So how was it? Great!

I have just about finished Component 1 of my A-Level Media Studies coursework and it is fair to say that I have learnt a great deal of new skills as I have gone along. I have learnt how to properly use Adobe Photoshop knowing how to properly crop images, change the saturation/hue of an image and much more. I have also learnt how to use InDesign delving deep into the many settings that can be used to manipulate text as well as the basics of Adobe Premiere Pro which will be used a lot in the near future when we get on to creating our music videos. Along with this I have also discovered and learnt to use some transferable skills that I know will crop up in other situations such as the communication and time management skills I have learnt.

I have also learnt how to present meanings/connotations through my work which can represent a genre or particular theme if engineered to do so through manipulating the camera and mise-en-scene, as well as the text I can add in InDesign and aspects of the image I can change using Photoshop.

So… Hows the course going?

Now that I have at least two drafts for every aspect of my magazine I am a lot more comfortable in the position that I am in. I have pretty much finished all of my drafts and I am in the process of refining them down to a final product that I am content with.

Over all three of the pages, I have kept a consistent colour scheme which includes unconventional colours such as orange as well as creating a logo which is recognisable enough that you would be able to distinguish it from others, but is also simplistic enough that it sticks in your mind easily. I still have one or two drafts for my contents page and double-page spread including the actual article for my DPS that I need to finalise into the final product but other than that I am done with creating the actual material for my magazine.

As for everything outside of the CAD (Computer Aided Design), all of my photo shoots have had as many aspects as possible which reflect the conventions of the indie pop genre which is what I wanted to aim for in the creation of my music magazine. One theme I have kept throughout all of my shoots is the bright and dark miseenscene, for instance in my contents page shoot I had someone dress in bright clothes and the other in darker, more edgy costume. Another big part of mise-en-scene that I paid attention to in my shoots is the acting, for instance in many of my smaller shoots I had the models stand with their hands by their sides staring straight into the camera to relate to other big artists and bands who make indie pop content such as AJR.

Design Skills 2

In this post, I look at a second set of skills and lessons that I have learnt when using InDesign and Photoshop in the creation mostly of my doublepage spread, but also the third drafts of the contents page and cover page. Now that I have harnessed the ability to use these tools, I will be able to use them later on in the course when we create Digipaks, allowing me to manipulate the colours and other parts of the photos that I take to my liking.

  • Below you are able to see the process of my double-page spread model having the colour of their costume (shirt) changed. I had to do this as originally the colour of the shirt was pink however I thought it would be a good idea to change it to yellow to establish somewhat of a colour scheme. This left a pink outline around some of the features. I fixed this by using the quick selection tool in Photoshop to highlight the pink area which can be seen in the second image. I then went to ImageAdjustmentsHue/Saturation and changed the settings to 40 Hue, 25 Saturation and 0 Lightness in order to make it yellow. After clicking OK you can see the finished product in the last screenshot on the bottomright.

  • Another skill I have learnt to use in the creation of my doublepage spread is how to put a gradient on text. In this example I take text from my double-page spread and highlight it. I then selected the gradient swatch tool from the tools menu and double click it to bring up a separate menu for gradient. After I get this far, I can select the two colour swatch boxes in turn and open the colour picker and select the gradient colours that I have used in my contents page and cover page. After selecting OK the colour of the text will have changed which you can see in the bottom right image.




Design Skills I have Acquired 1

I would like to show you some of the skills that I have learnt to utilise in the creation of my contents page using the two programs; InDesign and Photoshop. These attributes are not only helping me in the creation of my contents page, but also in the design of future projects and drafts including the double page spread 1st and 2nd draft as well as any other drafts and final pieces of work that I create in my time taking A-Level Media Studies.

  • I was wondering how I could create two thick, white lines/rectangles on my contents page to add detail. I ended up overcoming this issue by using InDesigns ‘Rectangle Tool’ from the main tools menu to create two tall boxes which snapped to the same width and length of each other, and then using the fill tool which can be found in the menu that goes along the top of an InDesign page to fill the shape with white. You can see the process of this below, the order being left to right.


  • I wanted to add the effect into my contents page of the pug intruding onto the image at the bottom right. I did this by using the ellipse tool to create a circle that was larger than the pug and then changed the fill to the orange gradient that the rest of the background had. I decided that I had to manually go into the layers tab and change them around so that the elipse layer (IMG_3798) was above the bottom right photo, and below the main cover image.


  • One other skill that I have learnt is the art of using Photoshop to create a blur in a photo which makes it blend in more with a different background to the original one. I did this by using the polygonal lasso tool to highlight the area that I want to delete of the image which still shows the white background, and deleting it. This however leaves a jagged line which can make it look out of place with the background, so I used the blur tool and increased the hardness to 24% in order to leave a good amount of blur to make it fit in. This process can be seen in the photos below.







Well I guess I am ready to photograph my star!

After organising my meeting agenda and star image posts, I am at the stage where I am ready to photo my cover star. However before I do this I need to address how I am going to use camera and mise-en-scene in my shoot in order to create a professional image which connotes various different meaning about the star and the genre they represent.


We are going to be working in relatively cramped conditions in our schools black room and that means that we will be limited to taking mid-shots, close-ups and extreme close-ups. We have also been taught how to use the flash light kit which will help to enhance my images by creating and eliminating shadows as well as to put more emphasis on certain features of the images taken.


I also need to think about the mise-en-scene in my shoot and how I can use it effectively in order to connote meanings about the singer (model). I can do this through incorporating Richard Dyers theory of stars into the shoot knowing that there is the present and absent aspects of the artist as well as the ordinary and extraordinary parts of their personality in order to create the meanings that we want from the shoot. I am going to replicate this through using very brightly coloured clothing and extraordinary props in order to infer knowledge that the magazine cover represents the Indie Pop genre.


Well I guess I am now ready to create some media!

Over the course of the first half term I have learnt a multitude of skills that I am going to be able to use in the next half term to start creating my own media based on the research that we have made so far.

We have been taught about mise-en-scene and how we can use it in order to connote certain things about the image, as well as about camera and all of the features that are encompassed within such as exposure, aperture, types of shots and many more. We have also been educated on the standard conventions of a genre or piece of media and how we can use the readers psychographics and demographics in order to create a piece of work which will relate directly to them.  After learning about all of these different skill we were shown how to use the software that are known as Photoshop and InDesign in order to manipulate images and text to create the perfect still images/media.

Overall I want to aim to take into account all of the different skills that I have acquired as stated above as I think that it will aid me to create professional media that blends in with the most popular, highest quality media that we see in today’s society.