to pay, unless you’ve already started the 3-month free trial with Apple Music today.

If you haven’t already, please make sure to go ahead and upgrade your iPhone, iPod touch (5th Generation) or iPad to the latest software. This iOS update is much better now and is worth the upgrade. It is also the most stable software update that Apple have released before the final version of iOS 9 arrives in the Autumn.

To update your iOS Device, go to the Settings app, then to General, and then to Software Update, where the update will be available to download and install.

Until then, enjoy the update!!!

Alex Smithson

© Apple 2015

© iOS Logo Copyright of Apple.

© Any of the logos, including the screenshots that have references of musicians and their album artwork, that’s including the changelog that was used in this article are all courtesy of Apple. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Alfie Deyes - Video Blogger - YouTube

Alfie Deyes: The Most Famous YouTube Vlogger You’ve Probably Never Heard Of.

As I share my love for YouTube, I wanted to dedicate this article to the most famous YouTuber, Alfie Deyes. Also known under the name, PointlessBlog, Alfie is a YouTube Vlogger (video-blogger) who, over the past few years, has taken to YouTube to upload videos to his YouTube channels, one of which is a gaming channel, while the other two are based around his life, as well as a lot of the funniest things that he has done with his girlfriend, Zoe Sugg (a.k.a. Zoella), and their little pug, Nala, who is so cute.

With over 7,000,000+ subscribers (4,019,588 subscribers from PointlessBlog, 2,184,265 from PointlessBlogTv & 1,325,251 from PointlessBlogGames), Alfie has become one of the most popular YouTube icons in the whole world. As well as this, Alfie has also published two books, titled: “The Pointless Book” & “The Pointless Book 2“, which mainly focus around a set of games, as well as the ability to use the Augmented Reality book applications that allow you to transfer the designs that you’ve crafted in the books onto the two iPhone applications, which are: “The Pointless Book App” & “The Pointless Book 2 App“, and are both available for free download via the iTunes App Store.

Aside the vlogs that Alfie uploads to his YouTube channels, he is also featured in some other YouTuber’s videos, most notably in Zoe Sugg (a.k.a. Zoella) [Alfie’s Girlfriend], and in other YouTuber’s videos, such as Joe Sugg (a.k.a. ThatcherJoe), Jim Chapman, sometimes in Joey Graceffa’s videos, sometime’s in Tanya Burr‘s videos (Jim’s bride-to-be) and also in Louis Cole’s videos (a.k.a. FunForLouis).

And of course, Alfie & Zoe’s little Pug, Nala, most recently became a member of their family, and Nala is such a cute Pug, their dog melts my heart, because Nala is only a few months old, and every time I see a picture of Nala on Alfie’s or Zoe’s Instagram pages, I just end up going into cuteness overload, because most recently, Alfie put up a picture on Instagram of Nala dressed in a little doggy costume, and Nala is so cute, so flipping cute, and it melted my heart seeing Nala dressed in the little doggy costume, because she is so, so cute :-).

Alfie has been featured in the YouTuber Whispers video, which can be found on Joe Sugg’s channel, ThatcherJoe, and trust me, it’s really funny, but wait until you see the bloopers from this video, this is a daft and funny video that you will want to watch again and again :D.

Below are some pictures of Alfie Deyes and Zoe Sugg (a.k.a. Zalfie), including their Pug, Nala (WARNING: CUTENESS OVERLOAD ALERT!!!!!) :D. Also, some notable YouTubers and a musician are featured in this little gallery, along with Gabi Tozati’s lovely and beautiful drawing of Alfie & Zoe looking as happy as ever :-).

Most recently on Twitter, I was actually overjoyed with happiness because I tweeted to Alfie that I saw him on the Music Channel, 4Music, with a photo of him that I took, which he quickly favourited just minutes after I put the tweet up on Twitter. Also on Twitter, Alfie recently announced some iPhone cases for the iPhone 6, which had quickly sold out within 24 hours of them going on sale.

Alfie & Zoe (Zalfie) are one of the best couples around, because they both do everything together and enjoy themselves at the things that they love doing the most, and that is vlogging.

