The Concept of Expression: Samuel Cato

Following the first photography article I did after the beginning of 2018, which featured my close friend, Wesley Baker (CDN), I have now photographed my close friend who I’ve known since secondary school, Samuel Cato.

Despite the odd spot of rain, mild warmth and a hint of sunny weather, I was able to travel to Sydenham to photograph Sam for this photography series, and I was able to get him to express himself freely as I believe in the idea of being able to express yourself free from judgment, but where he could express himself without conforming to society’s needs, beliefs and expectations, and that getting him to express himself will always be about being equal and diverse without any forms of judgment.

Below are all of the photographs I took yesterday of my close friend, Samuel Cato.

I am so pleased with the end result given that the days are getting brighter and are staying brighter for longer, as the lighting conditions improved and it was nice and sunny after a small spot of rain, but I am really blown away by the end result of these photographs. Of course, I acknowledge the photos may look grainy, but that’s because I wanted to try and capture the essence of the early Spring weather before Spring really kicks in once the Winter season ends.

If there are any improvements you feel I could make, please tell me in the comments, as your feedback will help me improve my photography skills in the future.

Also, if you enjoyed this photo-set, please share this article around with anyone you know.

Alex Smithson

DSLR Used: Nikon D3300

Lens Used: NIKKOR 18 – 55 mm Lens

Date of Photo-Set Produced: Tuesday 6th March 2018

Fazal Sheikh / Research

As part of my Final Major Project, I have been doing research on the photographers that influence me in the photography work I want to produce, which will be based on Facial Expressionism. The first photographer I have researched for my Final Major Project is Fazal Sheikh.

Fazal Sheikh’s photography work aims to document and personalise the power of portraiture whilst bring the displaced parts of the world, including its own people, into focus.

Below are the slides in the exact order, and the work I have done Harvard Referencing for which references Fazal Sheikh’s photography work I take absolutely no credit for. I also take absolutely no credit for the photograph of Fazal Sheikh produced by the MacArthur Foundation. I’m just merely referencing Fazal Sheikh’s work and the photograph of Fazal Sheikh produced by the MacArthur Foundation in my research as inspiration to inform and develop my own photography work inspired by him.

The pages that are referenced can be found below, complete with Harvard Referencing, the awards that Fazal Sheikh has received for his work, as well as the various exhibitions he has done that showcases his work, not to mention the publications and ISBN numbers, and also his collections, with external links to further research. All credit goes to Fazal Sheikh and the MacArthur Foundation.

This research will help me to develop my Facial Expressionism Final Major Project better, as I will be photographing some subjects for my project, so you should see some photography work very 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 subject photographs are published. There’s a lot of good photography opportunities in store so I can be sure that I will be able to present to you a lot more of my creative film and photography work.

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

Alex Smithson

Welcome to January!

Welcome to January on Mother Nature! Happy New Year Everyone! 2017 has officially opened its doors and the New Year begins with high spirits. The firework display in London paid tribute to the iconic music legend, Prince Rogers Nelson, including the Thin White Duke himself, David Bowie and even the comedy legend, Ronnie Corbett, the man of mighty humour.

Ringing in the celebrations of 2017, 2017 will be a year of looking forward to the future, and is also the year to never look back but to look forward and to enjoy life and also to enjoy the future.

Breaking the tradition with Spotify, instead of Mother Nature having one new mix every year, there will be one mix from this year onwards that will continuously be updated, as I have finally decided to do away with the old tagline: “The Mix of…” in favour for: “Alex’s Mix”. This is because after a while, constantly replacing a Spotify playlist year after year just eventually gets boring, so now, my new mix playlist is called: “Alex’s Mix” and will remain a permanent fixture on this website from today onwards.

Over the course of this year, I will be making sure to dedicate a whole lot more of my own time to my studies considering I have only 6 months left until I finish my time at Croydon College, including finishing education altogether, which is not far away, so I will be making sure to make use of the time wisely by working hard and to also achieve the best I can from my studies, but to also succeed in my education and to get myself a job after I finish education permanently. However, I will be making sure to find the free time when it becomes available to publish articles on here so that I can be sure that none of you are going to miss out.

I won’t lie, I will miss being in education and will miss Croydon College when me and everyone else reach the end of the road, because I love everyone so much, even everyone at my college, because Croydon College including everyone who goes to my college are the reason why I want a fantastic future and are also the reason why I want to have a fantastic life. My family and my friends mean everything to me and without them, I wouldn’t be in a good place now. I feel so fortunate and so lucky to have everyone by my side because I want a fantastic future and a fantastic life and I am so fortunate to have everyone there to support me. But again, Croydon College have given me a reason to want to have a good future and a good life and I am glad Croydon College was my first choice, as I have excelled so well and my time at Croydon College has gone so fast that I actually don’t want to leave.

