Welcome to August!

Welcome to August on Mother Nature everyone! As the next few weeks are set to be peaceful, but also a little busy, it is safe to say that time sure will fly this month, as I’ve got my next batch of photographs on the way very soon for my own photography series which will be of a certain someone who is a very close friend of mine.

I have photographed this person before, but I will reveal the person I will have photographed very soon once another article goes up for: “The Concept of Expression” Photography Series.

What are your plans for August? I would love to hear what you are planning to do over the course of this month. Please feel free to submit your response below, I would love to hear what plans you have got in store for this month.

Until then:

Welcome to August!

Alex Smithson


Headshot #8 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Kasra Soltani

As part of my Final Major Project, Headshot #8 follows on Headshot #7, which focused on the subject, Mhamad Rauf, and Headshot #8 focuses on my next subject, which is my close friend, Kasra Soltani.

For these photographs, I wanted to create a different approach to the facial expressions I wanted Kasra to make by getting him to do those facial expressions as to the way he makes those facial expressions naturally.

I experimented, just like with Headshot #6 of Terrence & Leonardo and with Headshot #7 of Mhamad, with the graffiti as a backdrop, as I wanted to photograph Kasra down in the walkway that is just on the right-hand-side outside the rotunda of Croydon College.

All of these headshot photographs build further on all of the research I have done over the course of the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, and the five photographers I have done research on are Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn, Thomas Ruff, August Sander & David Bailey.

Below are the headshot photographs I have produced of Kasra, including some Monochrome photographs that I produced after I finished photographing Kasra making the facial expressions I asked him to do for these photographs.

Canon EOS 1200D

WordFoto Edits

Monochrome (Black & White) / Facial Expressionism Photographs + A Continuation of the First Set of Facial Expressionism Photographs

I feel that the research I have done over the course of the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project has really informed and developed my photography skills further. I have noticed with these photographs I have taken of Kasra that my photography skills have rapidly improved. Up until I photographed Terrence, Leo, Mhamad & Kasra, I was initially against the idea of photographing outside the college, but I was glad to have experimented further with my photography skills by photographing outside the college. as I have noticed in just the short space of a few weeks that my photography skills are now a lot better.

These photographs I have taken of my close friend, Kasra Soltani, including the edits I have produced can be found in my E-Folio, but stay tuned, as I will be publishing Headshot #9 very soon, in which I have photographed Kasra again, but this time in the photography studio. I can guarantee that the next batch of photographs I have produced for Headshot #9 featuring Kasra will be the best photographs I have produced yet.

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

Alex Smithson

If you want to follow my close friend, Kasra, on Instagram, I have provided his Instagram username here: @Kass.ll7

Headshot #2 / Facial Expressionism / Final Major Project / Jonathan McCartney

Following on from the first set of headshot photographs I took of my good friend, Jonathan McCartney, I present to you the second headshot photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan, but this time, with a black backdrop, which I must say actually works much better compared to a white backdrop, and the black backdrop was an idea a close friend of mine suggested to me after he critiqued the Headshot #1 photographs I took of Jonathan.

These headshot photographs have not only improved my photography skills, but it does make a lot of sense to use a black backdrop in these photographs, including any other photographs that I will produce.

I have made sure to experiment carefully with these photographs by editing them in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) so that they can retain the facial expressions I asked Jonathan to make, as these headshot photographs tie in with my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, including the research I have done so far on the Facial Expressionism photographers, Fazal Sheikh and Irving Penn.

Below are the Headshot #2 photographs of my friend, Jonathan.

Just like before, I have edited these photographs with WordFoto and used more than one word on one of the edited photographs shown below.

I have made sure to develop the photographs further by also changing the selected photographs to black and white whilst raising and lowering some of the curves on the photographs so that the lighting on Jonathan brings out his facial expressions better with a sense of depth and detail.

Overall, I am absolutely pleased with the end result that has come out of these photographs, and being critiqued on my work has actually helped me to develop my photography skills better, not just from receiving peer critique whilst in my Film & Photography lesson, but also from receiving critique from a close friend of mine.

The Headshot #2 photographs I have taken of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, 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 love to get your feedback on these photographs and please let me know what improvements I can make for when I produce more Facial Expressionism headshot photographs for next time. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Nature is Beautiful.

Nature is absolutely beautiful. The Spring weather continues to amaze us and with a small breeze in the air with the lovely sunny weather, it’s safe to say that this weather is beautiful and that nature is also beautiful.

