iOS 12: Ahead of Time.

With the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR & Apple Watch Series 4 being announced last Wednesday, it was hardly surprising to see the rumours becoming reality.

After weeks of leaks, hype and anticipation, iOS 12, along with watchOS 5, were finally released after a few months of extensive beta testing.

The speed of the software has dramatically improved the iPhone 7 I’ve been using and I have noticed that a lot of the pre-installed apps have been given a UI (User Interface) overhaul, with some app icons changing completely.

The Photos app has seen some remarkable improvements, and photos, videos, selfies, bursts and screenshots have all been separated into their own designated categories to make organising photographs a lot easier.

Some apps have received complete UI overhauls, and the Voice Memos app has now gone universal by being added to the iPad for the first time since it was launched. Meanwhile, iBooks has officially been renamed to Apple Books.

Safari has received some updates, as icons for tabs have finally been added, though AutoFill for passwords has been improved, as you can now sign in to websites with your email address and password automatically filled in for you if you saved your account passwords to AutoFill.

FaceTime has finally received a much-needed upgrade, as you can now do a group FaceTime video call with up to 32 people at once.

For those of you with an iPhone X, the iPhone X will receive four new Animoji character heads, all of which come bundled with the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max & iPhone XR.

Screen Time is now a thing, as it will tell you how often you pick up your phone to open certain apps you may use frequently (i.e. Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat/Twitter), and you can now set a time limit for the apps you use on a regular basis, so if, for instance, you’re the power-hungry user who uses social media frequently or plays games on your iPhone, iPod touch & iPad, you can now limit how often you can use those apps every day.

Notification Centre received an upgrade, as all your text messages are now grouped together (i.e. WhatsApp & iMessage), social media apps will group notifications as they come in over every hour, and if your iPhone has 3D Touch, you can now clear all notifications with one long press and sweep away notifications that you don’t want to see or are not interested in.

iOS 12 is compatible with the following devices, as listed below:

iPhone

  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6s
  • iPhone 6s Plus
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 5s

iPad

  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2nd generation
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 1st generation
  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro
  • 9.7-inch iPad Pro
  • iPad 6th generation
  • iPad 5th generation
  • iPad Air 2
  • iPad Air
  • iPad mini 4
  • iPad mini 3
  • iPad mini 2

iPod touch

  • iPod touch (6th Generation)

Below are the official release notes for iOS 12:

