Monthly Roundup: April 2017

Wow! This month sure flew like the wind. I’ve been so busy with coursework and revision lately that the time has flown! I am so pleased to have got so much coursework done and I’m so glad to have shown all of you the work I have produced for my Final Major Project, including the research I have done for my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project.

Without further ado, I shall now take a look back at the articles I published over the course of April.

1.4.2017 – Welcoming you all to April on Mother Nature, I mentioned that this month would set to be just as relaxing and as peaceful as March, but that it would also be set to be quite the busy month for me, considering I would need to travel to places up in London that I can photograph, including heading to certain galleries in London to further my research and development for the Facial Expressionism Final Major Project that I’ve been working on.

7.4.2017 – The Blossoming Feels of Spring highlighted how wonderful this day was because it was nice and sunny, the temperature was just right. and I had ceased the opportunity to photograph some parts of my garden. I experimented with the ISO frequently to see which ISO setting suited the lighting conditions the best.

8.4.2017 – Nature is Beautiful proved that even Mother Nature herself continued to amaze us and because there was a small breeze in the air with the lovely sunny weather on this day, it was safe to say that this weather was beautiful and that Mother Nature is also beautiful.

9.4.2017 – Inspire to be Positive was my way of inspiring others and to promote positivity, equality and diversity towards everyone, and that we should all drown out negativity and inequality.

11.4.2017 – This day marked the beginning of a new chapter for Windows 10. As Windows Vista officially ended extended support on this day, the Windows 10 Creators Update was officially released. I gave a full run-down on the features I came across in the Creators Update considering that I made the jump to the Windows 10 Creators Update a week early ahead of this day’s official release and mentioned that another major Windows Update was set to be released in the coming months.

15.4.2017 – As it was four years since I last visited Battersea Park, it was safe to say that not a lot had changed since my last visit. During the course of my time that I revisited Battersea Park, I produced a large photographic collection that consisted of my journey to Battersea Park, including perspective photographs that I took throughout certain areas of Battersea Park itself, even though two dogs had caught two of the tennis balls me and my family were using when we played cricket on the large field, which were eventually knackered after a few whacks with the cricket bat.

21.4.2017 – As part of my Final Major Project, I did research on the photographers that influenced me in the photography work I wanted to produce, considering that my Final Major Project is based on Facial Expressionism. The first photographer I researched for my Final Major Project was Fazal Sheikh, as his work aimed to document and even personalise the power of portraiture whilst bringing the displaced parts of the world, including its own people, into focus.

23.4.2017 – Continuing on from the first photographer I researched for my Final Major Project, the second photographer I chose to research was Irving Penn, as he was an American photographer who was best known for his portrait, still life and fashion photography collections, and his photography career consisted of work he produced with the top fashion magazine company, VOGUE, including Clinique and Issey Miyake.

24.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far for my Final Major Project, I started to develop my photography skills further, and the first subject I photographed for my Final Major Project was my good friend, Jonathan McCartney. As Fazal Sheikh & Irving Penn’s photography work inspired me in the development of my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, I experimented with a white backdrop on the first set of photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan and acknowledged that some of the emotions might not connect to some of the photographs depending on which way the first headshot photographs were viewed. I also experimented further with the same photographs by converting the photographs into words with the app, WordFoto.

25.4.2017 – Following on from the first set of headshot photographs I took of my good friend, Jonathan McCartney, I presented to you the second headshot photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan, but this time, with a black backdrop, which I must say actually worked 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 not only improved my photography skills, but it made a lot of sense to use a black backdrop in these photographs, including any other photographs that I would produce. I made sure to experiment carefully with these photographs by editing them in WordFoto and GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) so that they could retain the facial expressions I asked Jonathan to make, as these headshot photographs would tie in with my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project, including the research I did so far on the Facial Expressionism photographers, Fazal Sheikh and Irving Penn.

28.4.2017 – Continuing on from the first and second photographer I researched for my Final Major Project, the third photographer I chose to research was Thomas Ruff. Thomas Ruff is a German photographer who lives and also works in Düsseldorf in Germany. As he shares a photography studio with other German photographers, such as Andreas Gursky, Axel Hütte and Laurenz Berges on Düsseldorf’s Hansaalee, the photography studio itself formerly comprised of a municipal electricity station, which was converted between the course of 1998 and 2000 by the architects, Herzog & de Meuron, who are part of Tate Modern fame, with an updated basement gallery that was completed in 2011.

