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

Headshot #7 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Mhamad Rauf

Continuing on from Headshot #6, in which I photographed Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza, Headshot #7 focuses on my next photographed subject, which is Mhamad Rauf.

For this photographic set, just like I did with Terrence Mathew & Leonardo Mouza, I photographed Mhamad outside and got him to do the facial expressions I asked him to make, but also photographed him in different positions, including some modelling headshots.

The graffiti on the walls of the walkway really help as they put an emphasis on the facial expressions I have got Mhamad to make, as the colour of the walkway, including the graffiti, can help to compensate for the facial expressions I have asked Mhamad to make.

At this stage, these photographs have informed the research I have done on Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff & August Sander.

Below are the headshot photographs of Mhamad Rauf, including the WordFoto Edits and Black & White Versions of the Original Photographs.

Canon EOS 700D

WordFoto Edits

Black & White Versions of Original Photographs

Overall, I am so pleased with the end result that has come out of these photographs I have produced and by experimenting again with the walls of graffiti found in the walkway outside Croydon College, this has actually allowed me to let my creativity run wild, ultimately giving me the chance to produce these photographs with more vibrancy so that they connect to my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

These photographs I have produced will help me to build on, develop and inform my photography skills further and will most certainly inform the creative work, research and headshot photographs I have already produced.

The Headshot #7 photographs I have taken of my close friend, Mhamad Rauf, including the edited versions of these photographs that I produced in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) can be found in my E-Folio.

I would most certainly love to get your response on these photographs and please let me know if I can make future improvements for next time. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson


Coming just a little over a few weeks since I published my photo collection of the recently opened BOXPARK, I used the opportunity after I finished college to photograph a photo collection of BOXPARK inside, in which I would feature the Meat Liquor Store that is a part of BOXPARK.

In doing so, I also photographed the Christmas Lights, and as So Solid Crew are set to perform on Thursday during the Christmas Light Switch On, this was the perfect opportunity for me to snap some photos while the organisers of BOXPARK Croydon put the finishing touches on their Christmas Decorations.

As a fire alarm suddenly went off towards the end of my Maths lesson yesterday, I managed to use the opportunity wisely whilst waiting with everyone else outside Croydon College‘s Rotunda to snap a photo of the recently closed building, Fairfield Halls, and with the lovely weather in sight, I captured a silhouette, which I must say I was absolutely pleased about as it was just right and the photograph came out perfectly and a lot better than I imagined.

Overall, I am really pleased with this photo collection and as I used the Camera+ app (recommended), this just proves that you can take better photos with Camera+, especially if you love to get the full details of a place you’ve been to.

If you loved my photo collection of BOXPARK, Croydon & Croydon College, please feel free to submit feedback below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

My First Week of College: A Perfect Success!!!

Following from the first article I did about Croydon College on Monday, I wanted to follow that first article up by saying how much of a perfect week it has been. Despite going in for 3 days this week (Monday, Tuesday & Thursday), I was actually relieved to move on from school life quicker than I first imagined, because Croydon College gives you not just confidence in yourself, but also to give you a way to map out a future you have always longed for. I love photography so much that I actually took some photos around the outside of the College.



My first week, all in all, has been perfect. Not just perfect, absolutely wonderful!!! I bumped into so many of my school friends from Oasis Academy: Shirley Park, as some of my friends also went to Croydon College, and not only that, but I also bumped into some old school friends from primary school, which I was quite shocked about, because when you haven’t seen some of your friends in a long while, the time gap is quite a lot to take in, but I absolutely enjoyed my perfect first week at the college, and I want every week to be just like the first week.

My excitement has gone through the roof like never before, and I cannot wait for Monday to arrive soon enough, as I’m going on my first trip with everyone. The trip that arrives tomorrow consists of two different museums. The National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery, where both collections consist of some of the best visual works based around the world. Both of these museums are also located in Trafalgar Square in London.

Overall, this week has been the perfect week for me, considering I was in for only 3 days, and I hope for the perfect trail to continue on from this week.

Tomorrow is set to start off what will be not just an interesting week, but also a fantastic set of opportunities for all of us, and I cannot wait to go through an interesting week that will help me to build my ideas further for this Level 2 Art & Design Course.

Alex Smithson



The Autumn Glow of October

Recovering from the aftermath of Hurricane St Jude that whirled its way in to the UK late Sunday evening, early Monday morning, with a lot of trees uprooting from the ground and hitting houses, I thought it would be nice to round off October on a positive note, by sharing these 2 photos of the Autumn glow from the sun reflecting on the tree.

Apologies for the slight delay because WordPress seems to be down at my end through the desktop version, I’ve published this post through the WordPress for iOS app.

Again, I just want to say a massive thank you to all of you for getting my blog count over 400+ views, I got over 150 views over the course of this month.

Thank you, have a Happy Halloween!!! I’ll post more over November!

Alex Smithson (asterisk15)