If you want to keep up-to-date on the latest videos that Alfie has uploaded to his YouTube channels, I will leave the links below this article for you all to subscribe to his YouTube channels. Trust me when I say this, you will not be disappointed at all, because Alfie’s videos are like a breath of fresh air, as you can watch them again and again, and even laugh at them as well for some or a lot of the funny things that he talks about, whilst Zoe is around :-).

Alex Smithson

Alfie Deyes’ YouTube Channels

© Alfie Deyes 2015.

© All images used in this article, including the featured image, have all been used courtesy of Alfie Deyes. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

© The YouTube Logo has been used courtesy of Google (Guidelines have been followed and taken into account. No image has been placed within the logotype, so the YouTube logo isn’t altered at all). No Copyright Infringement Intended.

© YouTube 2015

2014 - A Year in Review

2014: A Year in Review

As New Year’s Day 2015 is just around the corner, I will take a look back on 2014, which will focus on this year in review, and also on those who we lost this year, and also the happy and sad moments of 2014.

1.1.2014 – I changed the name of what used to be: “Photography | Nature – Capture Every Valuable Moment” to “Mother Nature | Life at the touch of a button.” This would make sure that this website would have “a better focus around nature”, and that Mother Nature would focus more around the photographical life of plants, insects, animals and city landscapes that I would create specifically for this website overall.

4.1.2014 – I created an article which would show you all how you could feature your blog post/article on the Twenty Fourteen theme. This would give you all a chance to find out how you could make sure that your article would get noticed a lot better than before.

5.1.2014 – A Cold, Wet Start to 2014 followed the New Year’s Day 2014 fireworks display that took place on the 1st January 2014. With this article, I would talk about the wet weather that had continued to pour down all the way from the end of November 2013 to the beginning of March this year.

I also took a few photos of the raindrops on the glass, one of which would scale perfectly as a fully functional wallpaper for the iPhone/iPod touch (5+ & up) and the iPad mini, showing two further screenshots of the same wallpaper, and what the wallpaper would look like after they have been set as the main wallpaper. As well as this, I put some of the video clips that I recorded together, and I uploaded a full length 4:06 video to YouTube, titled the same as the name of this specific article.

9.1.2014 – The Dusty Miller of Battersea Park article would take a look back to the day that I went to Battersea Park, which would focus around this main plant on it’s own, given it’s wintry appearance that made it look like it was associated well with the wintry snowflakes. To find out the name of this particular plant, I did some research on the internet via Google Images, and the final result was that this plant was indeed a Dusty Miller.

This photo, in particular, appeared to have a glowing appearance around the edges of the plant. I also talked about the scorching hot weather that we had during the Summer season of 2013, and again, I also provided different sized wallpapers for the iPad & iPad mini, the iPhone & the iPod touch, for Laptop/PC and also for Apple’s iMac/Macbook.

15.1.2014 – While my laptop was off for repair due to a ‘faulty USB Port’, which I found out weeks after that all of the USB ports went wrong, I did a review on the IMOS Bluetooth Keyboard Case which is compatible with all of the current iPad mini models (1st Generation & up), and as I was typing the article on the iPad mini with this keyboard, I mentioned that it was a perfect choice of keyboard, which, for £18.00, would beat the cost of an expensive value-based keyboard case that you could find, for example, if you were to purchase a keyboard (i.e. Logitech) that includes the same functionality in stores such as PC World or Currys, you would be looking at a price range of around £60-£100.

As the keyboard case arrived on this day from amazon.co.uk, this blew the expensive and hefty price tags out of the water, which was a bargain that was certainly worth going for. This keyboard case also came bundled together with a USB charger, which would allow you to charge up the Bluetooth Keyboard case when the battery eventually goes flat. There were a choice of four colours of the same keyboard case, which were: Silver, Black, Pink & Blue.

For this keyboard case to come with an £18.00 price tag, plus Free Delivery, it was a great deal, which was also worth its asking price, beating all of the other top technology companies that are looking to compete in the global technology market. I also provided some photos of how the keyboard case would look from certain viewing points, and I also provided some close-up photos of the case in terms of the cut-outs that are for general use.

