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

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

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

Welcome to January!

Welcome to 2018! Happy New Year Everyone!

Now that 2017 has finally closed its doors, 2018 opens with a bright, busy and fresh year ahead.

Things will be changing now. As I will be working a lot more, please expect to notice I will be publishing now and then over the course of this year, as I will be focusing a lot more now on my full-time job instead of publishing articles as often as I used to. I’ll still be publishing articles now and then and I will be making sure to produce more photography work this year whilst I work in my job, but I shall be prioritising my job a lot more over writing and publishing articles.

Mother Nature continues to be equal and diverse, and to make a change, Mother Nature goes green as of today as this website is going to be more about photography, as photography, to me, is an initiative of creativity, not just naturistic, but is about being able to explore the core aspects of what photography is all about, as well as the beauty of photographs and how each photograph doesn’t just tell a story, but explores the story of that photograph a lot more in-depth, whether it’s about nature, or whether it’s about close-up photography or anything else that involves landscape and portrait photography. To put it quite simply, in other words, photography isn’t just an initiative of creativity, but is about a freedom of expression in what you can see in a photograph that no-one else may be able to see the first time.

2018 sure is going to be an exciting year full of new challenges and projects but I will be making sure to continue working on my photography series, The Concept of Expression, over the course of this year, so today is where the hard work will now really begin!

Happy New Year Everyone and Welcome to 2018!

Alex Smithson

The Concept of Expression: Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford / Beyond the Expression

Going back to the drawing board with the photographs I previously produced that featured my close friends, Saviyon Thomas & Shaquille Roachford, I produced some more photographs that follow on from when I photographed my close friend, the actor and mental health awareness campaigner, Oli Regan, of Saviyon & Shaquille.

As I wanted to make sure these photos had that cut and thrust appeal about them, I went beyond the expression by exploring their personalities a little more in-depth. In this case, I wanted to capture off-the-cuff natural facial expressions that Saviyon & Shaquille made, whilst also capturing the essence of their emotions in their facial expressions.

Saviyon & Shaquille’s facial expressions were really natural, and what I feel made this photo set more interesting was the naturalism of their expressions, as I caught them off-guard without them noticing, that was, until I showed them the photographs, of course. They were really pleased with the end result of these photographs, and I too was impressed.

Below are the photographs I produced, featuring my close friend, Saviyon Thomas.

Saviyon Thomas

Shaquille Roachford

These photographs are a notable improvement in my photography skills, but at a later stage, I will want to experiment with portrait photography more, whilst experimenting further with lighting, including the saturation, contrast and more so.

I will be working on this photography series over the course of 2018 but will be making sure to try and find the time, when I can, to photograph more people. In this case, I will be looking to try and photograph some of my friends so that I can gain confidence more with portrait and landscape photography, whilst working much harder behind the camera.

Please let me know if there are any improvements I can make to my photography skills as this will help me to become better at photographing people in the future, as well as becoming better at photographing landscapes, nature and everything else photography-based in general. I would love to hear your feedback.

Alex Smithson

Photography Collection Produced: Saturday 5th August 2017

Camera Used: Nikon D3300

Welcome to September!

Welcome to September on Mother Nature! As this month is set to be just as busy at the last, it is safe to say I may be publishing not as often as I used to, considering I am making sure to prioritise my time as effectively as possible, given that I have been looking around for jobs, with some good news in mind.

I sent off my CV & Covering Letter late yesterday morning for a photography job, and received a phone call within 24 hours of applying as I’ve been invited to go along for an interview on Wednesday 6th September. It’s a big step for me considering it is my first ever proper job interview and I am nervous to tell you the truth, but hopefully it will go well. This came at such a good time, to be frank, as my dream job is to become a photographer, and hopefully, fingers crossed, if the interview goes well, then I might get the job. At this stage, as I’m preparing myself for the interview next week, I will be making sure to plan the route in advance so that I can get to and from Camden before, during and after my interview. It’s a big step for me so fingers crossed! This does mean I will be inactive a bit more often than usual as I am making sure to be as flexible as possible considering I really want this job.

