Divisions


PSA Division Definition Summary

The following explains what differentiates each PSA Division. Those wishing to run PSA recognized exhibitions can use this information for planning purposes.

PSA Statement on Subject Matter

There is one hard and fast rule, whose spirit must be observed at all times and applies to all sections, not just Nature sections, offered in PSA recognised exhibitions.

The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph.

This means that practices such as baiting of subjects with a living creature and removal of birds from nests, for the purpose of obtaining a photograph, are highly unethical, and such photographs are not allowed in any PSA exhibitions.

There is also a PSA policy on the use of aerial photography - aircraft, helicopters and drones.  This policy can be found at https://psa-photo.org/index.php?psa-policies#drone.

 

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  • Projected Image Division

    » Projected Image Division Definition:
    The subject matter is unrestricted  for PID images in separate color and monochrome (see below for Monochrome definition) classes. There may be a theme specified for some PSA-recognized PID exhibitions and the exhibition’s definition of the theme should be consulted. Each class has its own Star Ratings path.

    Monochrome Definition
    An image is considered to be Monochrome only if it gives the impression of having no color (i.e. contains only shades of grey which can include pure black and pure white) OR it gives the impression of being a greyscale image that has been toned in one color across the entire image. (For example by Sepia, red, gold, etc.) A greyscale 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 will be classified as a Color Work.

  • Nature Division
    » Nature Division Definition:

    It is important that all exhibitions within a calendar year operate under the same rules These are the rules for 2021 Exhibitions

    All 2022 exhibitions will follow the new rules which will not be made public until July 2021.

    The Statement on subject matter will also change once FIAP have agreed or not agreed to it.  The statement is NOT part of the Nature definition.  It applies to all sections


    PSA Statement on Subject Matter

    There is one hard and fast rule, whose spirit must be observed at all times and applies to all sections offered in PSA recognised exhibitions. 

    The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph.

    This means that practices such as baiting of subjects with a living creature and removal of birds from nests, for the purpose of obtaining a photograph, are highly unethical, and such photographs are not allowed in any PSA exhibitions.

    There is also a PSA policy on the use of aerial photography - aircraft, helicopters and drones.  This policy can be found at https://psa-photo.org/index.php?psa-policies#drone.

    The purpose of this policy is to prevent any interference with other individuals or animals which will or may cause a disturbance in their normal activity or disrupt the way any individuals or animals interact with their environment. Entry in this exhibition requires exhibitors to agree to this and other PSA policies

    The content of images must comply with these General Conditions and with the Division and Section definitions listed in these conditions. Images that - in the sole opinion of the judges or the Exhibition Organizers - do not comply are likely to be disqualified so the entrant may be aware of the problem when considering entry into other PSA recognized exhibitions.


    Joint FIAP/PSA Definition

    Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archeology, 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.

    Color images can be converted to greyscale monochrome.

    Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.

    Images entered in Nature sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter.  This includes images taken with subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food.

    Attention is drawn to the PSA Statement on Subject Matter which applies to all sections

     

    NOTE: Examples of images that satisfy this definition and examples of images that should be rejected or scored low by judges are provided in the Photographic Society of America Guide for Nature Judges. [This guide will be updated when the revised version of the Nature definition is agreed to by PSA and FIAP. The new title of the Guide will be “A Guide for Nature Photographers and Judges”.] 



  • Photojournalism Division
    » Photojournalism Definition

    Photojournalism entries are images with informative content and emotional impact, reflecting the human presence in our world. The journalistic (story-telling) value of the image should receive priority over pictorial quality. Images that misrepresent the truth, such as those from events or activities arranged specifically for photography, or of subjects directed or hired for photography, are not eligible.

    Techniques that add, relocate, replace, remove or change any element in the original scene, except by cropping, are not permitted. All images must look natural. The only allowable modifications are removal of dust, scratches or digital noise and restoration of the appearance of the existing scene, or complete conversion to greyscale monochrome. Other derivations, including infrared, are not eligible


  • Photo Travel Division
    » Photo Travel Definition: A Photo Travel image expresses the characteristic features or culture of a land as they are found naturally. There are no geographic limitations. Images from events or activities arranged specifically for photography, or of subjects directed or hired for photography are not permitted. Close up pictures of people or objects must include features that provide information about the location.

    Techniques that add, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, are not permitted. The only allowable adjustments are removal of dust or digital noise, restoration of the appearance of the original scene and complete conversion to greyscale monochrome. Other derivations, including infrared, are not permitted. All images must look natural.

    The Photo Travel Division has produced a Guide for Chairs and Judges.  It is vital that these guides are issued to judges, and that Chairs of Exhibitions/Competitions ensure that all judges have read the guides and understand them. The guides (translated into several languages) can be found below or on the home page of the Photo Travel Division. https://psa-photo.org/index.php?divisions-photo-travel

  • Pictorial Print Division
    » Pictorial Print Definition

    The prints may be in color or monochrome (see above for Monochrome definition). Digital capture, film photography, desktop and darkroom processing, and commercial prints are all included in the division's activities. The content or subject matter of an image submitted to a PPD program or activity is unrestricted. There may be a theme specified for some PSA-recognized PPD exhibitions and the exhibition's definition of the theme should be consulted. The prints are divided into four classes, large color, large monochrome, small color, and small monochrome. There are two Star paths - Color and Monochrome.

  • 3D Division
    » 3D Definition

    The content or subject matter of an image submitted to a 3DD program or activity is unrestricted. There may be a theme specified for some PSA-recognized 3DD exhibitions and the exhibition's definition of the theme should be consulted.