Monthly Roundup: March 2018

What a month it has been!

I didn’t expect to publish more articles this month considering I’ve been busy mostly with work and getting a lot of stuff completed, but this month has been so good considering I’ve been travelling and going out more, and the fact I’ve been able to make the most of the free time this month by going out photographing for my photography series has made these last few weeks special.

I’ll quickly summarise the articles I published over March before this month closes its doors.

1.3.2018 – March got off to a freezing cold start as the Beast from the East impacted the United Kingdom, with Storm Emma impacting the United Kingdom almost immediately after the first ounce of snowfall.

3.3.2018 – Storm Emma impacted the United Kingdom as the Beast from the East reached its end, but the wintry weather didn’t disappear fast enough, and as such, fell on the day I finished my shift to go on annual leave for a week. “Brrrrrr…It’s a Winter Wonderland!” gave me the opportunity to take a snapshot of the winter weather whilst I waited to get the bus home considering I finished earlier than the original time my shift usually ends as my place of work closed early due to the torrential snowstorm.

8.3.2018 – Following the first photography article I published after the start of 2018, which featured my close friend, Wesley Baker (CDN), I photographed my close friend who I’ve known since secondary school, Samuel Cato.

13.3.2018 – Art and colour are full of beautiful abstracts, but it’s the abstraction of abstract art that makes art unique and interesting. “Beautiful Abstraction.” allowed me to talk in more detail about the vibrancy art brings, as well as the time and effort someone has taken to make that art piece a masterpiece.

17.3.2018 – The United Kingdom woke up to a sudden blanketing of snow and as “Snowfall Saturday” suggests, you can probably tell I didn’t expect to wake up to the snow considering the weather was nice, sunny and warm the day before.

18.3.2018 – On Snowdrop Sunday, the Beast from the East decided to blanket the United Kingdom with more snow and freezing cold temperatures.

19.3.2018 Manic Monday sure made the start of the week manic and full of chaos considering anyone like myself getting into work would be a challenge because the roads were a little icy, while the pavements were more or less clear of the snowfall. Manic Monday, which was a record by The Bangles, written by the late music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, was what inspired me to write this article with the same name.

22.3.2018 – Tuesday 20th and Wednesday 21st March were wonderful days to visit Oxford Street, as the scenery was absolutely beautiful, and considering that it was nice and sunny, I seized the opportunity to photograph the landscape all of yesterday, but one of the stores that grabbed my interest the most was the Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Store.

The smell of the store as I walked in hit me straight away and it was so welcoming, it smelt like Starburst as I walked into the store, and the fact it spanned three floors full of bath bombs, make-up and even skin care products that smelt so nice meant I was able to produce a really good set of photographs.

They even provided me with a free sample of one of their products after they allowed me to dissolve one of their bath bombs in their sink and as a random act of kindness from one of their members of staff who was intrigued by the photos I showed them yesterday, they gave me a free bath bomb, which made my day so much happier. If you missed the photo-set I produced, click on “The Lush Life of Oxford Street!

After producing the photo-set of my visit to Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Store, I photographed my close friend, Mikey Andrews, and considering the photo-set of Oxford Street was my best work to date, the photo-set of Mikey Andrews for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” was also my best work to date considering I was able to produce both photo-sets with much less noise in the photos, which is a first in quite some time considering a few of the photo-sets I’ve produced have been noisy and somewhat grainy.

My trip to Oxford Street ended on a perfect note as I bumped into the Olympic Diver, Tom Daley, and the Oscar-Winning Actor, Dustin Lance Black. If you missed the photo-set I produced featuring my close friend, Mikey Andrews, click here.

March has ended on a perfect note and it’s safe to say that bumping into Tom Daley and Dustin Lance Black has already become the best highlight of my year.

Thank you so much, everyone, for making March such a special month. I’ll try and publish a little more here and there if I get the time, but I’ll still be making sure to try and work on my photography series.

I’ll see you all in April, and stay safe and wrap up warm if the snow potentially hits where you are.

Alex Smithson

The Lush Life of Oxford Street!

