Welcome to October!

Welcome to October on Mother Nature! As this month is set to be just as busy as the last considering I’m looking around for jobs, it’s safe to say that I won’t be publishing as much as I used to, but on the plus side, I will be doing the best I can to publish

As this month is set to be just as busy as the last considering I’m looking around for jobs, it’s safe to say that I won’t be publishing as much as I used to, but on the plus side, I will be doing the best I can to publish some articles now and then when I get the time, and in terms of the photography work, the photography work I have produced will be going up at some stage, I don’t know when, but I will be doing the best I can to try and get the photographs up at some point.

In terms of this month, it’s safe to say that the raincoats will be coming out again as the weather is set to get colder, and also because there are expected to be some torrential downpours due to the most recent hurricanes changing the weather pattern. On the plus side, at least we can all now be rest assured that we have gone prepared with a raincoat or umbrella knowing that we won’t get soaked as such.

At certain stages, I will be making sure to keep you all posted on what is happening, but I should get my laptop back from the repair centre soon so I can be sure there will be some, if not, a lot of articles to come.

Until then, welcome to October!

Alex Smithson

Monthly Roundup: September 2017

September sure flew like the wind, though to be fair, because I’ve been so busy applying for jobs whilst getting a good result back despite having to send my laptop in for repair, it’s safe to say I have been quite the busy bee.

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

1.9.2017 – As I welcomed you all to September, I mentioned that this month was set to be just as busy as the last, as I mentioned I wouldn’t be publishing as often as I used to, considering that I would prioritise my time effectively around looking for jobs.

18.9.2017 – ‘The Harsh Reality of Social Media (Parental Guidance is Advised)’ was my way of expressing my own realistic views on how social media has changed the way we communicate with one another, as opposed to how negatively used social media can be, given that social media is often used by some or most people to criticise and judge those online without them even having the bottle to say their comments to that person’s face.

25.9.2017 – ‘My Personal Note to Reality’ was my way of finally being open to everyone about where I stand, and that I would treat everyone equally and diversely, but that I would refuse to tolerate, let alone mix with the judgmental type that are in-equal and lack diversity for others.

On the same day, I published an article, called: “Mindfulness”, in which I would give a short but straightforward run-down about how mindfulness can be helpful to certain aspects of our everyday lives, based on the life experiences that we are or may have already been through.

26.9.2017 – ‘Camden’ was an article I wanted to share with you all, as I had paid a visit to Camden a few weeks prior to writing the article, given that Camden is a wonderful and friendly place, which is home to the late music legend, Amy Winehouse.

29.9.2017 – ‘Should We Listen to the Non-Believers?’ was my way of describing how the non-believers were and always would be the bad people who would spread poison wherever they go, intentionally bringing others down when they don’t deserve it.

On the same day, I published a small but quick-fire article in which I announced I had decided to put publishing my photography work on hold, given that my laptop was sent off to be repaired after the Audio Enhancements tab wouldn’t work whilst headphones were connected, but that I would publish the photography work I wasn’t able to publish at a later stage. I also mentioned that I finally passed GCSE English after three years and that I no longer have to do GCSE English, which is the best result I wanted.

Thank you so much, everyone, for such a fantastic month, and although I haven’t published as much lately considering I have been making sure to put my priorities first, I will try to fit a few articles in now and then when I can get the free time.

Before I say goodbye to September, I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the Coronation Street actress, Elizabeth Dawn, who sadly passed away on the 25th September 2017, but I want to take this opportunity to also pay tribute to Bobby Knutt, who also passed away on the same day. They will be greatly missed, but shall never be forgotten and we’ll all remember them for bringing positivity, humour and joy into our lives. Also, to the victims of the recent earthquakes that have devastated Puerto Rico, I want you all to know I am thinking of you at this time and that I am keeping you all in my prayers and hope that something good comes soon.

Again, thanks so much everyone for such a fantastic month and I shall see you all in October.