29.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far on the photographers, Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn and Thomas Ruff, the second subject I chose to photograph for my Final Major Project was Steven Geer. For the Headshot #3 photographs, just like I did with the Headshot #2 photographs I took of my friend, Jonathan McCartney, I had made sure to use the black backdrop again, so that the facial expressions I would get Steven to do wouldn’t just have a real sense of depth, but that the expressions that Steven would make would capture a real sense of emotion. I experimented very carefully with the photographs as these photographs would build on the research I did so far on the 3 facial expressionist photographers; Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn & Thomas Ruff.

30.4.2017 – Following on from the research I did so far on the photographers, Fazal Sheikh, Irving Penn and Thomas Ruff, the third subject I am honoured to have photographed for my Final Major Project was the famous actor and Mental Health Awareness Campaigner, Oli Regan. For the headshot photographs I took of Oli, I experimented with a black backdrop so that the facial expressions I asked Oli to make would give the emotion from the facial expressions he made more emphasis and more depth. After I photographed Oli with the black backdrop, I then opted to try out a red backdrop, so that I could capture some of the facial expressions again, but this time, I wanted to try and photograph Oli like as if I photographed him for a magazine cover photoshoot.

Thanks so much to all of you for such a fantastic, fun-filled, exciting and fun-filled month. I am so honoured to have shared my photography work and the research I’ve done with all of you. I have noticed I’ve been a whole lot more productive with the work I’ve produced, as well as the research I’ve done and I am so determined to succeed with a much higher grade this time around that I am making sure to work my socks off to get the best grades I want to get before I finish my final year of college at the beginning of July. I will make sure to work hard to succeed and to make sure I end my education on a high note and to also go out with a bang!

Again, thanks so much to all of you for such a fantastic, fun-filled, exciting and fun-filled month and I will see you all in May.

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

CROYDON / FRIDAY 24TH MARCH 2017

Last Friday, considering we have had such lovely sunny weather lately, I ceased the opportunity to photograph Croydon from different perspectives that I felt stood out the most, and I used the traditional Camera app that comes pre-installed with all versions of iOS.

The weather has been absolutely peaceful lately, and it’s good to see that the weather is finally looking up and it is most certainly shaping up to make the two-week holiday as relaxing and as peaceful as ever!

Below are the photographs I have produced, including two of the same photos that have notable edits.

Which photography hotspots interest you the most? Please let me know. I would love to hear which photography hotspots interest you the most.

Alex Smithson

Does an Existential Crisis Affect You?

Let’s face it. We’ve all been there. We have all worried that we might not be able to succeed in life and we have the dreaded existential crisis that may affect what we want to do in the future. We often worry about certain things that we shouldn’t worry ourselves over. For example, we may feel petrified of the thought of dying, including what happens to all of us when we are no longer here.

I have had some of those days where I’ve gone through an existential crisis, for instance, when I was at secondary school, I used to procrastinate and by putting myself through an existential crisis, this left me wondering at certain stages throughout secondary school whether it was worth carrying on or to give up almost altogether.

I’ve sometimes felt like that, where I wanted to give up, but I thought at those stages in my life that my future is at stake here and I cannot afford to give up now. Giving up means you haven’t really lived, but not giving up even during an existential crisis can help you to get through the most difficult parts of your life.

It’s not an easy ride where an existential crisis is concerned, is it? To be honest, yes, and let’s face it, not a single person around is going to have an easy ride. If all of us had an easy ride, life would be boring. Every existential crisis has its purpose, and it’s that purpose that can determine what we choose to do. I believe that for every existential crisis we have, we should face it and go through it, because it’s going through an existential crisis that can help us become better at what we were not so good at before.

Before I conclude, I wanted to say that if we can all go through an existential crisis together, this will help us to not only become better at something we were not so good at before, but it will help us to become a lot stronger than we were before.

Have you ever been through an existential crisis at any stage in your life? If so, please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

A Bright & Peaceful Spring!

As I photographed one of my friends at college yesterday, I ceased the opportunity to take a few photos with the Canon EOS 1200D (provided by Croydon College), including my iPhone 5 and because of the lovely Spring weather, I was able to set the aperture correctly to produce them.

Below are the details of the photograph, which show what the focal length was, as well as the exposure time including the F number, which was 5.6:

Dimensions: 5184 x 3456
Device Make: Canon
Device Model: Canon EOS 1200D
Colour Space: RGB
Colour Profile: sRGB IEC61966-2.1
Focal Length: 45
Alpha Channel: No
Red Eye: No
F Number: 5.6
Exposure Program: 3
Exposure Time: 1/500

Date of Photograph Taken: Wednesday 20th April 2016

Below is the photograph that I took yesterday whilst at college.

