Comparing my two productsLooking at my preliminary task and comparing to my final foundation product, I can seesimilarities and differences in skill and quality. I can see how I carried through the skills which Ilearnt from my preliminary task and still included aspects such as a unique eye catchingmasthead, a top bar, a gradient background etc which I learnt were important in my school basedmagazine production. I also carried forward techniques which I had learnt such as adding apersonal, hand made touch to my magazine to make it seem unique and special (I did this withpins on my contents page of my preliminary task and with hand drawn arrows and lollipops inmy contents, and paint splashes in my double page spread).However, I can also tell that I have improved a lot in my skill of creating a magazine throughoutthis process as my foundation task product looks much more professional and realistic than mypreliminary product. I believe a lot of this is because I have learnt much more about the formsand conventions of real life magazines which I think is obvious in the differences between pages.
Planning• One of the major differences between the process of creating my preliminary task and the process of creating my foundation task was that I spent much more time and effort in planning every aspect of my foundation task, from the masthead design, to the photo shoot ideas, to articles and even to the magazine‟s name whereas a lot of my school based magazine was done on the spot with only a small amount of general planning done in my initial ideas stage.• I learnt that planning is a critical and essential stage of the process when creating a professional looking product as you can‟t just rely on luck for your creation to go well- you must plan each thing to assure that you are choosing the best idea for your magazine.• I did many more drafts when creating my music magazine as I learnt from my preliminary task that tweaking certain small aspects of a cover page can create a huge difference to the way it looks overall. I also did much more mind mapping and research to make sure that my magazine would sell.• I discovered that having a unique and slightly controversial idea for a magazine can either be a failure or become a key selling point which I chose to adopt by having an „all girls‟ magazine. This risk paid off as I did research into my target audience and found that there would be a good sized market for that kind of magazine. The planning of this was crucial as if I had just dived in and chosen another theme for my magazine without researching it, it might have been unsuccessful.
Skills on Adobe Photoshop• As the process went on, I continued to add to my post “How to use Adobe Photoshop”. I created a list of tools which I recognised and used and it began to grow along with my confidence and knowledge in using them which assisted me in improving my final product.• In my preliminary task, I was much more unaware of the different effects which Photoshop has to offer and also how to use different variations of one tool such as the different Lassoo tools (magnetic, polygonal etc) which limited my creativity.• I also learnt the effects which manipulating or using the tools differently had, for example I changed the direction of the gradient to create different moods for my cover and contents pages aswell as my double page spread.• E.g. On my double page spread I used a clipping mask to create the Union Jack flag text title. Colour ThemesI knew that my colour theme was important in my preliminary task which is why I carried itthrough from my cover to my contents on both my preliminary and foundation tasks. Thedifference in doing this was that I put more consideration into the colours chosen for myfoundation task as they would appeal to my audience and I also had a three coloured themerather than one colour and black and white which made my music magazine more interestingand colourful to look at which appeals to my audience. I learnt that having a theme is importantbut if I were to do my school magazine again, I would introduce more colours that justpurple, black and white.
Taking and choosing photographs• I have learnt a lot more about taking a successful photograph to be included in my magazine; this is shown through the fact that my foundation task cover photograph is much more striking, eye catching and professional looking than my preliminary task cover photo.• Although, in my opinion, in both my preliminary and foundation task I used suitable models throughout the pages created, I think that I put much more thought and consideration into the connotation and denotation of certain aspects of the models such as their overall appearance but also things like facial expression, mise en scene etc. in my foundation task. For example, my school magazine cover photo reflects the magazine‟s all female theme and promotes „girl power‟ and strong females through the strong facial expression and positioning of my model.• For example, my preliminary task‟s cover photograph was three students which are suitable but I didn‟t consider their outfits or body posture as much as I did with my foundation task when I bought and created an outfit and styled my model in a certain way to appeal to my audience and to create a theme. I have learnt that this is a main part of a magazine which I think I have created much better in my foundation task.
• I created a variation of photographs on my foundation task with the secondary leads which required much more time and consideration as to the mise en scene of the images and what connotations they had. I wanted to include photographs which would grab my reader‟s attention and I believe that they work well to do so.• The photograph taken for my foundation task front cover looked much more professional as I used a better quality camera and took many more images so that I had a vast choice. I learnt that it is important to put the time and effort into a photo shoot, especially for the cover, as if I had rushed it, elements such as for example the wig, the make up, the shoes taken from a video of the artist, the pose, the outfit would have suffered and the image wouldn‟t have been as effective.• The positioning also makes the cover photo of my music magazine more striking as it is a mid shot rather than a long shot which means there is much more focus on the face than there is in the school magazine cover photograph which is appealing to the audience which I learnt is important as the cover photo is the first thing to catch the audience‟s eye.
Composition and layout• I learnt more about how to lay out a page in order to create space but not make it too cluttered which I think is an important skill and something which is evident from my music magazine cover page. It is important to be able to create the right amount of space and fit enough text and images onto a page of a magazine as you want to have as much on the cover page to attract your audience but you don‟t want to over face them so it has to be readable but busy enough to catch the eye.• I created a variation of photographs on my foundation task with the secondary leads I chose to use to create an interesting composition. This is different from my preliminary task as I only used one article on my front cover which made it rather boring, simple and un-realistic as magazines have many photographs for articles on their front covers usually yet mine only had the one. I have learnt that having a busier front cover attracts the attention of the reader more and is therefore more successful in capturing it‟s target audience.• I only included three articles on my school magazine but managed to fit six onto my music magazine which shows how I improved in being able to move items around and fit them together.• I also managed to use the rule of thirds successfully which I didn‟t follow for the production of my school based magazine which shows my progression in learning the typical composition rules of magazines.
Mise en scene• I believe that I have developed my knowledge and progressed when it comes to the mise en scene of my chosen images. The mise en scene of my school based magazine photograph is that it is taken in a school library surrounded by a books- there is a bookcase and each model has a book. I think this mise en scene is suitable and appropriate as it reflects on the main article about book day and also on the article regarding the rising figures of sixth form students taking A level English Literature.• The mise en scene of my music magazine‟s cover image is much more obvious due to certain aspects which weren‟t considered in the school magazine‟s production such as facial expression, posture etc. The clothing suggests a girly femininity to the model which contrasts with her strong, dominant pose and facial expression. This completely reflects the magazine‟s „girl power‟ theme and gives off a strong image which is exactly what I intended for my front cover.