18.1.2014 – This day was a special day for me, as I surprised you all with my first book installment: “My Journey Through Photography”. This book is a free digital book that is based on my journey through photography, which meant I would pick out the best and worst parts of photography, with 2 pages focusing on my days out at Kelsey Park & Battersea Park, including a page that would talk about this website, Mother Nature. I thanked all of you blogging friends, including Vijay Shah of the news blog: “Half-Eaten Mind: News & Views from a Partially Digested Brain” and Ajay Mody of the photography blogs: “Ajaytao2010: My Personal Opening to the World” and “Ajaytao Botanical Photography”, who sadly passed away in August this year after a short illness.

I also thanked my two main role models, which are Rhys Brown & Zofia Niemtus (I call her Miss Niemtus as a mark of respect) for being the biggest inspirations overall. These 2 bloggers and my two main role models are and always will be a true inspiration to me and to us all. I hyperlinked the book link in the tagline I put, titled as: “Click here to download your free copy of “My Journey Through Photography”, as I had uploaded this book to Dropbox.

This article would count as my last article for January 2014, before I took a short, one week break to recover from a throat infection.

3.2.2014 – Shortly after I recovered from my throat infection that I came down with at the end of January 2014, I crafted the first article for February, as I felt better than ever, and I also wanted to bring a change to Mother Nature, plus a lot of photos, which was a way of me saying thank you to all of you after you wished me the speedy road to recovery.

By marking a new beginning to February, I added the Spotify playlist: “The Mix of 2014” to the content sidebar on this website (when the Twenty Fourteen theme was in use) for your listening comfort, and while I was recovering from the throat infection, I used my free time to take some photos of the Crystal Palace tower from a view-point.

I also mentioned that if you wanted to be able to play: “The Mix of 2014” Spotify playlist, you would have to sign in or sign up to Spotify, so that the widget would work, as I had thought initially at first that it would play without the need of signing in, but it turns out that you have to be signed in to your Spotify account in order to play music from this particular playlist, or, if you had the Spotify app installed on your iPod touch, iPhone or iPad, a notice would appear showing the “Download Spotify” and “I have Spotify” buttons. I also provided a few screenshots of the Spotify widget, and also the notice of the usability of this widget, along with the photos that I took during the time that I was recovering from my throat infection, given the fact that we were slowly approaching Summer at this particular stage of 2014.

4.2.2014 – The WordPress article: “2013 in Review” would take a look back on the statistics from 2013, how many people that had visited Mother Nature, and how many followers that I gained within the space of the first 6 months that I used WordPress. An excerpt was made by WordPress, which was: “A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 25 trips to carry that many people.”

8.2.2014 | 23.2.2014 – From the 8th February to the 23rd February, I would do some articles that would focus around the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games. Despite a faux pas with the fifth Olympic ring not opening on the night of the Opening Ceremony, this instantly went viral worldwide, and was also re-enacted during a dance at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games Closing Ceremony. On the 23rd February, I did an article based on the Closing Ceremony in Review, which would also be my last article for a ‘5-month hiatus’ which, in turn, actually lasted almost 4 months, as I was focusing more on my studies and also for my final exams, which I would be preparing for over the course of the last 3-4 months, up until my final exam on Friday 13th June.

15.6.2014 (actually meant to be 16.6.2014) – After roughly 5 very long months of intense revision, exams and loads of coursework, I made my comeback to Mother Nature. I missed writing articles quite a lot, but it felt so good, knowing I could get back into the swing of things. I also thanked all of you for all of the awards and wonderful messages that you had all sent in.

I was also reeling from finishing school a few days previous to my comeback, as I finished my last ever exam on Friday 13th June. There were a lot of tears, as I cried a bit on my way home from school, as I knew straight away that I was going to miss everyonem even a few of the teachers, which would allow me to round off the last 5 years of going to Oasis Academy: Shirley Park on a wonderful note.

The 16th June also marked my 16th birthday, and I also thanked you all for the love and support over the first year that Mother Nature has been around for, including my two main role models for their support as well, as I wouldn’t have got so far in life, but again, I thank you all so much, I couldn’t have done it without you all.

I also went to places, such as Kelsey Park and Shirley Hills, during the hiatus, which would also mean that I would post another article, focusing on Shirley Hills. I would go on to announce that I had a lot of new things to add to Mother Nature over those next few weeks.

