The Open University has launched a new course for amateur photographers or those just entering the digital age.

Digital Photography: Creating and Sharing Better Images couldn't come at a better time, with plenty of people receiving digital camera kit for Christmas.

The course is also designed to get students into the world of photography online social communities like MySpace, Facebook, and Flickr, to help them discover new techniques and compare notes.

The institute promises that the course will be visually-focused, with text kept to a minimum. It will focus on key principles of capturing digital images, as well as manipulating them with Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.

Students will also be taught how to critically evaluate their work and that of others.

“2006 saw social networking sites come to the fore and, with this, an increasing desire for peer-to-peer review – more and more people want to create and share and have their work appraised by others; this is clearly demonstrated in the rise of blogging and the incredible popularity of sites such as Flickr”, commented Stephen Peake, the course chair.

“This innovative new course will not only ensure people get the absolute best from their digital cameras and their own creative minds, but will also enable them to experiment with online photo album technology whilst introducing them to a community of literally millions of like-minded individuals all over the world.”

The course is taught online, and is assessed through two assignments. For more information, click on the link below.