Monday 30th November 2015:
Today, I have been concentrating on finishing my research pack, which included taking snapshots of my portfolio and applying them to my evaluation as evidence. In my evaluation I explained what I felt went well about the process, what I felt were the good points of my research and even what I could improve on in the future. I also stated which magazine issue I would be basing my cover and double page spread on, which is ‘Outdoor photography.’ The reasons for this being the case are that the cover is plain and simple but introduces the topic perfectly (along with the magazine name). It also has lots of different content in it which I can apply (camera techniques, location tips, photos from professionals),
I emailed myself some of the high-quality photos of my own so that I could email them to myself and apply them to the cover and/or double page spread.
(Covers Unit 2-3.2)- Research evaluation.
Overall, I have to say that I feel that my research was very effective in a number of areas. For example, the presentation of my research as the physical portfolio worked out very well because, like I mentioned beforehand, it did allow me to become more involved with the use of the actual magazines and as a result, I was more focused on elements such as the content, photos used, writing styles and the layout of the whole spreads and covers. I felt that I made very effective progress with the secondary research- but with the primary research, I wasn’t entirely sure at first how I was going to carry this out due to the topic of my project. However, when I did get underway with the primary side of things, I have a few mixed feelings: I felt that I became more organised with having two forms of it at the ready- the email interview and my own photographs. And even though the email didn’t quite work out (since I didn’t manage to receive anything back), I still had my own photographs as a backup. These were actually an excellent addition to my double page spread because they made it more unique and even personal because I was able to produce my article around it, which were my experiences taking them!
As a whole, I feel that the research process and methods I’ve carried out have helped my project massively because without carrying it out first of all, I wouldn’t have had any idea of what to include in my double page spread or cover; how to produce the style of it or even what my magazine cover/ double page spread would even be about. It also helped me to overcome problems that I faced along the way and as a result, become more independent and responsible for the quality of my own work.
Unit 1: Final Piece:
(Covers unit 1-1.1/unit 1-1.2)- Today, another task I had started and also finished creating the front cover for my magazine that is related to my chosen publication. I used the secondary research I carried out to look at the features of the magazine’s cover. I created the cover using the software ‘Adobe Photoshop.’ This software allowed me to used many skills to ensure that my magazine cover was of an excellent quality with all the elements it needed to look like it came from the ‘Outdoor photography’ magazine brand. For example, I was able to remove the background from another Outdoor Photography magazine so that I ended up with just the title- which I could then place on to another background to match the brand. To make the cover look like it was published by ‘Outdoor Photography’, I made sure I chose the cover photo carefully, mainly to relate with my spread but also because of my research: many of the covers I’ve researched have the title in the sky area of the photo, so I wanted to make mine similar in that area.
(Covers unit 3-2.1/unit 3-2.2)- The reason being that I chose to use Photoshop for my front cover creating was because it allowed me to use many skills that resulted in a high-quality cover. For example, I had to ensure that the page zline was exactly like the magazine ‘Outdoor Photography’, so I entered the page measurements in millimetres so that it didn’t mess up the layers and positioning of my cover elements half way through. The other skills I also used were: removing the background from the magazine logo so that I could apply it to the top of the cover (just like all the other existing issues), and I also used the text tool bar so that I could apply the sub-title above it. This was because it was too small for me to try and remove effectively along with the main logo. However, the text tool allowed me to write and apply what I needed, as well as changing the colour of it.
(Covers unit 3-2.2)- The kinds of skills I’ve used during my cover-creating process are also ones which are very widely used in jobs within the industry. For example, jobs that used the skills I’ve used include: magazine spread and magazine cover designers and even web page designers- especially if it’s a news related website. (Covers unit 3-1.1)- It turns out actually that any skills relating to magazine and double page spread design and creation relates to the print area of the media industry. Plus, with the skills I’ve just demonstrated to create my magazine cover, such as: removing unwanted backgrounds and applying the correct text and photographic background, they would definitely prepare me for this job area.
Tuesday 1st December 2015:
I realized that, going back to the research I only just completed, my physical research portfolio also covered some of the primary research characteristics as well because, even though I was using secondary sources, I was still going out and gathering the information myself and presenting the findings in my own style.
(Covers unit 2-1.1)- In terms of conducting my primary research, I found out that one of the members of the media department had a strong connection and experience with photography, so what I did was produce some questions which I wanted to find out which I could also apply to my double page spread and sent an email containing these questions and the purpose of them too. (Covers unit 3-3.2)- The reason being that I used emails to carry out my primary research was because it counted as an interview, since I was asking someone questions and explaining my project to someone who knew about photography. This method was a massive time-saver since I was able to ask all the questions and describe the purpose of my project all in one email. And I was able to send it on the same hour I wrote it as well.
Wednesday 2nd December 2015:
Today, I started planning what my double page spread would contain, keeping in mind the research I carried out (both primary and secondary). (Covers Unit 3-3.1)- Yesterday, I carried out a form of primary research that involved sending an email to one of the college tutors who has experience and knowledge about my chosen magazine topic of photography. However, I realized that I needed a plan B since I didn’t receive anything back. I remembered that this was when I had my photos which I took myself and which also counted as primary research. I decided that these would be something for me to fall back on and I can say that I have still included primary research in this project.
