On this second shoot, we managed to capture the images we wanted, still using the purple film over the camera lens; which I think gives off the perfect genre conventions as the colour purple has connotations of luxury, ambition and independence.
What I think we should have done to have a better outcome was take even more pictures then this, because there’s not much variety to choose from even though we do like them. During the photo shoot, we experimented with the light reflections of the plastic film in front of the camera by bending it and moving it further away and closer to the camera, this was to give a hazy, beautiful look that explores the beauty of her naturalistic style. How we also kept this style was by keeping her hair Afro rather than her wearing box braids or tying it back because it conveys her beauty further.
Below is the contact sheet, click to see more clearly:
Creating a digipak means that we have had to both learn a lot of new production skills to be able to do: two photo shoots, edit the images through the software Photoshop, then make the digipak in InDesign. The following skills below has given me an advancement in this area of the media world.
Because we needed a re-shoot, it enabled us to reflect back on what went wrong so that when it came to it we didn’t repeat them and realise what we didn’t like about the outcome of the pictures. The skill we now have figured out is the focus on the camera and double checking all of the pictures when we think we have finished the shoot because as we noticed the first time, we thought we were focusing the camera but the images still came out blurry which was really frustrating. However, we learned from our mistakes and on the second shoot we had really clear images that we were happy with.
pic of blurry old pic and new in focus pic
Editing the front cover image
What we noticed that slightly irritated us was that on the left side of her hair was a lot more flat then the other side which made it look a bit odd and not that conventional for our genre as R&B stars usually look ‘perfect’. So what we did to amend this was on Photoshop we explored what tools we could possibly use to try and unnoticeably drag out her hair a bit further. We came across the ‘Liquify’ tool which was under ‘———‘ drop down bar, this let us choose the sizing of the tool to drag out her hair as the larger the tool the more of her in the picture would move but if we made it quite a bit smaller it was too obvious. So, finding the right balance was tricky.
pic of the liquify tool and the one of us moving her hair
Another tool we used to make the image impeccable, was going over with the ‘blemish’ device just to smooth over any blemishes because as the media theorist Dyer said stars are ‘extraordinary’ so giving our star the perfect, smooth skin makes audiences everywhere believe that she is this more elite and better than them. We found this tool on the side bar in Photoshop.
pic of blemish tool, pic of her skin before and after?
Because we are not overly familiar with InDesign, there are so many features, tools and elements of the software that we have learnt to use. For example, the ones we used the most was the tools that spaces out the text, make it bigger, smaller and closer together, these were so helpful to us as they let us personalize the digipak for our star.
pic of the writing on the front
Acknowledging the image above, you can see that we have spaced out the text ‘MEILANÍ’ as it gives off a more simple effect rather than when it was squashed together as it made it harder to read which wouldn’t have given the target audience the aesthetic pleasure they would expect in an R&B digipak.
After millions of decisions when creating this, we have come up with our first draft for the digipak. Now that it’s starting to all come together, we can see how that the star’s image and how she’s presented to the audience (through the use of camera angle for example) is one of the most important key features when it comes to making the album.
Click on the image to see the whole digipak.
This video is a screen castify of our teacher’s impression of our digipak and what changes he thinks we should consider making.
Here’s the list of targets I have set myself from watching the video:
- Export as a PDF instead
- Too conventional- maybe zoom in a bit more to a closer mid shot
- The watch has no relevance
- It’s leopard print so the name UR A CHEETAH doesn’t work
- ‘be careful’ doesn’t match the way she looks
- Play with the MEILANÍ font.
- Put in a logo for the brand on the back
- play with positioning of the pictures
Overall, I agree with the comments made, and will take in to mind what can be changed to look better.
Here are the contact sheets from the photo shoot for the Digi pack, my thoughts on the overall outcome is that the main thing I love is the glow the purple film gave off, and the way the luxuries such as the fur coat and the watch represent the R&B genre perfectly. For this initial photo shoot, we were originally going to go to an underground car park but due to it having very dim lighting and would be hard to get loads of lighting equipment to the location, we decided to use the white studio because the purple would show nicely on the backdrop, and it was much easier to access any lightning equipment we wanted which made our shoot more professional.
Due to us running out of time, we didn’t manage to get the ‘perfect shot’ we’re looking for, so in result of this we will book another time in the white studio to take some more pictures. Also what else we need more of is pictures that can be used on the back cover of the Digi pack and inside left (these will include more close ups etc).
Below we have made a contact sheet of our favourites from the whole shoot, what made these stand out from the rest was because they all had an individual element that we loved, for instance, the sixth picture has quite a bit of negative space which will allow us to use it for the back to put the track list on it.
Creating this production meeting agenda allows us to be organised so that we know where and when we’re meeting, with the props, clothing and makeup. Victoria and I had a sit down meeting to discuss every detail of the shoot such as, whether we wanted to do a location shoot or use the white or black studio, so that it runs as smooth as possible and we use our time effectively.
One piece of equipment that we have decided to use, is a purple film over the camera and lighting in some of the shots; so the purple theme continues throughout the images, which we will use if it looks good at the time of the photoshoot.
Above, we’ve assessed any possible risks that we may encounter when shooting, and made sure we know how to avoid them, this has also been assessed by our teacher with their signature, in which we can now go ahead with the shoot.
So that we can have other people’s real views on the mock up Digi pack we went out and got our peers to tally a mark to which genre they think the album is without knowing any information so it was purely based on it’s look. What this will help us with is by letting us know whether what we’re doing is conventional to the genre and if what As you can see in the results below, the R&B genre was the winner which we we happy that our media language we encoded has got across to most people. Soul was second out of all the genres, which is great as soul ties in closely with R&B, also we did get a few tallies for Pop, we think this is because of the vibrant colours and a fun, young, new person as the star on front.