IMG_1128

Below are some of the photos I also took yesterday, but with my iPhone.

IMG_0683

IMG_0682

IMG_0743

Overall, I loved yesterday’s warm and relaxing weather, and I hope to produce more photos like this again soon.

If you liked this article, including the photographs, then please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Also, before I conclude, it is with such sadness to announce that the Iconic Music Legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, has passed away at the age of 57. Very soon, I will be publishing a tribute article in which I will pay my respects to him and everyone he knows at such a sad time.

Alex Smithson

Quote of the Day #7

“If you can excel in life with the hard work you produce, then you will find that the hard work you have produced will not only pay off in the end, but you will also find that you will excel further than you think. You are stronger than you think, it’s believing in yourself and being yourself that will help you to achieve so much in life, and it’s also believing yourself and being yourself that will help you to excel much further in life. Be confident, be yourself and take control of your own life. Just be yourself.” – Alex Smithson

Hailstones Bring Showering Flows

What a belter! After an unexpected flow of hailstones, this weather certainly takes the biscuit, quite literally.

When the hailstones impacted Croydon a few hours ago, it came down so fast that it felt like a torrential downpour during a thunderstorm. It was like the beat of a drum given just how quick it came down.

To be honest, I didn’t expect that we would have this kind of weather today, but it was one way of saying that we should have all expected the unexpected given that the hailstones and rain came belting down like a shot in the Borough of Croydon.

Did it belt down with hailstones where you are? Please feel free to submit feedback if you were hit by the sudden change in today’s weather. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Who’s Excited for the Summer Break?

I’m excited for the Summer Break, given that the long holiday break is not far behind, and although the time has been flying like clockwork, considering that we are already in April, I do feel a sense of relief that Summer is on the horizon. Although I may not be partial to the spells of hot weather, I do love the thought of lovely Summer days where it’s nice and sunny and where it is also absolutely peaceful.

I mainly enjoy the Summer break because of the fact there’s a huge amount of free time available, and it’s useful for me as I love writing articles, so with how productive I’ve been this month, I want to make sure to be as productive like I have in the past few days again in July and also through August.

It’s hard to think how Summer is fast approaching and we are all in Spring. It only felt like yesterday all of us were having to wrap up warm because of the chilly spells of freezing cold weather over the course of the Autumn and Winter seasons, but for this time of year to be Spring, going on Summer, it feels like it can be impossible to keep up with the seasons of change.

Still, at the end of the day, what matters is that we have the right kind of weather and that we all enjoy ourselves whilst all the good weather lasts.

Are you excited for the Summer Break that is coming not far from now? If you’re excited that the Summer Break is just around the corner, then please feel free to submit feedback. All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

April Showers Bring Blossoming Flowers

As this month has had some of the odd occasional showers, given that earlier today, there was a small bout of rain, along with some gusty winds, it’s good to say that these April showers have brought blossoming followers for Spring.

As the gusty winds are slowly dying down now that the evening is upon us, with nightfall slowly approaching, it’s safe to say that today was quite gusty, but it’s great to see the day end on a warm and positive note.

I love Spring because it’s that time of year where the weather gets back to normal after the clocks have gone forward, and not only that, but I love Spring because of the fact the weather and the temperature are usually just right, where it’s not too hot and not too cold, but just right.

Today has been the calm before, during and after the storm, and I’m glad to see the storm has passed and the weather is more relaxed now that sunset has begun and nightfall soon beckons.

What did you all get up to today? I would love to hear your feedback based on how all of you got on today despite the weather. All feedback is much appreciated :-).

Alex Smithson

A Bright & Beautiful Good Friday!

As today is Good Friday, I thought it would be a great idea to take this photo of the lovely weather.

Good Friday Weather

It’s amazing how the relaxing Spring Weather is back, which has been something we have all wanted for a while. It just feels so refreshing that we get that kind of weather where it’s just right and where it’s just spot-on.

Today has been quite a lovely day, and I really hope this good weather continues.

I wanted to keep this little photo article short as I wanted to relax a little bit just for a change, considering all of the hard work I’ve been producing for my film and photography course most recently.

What have you been getting up to this Good Friday? I’d love to know what all of you have been doing today in this lovely weather .

Also, just wanted to say:

HAPPY EASTER ☺!!!

Alex Smithson

Recommended app that I used to take this photograph: Camera+