The Concept of Expression / Wesley Baker (CDN)

Kicking off the first photography article of the year, I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to photograph my close friend, Wesley Baker.

With his work being featured in and Croydon, with one of his most notable pieces of artwork being the centrepiece of Croydon Flyover of the hit cartoon, Astro Boy, Wesley’s CDNZine and CDNStore Instagram accounts boom with artistic values and energy, and I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to photograph him.

Despite the wet and windy weather conditions near Ambassador House, Thornton Heath, I was able to produce a good set of photographs, which can be found below.

I acknowledge the ISO was on the noisiest setting, but that was due to the torrential weather conditions on Saturday. I will be improving on making any future photographs I take less noisy and more focal and masked. At least then, this gives me a chance to learn from and improve on the final outcomes of any photo-sets I produce in the future.

Other than that, I am really pleased with how this photo-set turned out as I was able to get Wesley to do some facial expressions, natural and put-on, as this helped me to understand his personality and charisma through his work.

If you have Instagram, follow Wesley’s Instagram accounts, @cdnzine and @cdn_store and sign up to his mailing list by clicking here.

Also, if you are interested in getting some art installed on your living room walls or anywhere you know or you want to get a fleecy top, support Wesley’s brand by purchasing his branded CDN Shirts and his most current work: “NEVER MIND THE CONCRETE” through his BigCartel store by clicking here.

Please tell me in the comments below your tips on how I can improve my photography sets next time, as this will help me to improve and help me to develop my photography skills better. Also, please share this photo-set with everyone you know and even share it on social media platforms.

Alex Smithson

© Wesley Baker, CDNZine & CDNStore, 2018

© Permission was granted by Wesley Baker to use the CDN logo. Full copyright goes to the respective owners.

Camera Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: 18 – 55 mm NIKKOR Lens

A Wonderful, Breezy & Sunny Day Out in London.

It was the perfect time for me to travel up to London on the 26th September as the weather was lovely, the scenery was beautiful and on a clear day like this, it was wonderful.

Whilst I was up in London, I used the opportunity wisely to photograph certain areas of London; Borough Market was beautiful, but so was the landscape. To tell you the truth, it’s not the first time I’ve been up to London on my own as I went up to London just a few short weeks before when I was planning my route to get to Camden, which I must say is also beautiful, but the fact that it was nice and sunny gave me the perfect opportunity to seize the moment by photographing certain areas of the landscape, whilst also photographing the Shard.

Honestly, London is absolutely beautiful on a sunny day, and the 26th September was the perfect example of how sunny days should be; warm, breezy, bright and beautiful and that’s why I had a wonderful, breezy and sunny day out in London.

I experimented with the low-light features on my Nikon D3300 DSLR to see how the landscapes and portraits would appear in certain situations if it was light or dark, as this helped me to visualise the landscape differently as if it was daylight one minute and sunset the next.

Below is the full collection of photographs I produced whilst I was up in London.

It was absolutely wonderful, but busy when I went up to London towards the end of September and I was glad to have seized the opportunity to visit London at the peak of Summer.

If you ever get a chance to visit London and Borough Market in the Spring and Summer months, I suggest you do because London and Borough Market are beautiful places, and you’d be crazy to not seize the opportunity to visit London and Borough Market.

If you enjoyed my photography collection of my visit to London and Borough Market, please tell me in the comments. I would love to hear your responses.

Alex Smithson

The Concept of Expression / Oli Regan

Following on from when I photographed my close friends, Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford, I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to photograph my close friend, the actor and mental health awareness campaigner, Oli Regan, again, but this time for my photography series: “The Concept of Expression”.

As I look to explore the concept of expression in the subjects I photograph, photographing Oli gave me the chance to explore his personality, regardless of the angle, but more importantly, as body language is a consistent boundary for the subject’s facial expression, photographing Oli again gave me the chance to explore his personality through these photo headshots, as well as his persona, so in this case, because he’s an actor, he puts on a serious face, which makes the photos interesting, considering that being serious really makes him stand out.

