Battersea Park / Revisited / 13.4.2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 6 (Tuesday 17th May 2016 – Thursday 19th May 2016) – Final Major Project

Bringing the Final Major Project Weekly Log collection to a remarkable end, here is the final Weekly Log from the Final Major Project, which reflects on what I did in the final week of the Final Major Project, as well as to what I did over the entirety of the Final Major Project.

Research / Context

During the course of the sixth week, I started to get together my research, which were the Chosen Photographers presentation, including the Photo Research presentation, including my experimentation photographs that I have taken over the course of the past six weeks since the beginning of the Final Major Project. Based on the previous set of photographs I took of my first subject for Shoot 5, I took my sixth and final set of photographs, but this time of my fourth and final chosen subject. The location that I chose to take the sixth shoot of photographs was the car park, opposite Croydon College, as I had previously developed my experiments there when I took my fourth set of photographs but of my third chosen subject. The car park opposite Croydon College was the location I strongly believe was best suited for taking my sixth and final set of photographs, as I was able to use the settings I adjusted on the Canon EOS 1200D correctly to take my photographs of my fourth and final chosen subject and I also felt that there was a dramatic improvement in the way I took my photographs, based on my reflection of Shoot 5. In terms of the research and photographic experiments I have done, I have made sure to pick the best photos that I have taken, as I will be presenting the photographs that I feel are my best for the show, which I will also want to count as my final pieces for the first year of this two-year Film & Photography course.

Practical Tasks Done

As I wanted to make sure that my sixth and final set of photographs were of the correct standard that my previous experimentation photographs were at, I did make sure to set the exposure for my photos correctly, including changing the light setting to Cloudy, given the damp and dismal weather conditions during the course of this last week of photo experiments. I also made sure to keep the ISO below no more than 400, to ensure that my photographs are of the best resolution and lighting where possible and I also made sure to set the aperture and white balance correctly so that my photographs would come out the way I wanted them to look.

I did initially find taking these photographs of my fourth and final subject difficult at first, as I was worried that because of the damp and dismal weather conditions, this would affect the photographs I would take. These photos were difficult to take initially given the areas of lighting in and around the car park, so I did make sure to think very carefully about the variety of locations around the car park that I could use.

What worked well for me was I was able to produce most of these photos to a much better standard than to how I did my previous photographic experiments, as some of the photographs I took of my fourth and final chosen subject didn’t need to have the curves adjusted in Adobe Photoshop, including not needing to have the levels changed. I did feel that Shoots 4 and 6 had that standard of photographic exposure that I wanted and I feel pleased with the overall result that I have managed to achieve.

To improve on this in the future, I will be making sure to choose a better location next time for taking my photographs, that’s including setting the exposure, the aperture, the white balance and the light setting correctly, so that I stand a better chance of producing a set of photographs that will be of the best quality where possible.

Critical Analysis

For my critical analysis, I did make sure to refer to all of the research I have gathered over the course of the Final Major Project, including referring to the photographic experiments I have developed over the duration of the Final Major Project. As the photographic experiments I’ve done on my first, second, third and fourth subjects have developed over the course of the entire Final Major Project, I have noticed that I have been able to produce my photographs better each time, and when there has been the odd occasion where certain photographs I take may end up possibly fuzzy due to camera shake or being underexposed or overexposed, I have made sure to rectify any mistakes I’ve made in taking certain photos by improving on them better for the next time. August Sander, Fazal Sheikh and Thomas Ruff’s photographical works have influenced me and inspired me to create my own concept throughout the whole of the Final Major Project and I also feel that the level of research and experiments I’ve done, including doing extended research by taking notes from the Barbican Gallery have helped me to produce the concept I wanted from the very start to the very end of the Final Major Project.

I feel that I have developed and bettered my understanding over the entirety of the Final Major Project, as I have been able to reflect on the experiments I’ve done, including the research I’ve gathered to produce my own concept for my Final Major Project, which has been based around Facial Expressionism. I also feel I have developed a better understanding of my own concept, which was influenced and inspired by the three chosen photographers, August Sander, Thomas Ruff and Fazal Sheikh, and I now have a clear intention of the final pieces I will be producing for the show, given that I have the best photographs available to use now for digital printing. My concept has, from the very start, been genuine and I strongly believe that I have developed my confidence better with camera work, including getting a better understanding of the settings I can use to produce a better photograph or a set of photographs for experimentation, and I strongly feel that the photos I have chosen to use as my final pieces are ready for printing and are also ready for hanging for the show in June.

This Final Major Project Weekly Log set has officially come to a remarkable end. I hope you found all of these Weekly Logs interesting, and if so, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Life Experience | My First Ever Ear Infection | Have You Ever Had an Ear Infection Before?

As you might recall, I took the rest of last week off from blogging and from college as I was off sick due to a diagnosed ear infection in my right ear, which left me in nothing but untold pain. To talk further in detail about my life experience, I will give a run-down as to what I experienced over the course of last week when I had the ear infection.