What we also wanted to know is what they thought about it, and the message that the album overall communicates. So to get this other form of feedback we asked multiple people what words come in there head to describe it, below are the results:
What to do for the real thing:
- We need to make sure that the pictures have a sense of continuity throughout the album and the colour scheme follows the same rule.
- Title and the star’s name fit the genre.
- Eye catching image on the front.
- Typography matches and compliments the Digi pack.
So that we have a sense of practice for our actual Digi pack, we have created the front, inside left, inside right and back cover of the album roughly to see what colours, pictures and typography we might want to use. Additionally, to get a good sense of our genre, and the style that we’re striving to achieve. We used images from Google to give us a faint idea, for example, the image of the woman on the front was chosen because we liked her pose and thought it fitted the typical conventions of the R&B genre.
We went with the colours yellow/gold and purple because they contrast well, however in our real photo shoot, we want to have a location shoot so there will be no need for creating a background and cropping our star out of the image. We chose the typography to be simple yet still have an edge to it because we discussed that we don’t want the title and name to be hard to read- otherwise audiences won’t be captivated. Now looking at the title specifically, we’re going to aim for 1 to 3 words maximum for the same reason that they they may stray away from being interested in the album as it needs to be effortless to read.
After looking at a lot of other professional R&B albums there tends to be a conventional use of an extreme close up of either someone or an inanimate object that relates to the star or the genre. The pictures we picked for the inside right and left of the Digi pack are mainly there to be aesthetically pleasing and give the target audience predictable pleasure.
When it comes to taking these images, we need to remember to keep the continuity of the colour scheme so that our audience don’t get an oppositional reading from our text.
For us, the back needs to show a sense of creativity yet be simplistic so it’s not confusing and most importantly the names of the songs are clear to read. In this mock up, we decided to keep the font yellow so that it’s conventional throughout, and so that’s what we decided to do with the font on the back of the album, as it is the same as the title on the front.
After creating the mock up Digi pack, it’s more clear on what specific images we want for each side and how we can place the star’s image and ideologies in to one album.
Victoria and I have created a mood board of random, creative materials to be experimental and so that we can get a sense of the colour scheme we want to use, what images, typefaces, graphics and themes to help us understand and get a better idea of the R&B genre. To do this, we had to deeply think back to what we visioned our star image and brand to be which helped us create the board. Additionally, everything on it has been put there purposefully and all helps to connote meaning and communicate the brand identity of the album.
Additionally, we created a digital mood board so that we can express what colours and textures that we want that we found online, there are also a couple of other album covers that we are deeply inspired by such as Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ where she is wearing a fur jacket and is in dim, rural lighting. We have put in other close up shots like the hands and collar bone as theses are good examples of what we want to capture in our shoot. What creating these mood boards have done is enable us to understand and choose what we like and dislike.
These four images are a previous students work in which I have chosen to annotate and look into more detail because I feel that this piece has a great sense of continuity to it; and stands out due to the images as you can tell there has been a lot of thought into the framing, colour and editing.
The use of camera and Photoshop
Throughout all four images, they have used a range of camera distances that are: super close up, close up, long shot and an extreme long shot, this variation is well balanced and pleasing to the eye rather than having four long shots as it wouldn’t captivate the audience the same way. Looking at the inside right image, the use of the rule of thirds worked great here as the eye is just of center and because he is looking directly down the lens it feels like he is connecting with the audience which grabs their attention. They have used Photoshop well to bring out the harshness of the blue, this idea of using blue adds to the continuity of the sea theme that runs throughout, however I feel like they could perhaps have enhanced the colour of the sea as it seems a bit too grey compared to the other pictures.
The front cover is excellently Photo shopped to make it look like he’s holding the album title, also, looks like it was inspired by the René Magritte painting called ‘The Son of Man’ where his face is hidden by an apple, however in this case his head is hidden by the album title.
Mise-en-scene and meaning
Lighting- There is a clear, bright lighting on all the images except the back cover. Because the fore ground of his silhouette and the background are similar colours and the lighting comes across as quite dull in comparison.
Props- Even though it’s not meant to be clearly seen they have still put the head of an acoustic guitar under his hands which works well as it is conventional to their genre, (Inside left).
Costume- The fact that he is wearing a suit on the beach highlights that it’s clear the genre is indie, because the picture is quite random.
Setting- The beach as a setting is again a very conventional setting for the genre as it connotes feelings of freedom, sorrow, nostalgia and reflection. The symmetrical position of his hands and the way he is standing creates an aesthetic pleasure for the audience, which also conveys a simplicity to it.
The word choice and level of audience engagement
Starting with the title and band name, they have the names ‘Ocean and ‘sea’ on it and the pictures shows images of the ocean which relates quite nicely and helps with gaining the predictable pleasure from the audience. On the back of the album you’ll find a list of 7 song names, for example, ‘Wildfire’, ‘Atlantis’, and ‘Oceans’, these particular songs have the theme of nature in common which fits in perfectly with indie, however the grey, dull look of the back cover makes it not as clear as it could be as the background gets darker as it goes down.
The creative use of DTP to integrate images and text and use of colour/ typeface
The simplicity of the typeface shows further continuity and how the same font flows nicely onto the back of the album which brings it together as a whole. The use of colour throughout the album is amazing, the use of the different shades of blues and greys make the bright, electric blue stand out the most and really entice the audience.
Overall, looking at the mark scheme above, I would give this album lower level 4 because they have manipulated the images to perfection and the use of colour is great, also they have kept the continuity of the genre present throughout all four sides. They did not reach the upper level 4 because the back cover is not very visually pleasing (with the exception of the silhouette).