CCR4: So… How did you integrate technologies (software, hardware and online) in this project?

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So… How is it Going?

So far, I am having a lot of fun in media studies and have learnt an incredible amount of new skills. I have learnt both technical skills with things such as in design and Photoshop and also many transferable skills! A lot of the skills I have learnt so far will definitely help me in the future as well as now.

Camera Skills

All my camera knowledge before media was pretty weak to say the least so it felt quite confusing when I first got my hands on a DSLR camera but after some help I have learnt many of the tools that I now use in order to create perfect images.

  • Aperture – This is a small hole in the camera that can increase or decrease in size to determine the depth of field of a picture. A lower focal length such as 5.6 or below is better for taking close up pictures with the background out of focus. In contrast, A high focal length, such as 11 or higher will be better for taking landscape photographs.
  • Shutter Speed – This is how long the light is fed into the camera. This can be useful for taking photos of movement such as a car driving past as it leaves a slight trail behind showing movement. A good shutter speed to start with is 1/125.
  • ISO – The ISO Allows more or less light into the photo. This can have many different uses like taking images in low or high light concentrations.  A low ISO will make an image look crisper and cleaner but work best in a high light level area whereas an image with a high ISO will look more grainy but work better in dark areas such as at night.

As well as these basic camera skills I have also learnt how to use a few techniques outside of the camera settings:

  • Lighting – Lighting can make a massive difference to the look of a photo. A low-key light setup can create deep shadows whereas a high-key light setup can create a more naturalistic look in a photo.
  • Angle – The angle of the camera in comparison to the focus object can create so much meaning. A low angle can make the object seem powerful and authoritative whereas a  High angle can make the object look vulnerable and afraid.
  • Distance – The distance of the camera in comparison to the focus object is also very important. It can make an object seem small and alone or it can make an object look big and strong.

 

Photoshop & In-design

Photoshop has been an incredibly useful tool that has made many of my images look much cleaner and fit into my magazine and other things. In-design has also been an incredible program to use and has been essential in the creation of my magazine. The vast amount of tools that I have learnt to use on both of these programs has allowed me to be very creative with what I make. Before coming to media studies I had very limited knowledge of both of these programs. Some tools I have learnt to use like Gradients, shapes and text tools have really made my pages look a lot more professional and interesting.

 

Transferable Skills

Many of the skills I have learnt during my media course have been more than just technical skills. A lot of the skills will be ones that I am able to utilize outside of school:

  • Teamwork – Learning to work with others has been a vital part of media. Taking feedback from peers to helping and getting help with equipment and tools all of these skills have been so helpful. If not for teamwork I would not have learnt how to use many tools that I ended up using during my magazine creation. I had to ask for help many times as a lot of my peers knew more than me and that’s okay because they gave helpful tips that allowed my work to be produced to its full potential.
  • Organisation – This skill is probably the most useful one I have learnt. I myself am not an incredibly organised person by nature so having to meet deadlines and struct schedules has been a challenge for me. I have had to keep up on my work on a regular basis and make sure that I don’t get to far behind. I have slowly learnt better and better ways to deal with certain problems and how to make my workflow efficient and smooth.
  • Experimentation – Experimenting with tools and techniques has cause some great things for me throughout my media work. Many of the drafts for my magazines had things that I had no intention of creating at first. Even the mast head for my magazine was just something I thought would look cool so I did it! Experimenting with my work has made it easy for me to express my creative side and has made a really unique feel to much of the work I do as most of it is just things that I think of off the top of my head.

Design Skills 2

Since I began using in-design and Photoshop a lot recently, I have gathered many skills with the tools and learnt certain techniques that help me now and in the future. Some skills I have learnt through google and YouTube and others I found out by myself:

        • The BLUR tool really helped to refine edges of images. Before using the blur tool, my images would have a weird white aura after I cut them out from their background. To fix this I looked up how to fix it and found that the blur tool is a quick and easy tool to fix this issue. It really made the images a lot cleaner and nicer to look at and helped them blend in well with the magazine.
        • The SMOOTH setting really helped me to make clean, curved and straight lines. I found this out myself while designing the logo of the magazine as I wanted to put a line through the middle of the word. Using the smooth tool made the line perfect and helped to make it look nice. Here is a quick example of when smoothing is and isn’t used:
        • The Shape tool really helped me to create some interesting looking things as well as fill in space among other things. I used it in every one of my magazine pages. On my contents page, I used the hexagon shape to create a sort of flower by simple placing many shapes on top of one another and rotating them slightly. This worked great to fill in some gaps and was a quick and easy thing with a good outcome.
        • The Text tool was one that I used extensively when making all of my pages. It is the easiest way to add text somewhere and lets me play around with different fonts, colours, sizes, distance and more! This really made it hard to decide on a certain look of the text as there were so many options but overall the sheer amount of options that you get let you be as creative as you want
        • The LINE tool really helps to create importance in words such as a headline or title and helps to separate words from other parts of the page. I used it on my contents page title to  separate the big heading from the small contents underneath. I also used it for cover lines on my front page and to highlight what they were and guide people to them.

Design Skills 1

Over the course of designing my front cover, I have learnt many new and great skills. In Photoshop I have learnt how to effectively cut out a person from the surroundings. In a lot of my earlier photo shopped images there would be a weird white border around the edges. This really annoyed me while I was making the magazine so I looked up a way to remove the white border and found that using the blur tool made the line less visible. This greatly helped and made the images look a lot crisper and cleaner and makes the image look a whole lot more professional. This will allow me to make my magazine more pleasing to the eye and will therefore draw in more people in theory and make it more appealing.