iOS 12 Release Notes
  • iOS 12 brings performance improvements and exciting new features to iPhone and iPad. Photos introduces new features to help you rediscover and share the photos in your library, Memoji — a new, more customisable Animoji — make Messages more expressive and fun, Screen Time helps you and your family understand and make the most of the time spent on devices, Siri Shortcuts deliver a faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri, augmented reality becomes even more engaging with the ability for developers to create shared AR experiences, and new privacy features help protect you from being tracked on the web. This update introduces new features and improvements to:
Performance
  • iOS has been enhanced for a faster and more responsive experience across the system
  • All supported devices see improved performance, going back to iPhone 5s and iPad Air
  • Camera launches up to 70 per cent faster, the keyboard appears up to 50 per cent faster, and typing is more responsive*
  • Apps launch up to twice as fast when your device is under heavy workload*
Photos
  • New For You tab helps you discover great photos in your library with Featured Photos, Effect Suggestions and more
  • Sharing Suggestions proactively recommend sharing photos taken at events with the people who are in them
  • Search enhancements make it easier to find your photos with intelligent suggestions and multiple keyword support
  • Search for photos based on the place, business name or event where you were when you took them
  • Improved camera import with faster performance and a new large preview mode
  • RAW support for editing images
Camera
  • Portrait mode improvements preserve fine detail between subject and background when using Stage Light and Stage Light Mono effects
  • QR codes are highlighted in the camera frame, making them easier to scan
Messages
  • Memoji, a new, more customisable Animoji, make Messages more expressive with personalised characters that are diverse and fun
  • Animoji now also include T-Rex, ghost, koala and tiger
  • Make Memoji and Animoji wink and stick out their tongue
  • New camera effects bring Animoji, filters, text effects, iMessage sticker packs and shapes to the photos and videos you capture in Messages
  • Animoji recordings can now capture up to 30 seconds
Screen Time
  • Screen Time provides detailed information and tools to help you and your family find the right balance of time spent with apps and websites
  • See the time spent in apps, usage across categories of apps, how many notifications are received and how often devices are picked up
  • App limits help you set the amount of time you or your child can spend in apps and on websites
  • Screen Time for kids lets parents manage how their child uses iPhone and iPad from their own iOS devices
Do Not Disturb
  • Turn off Do Not Disturb after a set time, location or calendar event
  • Do Not Disturb During Bedtime hides all notifications from your Lock screen while you sleep
Notifications
  • Notifications from the same app are automatically grouped together to help you manage your notifications
  • Instant Tuning gives you control over your notification settings from the Lock screen
  • New Deliver Quietly option silently sends notifications directly to Notification Centre without interrupting you
Siri
  • Siri Shortcuts deliver a faster way to get things done with the ability for any app to work with Siri
  • Add shortcuts using the “Add to Siri” button in supported apps, or in Settings > Siri and Search
  • Siri suggests shortcuts on the Lock screen and in Search
  • Get motorsports results, schedules, stats and standings for Formula 1, Nascar, Indy 500 and MotoGP
  • Search for photos by time, location, people, topic or recent trips to find relevant photos and Memories in Photos
  • Translate phrases in more languages, with support for over 40 language pairs
  • Check facts about celebrities, such as when they were born, and ask questions about food, including calories and nutrient content
  • Turn the torch on or off
  • More natural and expressive voice now available in Irish English, South African English, Danish, Norwegian, Cantonese and Mandarin (Taiwan)
Augmented Reality
  • Shared experiences in ARKit 2 let developers create innovative AR apps you can experience together with friends
  • Persistence enables developers to save and reload experiences from where you left off
  • Object detection and image tracking gives developers new tools to recognise real-world objects and track images while they move through space
  • AR Quick Look extends AR throughout iOS, letting you view AR objects with built-in apps like News, Safari and Files, and share them with friends with iMessage and Mail
Measure
  • New augmented reality app to measure objects and spaces
  • Draw lines across surfaces or in free space to measure, and tap a line’s label to see more information
  • Automatically measure rectangular objects
  • Capture, share and mark up screenshots of your measurements
Privacy & Security
  • Enhanced Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari prevents embedded content and social media buttons from tracking cross-site browsing without your permission
