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PSA Acronyms


It can be confusing to a new member to hear all the acronyms of PSA. Here is a list of most of the acronyms used by PSA in its day-to-day activities. If we're missing one, please let us know! Email webmaster@psa-photo.org. Thanks!

3D or 3DD -The 3D Division (formerly called the Stereo Division) is responsible for conducting and overseeing PSA activities regarding 3D photography. Generally there are no limitations on subject matter or techniques used for image capture or post-processing. There is a single Stars track, which includes both projected images and prints.

APSA - Associate - A PSA honor awarded for material contributions to the advancement of photography, whether resulting primarily from photography proficiency and achievement, or for service. Photographic achievement must be combined with elements of service.

AM - Award of Merit - An award presented for excellence to images in PSA interclub competitions.

BOS - Best of Show - An award is often presented in PSA photograph competitions or PSA- recognized exhibition to the overall winning images.

BPSA - First level of a Portfolio Distinction - bronze PSA.

CIC
 - Creative Interclub Competition - This competition is conducted by PID.

DIVISION ACRONYMS - Divisions are teams of volunteers that are responsible for the conduct of various activities related to a particular photographic area of interest. The activities include the conduct of individual and interclub competitions, study groups for individuals, providing PSA recognition for international exhibitions and the Stars/Galaxy ratings program. There are six divisions: 3D (3DD), Nature (ND), Photojournalism (PJD), Photo Travel (PTD), Pictorial Print (PPD) and Projected Image (PID).

EDAS - Exhibition database acceptance sheet - this is the list of those who received acceptances to a specific exhibition section - it is normally submitted to PSA within 30 days of an exhibition's close. Star ratings directors use the EDAS to verify if someone is eligible for star ratings certificates. These are also used to compile the annual Who's Who of Photography.

EPSA
 - Excellence - A PSA distinction awarded for 700 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

FPSA - Fellow - A PSA honor awarded for outstanding contributions to the advancement of photography, involving a high degree of proficiency and achievement, combined with such elements of service as the dissemination of acquired knowledge through lecturing, judging, instructing, and publishing of articles or papers. Personal photography achievement alone does not qualify for this honor.

GMPSA - Grand Master - A PSA distinction awarded for 3,000 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

GMPSA/B - Grand Master Bronze - A PSA distinction awarded for 5,000 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

GMPSA/S - Grand Master Silver - A PSA distinction awarded for 7,000 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

GMPSA/G - Grand Master Gold - A PSA distinction awarded for 9,000 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

GMPSA/P - Grand Master Platinum - A PSA distinction awarded for 11,000 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

GPSA - Third (and highest) level portfolio distinction that can be earned: Gold PSA.

HM
 - Honorable Mention - This award is often presented to images in PSA photo competitions and PSA-recognized exhibitions.

HonFPSA - Honorary Fellow - A PSA honor only awarded  for unique or outstanding contributions of major importance to photography. This is the highest designation awarded by the Society. The recipient must be a PSA member.

HonPSA - Honorary Membership - A PSA honor awarded for outstanding service to photography, particularly through organizational or similar work; the recipient of this honor need not be a member of PSA.

IC - Interclub Competition - a chart of all of PSA's Interclub Competitions will help you find the right competition for your PSA-member club.

ICC - Individual Creative Competition - This competition is conducted by PID.

IOY - Image of the Year. The PID, Nature, and Photo Travel divisions hold Image of the Year contests. See also: POY

MOM - Master Operations Manual - Many PSA positions have a MOM associated with them, which serve as job descriptions. These are helpful to read when applying for a volunteer position with PSA.

MPSA - Master - A PSA distinction awarded for 1,500 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

MPSA2 - Master Level 2 - A PSA distinction awarded for 2,250 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

ND - The Nature Divison is responsible for conducting and overseeing PSA activities regarding Nature photography; there is an accepted definition which specifies its scope. There is a single Stars track, which includes both projected images and prints.

PID - The Projected Image Division is responsible for conducting and overseeing PSA activities regarding open or general subject photography. There are no limitations on subject matter or techniques used for image capture or post-processing. There are two PID Stars tracks - Open and Monochrome. It replaced the CPID (Color Projected Image Division) and the EID (Electronic Imagery Division) divisions after the September 2012 PSA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

PJ or PJD - The Photojournalism Division is responsible for conducting and overseeing PSA activities regarding Photojournalistic photograpy; an accepted definition which specifies its scope. There is a single Stars track, which includes both projected images and prints.

POM - Print of the Month (Pictorial Print Division Competition).

POY - Published Picture of the Year in the Photojournalism division, Print of the Year in the Pictorial Print division, and Photo of the Year in the 3D division. See also: IOY

PPD - The Pictorial Print Division is responsible for conducting and overseeing PSA activities regarding print photography; generally there are no limitations on subject matter or techniques used for image capture or post-processing. There are four Stars tracks - Large Open, Large Monochrome, Small Open and Small Monochrome.

PPSA - Proficiency - A PSA distinction awarded for 288 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

PSA - Photographic Society of America.

QPSA - A distinctions that was added in January 2018 - it stands for Qualified and is earned for 54 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

ROPA
 - Recognition of Photographic Achievement - A program which recognizes PSA Members' photographic achievements in PSA-recognized International Exhibitions. It is responsible for the award of the PSA distinctions (QPSA, PPSA, EPSA, MPSA, GMPSA, GMPSA/B, GMPSA/S, GMPSA/G, GMPSA/P). 

SPSA - Second level of a Portfolio distinction - Silver PSA.