16.6.2014 – I wrote an article based on my visit of Shirley Hills, including the photos from the day that I went, when I went there back in April. The view was panoramic and surreal, and was also an experience that reminded me of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. It was like a journey of London in one full view. I absolutely enjoyed Shirley Hills, as it was a photographical opportunity that I didn’t want to miss. This day would also see my first article based on the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

18.6.2014 – I revisited Kelsey Park in April, which marked almost a year since my last visit. This day also gave me the chance to get a glance at getting some more photos of the squirrels, geese and some new kinds of ducks that were at the park. One of the new ducks that I saw when I visited Kelsey Park in April was the Male Mandarin duck, and it had feathery wings and the tonal colours of its wings showed the overall vibrancy. They can often be found on land or in water, and I saw at least one or more of them when I was there.

22.6.2014 – As I share my love for games, I did a review on the classical first-person shooter, R•TYPE DELTA. This game was the game of my childhood, as I had always loved playing this game for hours one end. It was the type of game that, despite being killed more than once by enemy drones, I could still play it. It is an addictive game that continues to be played today by almost everyone.

25.6.2014 – This day marked 5 years since the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, passed away. I wanted to celebrate Michael Jackson’s life for who he was, and how I came to love the music of someone who was famously known for the famous dance, the moonwalk. By leaving behind a truly magical legacy of his own, Michael Jackson’s latest posthumous album, XSCAPE, was recently released. This album is one of the best posthumous albums I’ve heard, and to make things better, I announced on here that the Spotify playlist of Michael Jackson’s XSCAPE (Deluxe) album would remain as a permanent fixture on Mother Nature.

16.6.2014 – 13.7.2014 – From the 16th June to the 13th July 2014, I would regularly post articles based on the Brazil 2014 World Cup. Every day was filled with mixed emotions, and at the end of the World Cup in Brazil, Germany won the Brazil 2014 World Cup after defeating Argentina in the final game of this year’s World Cup.

23.7.2014 – 3.8.2014 – From the 23rd July to the 3rd August 2014, I would write an article every day, focusing around the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games. There were a lot of tributes in place following the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 disaster, which is currently the most talked about at the moment, with investigations going on to find out what caused the plane disaster, and who did it.

At the end of the Glasgow 2014 XX Commonwealth Games, England won the 20th Commonwealth Games, finishing at the top of the table with 174 overall medals, with Australia finishing with 137 overall medals, and Canada also finishing with 82 overall medals.

4.8.2014 – This day marked 100 years since the beginning of the first World War. Focusing on the World War I celebrations, 888,246 ceramic poppies were planted outside the Tower of London. Before I concluded this article, I included 10 handy links based on the war celebrations should any of you feel that you want to delve deeper for some more research.

16.8.2014 – Following the shocking news headlines that Robin Williams died on the 11th August 2014 at the age of 63, I paid tribute to Robin by taking a look back at a few of the films that I had grown up watching. Films, such as Aladdin, Jumanji, Flubber and Mrs. Doubtfire were the best films that I grew up watching. Robin Williams starred in a large number of Television shows and films over the course of his life. He starred in 79 films, plus one film he did just before he died, titled: “Absolutely Anything”, which is his final, completed film that is set for release sometime during the course of 2015. He starred in an overall 80 films and also 27 Television shows. He will be missed so dearly, but he will also live in our hearts forever for the legacy that he has left behind. We will miss you so much Robin.

18.8.2014 – Following on from my R•TYPE DELTA article that I did, I was granted permission by the gaming developer, Whitaker Trebella, to write a gaming review which is based on his own, famously crafted masterpiece, which is Pivvot. Pivvot is a thrilling game of strategic avoidance, and is also a fast-paced action game that will speed up your reaction times like never before.

Recently, the cleverly crafted masterpiece itself has recently become a multi-platforming game on Laptop/PC, and also on Apple’s iTunes Store, the Humble Store, Amazon App Store, Google Play and Valve Corporation’s gaming engine, Steam.

The tagline: “A Thrilling Game of Strategic Avoidance” lives up to its name very well as you have to avoid any obstacles that come your way.

Pivvot has a similar ring to Terry Cavanagh’s game, Super Hexagon, as the elements from both games always match up well.

