Ilya's Course Blog - Week 9

12 August 2015

Region: London

We are getting closer to the end of the course now. I should be writing about session 8 here but there has been a lot of forum activity recently around the End of Module Assessment (EMA) which covers both sessions 9 and 10 of the course, the last two sessions. I decided to change the order of the course…

The deadline to upload the EMA is 19th August. A couple of weeks ago some students were already working on it and posting in the forums. There seemed to be some difficulty with the technical aspects of saving and uploading the EMA. Remember that the course, revived from a few years ago, has been updated and there are a few glitches. I’m sure these will be sorted out before you sign up, and many already have been. Add to this the work required for the EMA. It became clear that the EMA needed priority as I’m short of time and have two trips coming up. It would be a pity not to give the EMA full attention and to end up rushing it, as we are promised feedback from the moderators formally for the first time. Plus it might give some indication to whether I am ready to apply for the LRPS. So I decided to continue with session 8 after submitting the EMA. A change of order –after all, rules are there to be creative with. I’m looking forward to session 8, it’s about finding your own style and also includes a LR video on how to replace poor skies or backgrounds for a more exciting one -is that even possible?!!

The EMA asks us to choose 10 images, explain why we picked them and explain their order, and then to choose to answer any 2 out of 4 questions with answers of around 200 words. For me the hardest parts were choosing the 10 images and limiting my answers to those 200 words. There is just no allowance for those of us who enjoy writing and need 1000 words to express very little! The questions invite you to choose one or two images to write about and give you an opportunity to show your visual awareness and technical abilities, it is actually very enjoyable. The technically tricky part is getting the whole lot to under 8MB, into a zip file and uploaded. Thanks though to those who went first, things are much easier for the rest of us.

Alongside this I must mention that for our 10 image uploads for session 9 (Session 10 has none, we upload the final EMA to the Open University for assessment) we can put up any we want to for commenting on by other students, whether it is advice on the order or help choosing or improving an image. This can make things worse though, if you get conflicting advice. I got really confused until a wise fellow student commented “Pick the images you think represent you as a photographer and the photographer you want to be; not what will impress the assessors”. Thank you Richard, really helpful.

For this week’s image I am sharing one I’ve included in the EMA that I took a couple of weeks ago in Cornwall. It is one of the first images I’ve taken with my new lens. I was in no hurry to get a wide angle lens as I’m not really into taking rolling hill landscapes but this image gave me a glimpse into the power of this lens (24mm equivalent). I love how the wide angle distortions make the rock appear alone and lost in a sea of sand with the lighthouse and other objects thrown far off into the distance.

Image © Ilya Fisher

Comments (5)

Emily Mathisen
06 July 2017


Ilya's course blogs can now be found here:


Report this comment
15 August 2015

Hi! LR isn't supplied and not everyone on the course has it but I would recommend it, even if only the trial first to see if you like it. The LR videos are directly included in the lessons and I found them excellent, but in the Course Resources section there are videos covering similar use for other software which as I've only just got Elements (as I so enjoyed the time we worked with layers on PhotoSuite), I'm looking forward to looking at - you can download the videos for revision or future learning and we've been told the course material remains up for us for 3 years which if so is pretty impressive and helpful. I guess watching the videos might give you an idea of the potential of LR and what it can offer you different to Elements so you can decide if to go for it. Hope that helps and I hope you enjoy the course!

Report this comment
15 August 2015

Your enthusiasm for the Open University's TG089 digital photographic course has promoted me to sign up for it. I start in mid-October and am looking forward to it very much. Just one thing Ilya, you mention Adobe's Lightroom in your Blogs, is this supplied or do we have to get it ourselves and if we do, will Photoshop Elements 12, which I have, suffice?
Hope you can help.

Report this comment
15 August 2015

Thanks Chris! Just go to the London region blog tab. Near the end of the page you will see a list of numbers for pages to previous blogs, it's a case of going through those.

Report this comment
Chris Hynes
13 August 2015

Hello Ilya. I've just joined RPS and signed up for the Oct course. I'd be interested in seeing all your comments but not sure how to go back through your blog..... Can you help?

Best wishes with the EMA


Report this comment