INSPIRE TO BE POSITIVE

There’s no denying that inspiring someone can spread positivity; inspiration holds the key to positivity.

To inspire everyone around you not only allows you to spread positivity, but gives you the ability to give everyone around you the best outlook on life, and that life is special, even if at times it can be dull.

Inspire someone today. Your positivity is what this world needs, and is also the key to giving you the best possible start in life, and also the best possible career you want in life.

I believe with my hand on my heart that we should inspire others and spread positivity because this world needs to drown out inequality and negativity and bring out the best in everyone with inspiration and positivity.

Start today by drowning out all negativity and inequality and filling the empty spaces where the negativity and inequality were with equality, diversity, love, care, compassion, respect and diversity.

If this inspired you, please let me know. I’m here to inspire and want to make this world a better place and I want for all of you to be in a world where equality and diversity stomps on hatred, inequality and a lack of diversity.

This world needs equality and diversity, and with love, compassion, care, acceptance and respect, this world can be a better place.

Alex Smithson

÷ (Deluxe) / Ed Sheeran is Back!

After a three-year break from music, and after his hotly anticipated second studio album became the most streamed album on Spotify and other music services, Ed Sheeran is back with his third studio album, ÷. Shape of You really sets the tone of his latest album, because it has a unique vibe that really sets the mood you want to experience when listening to this album.

As it is the first ever vinyl record I have owned, I feel so honoured to go retro for the first time, because the original vinyl discs initially ceased production many, many years ago, but it’s only been in the last few years that vinyl has made a comeback and I am pleased to say that ÷ is my first ever vinyl record I have purchased.

How many tracks are on ÷?

There are 16 tracks on the Deluxe version of ÷ and here is the official tracklist:

  1. Eraser
  2. Castle on the Hill
  3. Dive
  4. Shape of You
  5. Perfect
  6. Galway Girl
  7. Happier
  8. New Man
  9. Hearts Don’t Break Around Here
  10. What Do I Know?
  11. How Would You Feel (Paean)
  12. Supermarket Flowers
  13. Barcelona
  14. Bibia Be Ye Ye
  15. Nancy Mulligan
  16. Save Myself

What comes with the Deluxe Boxset?

In the Deluxe Boxset for ÷, these are the items that come with the album:

  • 12” x 12” premium hardcover book with photos, lyrics and artwork
  • 2 x heavyweight blue vinyl, exclusive to this edition of the album
  • Deluxe CD album
  • Silver plated Divide charm and necklace, packaged separately
  • Deluxe digital album sent to you at release
÷ (Deluxe) / Ed Sheeran / Official Album Artwork © Asylum Records, Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, Gingerbread Man Records & Ed Sheeran
÷ (Deluxe) / Ed Sheeran / Official Album Artwork
© Asylum Records, Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, Gingerbread Man Records & Ed Sheeran

My Review of ÷ (Deluxe)

This album brings out Ed Sheeran’s unique and interesting side to his music, You can’t quite help but think just how much ÷ gives you life. When he released Shape of You, straightaway, it brought along with it its own vibe where you would remember it, not just for Ed himself singing, but because of the fact it has that eccentric and realistic appeal that you want. With Ed Sheeran’s previous album, X (Multiply), that album brought about love and respect and courage, which is why we love Ed Sheeran, I too love Ed Sheeran, not just because he has tugged at our heart-strings, but because he’s made us realise that there is life and love even in the darkest places, and for me, ÷ carries that message too, but also goes on to add that with love, respect, courage, compassion and support, the world can be a better place.

This album gives me life!

Ed Sheeran is a living legend in my eyes because his music is timeless and will never date, but you begin to appreciate life a whole lot more after you’ve listened to ÷ because you can relate and share the same feelings that he has as a musician. Not only that, but his music is eccentric and brings positivity to the table, which is what this world needs and I take my hat off to Ed Sheeran. ÷ is a masterpiece, in fact, +, X & ÷ are all masterpieces and Ed Sheeran is a legend!

If you haven’t already, I strongly recommend you purchase ÷, you will not be disappointed. ÷ is such a perfectly crafted album and Ed Sheeran has produced another exquisite masterpiece that is worth purchasing.

If you enjoyed my review of Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Deluxe) album, please feel free to comment below. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

© Asylum Records, Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, Gingerbread Man Records & Ed Sheeran, 2017

© The Divide Album Artwork & Complete Tracklist are all copyright of Asylum Records, Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, Gingerbread Man Records & Ed Sheeran. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

÷ Album Rating: 10/10

HAPPY NEWS!

After months of rumours and speculation, Cheryl has officially announced she is pregnant! This news has come at the perfect time and it was only a few weeks ago that Beyoncé announced her pregnancy with twins to the world. February is most certainly shaping up to be a fun-filled and heartwarming month.

