When writing an article originality is key. Great writers all had an original standing on the stories they covered, for example Hunter S Thompson the godfather of so called Gonzo journalism, was known for putting himself in the centre of the story he was covering. A great example of this can be found in his coverage of the hells angles, where he spent a vast amount of time in and around the notorious biker gang, to the point he was witnessing and over hearing things, that other wise would not have been accessible to any other journalist.
(Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs)
“I think the trick is that you have to use words well enough so that these nickel-and-dimers who come around bitching about being objective, or the advertisers don’t like it, they are rendered helpless by the fact that it’s good. That’s the way people have triumphed over conventional wisdom in journalism.” 
When writing, take in to account the editorial star. Have a an interesting angle, a solid introduction, Interviews, colour and personality, as well as your opinion.
“Think of a triangle. On the left, imagine the story you want to tell. On the right, you have zeitgeist, or current events. The object of the game is to create a combined, triangulated centre, literally the angle (also known as news peg or news hook).” 
Focus on having a strong introduction in order to draw the reader in.
Great intros are:
– Attention grabbing.
– Point the way.
– Tell the interesting bits of a story.
– Shock the reader.
– Assure the reader.
– Leave them wanting more.
Also When writing an article always remember to avoid clichés, as no one wants to read something they’ve read a hundred times before.
“Good writers take time to write. They craft and re-craft a piece. They spend hours and days, revising. They take criticism and feedback, listening to both the external and internal voices that drive them.” 
 Hunter S Thompson, From a 1997 Interview with The Atlantic.
 Debbie Yara Acebu. How To Find A Definite News Angle For An Article. (01/22/09) Available: http://upcebujournalists.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/how-to-find-definite-news-angle-for_22.html. (06/12/13).
 Jeff Goins. The Difference Between Good Writers and Bad Writers. Available: http://goinswriter.com/the-difference-between-good-writers-and-bad-writers/. (06/12/13).
When pitching an idea to an editor, a journalist is not only selling an idea, but selling themselves. A good pitch should have all the qualities of a good feature, it should be instantly interesting, thought provoking, informative and believable. However it must also be original and written in a suitable tone, (one in fitting with the house style of the publication they may be pitching to), and give clear direction and detail.
A pitch should tempt an editor into wanting an article, so should get the editor interested and wanting more, without giving to much away.
Journalists should try to make the angle of an article unique, have an interesting take on a subject that an editor hasn’t already seen. They must convince an editor that they have the best facts or the best access, i.e They were there when it happened, or know the person the article might be about.
A Journalist should also know the magazine they are pitching to. Allowing them to be sure the article they may have written is suitable for the publication they are pitching to.
“The only way to know what the editor wants is to know the magazine inside out. Subject matter, style, approach. You also need to know how the magazine works, the sections and departments,” 
Selling a pitch is like selling anything els, if you cant sell it in the first few minuets the likelihood is your not going to sell it at all.
To make an article appealing to an editor and a publications readers, it must have angle. A main point, which the rest of the article is there to support. Two stories on the same subject may vary dramatically due to the angle a journalist has chosen to take.
“One of the easiest ways to tell a professional writer from an amateur writer is their use of an angle when writing articles. A pro will create an angle and pledge their article around this, while an amateur writer tends to drift from one point to another resulting in an unclear angle. This can leave readers with more questions than answers.” 
The use of angles can also provide extra revenue for a writer. As it allows a journalist to pitch an article to various different publications. For example many magazines may cover the same article, although the angle of the piece is likely to be catered to the house style of the publication. Therefore a writer may edit an article’s angles in order for them to pitch different copies of the piece to different editors.
“To a journalist, angles are a mighty powerful tool. The same story can create multiple sales by being submitted to various newspapers and magazines. Tailoring the angle to suit the format of respective publications gives articles a second, even third or fourth shot around the traps.” 
 Andrew Humhreys of Ink Publishing. Source Unknown.
 James Koutlis. The Best Article Writers Tips – The Importance of Angles. (11/17/09) Available: http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Best-Article-Writers-Tips—The-Importance-of-Angles&id=3280426. (06/12/13).
 James Koutlis. The Best Article Writers Tips – The Importance of Angles. (11/17/09) Available: http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Best-Article-Writers-Tips—The-Importance-of-Angles&id=3280426. (06/12/13).