The serious impression and the modelling approach that Oli has taken to make sure the photographs I have produced look visually eye-catching are out of this world. Whilst I remember, keep an eye out for Oli on the latest EE advert that’s been on TV recently. You don’t want to miss it. To spot him, wait for Stormzy‘s song: “Big for Your Boots“, taken from his album, Gang Signs & Prayer, to come on after Kevin Bacon finishes with the word: “INCOMING!” and you should see Oli on the left-hand-side of the screen skanking to Stormzy’s record. It’s a bloody good advert and you will not be disappointed.

Below are the photos I’ve produced of my close friend, Oli Regan.

I am pleased with the way these photographs turned out, but I won’t lie to you, naming each photograph based on the expression and emotion is quite hard, and the photography work I produced when I was at Croydon College is living proof that naming each photo based on the expression and emotion is harder than it looks.

What I will need to improve on is angling the camera when I photograph any subject, so that rather than photograph the subject the way I would usually photograph them, I would need to put the camera up higher, but with the camera angled down a little so that there is little to no head-space on the portrait photographs. These photographs I have produced are really good as they capture the expressions and emotions I wanted Oli to make, but I will be making sure to improve on certain photography-based areas I may or may not be so good

These photographs I have produced are really good as they capture the expressions and emotions I wanted Oli to make, but I will be making sure to improve on certain photography-based areas I may or may not be so good at so that this gives me a better chance next time.

Other than that, I am actually pleased with the overall outcome from these photographs.

These photos will be in my E-Folio so please make sure to check my E-Folio as I will be updating the E-Folio as often as I can.

If you like these photographs I have produced of my close friend, the mental health awareness campaigner and actor, Oli Regan, please leave your comments below. I would love to hear your response and if there are any further improvements I can make for next time, please let me know. I am open to criticism as this will help me to improve the photographs I take for next time.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

Beddington Park / Croydon School of Art / Curiosity / Self-Directed Project / 1.2.2017

Following on from my visit to Dulwich Park, I decided to visit Beddington Park to photograph some of the scenery, and I also photographed some of the gravestones, given the names on some or most of the gravestones consisted of people who may have died a few years earlier, including those that may have died up to more than 100 years ago.

Of course, as I am continuously making sure to improve my photography skills every time I make a photographic collection, I like to make sure I can play around with my Nikon D3300 DSLR‘s camera features, as this can help me to produce a professional collection of photographs, so I made sure when I was at Beddington Park to try and photograph certain areas in and around the graveyard, especially the scenery and also the church.

It was freezing cold, but wasn’t raining when I took these photographs which was a relief for me, as I was able to produce this photographic collection to a much better standard than I expected, but I did make sure to change the ISO throughout producing this photographic collection as I wanted to make sure these photographs were full of clarity and also full of vibrant colour, so that they were presentable and professional enough to be a photographic collection.

As far as my photography skills go, I am pleased to say I have experimented more with the ISO, as this has helped me to produce this photographic collection of Beddington Park to the best standard where possible. I have acknowledge some of these photographs may be slightly darker than they should be, but it’s because I want for you to see how I’ve worked with the landscape, as well as to how I see Beddington Park generally.

Have you been to Beddington Park before? If you have, please let me know, I would love to hear your feedback, and if you haven’t been to Beddington Park before, don’t worry, as this photographic collection I have created of Beddington Park will give you an insight into what Beddington Park, not to mention the hindsight of the landscape.

Alex Smithson

© The Croydon College Logo & Croydon School of Art Logo are both copyright of Croydon College & Croydon School of Art. Permission has been granted for these logos to be used. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

Dulwich Park / Croydon School of Art / Curiosity / Self-Directed Project / 31.1.2017

Continuing on from my first set of photographs that I took previously at Kelsey Park, I headed to Dulwich Park to photograph the scenery and also some ducks and birds. I saw some Mallards and Parakeets whilst I was there, including some squirrels, though to tell you the truth, some of the squirrels I came across looked bigger than their usual size, so I did make sure to walk very slowly to photograph them and I am pleased with the end result that I have achieved from this photographic collection.

One of the Moor Hens actually came a lot closer than I expected, which was perfect for me as I was able to photograph the Moor Hen with such detail and visual imagery, and because I frequently changed the ISO on my Nikon D3300 DSLR, this allowed me to play about with the light balance, including the saturation of colour and clarity of the photos.