I am over the moon and absolutely overjoyed at the news of Cheryl’s pregnancy because it has been a long time coming and I am absolutely happy for both Cheryl & Liam Payne! Both of them will most certainly make fantastic parents and to see Cheryl at her happiest makes me and everyone smile. Happiness, love, respect, compassion and care is what matters and I send all of my happiness, love, respect, compassion and care to both Cheryl & Liam Payne.

Congratulations Cheryl & Liam! Both of you will most certainly be wonderful parents and I wish you every ounce of happiness all the way because you are both worth it 🙂

Alex Smithson

© L’Oréal 2017

© The photograph of Cheryl is copyright of L’Oréal. Full photo credit goes to L’Oréal. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Want to Know How I Create My Photos? Read This.

I love photography as much as lot of you do, considering how fascinating the subject of photography really is, but how have I been able to produce my most recent collection of photographs? Well, I can tell you.

For the photos I’ve taken and published on here, I have taken my photographs most recently below ISO-400 and on ISO-400, and I have found my photographs have improved over the course of time, because I’ve been making sure to take my photos at different exposures, as well as adjusting the light balance before I take my photos.

To get photographs similar to mine, these are the settings that I recommend.

ISO-400 or below.

Exposure Bias: 0, -0.7 or -1

Focal Length: 55 mm or more depending on the camera make and camera lens, for example, Nikon or Canon.

Make sure your metering mode is either of Centre Weighted Average, or of a metering mode that will allow you to take your photos with clarity, as you will want to make sure this helps you when you need to focus your camera’s lens on a particular subject, object or item.

Also, one strong recommendation I will make that will most definitely benefit those of you wanting to take the best quality photos is to set your photo size to the NEF/RAW format, because your photos will be much bigger and will also be full of detail.

If this has helped you out, then please let me know, and if I have missed any important details out that should be here regarding photography, please let me know by submitting your feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Letting Go…

Recently, I mentioned to all of you I had some stuff personal-wise going on with college work, well these past few weeks haven’t been easy for me, as there has been so much stress and upset given something far more serious which I can’t discuss for certain reasons in mind, but the work has been stressful lately and with learning the news about something as horrible and grim, it just sent me over the edge.

How I have managed to handle it all surprises me as I somehow have managed to cope well with some horrid news and I still got through it without my work suffering.

Obviously, the horrid news I received resulted in me breaking down in tears as a result, to which I feel okay now that I’ve been through the worst of things and come out stronger on the other side.

Sometimes I have worried these past few weeks that I wouldn’t be able to sleep properly but I have managed to pull myself through the pain of some serious news and just get on with life after this.

I can only apologise if I have not been as productive recently, I’ve had a lot of stuff going on away from writing articles altogether and it has affected me from publishing articles so I sincerely apologise if you haven’t seen much from me recently.

All is not lost though because I have some good news to tell you, although I didn’t get a merit this time around, I managed to pass the first year of the two-year film and photography course with a Pass grade, which is good as I can straightaway progress onto the last year of the film and photography course in September.

I was taken aback by the surprise result as I didn’t get the merit or distinction result that I wanted but I’m pleased to have got a Pass grade on the first year of this two-year film and photography course, as it’s better than nothing.

Still, I’ve successfully finished my second year at college and my first year of this two-year film and photography course and I cannot wait to continue onto the last year of this course.

I really want to make sure that I can absolutely nail the last year of the two-year film and photography course as I am seriously keen on wanting to finish my education with the best results possible.

Again, I am seriously ever so sorry for not being as productive recently. Now that I have the whole holiday to relax, I will be making sure to get out more and to be as productive as possible, and I will also be making sure to publish frequently over the whole of July and August.

Next year will be about letting go of everything in life that isn’t important anymore and will just be about focusing on what really matters and what is also the most important and the most crucial key factor of life. The future.

With full respect and love,

x Alex Smithson x

Artistic Interpretation #4: Amy Winehouse (27)

Five years on since her untimely death on the 23rd July 2011, Amy Winehouse, the iconic music legend that made her mark with her unique musical sound, released two of her most iconic albums, which were Frank, and also Back to Black. Her posthumous third studio album, Lioness: Hidden Treasures, consisted of some new songs which were previously unreleased, including different versions of certain tracks that we listened to and grew to love, given that the iconic look for Back to Black and Lioness: Hidden Treasures saw Amy Winehouse with the iconic beehive hairstyle, which has since become the biggest trendsetter for all independent women in fashion.

I took the opportunity to draw Amy Winehouse, as I wanted to pay my full respects and pay homage to the iconic music legend as it has been five years since her passing. She was a talented young musician who was gone too soon. I’ve put her age, 27, in brackets, in the article title, as that number is the age she was when she passed away on the 23rd July 2011.

Amy
Amy Winehouse Tribute Drawing

I also wanted to make Amy Winehouse’s memory and music as colourful as possible by using the same drawing to create a tribute montage, showing her life in music from my perspective, but also yours and everyone else’s perspective.