Tuesday and Wednesday were wonderful days to visit Oxford Street, as the scenery was absolutely beautiful, and considering that it was nice and sunny, I seized the opportunity to photograph the landscape all of yesterday, but one of the stores that grabbed my interest the most was the Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Store. The smell of the store as I walked in hit me straight away and it was so welcoming, it smelt like Starburst as I walked into the store, and the fact it spanned three floors full of bath bombs, make-up and even skin care products that smelt so nice meant I was able to produce a really good set of photographs. They even provided me with a free sample of one of their products after they allowed me to dissolve one of their bath bombs in their sink and as a random act of kindness from one of their members of staff who was intrigued by the photos I showed them yesterday, they gave me a free bath bomb, which made my day so much happier.

The staff at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Store are so friendly and so welcoming, and even the manager of the store is so friendly and welcoming and is a place I most certainly shall recommend to all of you as they have everything you need to offer. I’ll provide under this photo-set Lush’s social media accounts.

Below are the photographs I took yesterday of Oxford Street and the Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics Store’s products.

What really ended my day on a perfect note was when I bumped into the Olympic Diver, Tom Daley, and the Oscar-Winning Actor, Dustin Lance Black, at Tottenham Court Station just as I was heading back to Oxford Circus Station to get the train home from Oxford Street. This is a rare photo moment for me to share with you all and it’s certainly a memorable photo moment for me. They’re both so down to earth and genuine and they’re so kind, and I was so starstruck last night that Tom took the selfie for me because I was completely surprised.

Yesterday ended on a perfect note and what a perfect and happy day it was.

Please feel free to share this article with everyone you know and if you enjoyed my photo-sets of Oxford Street and Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, please feel free to submit your responses below.

Alex Smithson

Lush’s Social Media Accounts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lush

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Lush

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lushltd

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/Lushcosmetics

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lush/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lushlimited/

Tumblr: https://lushltd.tumblr.com/#_=_

Vine: https://vine.co/Lush

Manic Monday

It sure was a manic start to the week! With snow over the weekend, anyone like myself getting into work was a little bit of a challenge in itself considering the roads were a little icy, but the pavements were more or less clear of the snowfall.

It was good to see the sun come out after a few days, but either way, I’m still wrapping up warm tomorrow just to be safe in the event of the snow returning to try again for some more.

It’s no wonder the transport system was experiencing total chaos over the weekend, but hopefully, the level of transport shouldn’t be too chaotic considering I’m going up to Oxford Street tomorrow, but today was a great day despite the weather.

Is it still snowing where you are? Is it raining where you are? Is it sunny where you are? I would love to hear your responses. The Bangles‘ record: “Manic Monday“, written by the late music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, was what inspired me to write this article with the same name.

Alex Smithson

Snowdrop Sunday

Back for another go, the Beast from the East decides to blanket the United Kingdom with more snow and freezing cold temperatures.

Travel disruption is currently affected, with air traffic also experiencing some disruption as a result of this horrendous weather. Who would have thought it? Just when this weather was going and we were getting a hint of the lovely and warm Spring weather, the snow decides to return for another run of disruption.

I just hope this wintry weather doesn’t hamper my chances of travelling up to Oxford Street on Tuesday, as I would prefer for there to be sunny weather on the day and I just pray that the train services run at full speed when I head to Oxford Street, as I don’t want to be stranded like I was the other week when I went to Oxted & Hurst Green because there were no rail replacement buses in place.

If it’s snowing where you are, please wrap up warm and stay safe if you’re out on the roads, but let’s hope this wintry weather is the last we’ll see of it for some time.

Alex Smithson

Snowfall Saturday

Woke up to the snow this morning? I did, and so did everyone else in the United Kingdom. Just when we all thought the snow disappeared, the Beast of the East decided to return for another go.

I was happier yesterday when it was sunny and warm because I thought: “Great, loving this sunny and warm weather, about time!” and then BAM! It decides to snow again into this morning.

Luckily, because I finished my first week back at work following the annual leave, I was able to wake up to the snow and stay nice and warm with the boiler on, but I dread when it snows now, especially considering that I’m working now. If it snowed when I was at school or college, I would have happily stayed at home and called in sick, but because I’m working now, I dread when it snows, but the snow won’t stop me from getting into work as I’m not going to let one bit of snow hinder my chances of getting into work.

Despite the snowfall, I was glad that I didn’t go out today, as it’s freezing outside and it was good to stay in the nice and warm all day.

Did it snow heavily where you are? Please tell me, I would love to know.

Alex Smithson

Beautiful Abstraction.

