One of my coursework pieces:

Its been super hetic recently with work, college, deadlines and coursework so I havent really had time to write for my blog :(

However heres a piece for part of my A2 Media course :) Its a piece about my skills development;

Skills Development:                                                                                                            

When looking at the development of my skills over the period of my two year media course, I have used a various amount of key conventions and software’s. In terms of software In year one I started with very little and limited skills, the first piece of software which has played a large part within my work was Photoshop, this has been key in the development in my work from my preliminary tasks (Perfume Advertisement and College Magazine) to the larger pieces of my work (Magazine spread, Digi-pak and Magazine Advertisement.) When I started in my first year I had very little knowledge on Photoshop, and I didn’t really know anything to do with the software. When starting my preliminary task up until my final A2 media pieces I have enabled me to build upon the skills I already had. When creating my college magazine I was limited in my ability to create my product due to my inability to understand the software, I didn't understand how to use layers or any of the other tools such as quick selection tool. I was able to use the eraser and use the paintbrush tool; however I developed these skills when I moved onto creating my music magazine I learnt to use the layers on Photoshop, which enabled me to edit the various layers separately making my product look more professional this allowed me to build a piece up bit by bit without having to worry if I made a mistake on one layer as it wouldn’t affect the full piece. Another tool in which I learnt was how to use the clone stamping tool which allowed me to copy skin tones, or patched of skin to layer on top of another part on my image this adds to the blemish tool which helps to ‘air brush’ images of models which therefore gave me the ability to make my piece look more professional. I also developed my ability to use the tools such as the filter; liquify this allowed me to make my models fulfil the ‘stereotypical’ slim model with no imperfections again giving my piece a more professional look. In addition to liquify I also used the spot healing tool which allowed me to again erase imperfections upon my models face and/or skin, I have used this both in my first year and my second year. In terms of my college magazine I found that it was very simplistic and was clearly the work of a beginner (myself). I found that my college magazine had poor framing as the main image was not close up or medium close up which clearly let down the whole product, in my development from my college magazine to my music magazine I found that I developed my cinematography skills as I learnt how to frame a bit better and I ensured that I didn't leave negative space around my image. I feel the layout of my college magazine was very amateur and had little appeal to the eye, however moving into my music magazine my layout developed as I learnt to position tings such as the plug in a place that draws in the attention of my target audience. Over the course of the two years  I have also developed in my knowledge in the terminology which I have used within the planning and research to my music magazine, such as I learnt that upon the music magazine the ‘header’ isn't called a title or header, It is called a Masthead which prior to the course I didn't know. I also didn't know what a Plug, skyline and footer where in terms of Magazine conventions.  In which I now understand as the skyline is the catch at the top of the front cover which can consist of promotional aspects, the footer is a similar convention however this is placed at the bottom of the front cover and finally a plug which often consists of a competition or free gift a way to promote the magazine to a reader.
When starting my AS blog I didn't really know what I was doing, I lacked knowledge in how to create a layout which had the ability to show my planning and research in a creative yet informative way, Prior to the course I didn't know how to create a post with a web link attached in which I learnt as I progressed, when I began my A2 blog I had a lot more knowledge I even took time to learn how to download templates and apply them to my own blog. I found that the choice of blogger was very helpful in it allowed me to have my work dated and organised. It has been a key aspect in my planning and research as it has allowed me to store them and publish them in a professional way. When planning my pieces and researching the various conventions and products I found various creative ways in which to present my research such as; Prezi this allowed me to be creative in how I presented my work such as using animation, creating links and connections between the various points in my media. I also used things such as; Survey Monkey, Slide share, PowerPoint, Microsoft word and YouTube. These various software’s enabled me to show the skills I had developed in using digital technology,  Survey Monkey allowed me to create my own questionnaire in order to gather my own feedback/research from audience feedback to simple demographics  meaning that I learnt to develop my own skills in primary research.  Although I have used the above software’s in my As and A2 planning and research I have developed and used more software and devices within my A2 course, other software and devices I have used are;
The SonyHDR-CX130 this has been one of the key aspects to my whole production for my A2 media piece when using the Sony handycam, I was able to create close ups and medium close ups due to its ability of 42x extended zoom. The Sony Handycam also accepted my own 16gb SD card which was really helpful as it meant that I could film a lot more footage than if I used a college 8GB SD card. The Sony handycam was used around 80-90% of the time through production. Luckily for myself I was able to use cameras at the times I needed them due to early and pre-booking this therefor meant I could fit to my schedule. I used this technology due to the fact that it covered everything I needed to do, it consisted of different settings such as night etc, which was great for myself as I filmed at night. 
Next I have used;
Emaze which is a website that I found upon google, This is brilliant way to present my work and research as it has various templates and ability’s to animate the work you have created this has been one of the many ways I have presented my work, another software/website I have used for presentation is slideshare and oliboard.  