  • Suppresses ad retargeting by reducing advertisers’ ability to identify iOS devices uniquely
  • Strong and unique passwords are suggested automatically when creating an account or changing a password in most apps and in Safari
  • Reused passwords are flagged in Settings > Passwords & Accounts
  • Security code AutoFill presents one-off security codes sent over SMS as suggestions in the QuickType bar
  • Sharing passwords with contacts is easier than ever using AirDrop from Passwords & Accounts in Settings
  • Siri supports quickly navigating to a password on an authenticated device
Apple Books
  • All-new design that makes discovering and enjoying books and audiobooks easy and fun
  • Reading Now makes it simple to get back to the book you’re currently reading or find great recommendations for what to read next
  • Add books to the new Want to Read collection to keep track of what you’d like to read next
  • The Book Store makes it easy to find your next favourite read with new and popular selections from our Apple Books editors and recommendations chosen just for you
  • The new Audiobooks store helps you find immersive stories and informative non-fiction books narrated by your favourite authors, actors and celebrities
Apple Music
  • Search now supports lyrics so you can use a few of the words to find a song
  • Artist pages have an easier-to-browse design with a personalised station of any artist’s music
  • The new Friends Mix is a playlist of songs you’ll love from everything your friends are listening to
  • New charts to show you the daily top 100 songs in countries around the world
Apple News
  • Apple News is redesigned to make it easier to discover new channels and topics
  • The new sidebar on iPad and Channels tab on iPhone make it easy to jump straight to your favourite publications and discover new ones
Stocks
  • All-new design lets you easily view stock quotes, interactive charts and top news on iPhone and iPad
  • Top Stories section includes articles selected by Apple News editors to highlight the latest news driving the market
  • Read Apple News stories directly in the app, formatted to look great on iPhone and iPad
  • Watchlist includes colour-coded sparklines that let you see daily performance at a glance
  • See an interactive chart for every ticker symbol, plus key details including after-hours price, trading volume and more
Voice Memos
  • All-new design with improved ease of use
  • iCloud keeps your recordings and edits in sync across all your devices
  • Available on iPad with support for both portrait and landscape orientation
TV
  • Get notified when films and TV programmes are available to watch in Up Next
  • Share your favourite films, TV programmes and sporting events with universal links
Apple Podcasts
  • Now supports chapters for shows that include them
  • Skip 30 seconds or to the next chapter with forward and back buttons in your car or on your headphones
  • Easily manage new episode notifications from the Listen Now screen
Accessibility
  • Live Listen now works with AirPods to help you hear more clearly
  • RTT phone calling now works with AT&T
  • Speak Selection now supports using the Siri voice to speak text that you have selected
Other features and improvements
  • Camera effects in FaceTime transform your look in real time
  • CarPlay adds support for third-party navigation apps
  • On supported campuses, use contactless student ID cards in Wallet to access buildings and pay with Apple Pay
  • Website icons can appear in tabs on iPad by enabling them in Settings > Safari
  • Weather includes air quality index in supported regions
  • Quickly swipe up from the bottom of the screen to go home on iPad
  • Swipe down from the top right to access Control Centre on iPad
  • Mark Up includes a palette of additional colours and options to change line width and opacity for each tool
  • Battery usage chart in Settings now shows your usage for the last 24 hours or 10 days, and you can tap a bar to see app use for that period of time
  • On devices without 3D Touch, touch and hold the keyboard Space bar to turn your keyboard into a trackpad
  • Maps adds support for indoor maps for airports and shopping centres with indoor positioning in China
  • New definition dictionary in Hebrew, and bilingual dictionaries in Arabic and English, and Hindi and English
  • New English thesaurus
  • Automatic software updates allow iOS updates to be installed automatically overnight
* Testing conducted by Apple in May 2018 using iPhone 6 Plus supporting normal peak performance, pre-release iOS 11.4 and pre-release iOS 12. Keyboard tested using Safari; Camera tested by swiping from the Lock screen. Performance varies based on specific configuration, content, battery health, usage, software versions and other factors.
Some features may not be available in all countries or all areas; for more information, visit: https://www.apple.com/uk/ios/feature-availability and https://www.apple.com/uk/ios/whats-new
For information on the security content of this update, please visit this website:

