The PSA Councils Challenge

PSA Councils Challenge

Kathy Wall, APSA·

Opening Date: March 1

Closing Date: June 15

PSA-member organizations comprised of several camera clubs, whether named a Council, Federation, or Association*, are eligible and encouraged to enter the annual PSA Councils Challenge. (*Hereafter collectively referred to as council.) Each council may enter ten projected digital images from ten different makers in each of the following sections: Color General, Monochrome General, and Nature General.

Each section is judged separately. Councils in each section are ranked by their score and the top three councils receive awards. The council scores for each section are tallied and an overall top scoring council is also identified. The top three individual images in each section also receive awards.

Results from Past Competitions

Conditions of Entry

  • PSA-member councils, associations, or federations are eligible and encouraged to participate.
  • The subject is General for all sections.  Each council representative is responsible for the council’s submissions. The images should follow PSA Exhibition Standards for the Projected Image Division: Color and Monochrome (#18) and the Nature Division (#17).
  • Each council can submit ten (10) images per section and should determine its own selection process for entries.
  • Images should be sized at 1400 x 1050 pixels with a color space of sRGB and no size limit.
  • There may not be more than one image per section by the same photographer.
  • An entrant may submit entries from one council only. If an entrant has images submitted by more than one council, all images may be disqualified.
  • Like images from the same photographer in more than one section will not be accepted.
  • Images entered in previous PSA Councils Challenges are not eligible.
  • Each council representative who submits images to the Councils Challenge should ensure that all of the input data is accurate.
  • By signing the PSA Permission form for the Councils Challenge, individual photographers grant PSA the right to reproduce their image(s) for display at the PSA Annual Conference, Video Digital Program at the Conference and PSA website, awards, and for the purpose of promoting the Challenge and announcing the winners.

» PSA Permission Release Form for Councils Challenge: pdf. (updated March 2021)

Model Release May be Requested if winning image is a portrait and PSA wishes to publish it

If there is no Model Release available, the image may win but cannot be published. For those who do not have a Model Release, Sample Model Release Form - doc - interactive pdf - both of these forms can be filled out and saved on a mobile or desktop device. 

Entry Form - digital images should be uploaded using the Online Entry Form (below)

  • » Instructions for PSA Councils Challenge Upload - web page (revised May 2019)
  • » starting March 1 

Digital Sections

  • Color General (Open)
  • Monochrome General (Open)
  • Nature General (Open)


Color General (Open) Definition: The subject matter is undefined. Monochrome images are not allowed in this section. Any and all post-processing techniques are allowed in this section.

Monochrome General (Open) Definition: The subject matter is undefined. An image is considered to be Monochrome only if it gives the impression of having no color (i.e., contains only shades of gray which can include pure black and pure white) OR it gives the impression of being a grayscale image that has been toned in one color across the entire image (for example by Sepia, red, gold, etc.). A grayscale or multi-colored image modified or giving the impression of having been modified by partial toning, multi toning or by the inclusion of spot coloring does not meet the definition of monochrome and shall be classified as a Color Work.

Nature General (Open) Definition: Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story such as nature subjects, like barn owls or storks, adapted to an environment modified by humans, or where those human elements are in situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves. Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible. Photographs of human created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement.

No techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted including HDR, focus stacking and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed. Stitched images are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Color images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.


  • Best of Show
  • Overall High Point Councils (first through third)
  • High Point Council Digital Color Images (first through third)
  • High Point Council Digital Monochrome Images (first through third)
  • High Point Council Digital Nature Images (first through third)
  • Individual Digital Color Image (first through third and HMs)
  • Individual Digital Monochrome Image (first through third and HMs)
  • Individual Digital Nature Image (first through third and HMs)

 All winning images may be shown by a video show at the PSA Annual Conference. A DVD of the slide show will be available to all Councils and Federations.