Yeah its an improvement. As a newbie to GFX its real good. Blends need to be worked out a bit more. Heres a tip with photo effects. Instead of changing the color the original pic, duplicate the pic and add color to the copied layer, then set it to something like overlay. Looks a lot better compared to just a solid yellow pic.
Text needs some work as well, ill say what im sure you've already heard. www.good-turorials.com will help you out with that
You'd a been better off ditching the fade on the mid cut and setting it a little more left. Blending didn't really work to well for ya with this one, but the bg design looks pretty solid. Text is horribble though.