Continue reading “iOS 12: Ahead of Time.”

The Concept of Expression: Thomas Rodrigues

The next model I have picked to photograph for my photography series is my close friend, Thomas Rodrigues.

This photo-set is very brief as I wanted to capture some hidden emotions in this small photo-set that I felt were and were not obvious at first but would be on the second glance.

Thomas is a natural in front of the camera as he was confident, calm and collective and wasn’t afraid to express himself freely.

 

All of these photos were so good that I edited them in-house with Instagram’s Inkwell filter to Black & White. These photos are just as good in colour as they are in Black & White and I was impressed with the final result of this photo-set.

This photo-set, for me, is a remarkable improvement in the photography skills I currently have, as I’ve always intended on improving on my work every time I produce a photo-set.

Photography isn’t just about improving on what you already know, rather it’s the hunger and passion to produce the work and the attention you pay to every small detail of a photograph that really matters.

It’s not just all in the details, it’s all in the passion and whether you have a keen eye to do photography.

For me, I can say I have a keen eye in my own photography work as I produce the photography work, and I oversee the work I produce, as my photography work is me showing all of you what I can do, and the photography work that I produce myself is my own signature, as this is the work I want you to see; the reality instead of the expectation.

Also, mental health is something close to my heart, and with these photos, especially the photo-sets I produce, I intend for my work to raise awareness and give hope that you can always be yourself, you can always express yourself freely and always be open in a world that expects otherwise and there’s absolutely no shame in being open with everyone.

The captions I use on the photo-sets I produce I have made myself as I intend to explore real emotions, but also capture hidden emotions that aren’t visible at first glance but will become visible on the second or third glance.

If you feel there are any improvements I could make for next time, please comment below what you feel I could improve on for the future photo-sets I intend to produce.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: 18 – 55 mm NIKKOR Lens

The Concept of Expression: Akash DeSilva

The next model I’ve picked to photograph for my photography series is my close friend, Akash DeSilva.

As I continue to raise awareness for mental health, I also aim to inspire and give hope and to also promote positivity.

For this photo-set, just like I did with Hamid, I was able to photograph Akash in the moment, so in this case, I caught him off-guard in some of the photos, with one of the photos I took showing him completely off-guard, even if the photo might suggest he was posing when he did not.

NIKON D3300

iPhone 7

Something's Caught My Attention.
Something’s Caught My Attention.

The photo that stood out for me and created quite a lot of humour, which made Akash laugh, was the photo I uploaded to Instagram from this photo-set: “The Man With the Energy Drink”, as the caption was inspired on the famous painting by Johannes Vermeer, produced in 1665 during the Dutch Golden Age: “Girl With a Pearl Earring”.

It was actually, for me, one of my best photos, and it was received very well on Instagram, keeping in mind that I love to upload sneak previews of the best photos I hand-pick to Instagram from the photo-sets I’ve produced.

Believe it or not, Akash wasn’t posing in this photo, as he didn’t know this photo was produced until I showed him. He was completely off-guard when I took this photo, but it’s true what they say though when it comes to off-guard photographs that they often tend to be the best photographs when the subject isn’t prepared, and in this case, I photographed him with him being unaware, and that’s why this photo, for me, stands out from the rest.

The Man With the Energy Drink
The Man With the Energy Drink.

It’s good to create photos that give off happy memories, but for me, happy memories bring power to photographs, even when you don’t expect them to.

For me, mental health isn’t just close to my heart, but because it’s often something that is brushed under the carpet, I want to bring mental health to the surface by raising awareness through my photography work.

If you feel there are any improvements I can make for next time, I would love to hear your responses and if you liked this photo-set, please feel free to share this photo-set on with everyone you know.

One more thing…never suppress your real emotions, let them go and be open, and you will feel so much better knowing you don’t need to hold back how you really feel.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: 18 – 55 mm NIKKOR Lens

Date of Photo-Set Produced: Sunday 17th June 2018

Device Used: iPhone 7

The Concept of Expression: Hamid Haq

The next model I have picked to photograph for my photography series is my close friend, Hamid Haq.

With it being almost a year since I last met up with Hamid, it was so good to finally meet up with him again after such a long time, and on a decent day too, as me, Hamid, and a couple of friends paid a visit to Lavender Fields, which is a beautiful place to visit if you’ve got the free time on your hands, and also the best spot for photography.

With this small photo-set, I captured a few off-guard headshots of Hamid, with two headshots where I asked him to pose based on his mood and personality. Considering he’s a natural when it comes to modelling, this gave me the chance to explore his personality through the emotions he presented.

Below are the two photographs I’ve hand-picked from this photo-set which I feel are my two best photos to show in black and white.

Hamid’s modelling presence in this photo-set, to me, is evident, because out of the 7 photos, 5 of the photographs were actually off-guard of him in the moment unaware to me taking these photos,

Hamid has that quality to model any pose because his personality is unique and his emotions shine through in these photos.