Art and colour are full of beautiful abstracts, but it’s the abstraction of abstract art that makes art unique and interesting.

I love art because of the vibrancy it brings. I love art because it’s not about the details that make the art interesting, rather it’s the time and effort someone has taken to make that art piece a masterpiece.

Art is a beautiful abstraction in itself considering that it’s colourful, vibrant like technicolour, but like drops of paint on a canvas. Every colourful drop of paint on a canvas makes up the masterpiece that is produced.

I know, this is probably the craziest article you will have read, but I see art as a form of expression, not just as a drawing or painting. A beautiful abstraction in the world of art from my eyes is being able to express yourself artistically, whether it would be using a pencil or paintbrush, expressing your emotions, your creativity and your hard work and effort go a long way even if it takes time.

Art, to me, is a time-lapse of hard work. Art is a journey, but a time-lapse of hard work in the art world is the beginning of the artistic masterpiece which progresses to the conclusion of the finished masterpiece.

To rush art is a waste. To take all the time in the world to produce art in small leaps and bounds now and then can make that artwork that’s produced carefully with care and precision a true work of art and also as a true masterpiece.

A delayed masterpiece is a true work of art. A rushed masterpiece is a waste, but a delayed masterpiece is better than no masterpiece.

Art is inspiring and I hope that this inspired you.

Alex Smithson

The Concept of Expression: Samuel Cato

Following the first photography article I did after the beginning of 2018, which featured my close friend, Wesley Baker (CDN), I have now photographed my close friend who I’ve known since secondary school, Samuel Cato.

Despite the odd spot of rain, mild warmth and a hint of sunny weather, I was able to travel to Sydenham to photograph Sam for this photography series, and I was able to get him to express himself freely as I believe in the idea of being able to express yourself free from judgment, but where he could express himself without conforming to society’s needs, beliefs and expectations, and that getting him to express himself will always be about being equal and diverse without any forms of judgment.

Below are all of the photographs I took yesterday of my close friend, Samuel Cato.

I am so pleased with the end result given that the days are getting brighter and are staying brighter for longer, as the lighting conditions improved and it was nice and sunny after a small spot of rain, but I am really blown away by the end result of these photographs. Of course, I acknowledge the photos may look grainy, but that’s because I wanted to try and capture the essence of the early Spring weather before Spring really kicks in once the Winter season ends.

If there are any improvements you feel I could make, please tell me in the comments, as your feedback will help me improve my photography skills in the future.

Also, if you enjoyed this photo-set, please share this article around with anyone you know.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: NIKKOR 18 – 55 mm Lens

Date of Photo-Set Produced: Tuesday 6th March 2018

Welcome to March!

Welcome to March! What a freezing cold start to this month! As the Beast of the East impacted the United Kingdom, with Storm Emma now on the way, it’s no surprise that Spring is late to the party because the wintry snowstorm is here and it’ll be here for a few days, if not maybe a week depending on whether or not the temperature improves.

I’ll be busy mostly over the course of this month as I’ll be working but will also be completing some work for my full-time job, but I’ll be publishing a little here and there over next week as I’ll be on annual leave for a week but I will be making sure that I can use some of the free time here and there when it’s available.

What has the weather been like where you are? I bet you must be snowed in. Is it sunny depending on where you are and if so, do you prefer warm weather instead of cold weather? I would love to hear your responses.

Until then, Welcome to March!

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: March 2017

This month flew like the wind, and it only felt like yesterday we just kicked off 2017! Time has flown so fast lately that it’s impossible to keep up with the speed of time.

I will make sure to take a look back at the articles published over the course of this month, and of course, I will be making sure to remember the victims and the police officer that died on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 down Westminster Bridge, London, as a result of the horrific terrorist attack.

1.3.2017 – Welcoming all of you to March on Mother Nature, I mentioned that I decided to go retro with the article image and did it up in the inspired style of Sonic Mania, considering that Sonic Mania and Project Sonic 2017 (now officially titled ‘Sonic Forces’) would be released over the next few months. I also mentioned that the next few weeks would be much busier considering my Summative Assessment deadline for the Self-Directed Curiosity Project was just around the corner.

3.3.2017 –  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. I mentioned that ÷ is the first ever vinyl record I have owned and that I felt so honoured to go retro for the first time and it was an absolute honour to review Ed Sheeran’s ÷ (Deluxe) album.

