Looking back at my preliminary task, what do I feel I have learnt in the progression from it to the full product?
Looking at both my preliminary task (left) and full project magazine front cover (right) , you can see the difference in style and technique.
Looking at both my preliminary task (left) and full project magazine contents page (right) you can see the difference in style and technique.
Planning and Preparation <ul><li>Planning and preparation was really important so that I could understand the various forms and conventions of different music magazines. During my preliminary task, I did not research enough using photo’s on websites such as Google search etc. Therefore, for this task, I made sure I did a lot of research into the forms and conventions of jazz and indie music. I used the web, sites such as Youtube to look at how jazz and indie musicians performed and there style. During my preliminary task, I did not know much about the genre of music I was creating a product for. Therefore, I knew this time to do a lot more research into the conventions of my music genre. I did detailed research into various forms and conventions, from major distributing magazines such as Kerrang to Independent magazines such as Vice. This enabled me to get a better over view of the various styles of music magazines. Using a mood board helped to determine the style for my magazine, by using a mash up of different photo’s and bands which I felt would fall into my indie jazz category. Also, during my preliminary task I only did brief drafts and little planning for my magazine, I designed it freehand. This is why my preliminary contents page was not very successful. However, for this task I did several drafts before deciding on the final one to upload to my blog. This enabled me to have a detailed outline of how I was going to construct my product. </li></ul>
Organisation of time <ul><li>During my preliminary task, I did not create a shot list which helped me to organize my time during this task. It was a schedule for when I should be taking photo’s and helped me to keep on track with how many photo’s I needed for my media product and when I would need them by. During my preliminary task, I fell behind on time very easily and ended up rushing my editing of photos, which left some looking very messy. This was because I didn’t have a schedule of when I was going to use the SLR digital camera and when I was going to be taking photo’s at home. During the full project, I was able to arrange days with friends ahead of my schedule and have whole days taking pictures for the magazine. My shot list also told me the variety of angles that I needed and the time of day in which I should take them to make the photo look effective. It also showed me who my model was for that day and what props/costume I may need. This helped me to get better, more professional and effective looking pictures and kept me organized with time. Obviously, this could change while I was taking the photo’s but the structure of the schedule helped me dramatically. This enabled me to take time while editing my photo’s. I also made sure that I did some research at home so that I didn’t have to rush in the lessons and would complete certain blogs at home, for example when I had taken photos at home, I would upload and edit them onto the blog. Overall, I feel that my organization of time during the preliminary task has forced me to be more organized during this task so that I didn’t rush and become disappointed with the final project, as I was in the preliminary task. </li></ul>
Technical filming skills I feel that I have improved dramatically from my preliminary task in using the SLR camera. During the preliminary task, I only took straight forward, usually face on photo’s. The photo for my front cover on the preliminary task was a straight forward, face on photo. In contrast, the photo’s I took for my full project were of a bigger variety. I used various backdrops, angles and models. For example, in the preliminary task, the poses did not connote the music genre of my magazine, which was dance music. Whereas in my full project, I feel that the photo’s take into consideration the research which I did on indie and jazz music. For example, the picture for my front cover uses a 1940’s look-alike girl holding a moody, indie pose.I feel that the photo’s in my preliminary task look very unprofessional. I didn’t take into consideration any of the backdrops which the models were stood in front of and how it would appear on the magazine, for example: a boy on the contents page is stood in front of the college. This appears really messy and did not connote the hedonistic, dance style I was trying to create. However, in my full project I was able to think about the various background and settings I could use at home and around college, for example: the wood next to college or blank, simple walls. Although I did try and create motion and action in the photos taken for the preliminary task, some of the pictures can appear blurred. I feel that this has improved during my full project where I was able to take pictures of people in uncomfortable, wobbling positions and still get a good shot without it being blurred. This also may be to do with become more aware of the different settings on the camera, for example, on my preliminary task I used the flash on the camera in the daylight. Whereas, on my full project I realised this was not necessarily.
Conventions of magazines front covers, contents pages. On my preliminary task, I did use more conventions of the front cover such as: screamers, puffs etc. However, the genre of music for my full project was to connote an element of class and sophistication. I feel that my preliminary task used obvious, generic ideas whereas my full project was a harder genre to connote as it had to be sophisticated and cool at the same time. I feel that the colours of my preliminary task do connote the dancing, hedonistic feel. However, I feel that some of the images on the front cover and contents page connote more of a pop magazine for thirteen year olds. During the priliminary task, I found it hard to find a typical audience for the magazine and therefore feel some of the conventions are slightly confusing. In contrast, I feel that my magazine’s front cover uses simplicity to connote class and sophistication and I think that this is because now I have a greater understanding of forms and conventions. Also, I feel that the photo’s used an artistic element to appeal to strong women and those who like art. I think this is because of the detailed research I did in my full project in contrast with my preliminary task. I feel that I have learnt how to break dominant ideology in terms of conventions for the magazine, as my front cover is for youths but uses a older appearing layout. Also I feel that I have learnt how to use a ‘house theme’, which is an ongoing colour scheme and style through the front cover and contents page as my preliminary task did not do this. The colours on the front cover were completely contrasting to the contents page colours. However, on my full project contents page, there is obvious similarities between the colour scheme, text and style in relation to the front cover.
Post-Production Skills Photoshop I found it a lot easier to use Photoshop on my full project. I felt that I was more aware of the genre I needed to represent and therefore was able to be manipulate images a lot easier. For example, I was able to use the lasso tool on my front cover picture whereas on the contents page photo for my preliminary task, the photo of the girl doing the splits looks extremely messy. I feel I have improved in editing out blemishes as well and have discovered new ways to manipulate photo’s, for example: the dropper tool in which I was able to enhance my models eyes and lips. Quark Express Although I found it slightly easier to use Quark Express, I still found some of the tools really confusing. I feel that I was able to use Quark and Photoshop together, for example: the layering of my photo from the front cover over the top of the original image, imported from Photoshop. I also found it easier to adjust the lighting of certain photo’s on Quark, for example, the three photo’s on my contents page in which I evened out the lighting so they all looked similar and resembled a Polaroid picture.
I feel that during my full project I had a much greater awareness of how my target audience determines decisions in which I made for the media product during the production process. I uploaded photo’s onto Facebook so that my target audience could give me feedback and then I would change to how the majority of my target audience felt. Also, during my research I created a mood board which I uploaded to facebook which also helped shape the design for my magazine due to feedback from my audience.
What is the biggest thing that I have learned while undertaking this project? The biggest thing that I have learned is how to create a media product which does not fit with dominant ideological beliefs. I feel that instead of representing women as sexual objects, I showed them as artistic and intelligent which is unusual for a magazine being distributed to men as well. I feel that I did this by using long shots instead of close ups, used respectable clothing and they did not use typical sexy poses. Also, looking back on my preliminary task,I feel that I improved the editing of photo’s for my magazine by representing the genre of my magazine and using the various different tools which editing software such as Photoshop have to offer, eg: Lasso tool.