I used the Camera+ app to photograph the Rose Bush again, and then I made some small edits to this photograph to give the rose-bush more of a friendly approach so that it rings true to the lovely and traditional Spring weather.

Do you love the Spring weather? I’d love to know. Please feel free to comment below. I would love to hear what you think of this wonderful weather :-).

Alex Smithson

So Solid Crew / I’ve Got 21 Seconds to Go! / BOXPARK EXCLUSIVE!

So Solid Crew smashed it when I went to see them perform at BOXPARK CROYDON and I was lucky to get some photos with one of the members from the group and honestly, it was so good! I loved every second of the performance, and the fact that they doused alcohol into the crowd (yes, I was one of the many few that got soaked but I loved it) just made the night so much better! I can tell you, they had those Diffusion smoke machines on site and those Diffusion smoke machines definitely must have had something in them because when I inhaled the smoke, I went from being somewhat tired and not as alert after finishing college to being suddenly active, wide awake and alert, in other words, whatever may have been in those smoke machines must have made me high.

They kicked off the Christmas Light Switch On by counting down not from 30 seconds, but from 21 seconds, considering that they did the record: “21 Seconds” a long time ago and they started the Christmas Light Switch On with a bang and then they started to perform 21 Seconds, which is a memorable record in its own right, considering that Ashley Walters (a.k.a. Asher D), Michael Harvey Jr., Double Dee and some of the members of So Solid Crew performed the iconic hit.

They performed other songs as well as their own tracks, some of which were rap-based and some not necessarily rap-based but songs we all know and honestly, they smashed it at BOXPARK Croydon. Luckily, as the tickets were free, me and a group of friends went and it was the best night of my life! I was also lucky to get some photos with Double Dee from So Solid Crew and I told him that it was my first time seeing So Solid Crew perform, and straightaway, he said: “Respect for you Brother.” Now for him to say that to me, again, like the time I went to see Ben Haenow, Alex Haenow & James Plimmer, it felt like I had been friends with him for a long time, even though it was the first time I actually got to meet Double Dee from So Solid Crew, and honestly, he is so down to earth and is such a genuine guy and it was an absolute honour to meet Double Dee and it was also an absolute honour to see So Solid Crew at BOXPARK Croydon.

I have got dozens of photographs from the Christmas Light Switch On at BOXPARK Croydon, including some footage from the Christmas Light Switch On which clocks in at around 45-50 minutes.

Overall, I absolutely loved every second of So Solid Crew’s performance at BOXPARK Croydon and I’ll treasure that night for the rest of my life. Also, I’m so happy to have met Double Dee from So Solid Crew and I will remember that night for the rest of my life as it is a happy memory I will never forget and will always smile about.

I’ve got 21 seconds to go, so if you enjoyed this massive photo collection and video article, please feel free to let me know by submitting feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: October 2016

As Halloween draws October to a close, in a place where no one can hear you scream, I will make sure to round October off by taking a look back at the articles published over the course of this month. Happy Halloween!

1.10.2016 – Kicking off October, I welcomed all of you back to Mother Nature and I would announce that this month would be just as busy as September, considering it would be quite a productive and busy month given my Film & Photography Course.

3.10.2016 – 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. I published my photo collection of The Trek to Dungeness on this day following the trip just around one or two weeks before.

5.10.2016 – On this day five years ago, the iconic and revolutionary technology figure, Steve Jobs, best known for shaping Apple into the company it is today, sadly passed away on the 5th October 2011 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

14.10.2016 – As I collaborated with the famous GIANTLAND actor, Oli Regan, on the article surrounding Autism & Mental Health Awareness, I published an article based on whether Autism & Mental Health were overlooked, to which they actually were, and the article came about after a video surfaced of a man and an organisation who believed that Autism and Mental Health were curable, which they’re not, and I used the sole intention to publicly shame them for their disgusting beliefs of what they think works and what doesn’t where Autism & Mental Health is concerned. It is and always will be an absolute honour to work with Oli Regan, because without his help on this topic of discussion, this article wouldn’t have come to fruition and I thank him wholeheartedly for collaborating with me on this article.

21.10.2016 – To celebrate the release of her fifth studio album, JOANNE, following her remarkable comeback to the music scene, which saw her record: “Perfect Illusion” go straight to Number 1 around the world, with a few other singles that followed shortly after, Lady Gaga‘s highly anticipated fifth studio album, JOANNE, was officially released worldwide. As I had listened to and purchased the deluxe edition of the album on this day, I can honestly say I love Lady Gaga’s fifth studio album, JOANNE.