This photographic collection I have documented of Dulwich Park showcases my current knowledge and photography skills, based on the 5 photographers I have researched; Ansel Adams, David Muench, John Shaw, Art Wolfe & Joel Sartore.

I feel that I have managed to produce this nature-based photography collection of Dulwich Park to the best standard where possible, as I have made sure to change the ISO to suit the mood of each photograph, and I have also made sure that my photographs are in full focus and aren’t too overexposed but more or less balanced.

I have deliberately altered the ISO to make some of the photos appear as if they were taken right before the crack of nightfall, because I wanted to explore the concept of nature and its wilderness. Some of the photos I took that were quite dimmed I wanted to try and create my own inspired form of photography based on the BBC TV Programme, Planet Earth, as I remember the camera crew did record video footage using time-lapse but with the camera focusing entirely at the sky with the trees in the distance, which is what I wanted to try and recreate myself but with my own form of nature photography.

I have researched the 5 photographers above as part of my Self-Directed Curiosity Project and I strongly feel that their photography work has informed my creative knowledge including the processes I have developed for this photographic collection of Dulwich Park.

What are your thoughts on this photography collection I have created of Dulwich Park? I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

© The Croydon College Logo & Croydon School of Art Logo are both copyright of Croydon College & Croydon School of Art. Permission has been granted for these logos to be used. No Copyright Infringement Intended.

The Trek to Dungeness: 23.9.2016

On Friday 23rd September 2016, me and my class headed up to Dungeness as part of our course, and considering that the trip was an hour and a half via coach, I can honestly say that Dungeness is actually really peaceful and quiet. Despite the fact that I have heard it is a depressing place, to me, that is a complete understatement, as Dungeness is not a depressing place, even if the huge landscape around it suggests otherwise.

Dungeness is one of the most tranquil landscapes around and is also peaceful, and despite the fact that there is a nuclear plant on site, you can’t miss it even if it’s by a mile. The smell of the sea brings back the memories of childhood, as I forgot what the smell of the sea was like until Friday 23rd September 2016, and the trek to Dungeness couldn’t have come at a perfect time, as it was nice and sunny, the weather was absolutely beautiful and I even got to soak in a bit of the sun.

I can take a lot of good memories away now from this place, as I’ve got a collection of photos here to show you how I documented my trip to Dungeness, and I even ended up with sunburn, but luckily because I had my Apple Watch on, my wrist wasn’t burned at all, though the sunburn made my completely underexposed wrist obvious to see once I took my Apple Watch off when I got home. Usually, sunburn doesn’t go well for me, but I am glad I caught the sun on this trip to Dungeness, as I can say that I enjoyed myself regardless. Believe it or not, I didn’t have enough time to put sun-cream on because I thought it was going to rain on the trip, but luckily the sunburn was only mild as it could have been a lot worse. Still, I loved the trip and I would go back to Dungeness again any day.

We were told the moment we got off the coach that we were not allowed to take photos of the nuclear power plant even from the distance we were standing at, as certain parts of Dungeness are closely policed with restrictions to some areas. On the bright side, however, we were allowed to photograph certain areas of Dungeness, considering that some areas were completely restriction-free for photography.

The huge collection of photographs that I took while on the Trek to Dungeness can all be found below:

iPhone 5 (Standard Camera App & Camera+)

Nikon D3300 DSLR (Some Edited for Better Viewing)

Overall, I can honestly say that I loved every second of the Trek to Dungeness and I would go back there any day. It’s absolutely peaceful down there, and they’ve got a café down there too, plus, they even have their own form of transport down there, as they have train carriages down there that you can get on which will take you to a certain part of Dungeness that you prefer.

Have you been down to Dungeness? Please let me know by submitting your feedback in the comments below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

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

The Truth About Summer? It’s Sweet, Serene, Stunning & Gorgeous!

On Wednesday 6th July, I ceased the opportunity to snap a large number of photos of nature’s bloom for the Summer, as there were a large number of flowers that have blossomed, all thanks to the lovely Summer weather we had on Wednesday.

Below are all of the 80 photographs I took in and around the best areas of my garden, and you may just be surprised that maybe half, if not some of them I have changed the exposure on whilst in Shutter Priority mode on my Nikon D3300 DSLR.