Packed with 8 different modes, Pivvot will increase your reaction times as you progress through the whole game. The 8 modes that are included in this game are:

  1. Voyage
  2. Endless
  3. Expert Voyage
  4. Expert Endless
  5. Berserk
  6. Random Endless
  7. Random Expert Endless
  8. Looper

The Verge commented on what they thought of the game, and they said: “You might not be able to stay alive much longer than a minute, but those minutes quickly add up to hours of bleary eyed gameplay.”

I said in this review article just before I concluded it that: “A flawless masterpiece such as this game should never be underestimated or mistaken for how well it performs. This is truly one of the most fantastic masterpieces that will always be classed as state-of-the-art in my eyes, and will most possibly be the type of game that will carry on for many, many generations to come.”

© 2014 Fixpoint Productions Limited & Whitaker Trebella

21.8.2014 – This day was one of the most nerve-wracking days for me, as this day would mean I would find out the results that I got from the exams that I finished back in June. I was absolutely delighted though, as I had just managed to pass my exams with 6 GCSEs, and also being able to have the chance to do photography in college.

The day before I collected my results, I was absolutely petrified, thinking I would get a bad result at the end of it, and I took to Twitter to show that I was absolutely scared about Results Day. I received a tweet from the X Factor singer, Marcus Collins, who wished me the best of luck, and also, my fellow blogging friend, Vijay Shah, tweeted: “All the best, Alex…don’t worry, this one’s in the bag!”

After I passed my exams with flying colours, I tweeted my excitement, and wrote status updates on Facebook, thanking everyone for supporting me along the way. Again, thanks so, so much to all of you, my friends, my family, my teachers, and also everyone else who wished me luck before I collected my results on Results Day. I couldn’t have done it without you all, and also, I wanted to make a special mention, and also thank the X Factor singer, Marcus Collins, for wishing me the best of luck for Results Day.

25.8.2014 – I updated you all on my 2nd book about the release of “A Year in Photography” being released on the 1st September at 6:00pm, and I also showed you all an early preview of the final design of the book, which was set to be the second biggest installment. Much bigger than the first, this book contained over 50 pages of information, with some page fonts being shrinked to certain sizes, and some also being enlarged for some pages to fill up any gaps left near the bottom of certain pages that had finished information beforehand (69 pages overall on the final release).

31.8.2014 – The last article that I crafted for August, titled: “Wooah!!! The Summer Holiday Ran Like the Wind!!!!!” took a look back on August as it unfolded, as well as the articles that I published over the course of that month.

1.9.2014 – This day marked an exciting month ahead, with the release of my book: “A Year in Photography” being made available as a free, standalone, downloadable PDF via Dropbox. I also made changes to the social buttons on Mother Nature, and I had also created a Facebook page for Mother Nature, which regularly updates everyone on Facebook with every article I publish on this website.

4.9.2014 – I announced some small changes to the Menus on Mother Nature, plus a small, but quick book update, as I was putting some of the website’s pages into drop-down menus, and as for the book, I slightly tweaked the book: “A Year in Photography”, after one of the page’s titled fonts appeared to be somewhat squished. This book will always remain free.

7.9.2014 – I wrote an article especially on this day, as Phil McNamara caught some shocking footage of the moment that Mount Tavurvur erupted. The footage was captured one week before, but instantly went viral worldwide shortly after Phil uploaded it to YouTube. The volcano itself is suspected to have erupted around the 29th, 30th or the 31st of August.

8.9.2014 – This day marked my first day at Croydon College, which I can say I had absolutely enjoyed. The atmosphere was relaxed, as I knew that I could go into the college to begin my first day, and with the relief of being able to wear my own clothes instead of a suit, it made my first day at Croydon College feel absolutely peaceful.

9.9.2014 – U2 announced at the Apple Media Event and released their latest album: “Songs of Innocence”, which coincided with the release of Apple’s two new iPhones, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Alongside the event, Apple also completely redesigned the look of their website to blend in with the new iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus and iOS 8.

10.9.2014 – This day marked the beginning of the Invictus Games, which would hold many different events over the next 4 days, focusing on the soldiers who were wounded while they were out fighting in Afghanistan. The Invictus Games also shines a light on the soldiers, as the soldiers would show all of us what it’s like and how they would send a positive message to those with a life beyond disability.