Alex Smithson

Photography Work on Hold. Please Read.

As my laptop went off for repair due to a problem with Audio Enhancements not working when headphones were connected, I have decided to put the photography work I produced in August for the photography series: “The Concept of Expression” on hold, and an article which I was supposed to be publishing before the end of this month that is photography-based is also going on hold for the short time being.

However, I can still publish articles briefly with my HP Stream 11 whilst my other laptop is being repaired, but don’t worry, the photography work I have produced that is due to go up on here will be published soon, so rest assured they will still be published but at a later stage whilst I get everything sorted.

On the plus side, I have some fantastic news I would like to bestow.

As my former GCSE English lecturers felt the D grade I got was an unfair result, I am pleased to announce that after my former GCSE English lecturers sent my paper off to be re-marked, I have finally passed GCSE English with a C grade after three whole years! It took me long enough after some ups and downs, including some bumps in the road, but I finally got there and I no longer have to do GCSE English. Result!

RESULT!

On a positive note, the photography work will go up soon, but in the meantime, I will be continuing to apply for more jobs whilst I work hard.

Thank you so much for your patience so far, it really does mean a lot to me and I will do the absolute best I can to get everything back up and running soon.

With love,

x Alex Smithson x

Mindfulness.

Meaning of Mindfulness:

– The quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
– A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.

Mindfulness in the present is often a certain aspect of our everyday lives that can help us to develop and grow, whilst we also get a sense of understanding. In this case, our sense of understanding would need to rely on the life experiences we have gone through.

For example, if you lost something that was of sentimental value to you or you lost someone close to you, whether it was a piece of jewellery or even a photograph, or if you lost a family relative, family friend or a friend you knew either from school or college, especially work, your sense of understanding would require being aware of what you as a person may be going through, as opposed to what others go through.

I’ve learned to be more mindful now than I was last year, as I have been able to not only be open to everyone, but opening up about what I have or may be going through was a big step, as it was a small step for me, but is one giant leap over leaps and bounds to mindfulness.

To show mindfulness is to experience life, but to show mindfulness means you can open up to others, but in doing so, you become stronger and more confident than you were before.

Mindfulness is powerful, and if used correctly, can help you get the best support possible, but can also help you to get to the best places in life.

If you are someone or you know someone who has been through that stage in their life and has experienced a sense of mindfulness that has helped you or someone you know to get back on track, please tell me. I would love to hear your story.

Alex Smithson

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

Irving Penn / Research

Continuing on from the first photographer I have researched for my Final Major Project, the second photographer I have chosen to research is Irving Penn.

Irving Penn 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.

Below are the slides in the exact order, and the work I have done Harvard Referencing for which references Irving Penn’s photography work I take absolutely no credit for. I also take absolutely no credit for the self-portrait photograph produced by Irving Penn himself. I’ve merely referenced Irving Penn’s work in my research as inspiration to inform and develop my own photography work further inspired on Irving Penn’s photography work.

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, the award that Irving Penn received for his work, as well as the various exhibitions he did in his life, including the posthumous exhibitions after he passed away that showcased his work, not to mention Irving Penn’s bibliography, which consists of publications and ISBN numbers, and also his major collections, with external links to further research. All credit goes to Irving Penn & The Irving Penn Foundation.

This research will give me the chance to develop my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project better. As I’ve mentioned before, I will be photographing some subjects for my Facial Expressionism Project, so you’ll be seeing some photography work soon. This research presentation can also be found in my E-Folio and any of the subjects I photograph will also be in the E-Folio once the subjects I have photographed are published. There’s a lot of great opportunities in store so I am sure that I will be able to present to you a lot more of my creative photography work.

If you found this research presentation on Irving Penn useful, please let me know. I would love to hear your response.

Alex Smithson

Life after Mother Nature.

What would life be like for me without a computer?