Life goes on and I can say this for once in my life, 2017 is a year of finally moving on and to just enjoy yourself, but most of all, is also the year to just be happy and to enjoy life.

The sidebar has been tidied up a bit and I have done away with some widgets that are no longer relevant, but Mother Nature gets a better shade of blue, as I have made sure to change the colour so it appeals to 2017 and to make for better visibility on Laptops / PCs, including on smartphones, tablets and consoles.

To kick off 2017, I just want to say:


Alex Smithson


It is who we are. Being unique and taking control of how we choose to present ourselves to others matters. Being ourselves towards others matter because being yourself is what makes you unique.

The world can see you entirely from a different perspective, which is okay. There is no shame in thinking that, but in the hindsight of things, we shouldn’t need to change the way we want people to see us when they expect us to be seen that way.

We should all be unique to ourselves and never change how we look to suit others. We should all be the way we were supposed to be, and that is, to be ourselves and to never change anything about ourselves, not even for a split second.

Paint a portrait as if it was a picture you were painting of your life. That picture is you. Believing in yourself, being yourself and being unique to yourself is what produces that picture you will have painted. Being yourself is what really matters but being yourself is what makes you unique.

If you feel that this has inspired you in many ways more than one, then please feel free to submit feedback below. Your feedback is much appreciated.

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

Quote of the Day #3

“Life’s full of hurdles. It’s overcoming them and believing in ourselves that matter. Just be you, believe in yourself and also be yourself, that’s all that matters.” – Alex Smithson

Procrastination: How Does Holding Back Affect Your Chances of Living?

In life, we can procrastinate over even some of the smallest or biggest things, as we sometimes tend to hold things back that will, over time, leave us in a near-sticky situation that we may or may not be able to get ourselves out of. For instance, you get given a piece of work that you’ve been asked to complete within a specific time scale, and by not doing that specific piece of work, whether it would be exam-based or not, it can cause you to procrastinate and can then throw you into a panic, because you may have left something to chance which you will or may have left to the last minute.

In the last few years, I did, about 50% of the time procrastinate over pieces of homework that I was given to do, especially when it came to certain pieces of work that I would be required to do whilst in my lessons, and I will not deny this, but I did often leave my work to the last minute, which threw me into a panic, and would often stress me out, but because I procrastinated over the work I did, which threw me into a state of panic and stress, I did also notice that it had put a noticeable drain on my energy.

However, all that was set to change, because after it came to my final year of school, I didn’t want to put myself in the position where I would hold back on the work I would do, so I had made sure to kick it where it really hurts and I had managed to use all of the energy to study extra hard, and to make sure that I could get to where I wanted to be, and two years down the line, I passed my UAL Level 2 Diploma Art & Design Course with a Merit at Croydon College, and with the UAL Level 3 Diploma Film & Photography Course that I’m currently on, I’ve passed most of the units in the first year of this two-year course, and I’m on track to get either a Merit or Distinction by the end of the first year of this two-year course, because I’ve kept all up-to-date on my work and not fallen behind once.

My life experiences over the course of my first year at Croydon College really taught me a lot, but last year gave me the much-needed kick up the backside that I really needed, and since September, I’ve been on top of everything, with more free time available on my hands as a result. Not procrastinating anymore has actually helped me, because I’ve been able to use all of the available free time to write articles, play games and even watch programmes on the TV, something of which I didn’t get to do much of over the course of last year.

At the end of the day, I’ve learned something vital and important about life, and that is to never procrastinate and never hold anything back, as I know that holding back will affect my chances of living, but I have also learned the most important, yet crucial detail of life, and that is to stay as active as possible and to use the free time I have to really do something that will keep me occupied.

I always like to keep myself occupied now at everything I do, as I hate the thought of not doing anything, because being occupied keeps me active, and also prevents me from procrastinating over even the smallest thing.

At the end of the day, staying occupied at anything keeps you in the loop, but most of all, it can help to stop you from holding back over what could be affecting your chances of living.

Below is a quote I made:

“If you don’t procrastinate over the smallest thing and you keep yourself occupied at anything you do, then you will find your life gets better the more you stay active and in the loop. Always believe in yourself and realise that the less you procrastinate, and the more you work hard at what you do, the better you become. Realise your potential, and start working hard now, because it will all pay off in the end, but most of all, be yourself.” – Alex Smithson

In conclusion, I always believe if you don’t hold back what affects your chances of living, and the more you work hard and the better you become, the quicker you’ll realise how better your life becomes.

I’ll leave you with 5 questions:

  1. Have you ever procrastinated at certain times of your life?
  2. Have you ever held things back that have affected your chances of living?
  3. How did you overcome it?
  4. What made you change?
  5. Most of all, how do you feel now you’ve made that all important change?

Please feel free to feedback your answers below in the comments.

Your feedback is much appreciated :-).

Alex Smithson