On Monday 30th November, my ear started to ache after using the cotton buds, which I didn’t know you weren’t supposed to use to clean your ears with, and it started to feel more painful during my English lesson, and by the time I got home, my ear was in pain, and I couldn’t hear pretty much almost anything.

The following day (Tuesday 1st December), I felt a lot worse than I did, as the pain didn’t go for a while, and just continued to get worse, and whilst I was in college, I had been in so much pain that I couldn’t concentrate on one of the things I needed to do with my group, so I took a 15-minute break at 10:45 AM, which is our first break, and that kind of helped me to forget the pain, but after the first break finished, the pain got a lot worse and was too much to handle, and as a result, I was advised to go home, to take some paracetamol or ibuprofen, and to have a lie-down even if it meant using Olive Oil in my ear. I left college early as advised, and I got home, but as the pain got too much for me, I ended up falling asleep on the sofa, and I didn’t wake up for the best part of two hours because the pain just got to me. My parents had to nudge me to wake me up as I was in so much pain.

As a result of the amount of pain I was in, I had to go for an emergency appointment down at my local doctors, and my doctor looked in my right ear to see if I had an ear infection, and the inside of my ear was inflamed, to which my doctor diagnosed me with an ear infection, and I was prescribed an antibiotic Otomize Ear Spray, which I would have to use up until yesterday.

Because I was home for the rest of the week as a result of the ear infection, I did find that having this ear infection put a drain on my energy, as I wasn’t able to concentrate on most things properly, and the ear infection felt like as if someone stuck up to 5-10 warm pins in my eardrum, to cause me so much pain.

For the rest of last week, into this week, I continued to use the Otomize Ear Spray and the Olive Oil, and although my ear infection was completely gone before this Monday, I continued to use the spray and olive oil until early Friday morning just to be on the safe side, to make myself absolutely sure that it would never come back again.

I feel 100% better now, as my ear infection is gone, and I don’t have any pain, which is the result I wanted, and I must admit, I can hear a lot clearer now after almost two weeks.

The only tip I can give to those of you who might use cotton buds on a regular basis, don’t use cotton buds, because it will push whatever you’re trying to get rid of further into your ear, and is not the advisable method to use. Always use Olive Oil or Otex, whichever one you think is more preferrable. Also, and this was a contributory factor to the ear infection I recently got rid of, don’t have your music on too loud as it will cause more of a buildup that can, if your ear is left untreated for a certain period of time, cause an ear infection. I’m only relaying this as this is what my local doctors advised me.

Before I conclude, I will leave you with three questions:

  1. Have you ever had an ear infection before?
  2. Is this the first time you have ever experienced having an ear infection?
  3. How long did your ear infection last for?

Alex Smithson

© Full Credit: Ear Emoji Created & Designed by The Unicode Consortium, who specialise in designing Emojis for all major companies, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and Ubuntu).

The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games – Day 15 – Highlights

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Hello everyone!!! As today marks the last day of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games before the Closing Ceremony tomorrow, I wanted to do a small, but quick run-down of the highlights of today’s events, as I want to be sure tomorrow’s Closing Ceremony goes out with a bang.

Before the highlights, our Gold medallist, Lizzy Yarnold of Team GB will be carrying the flag for Great Britain at the Closing Ceremony tomorrow, which is the best kind of news to hear the day before the Closing Ceremony, and our men and women curlers receive their medals after winning in yesterday’s curling event.

Here’s a quick-fire of the highlights from todays events:

  • GBR1 place seventh at the halfway point of the four-man bobsleigh.
  • Skeleton Gold medallist, Elizabeth Yarnold will carry the flag for Team GB at tomorrow’s Closing Ceremony of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games.
  • Austrian Mario Matt won the men’s slalom, with Team GB’s David Ryding placed at 18th.
  • GB’s men and women curlers receive their medals following yesterday’s Curling events.
  • Julia Dujmovits and Vic Wild won Gold in the Snowboard Parallel Slalom.
  • The Cross-Country Skiier, Marit Bjoergen won the Sixth Winter Olympic Gold medal.

Before I round off the final day of events before tomorrow’s Closing Ceremony, I have provided the updated medal results of all countries, ranging from the lowest amount of medals to the highest amount of medals in the medal table:

Rank Country Gold Silver Bronze Total
1 Russian Fed. 11 10 8 29
2 Norway 11 5 10 26
3 Canada 9 10 5 24
4 United States 9 7 11 27
5 Netherlands 8 7 9 24
6 Germany 8 6 5 19
7 Switzerland 6 3 2 11
8 Belarus 5 0 1 6
9 Austria 4 8 5 17
10 France 4 4 7 15
11 Poland 4 1 1 6
12 China 3 4 2 9
13 Korea 3 3 2 8
14 Sweden 2 6 6 14
15 Czech Republic 2 4 2 8
16 Slovenia 2 2 4 8
17 Japan 1 4 3 8
18 Finland 1 3 1 5
19 Great Britain 1 1 2 4
20 Ukraine 1 0 1 2
21 Slovakia 1 0 0 1
22 Italy 0 2 6 8
23 Australia 0 2 1 3
24 Latvia 0 1 2 3
25 Croatia 0 1 0 1
26 Kazakhstan 0 0 1 1

