What have you learnt about technologies from the process of constructing this product? Throughout the course, I have learnt to use many pieces of software that I haven’t before been faced with, and though the process of learning how to use some of these complex pieces was difficult to grasp, all the websites and sites used were exceedingly helpful in the creation of my music magazine. The first and debatably most important piece was Adobe Photoshop. I used this tool throughout the entire process of creating my magazine, and though at first it was complex to grasp, without its skills I would not have been able to create my piece to the degree of its success. An advantage of such a multifaceted piece of software is that it basically does ‘everything’. Nearly all magazine companies use Photoshop to edit their products, proving its worldwide success. Tools such a ‘burn tool’ to make sections of photos darker or more intense, sounds simple enough, though this tool makes it look realistic and simply adds edges to pieces, such as in the case of my magazine, I used this on the front cover to make the models lips darker. This software covers basically every angle needed to edit and adjust photos and magazines, and if an individual is struggling to use it, there is a high possibility that someone on Youtube would have made a tutorial covering how to use it. By seeing the range of tools that could be used, Photoshop allowed me to really think about how I was going to take my photos, before editing them. I found the ‘magic wand tool’ extremely effective, and therefore in many cases, I tried to find a plain background, so that it was simple to cut out the unnecessary background fillers. Although this is the case, for first time users, such as myself, Photoshop is very difficult to grasp, and it not the type of software that someone can ‘just pick up’. It takes a lot of using the finally drum in the tools and when and where you should use them, and in honesty, I still feel like a learner with the tool. In addition to this, the software is expensive, and if the college did not have it on their systems, I would not want to spend £100s of pounds to install the program at home. Blogger is the next most key element to my coursework. It has allowed me to present a variety of photos, word documents and videos all in one place, with a variety of labeled buttons that makes the site easy to negotiate around. I have also never used Blogger before, and of course, at first glance it looks complex, though, unlike Photoshop, I found it very easy to pick up, and adds an element of your character to your work, since there is an option to change the style, set up and background of your blog. A major positive of the site is that it is free, and therefore I am able to access it from home. Though this is the case, there are situations where Blogger has deleted blogs, and since the site is free, there is a chance that it could be shut down at any time.
Issuu is a site that allows you to change word documents into neat books, which are more attractive and exciting to look at, then just a plain document. The site is relatively simple to use and grasp, and therefore did not take myself a long time to set up. However, similarly to blogger, the site is free, and therefore there is a risk of the work being deleted or lost due to its lack of financial support. Though this is the case, the set up and style of the website is very professional, and possesses various characteristics of sites I haven’t seen before, for example, you are able to store all collections of your work on a bookshelf, and though this effect may seem trivial, it makes the site very professional.
Flickr is a site that lets you annotate pictures to a very precise level, which is useful when evaluating and comparing my own magazine, to other professional ones. For me, I found the site fairly easy to maneuver around, despite the fact I was a first time user and though the page itself is bland and boring. The drop down heading are simplistic, and lead to more details when you click on them, though I felt like the page did not seem very interesting, unlike Blogger where you can personalize it for your own style. Dafont is the final website I used, to make the name plates the bottom of the Polaroid’s on my double page spread. Once again, a major positive of the site is that it is free, and therefore, I am able to access it everywhere. Similarly this factor holds problems, since it could seemingly be shut down at any time, however, unlike some of the other programs, you are able to save the fonts you want straight away, rather than use the site to store your work, like Blogger or Flickr. The site is very easy to navigate around, and has many options for different types of text, which are categorized very specifically, so that you do not spend ages looking through many fonts. Overall I found the site very simple to use, however when you upload the fonts to Photoshop, I was unable to use it unless it was changed into a ‘RGB’, which took me a while to figure out.