Meanwhile, over the course of this month, I will try and get some more of the photos I produced last month for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” published on here, as I have been noticing some of the photography work I have published for this self-produced photography series has gained quite a lot of good traction and feedback on Instagram, and while we’re on the subject of photography work, expect some photos to be edited to black and white to add effect to the original photographs, as I will be experimenting further with some of the photos I choose to edit.

What are your plans for September, everyone? I am keen to find out what you plan to do over the next few weeks. Please feel free to submit your responses below in the comments.

Until then, Welcome to September!

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

Crash Bandicoot is Back!!!

On the 13th June 2016, after years of rumours and speculation, Sony finally announced that the classic Crash Bandicoot series that consisted of the three PlayStation 1 games, Crash Bandicoot, Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot: Warped will be remastered.

Of course, I’ve been waiting for that news to arrive, and I’m absolutely pleased that it’s finally happening. It was only on the 9th July 2015 that I talked about Crash Bandicoot: Warped in a gaming review, and to now hear that all three of the first Crash games are finally being revived, that’s amazing.

The Crash series was the norm 20 years ago, and loads of people would literally lock themselves away in their bedrooms for hours on end playing the games, because the games were that good that you could play it and feel like you were in a world of your own.

Believe me when I say this, when I’ve played the Crash games, I’ve been like that, locking myself away in my bedroom just to play the games because they’re classic games that, even to this day, will always be so good, and the potential for revivals of all three Crash games were on the cards for a very long time.

We all have, so far, got a taster of the new version of Crash Bandicoot, as he makes his debut on the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4, the XBOX 360, XBOX ONE and the Nintendo Wii U in the new Skylanders game, Skylanders Imaginators, which will be released in three editions, the Standard Edition, the Dark Edition & the Crash Edition, on the 14th October 2016. The Crash Bandicoot Remastered Series is being released next year, though more details of the trilogy will follow nearer the time of release.

All I can say is that as long as the remastered versions of Crash Bandicoot’s 1, 2 & 3 for the PlayStation 4 live up to the same potential or to the highest potential as the PS1 Classic versions of the games, then I’ll be pleased, and as long as the remastered versions of the Crash PS1 Series live up to the hype that the originals had at release, then I’ll consider getting the trilogy when it comes out, after I see gameplay videos of the remastered versions in action on YouTube of course.

Are you just as excited as I am about the Crash Bandicoot series being revived? If so, please me know by submitting feedback below. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Remembering Satoru Iwata, One Year On (1959 – 2015)

Exactly one year ago today, the gaming world lost an iconic gaming legend. Satoru Iwata, who was best known for being the man behind the iconic gaming consoles, such as the Game Boy Series, the Nintendo DS Series, the Nintendo Wii Series, the Nintendo 3DS Series and the Nintendo Wii U Series, sadly passed away a year ago today following a bile duct growth, which Nintendo officially announced in a statement they published on the 11th July 2015.

I still find it hard to believe, even now, that he has gone, it just doesn’t feel real. To think he passed away on this day last year shocks me.

On this day last year, when Satoru Iwata’s death was announced to the world, everyone paid tribute to the iconic gaming legend, with one company even creating an image showing the flag pole from the end of a Super Mario Bros. level at half-mast, which would pay respect to Satoru Iwata.

It’s hard to think and believe it was actually a year ago today that he passed away. He is an iconic gaming legend who was also famously behind the Mario series, as well as other games that he was behind on.

Thanks to Satoru Iwata, he helped to re-shape and redefine Nintendo’s love and passion for games including his own, and he also helped to shape our lives for the better. I want to thank Satoru Iwata entirely for helping this world become a better place. I also want to thank Satoru Iwata for changing mine and everyone else’s lives for the better.

Even to this day, and even in the future, we will always miss you Satoru Iwata. Thank you for being the iconic gaming legend that you are and always will be, and thanks so much for changing everyone’s lives, including mine for the better. We will and always will miss you Satoru Iwata, but you will be forever remembered in our hearts.

Alex Smithson