Photography Resources in a Digital Age

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In a digital age, access to photography resources such as image collections, discussions, databases, galleries etc. is increasingly available via online sources, see for example this item in the New York Times. There are a variety of good reasons (for some of the main ones see the JISC Digital Media Web site. And in future, more and more resources may be available only in digital form. As a professional you will be expected to be able to find, navigate, interpret and assess such resources and it is quite likely that you will be responsible for creating some of them for others to use. So it's going to be important for you to know at least the principles behind the creation of effective digital resources and to understand what can happen to information when it is digitised and what that might mean for how it should be interpreted. That's what this module aims to achieve.

This is an introductory module that does not require previous media development experience. Its focus is on understanding the principles of effective knowledge media design, not on training you as a Web designer or database developer. However, building and testing digital resources is a good way to find out why some things work better than others, so this module provides you with opportunities to digitise images, create databases and design simple Web sites that will help you to understand some important issues concerning preservation, access and usability of digital resources. So, that's what you are going to be doing in this module: building and testing things, and to do that you will also need to do some background research about methods, media and the topics you select for your Web sites.

Given this emphasis on building and testing things you won't be surprised to learn that the core of this module is a series of activities. The module is divided into weekly sessions and the general pattern for each week is a presentation by you on Tuesday mornings (9.30-10.30am in Portland 2.3) of your work from the previous week, followed by a short introduction to the new session topic and the associated activity. During the week you will be engaged in self managed project activities supplemented by lectures, tutorials and practical workshop sessions. On Thursday afternoons there is a studio session (2.00pm - 5.00pm) in Portland 1.14) when staff will be available to discuss your work and provide support as required. The module is supported by a bibliography that provides all the background information you need to get started. If you want to see how it all comes together, take a look at the module assignment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module you will be able to:

Use simple digital tools to create effective online information presentations. Test and develop ideas using paper sketch designs and evaluate concepts via paper prototypes. Describe user-centred design and explain its importance. Build a simple relational database and use it to find, filter and analyse data. Choose appropriate file types for different media, depending on their intended use.

Follow this link to the Photography Resources in a Digital Age module contents page to get started on the activities. Back to the MA: Photographic History page