14.9.2014 – After completing my first week at Croydon College, I mentioned in this article that my first week at the college was absolutely perfect, despite the fact I go in for only 3 days every week. I was relieved to have moved on from school life quicker than I first imagined, because Croydon College gives you not just confidence in yourself, but to also give you a way to map out a future you have always longed for. I love photography so much that I took some photos around the outside of Croydon College.

24.9.2014 – Following months of excitement, speculation and software rumours, iOS 8 became available to the public on the 18th September. The article I wrote, titled: “iOS 8: A Groundbreaking Software Update” allowed me to showcase the software, purely because as I also love technology, I found iOS 8 to be a lot more stable than ever, and with the battery life lasting longer on this software update, I was absolutely relieved to have got back the long battery life for my iPod touch (5th Generation). The photo I took to use as the featured image for this article was taken on the new Nikon D3300 DSLR.

30.9.2014 – After having an absolutely perfect month, I did a quick monthly roundup of September by taking a look back on the articles I did over the course of this particular month.

1.10.2014 – I welcomed you all to October, a month that is Autumnal in many different aspects. Just the same as it is every year, October is the month where everyone goes around trick-or-treating and knocking on everyone’s doors. This month, in particular, would be my busiest month yet, as I would be given more work, and I found out that my maths re-mark was still a D grade, despite being just 1 mark off from a C grade. This month also would be the month when Autumn would slowly kick in.

17.10.2014 – As part of a special music feature, I featured the Sydney-born musician, Vander, and his record: “Back to the Sun” on Mother Nature. Vander, also known as William Vandermade, is a Sydney-born musician who, over the last few years, has enjoyed worldwide success in both the international and local industries. His music has also been played around the world on many of the various radio stations, that’s including countries such as the UK, Australia and the United States. Not only that, but his music has also been featured in several newspapers, radio shows, magazines, podcasts and blogs.

20.10.2014 – The Big Draw Event filled October with a month of hard work, drawing, and also a lot of wide-scale designs. As I’m a part of The Big Draw now I study at Croydon College, it was a fantastic opportunity not just for me, but also for those of you who want to take part in such an important drawing event. The world also lost someone special, as the OXO mum, Lynda Bellingham, passed away from colon cancer the day before. The news broke on this day while I was at college, and I broke down in tears when I was at home, just 15 minutes into the Loose Women episode that aired on this day. I paid tribute to Lynda Bellingham by writing an article on her, which would pay tribute to her for all of the wonderful laughs that she has left behind.

31.10.2014 – I wrote an article based on the BBC Genome Project, where I would ask you all what programmes were on the day you were born. I put up on this article the TV listings of the programmes that were on Television on the 16th June 1998, which was the day that I was born. I also wrote the final article for October, which would be a Monthly Roundup that would look back on October as it unfolded.

1.11.2014 – This day marked the beginning of a month of remembrance, as November was the month that focused around remembering those who fought in the first World War 100 years ago. I also mentioned on this day that Guy Fawkes night would take place on the Wednesday, as Wednesday would be the night where everyone remembered Guy Fawkes, as he was famously known for attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament on Bonfire Night, though his plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament failed because he had inadvertently placed the highly dangerous explosives (TNT – Trinitrotoluene) in the worst place where the gunpowder wouldn’t ignite. This lead to Guy Fawkes being caught, and eventually being hung, drawn and quartered.

Remembrance Day would also take place on the 11th November (also known as Armistice Day), as this day would mark almost 100 years since the end of the First World War.

5.11.2014 – Because I wanted to mark the occasion, considering this night was Guy Fawkes Night/Bonfire Night. I used this day to cease the opportunity of getting some photos at night, as the neighbours next door to where I live were setting off quite a lot of fireworks. The photos I took on this night were my best photos yet, because, for the first time, I was able to get some decent photos at night, which I had never thought I could do before. I was taken by surprises as to how well these photos came out, because I was aiming for this type of result for my night photos for a very, very long time, and I was over the moon to have achieved it.

7.11.2014 – This particular article came hot on the heels from the book that I recently published, which was: “A Year in Photography”. As DoxDirect are now a special featured printing service which I was absolutely delighted to feature on Mother Nature, this gave me the absolute pleasure to announce to all of you that my second book was printed as a proper A5 Paperback, Matte Laminated book.