The house style of a publication is what makes it unique. This includes the attributes that create the identity of a magazine. Considering things such as a editorial voice, political views and corporate identity. As well as writing styles, and editorial graphics.
Style guides are followed in order to make a publication consistent through out its copies. As well as to reflect what the publication stands for, in terms of its ideologies and corporate identity. This could include type face, headlines, colour schemes and the images used in articles and on covers.
“Mark Allen, an American Copy Editors Society Member, said variations in the English language, as well as differences in audiences, demand various style guides.” 
Here are 3 very different publications all with individual brand values, readerships, and house styles.
Front magazine is predominately a lads mag, this can be made apparent trough the images of scantily clad women seen on the covers. However Front magazine differs from other magazines of a similar bread in many ways. Most of this can be seen through the house style of the copy. Firstly Front focuses its brand values around being the Alternate choice of lads mag, with the bulk of its articles being based around music, as a posed to women, fast cars and football. Its headlines and cover stories are often tongue in cheek and this humours writing style is reflected throughout each copy. Its readership is likely to be mainly male 18- 25, interested in music, skate/punk culture and alternate fashion. The type face is consistent throughout, using the same bold font for its headlines. The fonts used rarely change but differences can be seen in one off articles, were the editorial graphics have been altered slightly, in order to make the article stand out.
Heat magazine is strongly geared towards a female audience, its brand identity consists mainly of being a celebrity based magazine, with inside scoops on what todays celebs are doing and wearing. Its headlines seem to always be focused around some one famous, and are written in a big bold type face, in order to grab the eye of its audience. Its brand values seem to be materialistic, with articles such as (Top Ten Must Have Accessories). The publication also presents its self as fashion forward, with celebrity wardrobe do’s and dont’s printed in almost every copy. Heat seems to consistently use list articles, and appears to be very image based, with photographs taking up a large proportion of each page. Articles are also often written in a very judgemental manner. With strong opinions on what looks good and what dose not.
“For most magazines, house style is just an arbitrary set of local fetishes that matter to no one but those insiders petty enough to care.” 
Mix magazines brand identity is rooted souly in dance music, representing its self as the know all publication for the dance music secne. Its aimed at 18-30 year olds that are not only interested in dance music but also the club scene that goes with it. Its political standing seems to be extremely liberal especially when it comes to the use of drugs. Its writing style is often very informative with well rounded articles and interviews. Articles often contain technical jargon when referring to music production or DJ equipment. Cover stories are often focused around interviews with famous Dj’s drawing the reader in by suggesting they may find things out about these musicians that they didn’t already know.
Each article has a unique identity created through its house style, and the way in which it represents its self. This can be identified through the way articles are written and the subject matter it chooses to touch upon. As well cover layouts, headlines, and editorial graphics.
 Jojo Malig. How Many Style Guides do Journalists Really Need. www.poynter.org. (23/05/11). Available: http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/newsgathering-storytelling/132992/how-many-style-guides-do-journalists-really-need/ (05/12/13).
 Thomas Sowell. Some Thoughts About Writing. (2001). Hoover Press.
After being shown the you tube videos covering the topics we were asked to base are final photo shoots around, I looked at various photographers that have done work that I feel also covers these ideas.
The Dark Issue
The emotional Issue
The Waste Issue
Iv chosen to focus my shoot around Ideas brought to life by both the Dark and Emotional issues. These films to me provoked the thought of isolation and both contained an element of violence. I want to apply similar ideas to my photo shoot. After previously looking at portraits by Richard Avedon that I felt sparked strong feelings of isolation and abandonment, I looked at other photographers that have represented similar emotions through their work.
These images were taken by Lee Jeffries. Who took a collection of black and white portraits of people living on the streets of Europe and the U.S.
As you can see these images all have a strong emotional presence, I feel the emotion represented in these shots reflects societies abandonment of these individuals.
These Images were taken by London photographer Roman Sakovich. They are taken from a series of portraits entitled “Half” taken to represent the before and after effect of drug abuse. I like the narrative created through these photgraphs as well as the juxstaposition between the before and after sides of each image.
These images were taken by Photographer Andy Armstrong in order to portray the emotional distress and physical pain of domestic violence.
There is an extremely strong portrayal of emotional distress in these images, Making them almost hard to view. This is something I would like to reflect in my photo shoot. As I would like to challenge the viewer and really try to make them feel what my images are trying to portray.
