I’ll be honest, I had no clue how to design a header. I had never even used a photo editing application outside of Instagram until tonight. That’s why, as with creating the blog, the prospect of using a photo editing application called Pixlr to create a custom header, was pretty intimidating. Unlike creating the blog though, I did struggle with this task. Although Pixlr is supposedly one of the most user-friendly photo editing applications, it was far more complex than I expected. In particular, I found the “lasso” component of the application quite difficult to utilize. Using a Macbook track pad granted me little control in “lassoing” what I wanted to. To combat this, I used the cropping tool instead, if the part of a photograph that I wanted to grab was quadrilateral. I also had trouble understanding the function of the “wand” tool. I did wind up utilizing it, even though I had no idea what it was for. Despite the struggle, I feel as though the final product is pretty nice:
I created the header with the intentions of conveying two main ideas. First, the header was to be composed of music-related content, for the blog is composed of music-related content. In both cases, such content creates a musical “world.” The record in the header is the sun, the album jackets are the mountains, sky, and ground, and the piano keys are the grass. This brings me to the second main idea that I had the intentions of conveying in creating this header, that music is life. Music is one of the rawest forms of human expression, a universally understood expression of human essence. It has the power to create one’s world, just as it has the power to change the world at large. What would the world be like if the music of artists such as Run DMC, Johnny Cash, David Bowie, Pete Seger, The Notorious B.I.G, and The Clash, had never existed? It would be a totally different place. The effect that music had on the world is not exclusive to the past, it can be seen today, in real-time, through the music of artists such as Kendrick Lamar, Against Me!, and Run The Jewels.
The header is composed of three separate images:
Knowing what I wanted the header to convey before designing the header allowed me to gather photos that would be most useful in doing so. The picture above, a picture that I took, is an arrangement of different record jackets. I took the picture this way to get the best lighting, and then rotated it thereafter so it could act as a literal and figurative landscape. The different designs on the jackets give the picture an aesthetic appeal, while also representing the many different kinds of music and the emotions that they are associated with.
The picture above, also a picture that I took, is of Black Sabbath’s “Technical Ecstasy.” I chose the record at random and put it behind the jacket of a Moody Blues record. I took it with intentions of it representing a sun in the header, while also promoting the theme of music-related content/material. It was virtually impossible to get a picture of it without my reflection in it, but I think that it wound up being of benefit to me in the end. If my reflection had not been on the record, the record would have not retained it’s color when I used the “wand tool.” The “wand” tool cropped out the record, and I then rotated. I adjusted its size and moved it using the “free transform” tool.
Needing to utilize one more image, I took this picture of a keyboard box. The box was beaten up and shiny, making it hard to get a decent photograph. Luckily, I incorporated this into the header by making it “the grass.” I wound up having to adjust the contrast/brightness settings of it, for it was too bright to incorporate into to the header naturally. After that, I rotated it, cropped it so that only the keys were left, and then used “free transform” to resize/move it.
Although I did struggle, I did enjoy designing the header, for it gave me a chance to not only be creative, but also learn how to edit photos. While this skill will obviously prove to be useful in the cultivation of this blog, it could potentially prove useful in a professional setting as well. If I were to work for a media source, I might have to know how to edit photographs in such a way. If I didn’t have to, it would at least be another skill that I could bring to the table. Also, I plan on starting my own business in the near future, this skill can help me design a logo.