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Looking back at your preliminary task (the college magazine task), what do you feel you have learnt in the progression from it to full product?

Before After From looking at the two cover pages alone, you can clearly see that my skills in Photoshop have greatly improved, and I now understand how to make a cover page look interesting an appealing. Before I started AS Media Studies, I had never used Photoshop before, so completing these magazines have been a completely new experience for me. I had to work out how to do things before hand, learning as I went by using Google and youtube videos to help me understand the different tools. I think that if I was to complete another magazine after my music magazine, my skills would further develop, as I spent more time using Photoshop.

For my college magazine, I wanted it to appeal to everyone, so I tried to make sure it didn’t focus on one gender more than the other, and didn’t focus on any particular social group. I did this by choosing a gender neutral colour scheme (yellow, blue and purple) and choosing a landscape a cover image. I did this because in the magazine, I wanted it to focus on what happened in Norfolk and Suffolk, as well as within East Norfolk College. For the content I wanted to aim it towards students and teachers, so I tried to keep the language formal, but relaxed and kind of chatty. I didn’t really know what to feature in my magazine, as I hadn’t really had much experience with college magazines. However I just went with the typical, 16-19 year old student and thought about what they would look for in a magazine. I kept it all related to the college, with news, trips, interviews with teachers and reviews on sporting and drama events. I also wanted to have a feature that would give them a break from college stuff and included and agony aunt page, just to keep things relaxed and fun. However, for my music magazine, I knew that I was focusing on a much more specific audience and that I had to get everything dead right, to make sure it appealed to them. I used a dark colour scheme (deep purple, dark turquoise and grey); because I thought it would suit the style of the genre I focused on and looked best with the cover image. For the cover image I decided to use three individual images of my cover models and position them on the cover page, to create one image. I picked the three images I did, because I wanted them to represent the band that I focused on for the main article of the magazine. I felt that they represented the genre well, as they were dressed in ordinary clothes and didn’t have any extreme hair or make up, which follows the style of the genre. I wanted to aim the magazine at 16-25 year olds, so I kept the tone of the magazine semi-formal. Mild swearing would be used throughout the magazine, but nothing major or out of order. I didn’t want the magazine to be too chatty or informal, as I don’t think this would be appealing to my audience, as it is quite often related to ‘teen girl’ or gossip magazines. For the music magazines, I was able to look at more examples to prepare for the type of content needed. Obviously I knew that music had to pay a key part in the magazine, so I included album reviews, gig dates, interviews with famous artists and competitions revolving around the current charts. But I wanted to appeal to a wider audience, so I also included bits on fashion, art and world events. For my college magazine, I didn’t use very many tools on Photoshop as I didn’t really know how to use it. The Type Tool was most often used during the making of it. This was obviously because of the text used across it. I also used the Rectangular Marquee Tool, to create the boxes around some of the text. For the puffs I used a Custom Shape Tool. I wanted to use the star shapes, as the college logo is encased in a star and I thought this would fit quite nicely within the Masthead. I also used it to show the price, as it was a bold shape and easily noticeable. For my music magazine, I had a much wider knowledge of Photoshop, having played around with it for a few weeks beforehand. Although I still used the Type Tool and the Rectangular

Marquee Tool, I was able to use some more advanced tools, to create a better finished product. For example, I used the Ruler Tool on my contents page to make sure that the three columns I was using, were exactly the same size, and that the image boxes were also the same size, to give it a more appealing, professional look. To cut the images away from their original backgrounds, I used the Magnetic Lasso Tool, to trace around the edges of each model and cut them away from the background and copy them onto the cover page. This was much quicker and more accurate than using either the Magic Wand Tool or the Quick Selection Tool. But once I had done this, there was still a white line around each of the models, from where the Lasso hadn’t been able to get close enough to the image. This made the images look obviously cut and pasted onto the cover page and I wanted them to look as if they had already been placed on that background. To get rid of this line, I simply zoomed in really close to the images and used the Eraser Tool to get rid of it all. Although it was time consuming, it was definitely worth it when I saw the final product.

H skills development  
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