It would be quite a tough challenge for me, as it would mean I would have to go the extra mile and work harder, even if it means I have to rely on my iPhone, including having to take notes quicker than before, as well as having to complete any work that requires a computer on a notepad or on my iPhone, or possibly on my iPad mini.

Of course, there would come times when I wouldn’t be able to rely on technology, but instead rely on the use of a notepad, a pen, a pencil and all the usual stationery pieces of equipment, but at the same time, I would need to use any resources that wouldn’t involve technology at all to get through each day, meaning I would have to take each day as it comes and face the music.

Life after Mother Nature would be hard for me, because it would mean that I would have to focus on something that would be able to keep me occupied for long periods of time.

It would also mean I would have to make sacrifices for a few weeks whilst working on something in order to get somewhere, as I would have to, in other words, make choices that could ultimately define whether I have a good future or not, even if things become difficult along the way.

Overall, life after Mother Nature without a computer would be difficult for me, because using a computer, as well as writing articles for Mother Nature would always keep me productive.

Without a computer altogether, I would have to work extra hard to keep myself as productive as possible like I would if I did or didn’t have a computer to use.

What would life be like for you after your blog/website without a computer?

Please feel free to submit feedback below.

All feedback is much appreciated.

Alex Smithson

Weekly Log 2 (Tuesday 12th January 2016 – Thursday 14th January 2016) – Stop-Frame Animation Project

After a long, overdue wait, here is the second Weekly Log from the Stop-Frame Animation Project that I did back in January for the second week back after the Christmas holiday ended.

Research / Context

During the course of the second week, I took a trip up to the Croydon Museum to study further on the stop-frame animation project, and I looked at certain photographers, such as Jack Nicholls and Gee Bernard, as they were known for creating certain works that were either iconic or controversial. I feel that the research I’ve gathered from my trip to the Croydon Museum has related to my own experiments, given that in the first week of the Stop-Frame Animation Project, I did some research on some adverts, much like the advert that IKEA did of the stop-frame animation running robot last year, which was called: “Come Home to Play”.

After I took a trip up to the Croydon Museum, during the rest of the week, I made sure to use the ideas and research that I had gathered from the museum to create a sock puppet by using a range of different materials that would piece my sock puppet together.

 After I looked at the IKEA Advert: “Come Home to Play”, I used that advert as inspiration for creating my own stop-frame animation character on paper. I also made sure to label the parts of the character so that I would know exactly which bit was which, so that it would make it easier for me to piece each part together.

Practical Tasks Done

To do this, I used the stop-frame animation process as an idea for the sock puppet, as I wanted to see how stop-frame animation would work when it came to the adverts I researched, and by watching the adverts that would go together with my research, I was able to piece together the sock puppet I did later on in the week.

What I thought was difficult was when I was trying to piece my sock puppet together, I did have trouble with trying to piece it together after stuffing the sock, because some pieces wouldn’t stay in place unless I used a pin to secure them in place, and sometimes, when it came to stitching, I did have initial troubles with trying to stitch the materials I used for the puppet together.

What worked well for me was I was able to use the ideas from my stop-frame animation drawing of the character I drew using the objects I collected from home to create my own character in a lifelike form, so that it puts more emphasis on how I want my character to appear, as to how I want it to act when the stop-frame animation film is being produced.

To improve it, I want to make sure that I can give my sock puppet character more of an emphasised form of body character, as I want to make sure that my sock puppet sticks out like a sore thumb. In other words, I mean that I want my character to really describe what it’s doing by the use of body movements, but in a flipbook style that turns into a stop-frame animation film.

Critical Analysis

In terms of the composition of my sock puppet, I wanted to make sure that the ideas I used to create my own character on paper to be turned into a lifelike character that was made from a sock.

My concept idea has some inspiration from the IKEA advert, but also the game, LittleBigPlanet, as the character that I got some of my inspiration from was the LittleBigPlanet character, Sackboy.