On Indesign I used multiple tools to get the look of the poster that I wanted. One of the mains ones that I used was the gradient tool. The gradient tools is one of my favourite tools to use as it can transform an entire page from looking boring to being smooth and nice to look at. I used two types of gradients in my front cover:

  • Radial – A gradient in a circle around a point
  • Linear – A straight gradient that follows a path

I had never used the radial gradient before and it turned out to look very good and really popped out. If something pops out then it will draw in the audience and I think that gradients are on of the best tools to draw in audiences. It also allows me to experiment with multiple colours in a small or large area on my front cover.

|I think a lot of the tools that I have learnt to use on In design and Photoshop are really going to help when I make my double page spread and I can transfer the skills with gradients and other things over to there.

 

So… I am Ready to Photograph my Star.

I have planned out the shoot and what my model is going to wear and now I am ready for photographing. After analyzing other Rap artists and learning about mise-en-scene I will dress up my model to communicate a certain meaning to the audience. I want my rap star to look powerful and wealthy but also dangerous and rebellious. My mission statement for my magazine is “Wave is a world famous magazine focusing heavily on the ever flowing genre of rap. We give our audience the best details in upcoming artists, brand new albums, exclusive interviews and the latest fresh styles.” which means that to use my model in my magazine cover, I will need to make him fit into some part of this mission statement. I can make my model look like a new upcoming artist and portray him as a new style on the scene. I learnt how important a mission statement is as I was researching them and it showed me that magazines are focused around their mission statements. This gave me reason to think strongly about my magazines mission statement and how i could make it unique and new.

To communicate the ideas I will use several things, Mise-en-scene being the main one. The costume of my model is the main thing that I want to focus on as that is the part of the photo that will communicate the most meaning. I will also use flash lighting as a way to light up my model in a certain way to communicate power. The camera will also be important as I can use the focus and ISO to make depth of field and make parts more in focus than others like rings or jewelry.

After the first shoot that we did for the tour poster a while ago and researching different magazine covers, I learnt just how important mise-en-scene can be. It can be used to make a character look kind and soft or tough and hard. My star will need to be tough and strong in appearance as most rappers in the industry look and how many magazines try to make the stars look. I think with the right clothing and jewelry etc. my star will fit perfectly in the magazine cover.

So… I’m Ready To Make Some More Media!

Over my time making and learning about media so far, I have already learnt a lot of new things that will help me when I create more media. Making the tour poster recently and using design and technical skills, really helped me in understanding how to create professional looking media.

CAMERA

One thing that I really need to focus on when creating my own music magazine is the camera and different techniques using the camera. The image that I used when creating my tour poster was good but could have been improved with some focus on using the camera to create meaning in the image. Using angles could have helped me to communicate different emotions in the audience when they see the image. Also using different distances could help to create different emotions in the model.

LAYOUT

The use of layout will be vital when I create my own magazine as it is one of the key things that will communicate meaning to my audience. The spacing of certain things like the text from the image and where the image is placed will say certain things about the model/ magazine that the audience will pick up on.

MISE-EN-SCENE

The mise-en-scene is very important when trying to communicate meaning in my music magazine. The way that the model is posing or the clothes they are wearing makes them fit the genre that the music magazine is going for be it rap, folk or whatever. The background doesn’t matter as much as the model as the model is cut out from the background in the magazine.

TYPOGRAPHY

The font style of my magazine also plays a big role in displaying the genre and communicating meaning. In designing my own tour poster, i learnt just how hard it is to choose the right font that fits well with the genre that I was going for. The type of font can convey different things like a big bold font displaying power.

AIDA

AIDA stands for:

  • Attract
  • Interest
  • Desire
  • Action

These can be used in deciding what text will be written on the page and what captions and other things will be included like images. When creating my tour poster I didn’t focus on this too much but with my music magazine I think that it will help a lot in the design process.

BLUMLER AND KATZ

Blumber and Katz Uses and gratification theory will definitely help when creating my magazine. I can analyse other magazines that fit the demographic, pshycographic and category of the uses and gratification theory, to take ideas and use them in my own magazine to appeal to my certain audience.


 

So… How Can an Image Communicate Meaning?

An image can communicate many different emotions and meanings through different techniques and camera settings. Media producers use these techniques to make the audience feel different things about the things they are watching or reading etc. One of the ways to communicate meaning in images is Mise-En-Scene. Mise-en-scene can be condensed into 6 aspects that spell out the word CLAMPS.

Clamps stands for:

  • Costume
  • Lighting
  • Action
  • Make up/Hair
  • Props
  • Setting

These six aspects can create a lot of meaning in a photo or video. Certain objects or colours etc can trigger different feeling and emotions in the audience for example tight, dark hallways in a horror film or if someone has a bright red dress, it could symbolise danger.

Meaning in an image can also be created by different camera techniques. The techniques used are:

  • Movement – How the camera is moved in a video like zooming, trolley or pan.
  • Angle – The angle of a camera can communicate a lot of meaning like a high angle, making the focus seem vulnerable or small.
  • Distance – The camera being at various distances can show different things like a close up communicating a lot of emotion from the model/actor.
  • Composition – The way the photo is framed such as rule of third, depth of field and lead room.

All these techniques can help me when I create my own magazine as I can use them to create a lot of meaning in my photos. I can test the different techniques and use them to help me decide what is going to perfectly fit the style I’m going for. I can also look at professional magazines and use techniques and styles that they use and use them for myself.