The following photographs were taken by freelance photographer and Graphic artist Logan Gelik. These images again reflect a great deal of emotion. I like the idea of using black and white images as i think it enhances the mood of the photograph.
I plan to recreate similar signifiers to the ones that can be found in the images I have looked at, in my own photographs. For example running make up around the eyes to signify sadness and bruises to signify an element of violence.
For are first time in the studio we were given this checklist to follow, allowing us to learn how to use the studio equipment properly.
|IN THE STUDIO:
Set up the backdrop first. Wind off enough Colorama before raising the backdrop on the stand and remember to clip the remainder to stop the roll unrolling further.
|When you set up your stands for the backdrop and lights make sure the horizontal struts in the base tripod are at around 90 degrees to the central column of the stand.|
|Make sure that you put the heads on the stands the right way: VERTICALLY, with the tube on the light’s bracket completely mounted on the brass fitting at the top of the stand. DO NOT put the brass fitting through the horizontal holes drilled into the tube.|
|Always raise the stand by the lowest section on the stand for extra stability.|
|Make sure that your leads from the light are not causing a hazard or obstruction.|
|NEVER turn the light on before removing the plastic cover.|
|ALWAYS put a soft box on the light after removing the cover.|
|On the back of the light make sure that the ready button is on. Make sure that the beep is on or off (if you want the beep to tell you that your lights have recharged after firing). Make sure the cell button is on if you are not going to plug your camera lead into another light.|
|On the back of the light click the lamp button until the red light on the side is on for rel this means that the strength of the modelling light is the same as the strength of the flash setting.|
|Set the flash strength using the dials on the side.|
|Make sure that your light meter has the correct ISO (100) and correct shutter speed (125) for your cameras. You can change the ISO by scrolling with the horizontal arrows to the ISO icon.On the new light meters you change the ISO by using the ISO1 button and scrolling with the wheel|
|Make sure that your light meter is on the correct programme – the lightening flash symbol– by scrolling through the different options with the horizontal arrows.On the new light meter you select the mode by using the mode button and scrolling with the wheel to the lightening+ c symbol (not the solo lightening symbol)|
|Always take a light reading when you move the lighting set up|
|Make sure that your fill light is weaker than your key light to create a modelling effect.|
|Raise lights up and the dip the heads down to cast shadows on the floor not the back wall.|
|Always make sure that your lights have cooled down before taking them apart and putting the plastic covers back on|
|For the portable lights: Remember that the modelling light will not work when the light is plugged into the battery pack.|
|Make sure that you have connected the two halves of the battery pack together. If you are only using one light remember to plug in the safety plug on the battery pack or the unit will not work.|
|Start with an ambient light reading and then fit your lights to that light reading. Remember that your shutter speed must be 125th or less. Adjust the lights and your aperture until you get the effect you want.|
After successfully setting up the equipment in the studio we played around with different light settings and took various photos using each other as models.
As well as using the studio we also learnt how to use the studio lighting outdoors, which was slightly more difficult as you have to account for the ambient light in your surroundings.
When looking at magazine covers it is important to recognise weather it has been created for subscribed readers, or to be put on shop shelves. Left to fight with competitors for the attention of who ever may be passing by.
Subscription magazines have no cover lines. As the readers has already paid for their copy, it is not as important for the publication to try and grab the attention of a potential buyer.
Copy sold in shop
The current magazine cover style we are all accustomed to today, originated from advertising agents, wanting to make the publications more appealing to possible consumers.
“Ad agencies, which were first established during the 1890s, very quickly saw the appeal of new graphic formats, employing slogans, photography and bold imagery to grab the attention of consumers.” 
The mast head is always placed at the top of the page, as it is what draws your eye in. Especially as the rest of the cover is often hidden by other magazines, on a shelf or news stand.
The mast head is accompanied on the page by the following features:
– Cover Image
– Mast Head
– Cover lines
– Price and Bar code
As you can see this copy is a lot more simplistic, with only the mast head, issue date/title, an image, and one cover line. This is because the copy doesn’t have to draw readers in.
As well as subscription copies, free publications often take this more simplistic attitude towards their covers. Publications such as Vice and Movement Magazine are two good examples of this.