With my draft of my double page spread, I did this in a clean page in my notebook because it was perfect for planning out my double page spread and the paper was lined which helped me to neatly position the picture outlines and columns. This draft included where my pictures, columns and text would go and where the content would go as well. This was important to me because I wanted to know exactly what I was doing before I started and it also gave me time to decide what content and pictures I wanted within the spread to make it look like my chosen publication. It would also be a massive time-saver since I would know briefly what I will be doing to it.
(Covers Unit 1-2.2)- Today, I have also started to write up an evaluation of my final front cover creation. This evaluation included: (Covers Unit 1-2.2)- an evaluation of the style, format and layout of the cover; describing the target audience and purpose of the magazine (including examples) and how it achieves this look for its target audience and purpose. (Covers Unit 4-1.1/Unit 4-1.2)- I noted in it that the target audience for the publication are photography enthusiasts and professionals who have their work published in the magazine issues. This made me conclude that this may be the reason for the cover design; it looks professional with no overwhelming sub-headings or many pictures. It looks professional and is to the point of the whole magazine. I used examples from this such as the limited text content, the photo quality as the cover background and the magazine logo as back up to my points as well.
Unit 1-2.2 Front magazine cover evaluation:
(Covers unit 1-2.2)- This evaluation is in relation to the magazine cover I created on ‘Adobe Photoshop’ based around my chosen publication.
This is the magazine cover I created which is based around the publication ‘Outdoor Photography’. I had previously researched other existing covers of this publication prior to creating this one because I wanted to know how they all differ in each issue, and what features they contain. After this, I realised that they all contained the same features from one another: the publication logo, a stunning scenic photo for the cover background and a small sub-heading which almost gives a clue as to what the issue is about. These features are also what I included in my magazine cover too. I ensured that my magazine cover looked like it was published by ‘Outdoor Photography’ by using the exact same title logo and sub-logo, a sub-heading and a high-quality scenic background photo.
The cover on the left is the one I created using Photoshop. The one on the right is another existing one which was published by the same magazine brand and which was also part of my secondary research. Overall, I feel that I have achieved an extremely identical cover as to what would be published by this magazine and compared to other existing covers to what have been published bit it. This was because I have used the Photoshop software tools in the correct way to make the features such as the title, photo background and the sub-headings look very much like the existing cover’s. This was because I removed the background from another Outdoor Photography magazine and applied it to the photographic background. I also chose a background which looked like it would have been used by this publication but related to the content of my double page spread. This also applied to the sub-title at the bottom of the cover.
However, I have noticed some differences in my magazine cover compared to the already-existing cover. For example, I have placed the sub-title at the bottom of the page whereas on the other one, it has been placed just above the main magazine title. Also, the main title on my cover seems a little smaller than on the other one, and a little smaller than it should be. And this is compared to all the other covers I’ve researched as well. Another thing I’ve spotted is that the sub-heading on the already-existing cover is surrounded by a filled in text box, whereas mine is simply white text with an unfilled box surrounding it.
However, I created my magazine cover in response to a combination of all the features and where the different elements are positioned in all the covers I’ve researched.
(Covers Unit 4-1.1/Unit 4-1.2)- In terms of the target audience and the purpose of the magazine, the target audience for ‘outdoor Photography’ is mainly photography enthusiasts, beginners and even professionals who share their work and creativity. And this could be why the front cover isn’t overwhelmed with sub-headings which promote the content; it’s a very plain cover with the magazine logo, sub-logo and a tiny introduction to the theme of the magazine- not even ten words. The photo on the front is also a very high quality, stunning photo which is likely to be an example of those featured in the magazine. Overall, the cover, of the existing publication and my creation, both relate to the purpose and target audience of the magazine because they remain the same format/layout on every issue and remain, most importantly, professional.
Not only have I done the comparison to the pre-existing cover just now, but I have also done the same with a rival publication (Amateur Photographer) to the one I’ve chosen for my magazine cover and double page spread. And because my cover (I believe) looks so similar in the style and layout to the existing ones, I have used my creation in this example:
It’s clear straight away that the layout and the content on both of them are very different from each other. For example, the font cover for Amateur Photographer has many different subheadings which introduce the content of the magazine and it has a mini advertisement at the top of the page. However, having read the content of the magazine, I find these a bit misleading because most of the magazine is filled with camera advertisements and much less on actual photo-related content than Outdoor Photography had. But relating to the cover of it, it shows that the content is more related to beginners who are looking for their first camera, since around 75% of the magazine consists of camera tips, types and advertisements. But with Outdoor Photography, it is all almost purely base on photography itself, the work of professionals, tips for the best quality photos and the exceptional array of photos that appear in it. And even though this publication is possibly targeted at beginners who seek tips and advice, it does it in a very gentle way with no overwhelming amounts of one thing, unlike Amateur Photographer. This was one of many reasons why I chose Outdoor Photography as my chosen publication for my magazine cover and double page spread. The covers almost give away the purpose of both magazine brands.