I feel that the research/contextual studies that I have can be applied to help me develop my experiments, as I feel that I have gathered the right amount of research at this stage to develop my own character, including the large range of ideas I’ve got from the Croydon Museum.

These will help me to apply my research/contextual studies to my own experimentations, and to create my own creative form of stop-frame animation for my own stop-frame animation film.

This brings the second Weekly Log for the Stop-Frame Animation Project to a close. Please make sure to check back soon for the third Weekly Log from the Stop-Frame Animation Project.

Alex Smithson

NOTE: I just realised the faux pas. I published the first Weekly Log for the Stop-Frame Animation Project a while back and published it again. I’m so sorry. I’ve just re-edited this again, but this time with Weekly Log 2. Again, I’m so sorry for the faux pas :-).

Weekly Log 2 (Tuesday 6th October 2015 – Thursday 8th October 2015) – Light Play Project

Below is the second Weekly Log that I completed which was made shortly after the start of October, when I developed my darkroom experiments further, among other pieces of work that I did.

Research / Context

I looked at three different artists that had created their own works, who were based around the Surrealism movement, and that was Francesca Woodman, Paul Nougé & Jan Svankmajer. I’ve used the ideas that I’ve gathered from these artists’ works and have put those ideas to good use by creating my own form of Surrealist Photography, so that the research I have will connect and relate entirely to my own ideas, as well as my own form of Surrealist Photography.

After gathering some research about these 3 artists, I was able to develop my own understanding of the processes that these artists had used on their own work, and because I was able to develop my own understanding of these processes that these three artists had used, I was able to put my own form of Surrealist Photography into my own perspective, and also make it something that would be my own, so that nothing is copied, but what I would create would be entirely original.

Practical Tasks Done

How did I do it? Well in order for me to develop this process, I would need to use the research that I had gathered and come up with my own ideas, so that I could put my own ideas that I would come up with to good use, and to also make sure that the ideas that I have come up with connects entirely to my own form of Surrealist Photography.

What did I think was difficult? What I thought was difficult about producing my own form of Surrealist Photography was how I could create a certain form of Surrealism without compromising what my Surrealist Photography was really about.

What worked well? What worked well for me was that I was able to create entirely different forms of Surrealism by getting the small number of students (3 students overall, including myself) in my group to create certain forms of movement with a certain object, whether it would be a doll, a mannequin, a pack of cards or a glass bottle, so that my own form of Surrealist Photography would have certain, if not, many elements of heartbreak.

How could I improve it? I could improve it by making sure that I broaden my research a lot more, and that I have just the right amount of research available, so that I can broaden and extend my own ideas further, without compromising how I want the final result to officially turn out.

Critical Analysis

In terms of composition, that’s in terms of framing and the positioning of objects, that’s including the line, tone, texture depth and many more, I had to make sure that the Surrealist Photography that I wanted to produce would have the people in my group doing certain forms of movement, as well as carrying an object or objects. For example, my form of surrealism focuses around the idea of heartbreak, so I wanted to create a vision where someone would be suffering from heartbreak, but where that person could be sleeping at night while being in a hallucinating world of bad thoughts.

How could my research/contextual studies be applied to help me develop my own experiments? My research/contextual studies, which were based on the three artists in question can be applied to the Surrealism movement, as I will be able to look at the three artists I have studied that are a part of the Surrealism movement, and come up with all-new, and original ideas that can help me to produce my own Surrealist Photography work. The research I have gathered will most certainly help me in developing my own Surrealist Photography, so that what I create is not copied at all, but is entirely original.

This second Weekly Log article has officially come to an end. Check back very soon for the final Weekly Log for today before the Quote Article.

Alex Smithson

Quote of the Day #6

​”Show to everyone that you are determined to succeed in life. Everything doesn’t get handed to you on a plate. If you really want to succeed in life and if you really want something that much in life, work for it. Work hard now because you will find it will all eventually pay off in the end. Follow your dreams and work hard now, as it will pay off in the end.” – Alex Smithson