When producing my research I began looking at real media texts such as the magazines; Billboard, Top of the pops and We Love Pop. Each of these covered similar grounds in conventions in which I learnt and developed my knowledge in. I learnt about things such as; Skylines, Masthead, plug, pull quotes, Main image, footer, barcode and price/date. Prior to the course I only knew of things such as barcode, price/date and Main image so in my progression I have learnt a lot about the conventions of real media texts. I have also developed knowledge about the conventions of contents page and double page spreads this was rather difficult at first as even after my college magazine I didn't really know a lot about Photoshop nor had I developed any skill or knowledge in the conventions of contents page and double page spreads. I learnt that in the conventions of real media text the main image usually contains the feature story and pull quote which is found upon the front cover and this then links to a double page spread in which also consists of a main image, article, mast head and page numbers. I think overall my development between the front cover, contents page and double page spread from my college magazine was evident and I think that my development from those to my A2 ancillary texts is also very evident, my A2 pieces are more layered but look as though they are one image the use of blending and smudge adds to the professionalism of the image, the use of layers and duplication has been key and I feel that I have developed many skills upon Photoshop.

I believe I did better with my double page spread over the other parts to my AS products, I believe due to my skills development from the other two products as well as my college magazine it allowed me to be more confident with the final piece in the AS course, as I gradually continued the various digital technologies became easier to use when creating a product. It also allowed me to be more creative in the different Photoshop skills as I felt that I could place more layers and effects upon my magazine such as layers to create feature stories positioned upon the main image, as well as changing the colour and shade of the actual text and translucent shape positioned behind it. In comparison to this and my A2 piece I have found that my Photoshop skills could be seen to be above beginner as I learnt to use new brushes, filters, layer masks and merging layers. I even downloaded new brushed in order to create my A2 ancillary texts.
Once I had created my product I used various ways to produce feedback about my product. Firstly I showed my product to my teachers in which I received feedback this allowed me to make changes and edit slight imperfection upon Photoshop. I then posted my product upon a social network ( Facebook) ; In which after I read through various comments both positive and negative, I made a couple of tweaks to the product due to audience feedback, in which I learnt from my research and planning it is important to consider a target audience when creating a product.
I similarly I used the audience feedback in order to develop my A2 product, I used survey monkey, Facebook, twitter and my own questionnaires. I used this feedback to tweak my pieces as well as to develop my evaluation.
One of the final but key software’s I have used in A2 is Adobe Premier pro which similar to AS with photoshop I had no knowledge on this software but have developed the skills in editing and cutting clips aswell as adding sound and editing to the beat.
When creating my A2 planning and research I developed my knowledge on theorists in which I decided to use and apply to my evaluation, I learnt about the Male Gaze (Laura Mulvey) whom states about media texts been presented through the eyes of a male, with the views of objectifying women and viewing them in a sexual way. I also learnt that theorist like Tim O’Sullivan has views on linear and non-linear narratives in which I have used within my music video.

Overall after the first year of my course I felt more confident in using Photoshop, blogger, Prezi and in using a camera. As well as in my A2 course I have developed a lot more skills in and on software, I found that I had developed various skills since the beginning of my media course, I think that I have developed key skills in blogging which allows me to have more confidence when blogging in the future, I have also found that I have learnt useful skills in Photoshop which have developed greatly since my AS course. I also believe that over the first year of my media course I have developed great skills in reaching and finding reliable sources and information on the internet as well as I have learnt how to present my research and planning in more advanced ways than just written texts. I found it difficult to do over the year as in creating a product as at time Photoshop was difficult to use as I couldn't figure certain things out however now I’m more comfortable with the software, I think I overcame many obstacles from planning my product and creating drafts to using webpage’s and software in both AS and A2.

Sorry this post isn't exactly interesting; 

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