25.10.2016 – As Winter is fast-approaching, the coats, scarves, gloves and headgear comes out as the temperatures are set to drop, despite the weather being warm on some days. I also mentioned that Daylight Saving Time would come to an end on Sunday 30th October 2016 at 2:00 AM, in which the clocks would go back 1 hour, with the daylight hours being considerably shorter, with an extra hour of sleep included.

29.10.2016 – I published an article that was of serious discussion based on whether you thought drones should be used in the public domain to which I immediately said: “I Don’t Think So!”

Also on this day, I asked you all if you were prepared as the clock would go back 1 hour at 2:00 AM on Sunday 30th October 2016, to which I mentioned that I’m prepared to get back the extra hour as I needed it, also because of the fact I tend to get more work done with an extra hour in hand.

31.10.2016 – It’s been a long time coming, and after a long wait, BOXPARK is officially open in Croydon! I used the opportunity today to snap a large collection of photos during my lunch break and also after I finished my first day back at college after the one-week holiday. It’s absolutely lovely and so peaceful in BOXPARK. This photo collection would consist of 56 photographs, including 1 edited photograph based on an original version of one of the photographs I took of BOXPARK.

Thanks to all of you for such a productive and busy month, and I will try my best to get as many articles published when the free time becomes available over certain times during next month. Again, thanks to all of you for such a productive and busy month, and I will see you all in November.

Alex Smithson

BOXPARK is Officially Open!

It’s been a long time coming, and after a long wait, BOXPARK is officially open in Croydon!

I used the opportunity today to snap a large collection of photos during my lunch break and also after I finished my first day back at college after the one-week holiday. It’s absolutely lovely and so peaceful in BOXPARK.

It’s absolutely peaceful in BOXPARK and is the best place in my opinion where you can meet up with good friends you may or may have not seen in a long time, also because there are so many benches and tables available, which is useful if you want to have something to eat with friends, and not only that, but if you’re someone who likes to study in your own free time, BOXPARK is a useful place to study if you’re someone who loves to be creative.

Below are all of the 56 photographs I took today, including an edited version of one of the photographs I took earlier today.

I wanted to take these photos to show you BOXPARK in its full glory for the remarkable design aspects and perspectives it carries. BOXPARK stands tall and makes a statement of its own, stating that they want you to be able to enjoy yourself and to have a good time. They aim to repackage and repurpose what is already known into the unknown, but into an entirely new concept that no one has even thought of or ever seen before.

If you’re in Croydon, and have visited BOXPARK, please let me know. I’d love to know your thoughts on BOXPARK. If you are someone who loves travelling the world and you plan to travel to Croydon, London or even Shoreditch to see BOXPARK, please let me know your thoughts about BOXPARK, I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

Looking at Life Through a Lens: What Makes Each Photo Tell a Story?

We all love the idea of taking photos no matter where we are, but what makes each photo tell a story? I’ll tell you.

A photo tells a story based on what you may have done in a certain place at a certain time, but sometimes, the photos you take may have a completely different story behind them based on how that photo was taken, where the photo was taken, as well as the scene that is set for that particular photo.

For example, if you remember the photo of the Canada Goose that I took back in July 2013, in which the Canada Goose was positioned directly in the middle, it’s like the Canada Goose has spotted me and is coming towards me at a certain speed, or it’s coming closer and closer to me expecting food, but really, it’s not.

When I took that photo, which, at the time, was taken with the Samsung ST200F Camera before I upgraded to the Nikon D3300 DSLR in September 2014, I was actually in a rush when I was in Kelsey Park whilst taking the photo, and even to this day, it is one of my most iconic photographs, as it was the type of photo I still haven’t, to this day, seen being recreated by other photographers, whether they’re amateur or professional or not.

For me, I like to make sure each photo I take, whether it’s part of a large photo collection or not, tells a story, as I want that photo to describe not just what I want you to see, but how I want you to see it.

I love photography and I’m always fascinated with how a certain photo is taken, because I like to know how I can produce my own photos to that similar standard.

For example, the shutter speed of the photo, the ISO (International Standards Organisation), the exposure of the photo, the exposure program that the photo was taken with (e.g. Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority), including the focal length of that particular photo that was taken.

I aim to make sure any photos I do or don’t like are kept separate from each other, so at least that way I know which photos I will upload and which photos I won’t upload, so that it gives me a better chance of balancing any article I publish.

Overall, I love photography, and if you do as well, please let me know by submitting 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.