-Alex Smithson

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The IMOS Bluetooth Keyboard Case for the 1st Generation & 2nd Generation iPad mini (Review)

Hello everyone, as the laptop I currently use went off to be repaired last week due to a faulty USB port, I wanted to create this review of the new iPad mini keyboard case that arrived today which I’m using now as I type, and for a good £18.00, it was a perfect choice, as this keyboard case beat’s the cost of an expensive value-based keyboard case you could find, for example, if you were to buy a keyboard case that includes the same functionality in stores such as PC World or Currys, you would be looking at a price range of around £64.99. This case that arrived from amazon.co.uk today blows the expensive and hefty price tags out of the water, and this was certainly a bargain that was worth going for.

This keyboard case also proved to be the perfect product as it also came with a USB charger, so if you wanted to charge your Bluetooth keyboard case up, you are able to. There were a choice of four colours of the same keyboard case, which I’ve listed below:

1. Silver
2. Black
3. Pink
4. Blue

For £18.00 + Free Delivery on top from Amazon, it was a great deal and was definitely a fantastic price that beats all the other top technology companies looking to compete in the global technology market.

Below, I have provided pictures of how the keyboard case looks from certain view-points, and have also provided some close-ups of the case in terms of cut-outs for general use. I apologise if a few of the photos are nearly un-viewable due to dim lighting conditions:

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Thank you for reading this blog post.

-Alex Smithson

2013: A Floral Blast & A Brighter Future

NEW YEAR SIGN FOR BLOG TO END 2013

Hello everyone!!! I wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the first 6 months of this blog, and wanted to thank all of you bloggers and viewers for helping me along the way, and I really appreciate the thought and kindness that all of you have given since this blog started, you have all made my life and love for blogging truly special.

Below, I’ve listed the amount of views I have received over the past 6 months, and from the bottom of my heart, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of you for viewing my blog over these first 6 months since I started it up, and have a Happy New Year into 2014 where you are :-)!!!!!!!

June (The month I started this nature blog) – 126 Views Overall

July – 72 Views

August – 29 views

September – 42 views

October – 184 views

November – 173 views

…and finally, December – 917 Views!!!

The overall amount of views from June to December has brought my blog to an astounding 1,543 views, which I thank you all for solely, and also a massive thanks to Vijay Shah of the HalfEatenMind blog and Ajay Tao of the Ajaytao2010 blog for viewing and commenting on my latest blog posts, and have a wonderful, and Happy New Year into 2014!!!

-Alex Smithson

Plus, check back at 12:00am for the all new Twenty Fourteen layout, plus the new name for this blog!!!

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you.

– Alex Smithson

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The Beauty of Natural Form in Black & White

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

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

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

A Fantastic Day Out at Battersea Park!

Hello! Just as promised, I have got photos today of Battersea Park, as the weather was chilling, and I wanted to share a lot of photos like flowers, and also panoramic photos as well.

As the weather was perfect today, I got a few good photos of sunflowers that blossomed, and I also took 3 panoramic photos of the city landscape.

To much of a cute surprise, I managed to get a photo of someone’s dachshund (a.k.a. sausage dog) clutching a stick in its mouth, and it was the same dog that jumped in the fountain twice to fetch his tennis ball.

To round off the last few days of August, I am putting together a video of all these photos, and the video will also contain 2 video clips of the fountain launching the water up high. I will upload the video tomorrow, and will let all of you know via a blog post when it finishes uploading and processing.

If I forgot to mention about some of these photos, I apologise, feel free to save these as wallpapers for your iPhone, iPod touch and iPad anytime you like.

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A Web of Flowers

As autumn nears, I wanted to make the most of the nice weather whilst I could before it starts to get cold, so I’ve uploaded a few photos of the weather before and during the heavy rainfall from yesterday.

If the nice, warm and breezy weather holds for Tuesday, I may be able to get a lot of photos at Battersea Park, so I’m hoping this good weather lasts.

On the 1st September I will be updating the header on this blog to reflect this autumn, and winter months soon to come. It is a simple, sunrise-based header, with bold text to make it look simplistic.

I have uploaded them as they are on here if you want to save them as an iPad wallpaper, and I almost forgot to mention, I have added at least 8 new wallpapers to the folder ‘Nature’s Wonders’ on Dropbox. I have provided a link below, so feel free anytime to download and use these as an iPhone or iPod touch wallpaper.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zr2lktbowqwswyy/ji5peNVnJl

Keep your eyes peeled, as I will update this post with a video of these photos when the video has finished uploading and processing.

Update: The video has finished uploading and processing, and here it is.

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