Amy Tribute Montage
Amy Winehouse Drawing Tribute Montage

Amy Winehouse was and always will be the iconic music legend of our time. She will never be forgotten for the everlasting impact she left on the world and will always remain forever in our hearts, our minds, our bodies and our souls. We will always love and miss you Amy Winehouse xxxxxxxxxx.

Alex Smithson

A Collection of Photographs of Croydon

Last week, I ceased the opportunity to take a collection of photographs around Croydon whilst I was on my way home from college via my 367 Bromley North bus. Recently the 367 buses experienced a major upgrade in its design, which saw the whole bus being completely changed, with a modern look that fits the bill perfectly.

As I was sat at the very back of the 367 bus, I used the time wisely on my bus to snap up to almost 40 photographs, and as always, I used the Camera+ app (Recommended) to snap these photos. Despite the fact the beginning of last week got off to a wet and windy start, it was safe to say that last week did eventually turn out to be nice, considering that the weather started to get nice and warm and also sunny.

The last two photos were taken yesterday and I have absolutely loved the weather we’ve been having this week. I hope this lovely weather we’ve been having this week continues.

Overall, last week was absolutely relaxing and despite the amount of work I had to produce for my course, I enjoyed it and I also enjoyed the fact that I was able to be a lot more productive than usual with my studies. I’ve also been enjoying this week, quite a lot in fact and the lovely weather has made me feel a lot more relaxed.

If you liked the photographs I took over the course of last week, including the two photographs I took yesterday, then please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Topic: Does Each Photograph Capture a Memory or Emotion?

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

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

Does Each Photograph You Take Capture a Memory?

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

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

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

Does Each Photograph You Take Capture an Emotion?

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

“PROMOTE HAPPINESS. PROMOTE JOY. BUT MOST OF ALL, PROMOTE LOVE AND HAPPY MEMORIES, AND VALUE THEM FOR YOUR LIFETIME, BECAUSE THOSE HAPPY MEMORIES ONLY OCCUR ONCE, SO REMINISCE THEM NOW AND MAKE THEM SOMETHING THAT’S GOOD, SOMETHING THAT IS WORTH LOOKING BACK ON, AND YOU’LL FIND THAT THOSE HAPPY MEMORIES AND EMOTIONS YOU HAVE WILL ALWAYS BE WORTH IT.

ENJOY LIFE NOW, REMINISCE THOSE MOMENTS, BUT MOST OF ALL, EMBRACE THEM, AS THOSE MOMENTS ARE THE KEY TO A WONDERFUL LIFE.” – ALEX SMITHSON

Alex Smithson

Life: How Does Life in General Matter to You?

Life in general matters to us, as we should value the lives we are given, and to make sure that we make the most of the time we have in this world. I appreciate life entirely and I am entirely grateful for the fact I was brought into this world, as I’ve learned so much in the space of the time that I’ve been around.

I know that I’ve got a very long way to go in life, but I really appreciate the fact that I’ve been able to value the life that I’ve been given, but at the end of the day, I also live by this:

Make the most of your life, because you only get one life of your own to lead. Make it count. – Alex Smithson

Sometimes, we do take our lives for granted, and we shouldn’t, because where would we all be now if we took our lives for granted and didn’t appreciate the life we were given? We would be nowhere, it’s only because we have appreciated the lives that we’ve been given that helped us to get through certain points in our lives.

Why does life matter to me? Life matters to me because I love, value and appreciate the things I get in life, because I know for a fact that the things I get in life now, I won’t ever get again in the future, and I appreciate everything I’ve been given, and I always respect the fact that I have a life, and that I’m fortunate to be able to live my own life in the best way that I want to live it. Although 17 years may sound like a short amount of time to some, to me, 17 years is a very long time, as I’ve learnt that life is precious, and that we should make the most of it.

Like they always say, make the most of your life while you’ve still got one, because you’ll never ever get to do the best things in life when you’re gone. I always believe that we should make something good out of our lives now while we still can, because by making the most of our own lives, we will all leave a mark on the world knowing that we got everything good out of life.

Make the most of your life and the time you’re given. They’re both precious, so make sure everything counts, but in a positive way, and you’ll find that you will have left your mark on the world knowing that you did something good. Value your own life and appreciate the time you’ve been given preciously, because they’re only given to you once in your life, so make the most out of them. – Alex Smithson

When it comes to life, I always like to see the positive side to life, and never the negative side, because the positive side to life shows an endless amount of possibilities and opportunities, and it’s always a fantastic idea to branch out your horizons to all new heights that you never thought you would imagine, because, like you, this also helps me to connect with everyone, and I love the thought of connecting with everyone, as I always like to show interest in what you all like, so that I can also connect my own interests to yours, as this can help me and all of you to become interested not just in the interests I have, but the interests of others as well.

Before I conclude, I would like to leave you with 3 questions 😊.

  1. How does life in general matter to you?
  2. How do you value your own life?
  3. What life interests do you have (for example, what life goals have you achieved or what life goals are you aiming to achieve)?

Alex Smithson