8.3.2017 – As this day marked International Women’s Day, I wanted to make sure all women across the world get to celebrate being the women they are and to always be themselves. I also mentioned that all women deserve equality, diversity, respect, compassion, care and love regardless of skin colour, sexuality, gender, culture, religion and place of origin and that it’s right for all of us, including myself to celebrate all women as part of International Women’s Day.

15.3.2017 –  Let’s face it. We’ve all seen for ourselves the negative stigma that has become attached to Mental Health. The negative stigma has all too often put a strain on all governments and organisations, with Mental Health sufferers having to experience the harsh reality that they may end up not being allowed to access the help, support and treatment they need. Writing this article gave me the chance to be open about my anxiety, and although I am not officially diagnosed, I do suffer from Anxiety, and writing this article gave me the chance to be open about my Anxiety, as well as to how I have been able to manage and keep my Anxiety under control.

20.3.2017 – It was an absolute honour for me to share with you, my review of Oli Regan’s recently released début album, My Diary of Pain. I talked about how the rawness of Oli’s voice on this album really stands out, as he spoke from the heart, the mind and the soul about how he really feels. If you get a chance, please do listen to his album, My Diary of Pain, it is so good!

22.3.2017 – 24.3.2017 – No articles were published as I released an open statement on Wednesday 22nd March 2017 in light of the horrific terrorist attack that took place down Westminster Bridge, London, in which 3 victims died, including the police officer, PC Keith Palmer.

25.3.2017 –  After months of rumours and speculation that she was pregnant, Cheryl & Liam officially announced a few weeks before that they were expecting their first child together. It became official that Cheryl & Liam officially welcomed their first ever child together!

Also, on this day, I asked you all if you were ready for the clocks to go forward, considering that the time went quicker than expected and that it had only felt like it was yesterday we had just put the clocks back one hour, which proves and rings true even to this day that time sure does fly.

26.3.2017 – As this day marked Mother’s Day, I wished all mothers around the world a Happy Mother’s Day and hoped that all mothers had their Mother’s Day filled with love, happiness, joy, respect, compassion and care.

28.3.2017 – As part of my Final Major Project for the last year of my UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma Film & Photography Course at Croydon College, I was asked to produce a 6 minute and 40 second presentation on a time-keeping tool called Pecha Kucha, which is the Japanese term for Chit-Chat.

Pecha Kucha, which is Japanese for Chit-Chat, is where you produce 20 slides that have to be exactly 20 seconds each. For every slide, you would need to explain in 20 seconds for each slide a brief run-down of the kind of work you are going to produce, regardless of whether it is project-based or not. The 20 slides would have to consist of one or more short sentences you can talk about within 20 seconds, including any work you have currently produced to date.

As my Pecha Kucha presentation focused solely on Facial Expressionism, I mentioned that I would research certain photographers, such as Cecil Beaton, Walker Evans, August Sander, Thomas Ruff and any other photographer that specialises in Facial Expressionism; the field of work I want to produce.

29.3.2017 –  In the last few years, the police numbers have gone down due to cuts that have been made to save our government money, our money of which is supposed to be used to keep our police officers on the streets. On Wednesday 22nd March 2017, exactly one year to the day of the devastating attacks that took place in Brussels, which saw 35 people killed (32 victims, 3 perpetrators), with more than 300 people injured, a terrorist attack took place down Westminster Bridge, where 5 people were killed as a result, one of which was the terrorist, while the other was a police officer who was stabbed and sadly died as a result of his injuries.

31.3.2017 – I published two photographic articles that focused on Croydon, considering that I ceased the opportunity to photograph Croydon while the lovely weather lasts. The weather has been absolutely peaceful lately and it was good to see that the weather was finally looking up and that it was most certainly shaping up to make the two-week holiday as relaxing and as peaceful as ever!

Thanks so much for a great month everyone, and although it was a great month, it was also quite devastating as a result of the terrorist attack that took place down Westminster Bridge, London and I shall take this opportunity to pay my full respects and condolences to the families of the victims who lost their loved ones on Wednesday 22nd March 2017, including paying my full respects and condolences to the family of the police officer, PC Keith Palmer.

Again, thanks so much for a good month everyone, and I will see you all in April!

Alex Smithson

CROYDON / FRIDAY 31ST MARCH 2017

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

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

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

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

Alex Smithson