So… How is it going?

Throughout this process I have adopted many new transferable skills:

  • Organisation – The blog league has helped me to keep organised and I have been able to keep up to date with it.
  • Communication – I have been able to communicate my ideas to my audience through my writing for my article, and even through the photos I’ve taken and used.
  • Reflection – From the feedback of my peers and teacher, I have been able to reflect on it and improve my magazine. Using feedback to better my work is going to be really helpful in other projects and aspects of my life.
  • Design software skills – I  have learnt how to use photoshop and Indesign efficiently. The skills I have learnt whilst using these apps will be very helpful in the future when creating any digital media.

So far, I am pleased with my progress on my magazine. Here’s a few things that I think have gone well so far:

  • The coherency of colours and fonts throughout my magazine.
  • The images appear to be reflective of my chosen genre; country.
  • My article on my DPS.

My magazine still has lots of improvements to be made. It would be even better if…

  • My line spacing on my DPS was better and consistent.
  • I introduce a new colour to my magazine to make it more exciting.
  • The headline on my DPS was not centre of the triangle as part of it will be hidden by the fold.

Design Skills 2

Throughout this process of creating and designing my magazine I have become more confident using Photoshop and Indesign.

Image result for drop shadow indesign
One tool that I have found really useful during this process, particularly when constructing my contents page, is the drop shadow tool. This has been very helpful to make the artists look like they are coming out of the page, making them appear closer to the readers. This effect added to the fact the artists were untouchable stars, adding to the extraordinary side of a star from Richard Dyer’s Paradox of the Star theory.
Image result for eyedropper tool photoshop cc 2019
In Photoshop, the eyedropper tool was very helpful to match colour schemes. It was particularly useful when creating the paint lines on my DPS. I was able to match the colours to those in the flowers which enabled the magazine to look coherent. Being able to match these colours and choose colour schemes has helped me to convey my genre in the most clear way possible. For example the colours associated with country music are oranges, reds, yellows and black which I have tried to include in my magazine.

Overall, I think these design techniques that I have been experimenting with and using have been very beneficial in the process of creating my magazine. These tools are helping me to construct a magazine with small details that help to convey my narrative and genre.

Design Skills 1

Since beginning to create my music magazine I have learnt many helpful new skills and production techniques.

Production techniques: I have learnt that in order for a photoshoot to run smoothly, it is important to plan out every detail including equipment, costume, hair, makeup and who is bringing what using a production meeting agenda. I think I was successful in planning out my shoots as my models and I knew exactly what we were bringing. For example, for my second shoot I knew it was essential to bring flowers as they added to the country-folk and feminine image of my artist. Something I could’ve been more organised on is planning my shots and the poses for my models. This would have made the shoot even smoother as the model would be clearer on my direction.

Photography: From my photoshoots I was able to produce some images I was really happy with. Particularly from the first shoot. I learnt from my second shoot that it’s important to capture as many images as possible, with a variety of poses in order to have lots of good ones to choose from. On my second shoot I felt I wasn’t as successful at this as it was difficult to capture a huge amount of photos on location. Taking a few hundred photos enables you to find the perfect shot.

Photoshop: I have learnt to cut out an image using the magic wand tool, which is more difficult than I thought. I found a hat was really useful to cover the hair and make it easier to cut out. Some other tools that I learnt to use were the dodge and burn tool. These helped to brighten and darken my images wherever I wanted. This was helpful when editing my double page spread photo as I was able to draw attention to the flowers.

Image result for magic wand tool photoshopImage result for dodge tool photoshop

I have also learnt to put any filters and effects on the photo in photoshop before exporting it to Indesign. Here is the first draft of my front cover for which I used the image that I cut out and edited in photoshop:

Indesign: On Indesign I have learnt to use the frame tool which is really helpful when placing and resizing images. Another tool on Indesign that I used to experiment with was the text effects tool. This enabled me to edit my text to best fit the country genre. For example, the masthead is a very important piece of text on my front cover so I added a drop shadow to it to make it stand out:

So… I am ready to photograph my star.

Mission statement: “Roots is devoted to spreading the love of the new age of country. By featuring up and coming country artists, the best new songs to inspire your playlists and introducing ways for you to get involved it aims to spark interest in the new generation of country listeners and prove that country can be fun too.”

Brand values: Roots aims to entertain and inform their audience, whilst also giving them a sense of community and a magazine to interact with.

In order to produce great photos of my star I will need to use all of the skills I have learnt.

This includes the importance of mise-en-scene:

  • Costume
  • Lighting
  • Acting
  • Makeup and hair
  • Props
  • Setting

And putting to good use the camera techniques I’ve learnt:

  • Aperture
  • Exposure
  • Shutter speed
  • Flash
  • Framing
  • Shots

I have researched conventional mise-en-scene of the genre and have planned a costume, hair, makeup and props to fit in with this, whilst also making my star unique.  I have also got my Pinterest moodboard to refer to whenever I need inspiration of how to reach my target audience.

I will also try to communicate my star’s image using Richard Dyer’s Paradox of the Star theory. Using these ideas I aim to make my star absent yet present and extraordinary but normal all at the same time. Also, using Stuart Hall’s Reception Theory will help me to cater to my audience by understand their reactions and reception of my magazine.


So… I’m ready to make some media!

After learning about about all of the components that I will need to make up my magazine and experimenting with them, I am now ready to start making media. I have listed everything I will need to consider below:

  • Blumler and Katz – Their ideas about the uses and gratification of media, including entertainment, social interaction, personal identity and information are going to be key when designing my magazine. I will need to keep all of these in mind in order to inform and entertain my audience, as well as giving them something to identify and interact with.
  • MES – When dressing my model and taking photos of them I will need to consider costume, lighting. acting (facial expression and body language), make up and hair and finally setting.
  • Camera techniques – Whilst carrying out my photoshoot I will need to consider the angle, distance and lighting of the photos I take to communicate the meaning I want to the audience.
  • Target audience – I will need to research my target audiences age, gender and interests. Then when creating my magazine I will be able to tailor my design to my audience.
  • Layout – I will need to include the conventions of a magazine eg. masthead, cover lines etc. They will also need to be spaced accordingly so everything is legible.
  • Colour scheme – After considering the conventional colours of my genre I will need to apply this to my own magazine.
  • Typography – I will need to research conventional fonts of the genre and use this to inspire my magazine. Also, I will need to experiment with the alignment, size and stroke of the text.
  • AIDA – I need to aim for a magazine that attracts the audience, interests them, creates desire and gives them the tools to take action eg. telling them where to go to download the album.

So… How can an image communicate meaning?

There are so many factors that contribute to producing an image with a narrative behind it. Firstly you need to consider the MES which includes the following:

  • Costume
  • Lighting
  • Acting
  • Makeup
  • Props
  • Setting

These denotations all work together to create an image that has clear connotations to an audience.

Another factor to consider is camera framing. This is used to represent feelings and ideas of the models and to evoke emotions from the audience. This is carried out through the use of angles and distances. For example, if you wanted to make your audience see that your model was afraid and vulnerable you may use a high angle to show their lack of power. Also you could use a close up so your audience can clearly see the emotion on the model’s face so they can understand the image and empathise with them.

After reflecting on how important MES and camera framing are, I now know how crucial they are to consider when it comes to producing my own media. When creating images for my music magazine I will need to consider the angles, distances and MES in order to produce effective images for my audience to clearly understand the narrative behind them.