Task 1.

To demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcome for developing your research skills and illustrating you understand how to control different lighting techniques, for task 1, using the skills you have already learned on level 1, you will need to design and produce an instruction manual, to include the information you will be learning on this module. The manual should be an on going task, which charts all the technical tests and data (including how to make a pinhole camera) learnt in the workshops during this module.

The first step towards making my manual was doing research in order to discover what worked well in a manual or not. On our first day back after Easter, we were set the task to find an example of a good and bad manual.

An example of a good manual…

  • Broken down into 3 steps.
  • Within the steps are instructions – short sentences, to the point.
  • Pictures to accompany the instructions to enhance understanding.
  • Quick to read.
  • Useful for a wide audience – could give instructions to teens, adults, ect and would be able to understand.
  • Further information beyond the 3 steps incase of problems with fitting.

An example of a bad manual…

  • All dependant on pictures, no text to support.
  • A lot to take in.
  • Quite complicated pictures, with labelled parts but no explanation of these.
  • Possibly more suited to a particular audience rather than everyone.
  • Different sections however unclear as to whether chronological.

Following this, I wanted to investigate into more types of manuals and the different approaches in which they take.

The Student Kitchen – Callum Hann.

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Firstly, this cookbook is directed at students so taking tips from this will be useful as my manual will share the same audience. The front cover is casual and inviting, and the image indicates immediately that food is involved therefore introducing context before beginning to read. There is a contents page which makes the order of the book clear and organised, allowing the reader to access a certain page rather than having to search through the entire book. I will be including one of these my manual. Another important aspect I think to include is an introduction and one can be found in this book however I feel it is quite lengthy therefore with my own manual I will make mine quite short but make sure it includes the essential information. The book is full of a variety of different recipes. Each recipe tells you preparation time, cooking, time, how many it serves, the ingredients you need and step-by-step instructions of how to make it. The steps are very detailed however not too lengthy – this is important to make sure it doesn’t get too complicated and make the reader lose interest. Some of the recipes are supported by a picture at the side which is helpful in this context because it gives you something to aim for – rather than pictures to guide you through making it. Some other pages are very text based and I think this can become quite repetitive and boring therefore I want to make sure I keep my manual interesting and attractive.

Student Beans – 10 quick ways to revamp your hairstyle in 10 mins.

http://www.studentbeans.com

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Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 18.02.25Firstly, Student Beans is a brilliant website made solely for the purpose of students – offers, advice and amusing articles as well as a number of ‘how to’s’. I thought it would be good to look at their style and approach to instructions as the attitude of the website is laid back and friendly, as well as targeting the same audience of my manual. Firstly, being a website it is easily accessible and always available when the viewer needs it. The article begins with a small introduction – this works well because it gives a quick brief of what the article contains as well as being quite quirky so the reader can familiarise themselves with it. The 10 different hairstyles all have simple steps without too much text to explain how to take yourself through it, and has pictures to support making it easy to understand and follow.

No7 Illuminated make-up mirror – instructions.

Rather than an introduction, this manual has an 10 important points for the reader to go over first. The language used is kept quite simple so it is suitable for a bigger audience. Following the important points, there is a ‘general description’ section where each section of the mirror is labelled – I think this is useful for a better understanding of the different components of the mirror. There are also step by step instructions of how to use the mirror, and how to replace the bulb which is aided by a couple of pictures. The leaflet also contains extra bits of information, such as service information, wiring instructions and cleaning. This leaflet is very text based, however due to its context this is expected. It is clear and straight to the point. The use of capital letters and bold text is used to signify the more important information or titles.

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Elegant Touch – French Manicure.

These instructions are presented in a very small booklet, due to the packaging it has to be included in. From a first look, under ‘Easy Application’ there are 4 small diagrams which guide you in using the manicure kit. Although these are quite simple to understand, they may not be as clear for those who have not used it before, or for those who are not so confident in which coat to apply first, second and third. When you unfold the booklet, the instructions are printed in 14 different languages which is useful so the product can be manufactured world wide however the text has to be quite small to fit it all in. It begins with a brief introduction, followed with a step by step guide to using the manicure set. At the bottom of each section, despite the different language, there is the fire sign to show that the products are flammable.

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Following instruction manual research, I have realised that it is important to have some kind of images to support, whether this shows what certain things are or helps explain a process better. Small amounts of text work better as they do not lose the interest of the reader but it is crucial that you do not miss out any important detail. In my manual I’m going to include step by step instructions, as well as small introductions to different sections of the manual. I will also use images to support my text for better understanding.

My instruction manual

152MC - Working With Light instruction manual.

I designed my manual on Adobe InDesign as I felt this was the best software which gave me the scope I needed to assemble things where I wanted them in a creative way. Following this, I made it into a PDF and uploaded it to MagCloud, making it available online therefore it is easily accessible. The design of my manual is quite simple, with a running colour of blue to make it more visually pleasing however I do not feel the simpleness of the presentation this a major issue because the content is what is important. I think my manual included the essentials of what would needed however I could have included more lighting set ups for useful references, however I also think this may become quite repetitive and make the manual bulky. Something I planned to include were photos to support step by step instructions, as this would have helped the understanding however I felt they were not so appropriate for the instructions I wrote, such as creating negatives and positives – supporting images seemed a bit pointless. However, if I were to do the manual again I could include how to change the heads on studio lights such as the beauty dish, or how to assemble a softbox. At first, I found the task of the manual quite challenging. I had to make a list of what I wanted to include and how I wanted to order it first so all the relevant information was grouped together. Once I knew what I wanted to put in it, I was able to work through each section getting it done. Overall, I actually quite enjoyed putting together the manual and writing instructions of how to do things. I feel it will be useful for others to look at, as well as for myself to reference back to. I have also printed off my manual for a hard copy.
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~ by victoriasimkissphotography on May 20, 2013.

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