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Digital photography: creating and sharing better images

Whether you are new to digital photography or want to improve your existing skills, this ten-week online course, developed and presented in partnership with The Royal Photographic Society (RPS), will develop your ability to create and share digital images of which you can be proud. The course will develop your technical and visual skills as you learn the principles of digital photography and image editing. You will join a vibrant and supportive online community in which you can develop your photographic skills. A series of weekly hands-on assignments allows you to practise the skills you learn.

Standalone study only

This module is available for standalone study only. Any credits from this module cannot be counted towards an OU qualification.

Module

Module code
TG089
Credits
0
Study level
Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
OU SCQF FHEQ
0
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
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What you will study

The course is designed to be studied over a ten-week period, with approximately ten hours of study each week. The course is a creative mix of practice, learning, sharing and reflection.

Practice

Each week you will do a practical photographic activity that will broaden and strengthen your photographic experience. Together these activities form the basis of your portfolio that you will draw upon for your end-of-module assessment.

Learning

Each week you will learn about different aspects of photographic techniques, as well as relevant aspects of the technology behind digital photography.

Sharing and reflection

Each week you will share your work within the course’s online community of photographers. You’ll steadily develop your ability to reflect upon your own and others’ work, and to write about your increasing visual awareness.

The course will:

  • teach you the key principles of capturing digital images
  • teach you how to manipulate images with photo-editing software
  • equip you with basic skills to navigate technological developments in digital photography
  • teach you how to critically evaluate your own and others’ work in the spirit of continuous technical and artistic improvement
  • encourage you to experiment with the principles of digital photography and imaging as part of a supportive online community
  • help you to develop a portfolio of which you can be proud.

You will learn

The course will introduce a range of aspects of digital photography including:

  • 'ways of seeing' and the elements of composition
  • the basic principles of capturing light information digitally (e.g. sensors, memory, file types)
  • the digital workflow (capture, organise, edit and share)
  • how to control exposure, focus and depth of field
  • an introduction to digital colour management
  • how to print and project your images
  • an introduction to photographic genres and digital aesthetics.

The course includes many practical activities that show you how to technically and creatively improve your images using photo-editing software.

Professional recognition

This ten-week online course is presented in partnership with The Royal Photographic Society (RPS).

Successful completion of the course will lead to the award of The Royal Photographic Society Certificate in Photography. This is free to members of the Society and is available for a small fee to non-members. Members will also be entitled to attend a free Distinctions Advisory Day.

If your images are of a high standard, you may wish to try for a qualification or distinction in photography. The course has been designed to give you the necessary basic skills to tackle The Royal Photographic Society Licentiate Distinction (LRPS) in still photography.

Learner support

The course is taught entirely online and you will not have an individual tutor. You will have access to online forums that you are strongly encouraged to participate in, as they are an excellent source of support and information. These forums combine self-help from fellow students with input from expert moderators.

Teaching and assessment

Assessment

The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.

The interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA) takes the form of a quiz that lets you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of digital photography.

The end-of-module assessment (EMA) has two components. A portfolio of your images that you have captured and worked on assesses your visual and technical skills in digital photography. A short piece of written work assesses your ability to articulate your visual awareness and your knowledge of the principles and techniques of digital photography.

You must use the online eTMA system to submit your end-of-module assessment (EMA).

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in October 2018. We then expect it to be available twice a year, in March and October.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

    Course work includes:

    1 Interactive computer-marked assignment (iCMA)
    End-of-module assessment
    No residential school


    Entry requirements

    The course is suitable if you are completely new to photography and it does not assume any knowledge of photographic techniques or digital photo-editing skills. It will also appeal if you are an amateur photographer wanting to top up your skills and be part of an online community sharing and improving your photographs.

    We assume that you might be fairly new to computing but are not a complete beginner.You should be able to use your computer to save and locate files, install software and access websites.

    Register

    Start End England fee Register
    02 Mar 2019 Jun 2019 £200.00

    Registration closes 14/02/19 (places subject to availability)

    Register
    This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2019.

    Ways to pay

    Credit/Debit Card – We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa/Delta or Visa Electron.

    Sponsorship – If this course is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could ask your employer to sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. Your sponsor just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.

    What's included

    Online study texts, tutorial videos, a photo-sharing website, and supported discussion forums.

    You will need

    You will need a camera that creates images as digital files. Obviously a digital camera is designed to do this but recent mobile phones may also be suitable; your camera should have a resolution of 2 megapixels or more. Whatever camera you use, it is preferable if it has some controls or settings (e.g. shutter speed, aperture or automatic settings such as ‘sport’, ‘landscape’ or ‘portrait’), as the course will teach you about the full range of controls and settings that a photographer uses. However it will also be possible to complete the course using a basic camera with little or no control over its settings.

    You will need photo-editing software. There are many suitable packages available, some of which are available for free either for download or use online; the course will provide a brief overview of these. The tutorial material uses Adobe Photoshop Lightroom as an example, but links to tutorials for other packages are also provided.

    Computing requirements

    A computing device with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module.  Any modern browser will be suitable for most computer activities. Functionality may be limited on mobile devices.

    Any additional software will be provided, or is generally freely available. However, some activities may have more specific requirements. For this reason, you will need to be able to install and run additional software on a device that meets the requirements below.

    A desktop or laptop computer with either:

    • Windows 7 or higher
    • macOS 10.7 or higher

    The screen of the device must have a resolution of at least 1024 pixels horizontally and 768 pixels vertically.

    To participate in our online-discussion area you will need both a microphone and speakers/headphones. 

    Our Skills for OU study website has further information including computing skills for study, computer security, acquiring a computer and Microsoft software offers for students. 

    If you have a disability

    Photography is inherently a highly visual subject, and use of a camera may require some manual dexterity.

    The course includes significant amounts of work with a computer. If you use specialist hardware or software to assist you, you are advised to contact us about support which can be given to meet your needs.

    Written transcripts of audio material are provided.

    To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our Disability support website.