The realisation is the emotions behind the expressions he’s made, as he appears confident, but from a perspective where mental health comes in, I can see some of his real emotions even though they may not necessarily be present on the first glance, and the emotions appear to show he may be happy, but in reality, he might be feeling unhappy deep down.

This the emotion I wanted to capture where just because you see him happy or confident here doesn’t necessarily mean he could be feeling the same behind the facial expressions he has made off-guard, including the poses I asked him to make.

Mental health is often ignored, but I want to change that, and I hope that the photo-sets I’ve produced so far, including this photo-set, inspire every single one of you who may be going through a tough time that there’s always hope and light at the end of the tunnel and that you deserve to seek the best help, support and treatment where possible.

Mental health shouldn’t be ignored. It should be acknowledged and everyone should know that we are all different, not the same and that you are always free to express yourself in your own personality.

You are always free to appear how you want to appear, and if anyone judges you, they’re only judging themselves. Dress how you want to dress, be who you want to be and be yourself in a world that expects otherwise. Be yourself.

You’re unique. No one can change that.

If you feel there are any improvements I can make for next time, I would love to hear your responses and if you liked this photo-set, please feel free to share this photo-set on with everyone you know.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: 18 – 55 mm NIKKOR Lens

Date of Photo-Set Produced: Sunday 17th June 2018

Celebrating 5 Years of Mother Nature!

It’s hard to believe exactly five years ago today, I started this website.

I remember publishing my first ever amount of photography work during the Summer season on the 6th June 2013, and the photos I produced were all taken on the old Samsung ST200F camera I used to use.

Nature didn’t just fascinate me when it came to photography. It was the beauty of Mother Nature that interested me.

I remember when I first joined WordPress before I started this website that I tried to write reviews on some technology-based products and some albums for two blogs I used to use and both of those blogs never took off, despite trying to keep at being consistent with publishing articles, and initially I gave up hope thinking I would never get my work noticed.

It was only when I asked a friend of mine and a former lecturer who used to teach me at secondary school whether they thought it was a good idea for me to try again, and they did, and I gave publishing articles another go, only this time, I wanted to make sure I could create a website where I wouldn’t just want to be consistent with publishing, but where I could set my creativity and photography skills free.

Fast forward to now, and I never thought I would be able to achieve so much in the space of exactly five years.

It gives me peace of mind knowing I can publish either frequently or now and then, as I’ve kept at publishing on this website and it’s kept me active and has taken me places I thought I would never go.

Having a website is an achievement in itself, but to publish consistently and to keep at it is a lot of hard work, especially if you want everyone to see the work you can produce, as well as pouring your heart and soul into a hobby you love.

Photography, for me, isn’t just a hobby, but feels more like a job, as it’s a visceral and interesting career aspect as you could take a photo, and deep down, that photo has meaning, and for me, because I love photography, I love to make sure my photographs have meaning, where they can be understood from more than one opinion, perspective or point of view rather than the photo be just a photo.

I intend to produce more photography work and I intend to continue raising awareness for mental health, so thank you so much for sticking by, as I shall continue to publish and raise awareness, but for now, I want to propose a toast and celebrate five years of Mother Nature.

Here’s to another five years, and if you’re thinking of starting up your own website, blog or business, WordPress is the best platform to use.

Alex Smithson

The Concept of Expression: Christian Aranda Montilva

The next model I have picked to photograph for this photography series is my close friend, Christian Aranda Montilva.

For this photoshoot, I wanted to capture Christian’s emotions, but with a realistic approach. In this case, I wanted to make sure I could explore his emotions from a realistic perspective that surrounds mental health.

Mental health is close to my heart considering it’s an area of life that is often overlooked, often ignored and often brushed under the carpet. I aim to make sure this photo-set and the photography series, in general, can capture the emotions of mental health where everyone may feel like they cannot open up, even if they put on an expression where they look happy, but deep down, they feel broken, depressed and worried about opening up about how they really feel in case they’re judged, targeted or even vilified for the real emotions they have underneath the image they’re expected to present, as opposed to the actual image of themselves they want to present.