Louise Gipps of DoxDirect has been getting a lot of positive feedback all across the board from many of the customers that have used this service. As this was my first time printing my book through DoxDirect, who I must say is an absolute credit to the company. I recommend DoxDirect to all of you, as it is one of the most fantastic services I have ever come across, and I would recommend you to try it out.

I would like to thank DoxDirect for printing my book, and also to Louise. You and this company have been an absolute help, and with the third book: “My Journey Through a Lens”, I will release it digitally for free first, and after that, I shall use this service again to print this new book. Again, thanks so much to Louise and the whole of the DoxDirect company, you have been an absolute help along the way with printing my 2nd book, and I shall continue to use DoxDirect again.

20.11.2014 – As I wanted to mark the launch of the new Famous Icons page, considering the fact that I managed to get myself on top of my studies, which I had worked effortlessly to complete, I wanted to mark the birth of the new Famous Icons page by doing the first case study based on Henry VIII. This would also mean that after launching the new Famous Icons page, I decided to do some tidying up by condensing the web pages I had created into drop-down menus, so that they would still remain accessible for use, putting all of your worries at ease.

28.11.2014 – Following the sudden death of Phillip Hughes the day before, I paid tribute to Phillip by dedicating an article to him, as his death hadn’t just shocked me, but also the whole world, and even the World of Cricket. This news came just 3 days before he was due to mark what would have been his 26th birthday, and his death shocked everyone. This article would take a look back on his career in Cricket, and the achievements that he has made along the way up until his sudden death on Thursday 27th November 2014. We will miss you Phillip Hughes, but you will never be forgotten for the legacy that you have left behind.

29.11.2014 – Following Case Study #1 came Case Study #2, which would focus on the Queen of the United Kingdom & Ireland, which was Queen Victoria. This case study came hot on the heels of the first case study that I did that made the King of England, Henry VIII, the centre of attention on Mother Nature. Case Study #2 would take a look back on Queen Victoria’s life as it unfolded, and how she reigned for 63 years, 7 months and 2 days as the Queen of the UK & Ireland.

30.11.2014 – After Case Study #2, came Case Study #3, which would focus on Guy Fawkes, who was famously known for attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament in order to attempt to kill King James I. Guy Fawkes was also the man famously known for being behind the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. On this day as well, I created the final monthly roundup for November, with 2014 quickly beginning to draw to a close, by taking a quick look back over November as it unfolded.

1.12.2014 – The first article of this month would welcome you all to the final month of the year, as December would be a month full of festivities, happiness and comfort, given the fact that I had given Mother Nature a Christmas makeover with the logo and backgrounds to match. Christmas is also a time of the year for festivities, and also for the whole family to come together to mark such a special occasion, including the day when everyone would open their Christmas presents on Christmas morning.

15.12.2014 – The 14th December, and this particular week also was one of the best weeks I’ve ever had, as our Croydon lad, Ben Haenow, won the X Factor. 4 months ago, Ben Haenow auditioned for the ITV Studios programme, The X Factor, and with much delight, this would mark the beginning of what would be one of his biggest challenges yet. Over the course of the 4 months since the beginning of The X Factor, Ben has fought his way through every week, making sure to guarantee his spot in the final on Saturday and Sunday night’s shows. Every week, Ben has rapidly got better and better as his journey progressed, and on the 14th December 2014, Ben Haenow, from Croydon, won this year’s X Factor.

15.12.2014 – 16.12.2014 – Since his win on The X Factor 2014, Ben Haenow released his debut single, which shot straight to Number 1 in the Official Charts, and Ben’s record has just become the Official Christmas Number 1. I headed out to HMV just outside the Croydon Town Centre to buy the physical copy of Ben’s new single: “Something I Need”, which came with a few extra tracks, with his debut video being released just over a week later. As always, WE LOVE YOU BEN HAENOW!!!!!!!!

31.12.2014 – As today marks the last day of 2014, I created an article based on the former President of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Madiba Mandela, who sadly passed away on the 5th December last year. The 5th December 2014 marked one year since his passing, and also a year since the world lost a true icon. He fought for everyone’s human rights during the apartheid that occurred during his life, and Nelson Mandela also spent a lot of his life fighting for everyone’s human rights, the right to equality and also for everyone to be equal and to share different things. This article I did would take a look back on the former President himself, not just for the legacy that he has left behind, but also for the timeline of events that unfolded throughout his life.