When creating a similar style of cover for Vice magazine using Indesign, the main goal was to keep it simplistic whilst at the same time make it look professional. As you can see the cover is mainly imaged based, using six smaller images instead of one large one, in order to make it that little bit more original. The mast head, or in Vice’s case (almost more of a logo) is in the top left corner like every copy. For this cover an issue title was used, these are a rarity for Vice magazine although they are used on some copies. (Unfortunately a typo was missed in the issue title).
 Jason Whittikar. Magazine Production. (2008). Taylor & Francis Group. Page 11.
For this assignment we were asked to look at a film made by Christina De Middel that focuses around a Zambian space program. Then wright a 300 word essay based on the semiotics of this film.
The Afronauts by Christina De Middel
“(Christina) takes the idea of Africans creating a successful space program during the 1964 space race and not only makes it seem more absurd but also creates comparison between an alien species and Africa during this period as an alien nation.”
Interpretive codes within this text indicate, especially to western viewers that Africa was behind the times, with America and Russia creating successful space programs with huge budgets. It seems almost insane that a country in so much poverty with little technological advancements would even attempt to create a space program. Therefore to many viewers this film may be interpreted to be mocking the Zambian attempt to reach space.
Visual signs including Images of Africans being suspended in barrels, and trying to cross small rivers in make shift rafts, as part of the programs training scheme. These images portray connation’s to a lack of knowledge, or education. This creates the idea that the attempt the Zambians made to reach space was something of stupidity. Whilst also reflecting the negative myth that Africans themselves are stupid.
Similarities are also drawn between these (Afronauts) and the Idea of an alien species, trough visual signifiers that can be seen within the images used for this text. Images of them in their make shift space suits make them look almost alien them selves, The bright colours signify African culture, whilst images of them wearing these outfits set in strange space like environments hold connotations to the Africans themselves being alien like.
Even the background music used for this film that appears to be some kind of African tribal chant or song. Seems to have been made static, making it sound like some sort of frequency radio transition. Signifying contact with are world and an alien species through connotations made to western si-fi films.
I feel weather done intentionally or not, this film made by Cristina De Middel not only pokes fun at the idea of a Zambian space program, but also reflects Africa in a negative light through the connotations that can be drawn from this film.
For the first part of this assignment we were asked to create another mood board contemplating ideas and styles we would incorporate into are photo shoot. After previously creating a mood board under the theme of rebooting the 80’s I drew from this and focused my mood board around fashion, in particularly retro fashion. I also drew from work by Richard Avedon a photograph I have previously looked into. I liked the Idea of portraying movement within fashion photography, as well as the moods and emotions brought to life through his portrait work.
Here Is the mood board I created.
We were also asked to create a story board for are photo shoot, to get a good idea of the types of shots we were going to take when in the studio. I drew up my mood board thinking about the movement portrayed in Avedon’s fashion photography as well as items of clothing I had access to that I though would fit my theme.
As you can see I am not the best drawer, although this storyboard helped me to think about the types of shot I wanted to take, and what the main focus of the shots would be. It also helped me plan how I wanted my model to act and any movements I wanted him to make during the photo shoot.
Here is a selection of the original images I came back with.
As you can see, I tried to replicate a similar style of motion that can be seen in fashion photography by Richard Avedon, I also took a portrait image focusing on facial expression to try and portray emotion, as well as taking a few more conventional fashion photography style shots.
Here are my preferred images I chose to later edit in Photoshop.
This first shot was the more conventional style fashion photograph, I edited it into black and white to make it fit in with the other two photographs I have edited as I felt black and white really enhanced the emotion of the portrait image I took.
In this shoot I asked my model to look to the floor in order to try and create an expression of worry or sadness adding a slightly emotional element to the image portraying similar connotations to those found in Richard Avedon’s portrait work.
I really enjoyed using the studio for this assignment as I find it allows you to focus souley on the subject you are photographing. Creating a mood board for this assignment really helped me to think about a subject or team I wanted to base my images around as well as the style I would choose to capture them, whilst creating a story board helped me to work more efficiently. As time in the studio is limited creating a storyboard allowed me to know exactly what I wanted to photograph before entering the studio.
For this task we were asked to use a model and take two photographs. One as a portrait of the model and another as a fashion style photograph. I used the lighting studio for this task to create a more professional out come. Out of the photographs I came back with these are the two I choose.
I was happy with these shoots, and like the ability the studio provides to isolate a subject using a plane back drop. As well as this the studio lighting helped to define the subject with deeper shadows and brighter highlights.