Christian is a natural when it comes to pulling facial expressions, especially expressions he’s made that are completely off-guard. Most of these photos I produced of him were in the moment when he was off-guard, and even talking to him whilst photographing him at certain segments over the space of two hours gave me the chance to photograph off-guard, off-the-cuff facial expressions I wouldn’t necessarily be able to capture if I asked him to make up a facial expression.

The photo: “Hold Your Head Up High & Believe in Yourself!” stood out for me, as I was able to get Christian to recreate the iconic pose from the 1986 release of True Blue, produced by the Queen of Pop, Madonna, with the iconic photograph being produced by Herb Ritts.

The reason this photo also stood out for me is that it’s like he’s releasing negative energy and embracing the positive energy but in his own way that is unique and different to everyone else.

Hold Your Head Up High & Believe in Yourself!
Hold Your Head Up High & Believe in Yourself!

Christian is very expressive in his personality and considering he was able to be himself in how he appears free from judgment, these, for me, stood out the most in this photo-set, and I also feel this is the most expressive photo-set I’ve produced to date.

Of course, I will continue to improve the whole concept of expressions in every photograph over the course of time, as this will help me to give the photography series a better understanding, so that mental health isn’t just acknowledged, but that no one is allowed to judge someone because of the mental health condition they have.

If you feel there are any improvements I can make for next time, I would love to hear your responses and if you liked this photo-set, please feel free to share this photo-set on with everyone you know.

I want to make sure mental health is acknowledged and I hope that this photography series can raise awareness and give anyone suffering from mental health hope that you don’t need to hide your real emotions, but express them freely, as this will help you to regain your confidence and give you the best stability you want.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: 18 – 55 mm NIKKOR Lens

Date of Photo-Set Produced: Monday 28th May 2018

New Page!

I have officially published a new page for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” as I wanted to make sure the photography series gets its own designated page.

The page details a short and brief description of what the photography series is all about and to access the page, you can now click on the drop-down menu to access the page.

The drop-down menus remain the same, and the photo-sets can be accessed as usual, but the menu: “The Concept of Expression” will now link to its own page.

The page will receive some tweaks over the course of the next few months so keep your eyes peeled for more as more photo-sets will be published and the page will receive some updates to better accommodate the photography series, as well as the models I have photographed and the models I will be photographing for the series.

I hope this helps and please feel free to suggest anything I may have missed as this can help me to tweak the page more should there be any further improvements I may need to make.

Alex Smithson

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 Concept of Expression: Mikey Andrews

Following on from photographing my close friend, Samuel Cato, who I’ve known since secondary school, the next model I have photographed for this photography series is my close friend, Mikey Andrews.

The weather was wonderful in Oxford Street on Wednesday, and given that I visited Oxford Street on Tuesday, it gave me all the time I needed to prepare for Wednesday so I could learn the route to get from Croydon straight to Oxford Circus Station, but luckily, because the weather was wonderful and it was nice and sunny, I was able to produce these photographs with much less noise with more focus.

Mikey Andrews is a fitness coach and is an inspiration, so if you want to see his fitness pages and his website, I’ll provide them at the end of this photo-set.

Below are the photographs I produced featuring my close friend, Mikey Andrews.

I’m so happy with how these photos turned out as they turned out to be much better than I originally expected, and is probably my best photo-set to date since I started the photography series, but I’m so glad to have had the honour to photograph Mikey as he is an inspiration to me, and if you get a chance to see the hard work he’s gone to with his fitness programme, please have a look at his dedication to fitness as he’s inspired me and I’m pretty sure you’ll be inspired too.

If you feel there are any improvements I can make for next time, please feel free to comment below and if you liked this photo-set, please feel free to share this photo-set on with everyone you know.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: 18 – 55 mm NIKKOR Lens

Mikey Andrews’ Fitness Info

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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