…and finally, this article mark’s the end of 2014 on an absolutely perfect note. This year has been an absolutely busy, energetic and happy year, so I wanted to take this opportunity to say HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR, AND I’LL SEE YOU ALL IN 2015.

Alex Smithson

 

September 30th 2014

Monthly Roundup: September 2014

Hello everyone, as today marks the final day of September, before we all journey into October, I wanted to take a look-back over September as it unfolded.

On the 1st September, I published my 2nd book, A Year in Photography, which is packed with a lot of information, and is also bigger and much better than my first book: “My Journey Through Photography”. Despite recurring problems with Microsoft Office Word 2013’s server claiming that it went down, I was still able to publish the book with no problem whatsoever.

A few short days after the release of the 2nd book, I updated you all, notifying you that an updated copy of the book was available to download via Dropbox, which meant that you would need to delete the old copy that was released on the 1st September in favour for the new copy that was updated.

Aside from this, I also mentioned in the same article that there were some small changes that would be made to this blog, such as a few small additions of some new social buttons, which were Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook and Tumblr.

During the course of the month, I wrote an article based on the Mount Tavurvur volcano that recently erupted a couple of weeks ago. This volcanic eruption that was captured on camera by Phil McNamara also caught a Sonic Boom, which makes a sudden banging noise that is almost loud enough to perforate your ear-drums. This resulted in Phil saying on the recording of the video: “Holy smoking Toledos.”. The shock-wave also changed the cloud formations in the Earth’s atmosphere, as the volcano had erupted bad enough to blow almost everything out of all proportions. The video that Phil McNamara recorded of the volcanic eruption instantly went viral across the whole of the internet after he published it.

To mark the beginning of college life, I began my first day at Croydon College on the 8th September, and I absolutely loved it. After my first week was over, I published a second article which would round off what was a perfect first week. The atmosphere at Croydon College has been absolutely peaceful, and has also been fun as well, as everyone treats each other with respect, which just goes to show how much of a massive impact college life can have, it leaves such a positive impact not just on me, but also on everyone else.

After 5 years since their 12th studio album, No Line On the Horizon, was released, U2 came back with a bang as they announced their 13th studio album: “Songs of Innocence”, which is now available for free until the 13th October. This album was announced at Apple’s Media Event, which took place at the Flint Centre on the 9th September, where they would also go on to unveil the two new iPhone’s, the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus. Also, after a long while, Apple finally redesigned their whole website to make sure their website had the same metro-matching appearance to iOS.

For 4 days, the Invictus Games took place in London, which would give all of our soldiers, and many other soldiers from around the world the chance to compete, which was such a fantastic opportunity for our soldiers. This gave the soldiers from the UK and all of the other soldiers from around the world the chance to prove to everyone that even if they may have been unable to do the things they used to do, they would still carry on with sheer determination no matter what, to make sure that they could get the chance to be able to do something again that they may have missed for such a long time.

When iOS 8 was released on the 17th September, everyone was absolutely on it to install the new update, which to me was also a relief, as this update fixed the battery woes that I had to put up with for a whole year, considering the fact that the iOS 7 ecosystem in terms of the battery was absolutely poor. iOS 8 fixed all of the problems that I had with iOS 7 completely. The battery life was absolutely fantastic, because, just like iOS 6, the battery would last for more than one day, possibly a week. This, however, made me think that it’s always the even number updates that tend to make all iDevices last for a long time, but it’s the odd number updates that always tend to drain the battery the most.

iOS 4, iOS 6 and iOS 8 are the 3 main updates that have made the battery life on almost all iDevices last for a long while, whereas, for iOS 5 and iOS 7, the battery life for iOS 5 and iOS 7 would continually drain non-stop.

Overall, this month has been perfect, I couldn’t have asked for a perfect start to life as a college student, and for everything else, I will always keeping fighting the good fight to make sure I can get to where I want to be in the future, and that is to become a professional photographer.

I just wanted to say thank you to all of you for making my life special in blogging, and also for supporting me along the way when it came to my exams, I shall make sure to keep up the good work…again, thank you :-).

Alex Smithson