PTD Study Groups

Study Groups

‚úČ Dennis Deeny·

The Mission of the PTD Study Groups is to create, for PSA members, a non-competitive, enjoyable travel photography experience through mutual assistance, viewing diverse worldwide images while offering a unique learning opportunity through analysis of their and others' photos.

Our members are like-minded PSA photographers who travel broadly and enjoy sharing their images. We have the opportunity to share our travel experiences, enjoy others' experiences and improve and learn new skills. We frequently form congenial relationships with our group members.

Go to PTD Study Groups page:  link 

Organization and Process

Each study group is led by a secretary. The secretary provides the new members with instructions for participating in the group and manages the group activities. Groups are normally composed of from 5 to 7 participants who submit 2 photos one month and then critique their fellow members photos the following month. The critiquing process is a good natured but evaluative analysis of each member’s submission geared to helping the photographer improve their skills. Reviews include both a written analysis and a numeric rating.

Specifically two images and their descriptors are submitted during the months of January, March, May, July, September and November. Reviews are made during the months of February, April, June, August, October and December.

Enrollment and Participation

All current PSA members are welcome to become members of the PhotoTravel Division Study groups. There is no fee. Photo Travel Study groups are password protected. To become a member of a PTD Study group complete the following enrollment form and email it to the Director.

» PTD Study Group Enrollment Form: interactive pdf

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  • Operating Guidelines for PTDSG
    Travel study group PARTICIPANTS are assigned to a group led by a secretary. The secretary will lead new participants through the learning process but generally the following rules are followed.

    Two IMAGES are uploaded each even numbered month using the travel study group maintenance website. This website is password protected. Images are submitted using the jpg format on a size of 1040 px by 768 px. Save the image at 120 ppi. Each image must be given a descriptive name. Example: Taj Mahal.jpg.

    At the same time that images are submitted, DESCRIPTORS are required. These descriptors include camera make, lens, camera settings, shooting conditions, etc. as indicated on the descriptors webpage. These elements are helpful as part of the review’s analysis process when evaluating the images.

    REVIEWS of these images are made each odd numbered month. Group members are expected to review each member of his/her group. These reviews include a written subjective review and a numeric review. Image submissions/descriptors and reviews are expected to be completed by the month end.

    NUMERIC REVIEWS are divided into 3 sections: interest, technical and composition. The interest section generally pertains to your evaluation of whether the photo projects a story or creates interest while generating a feeling of energy, mood, emotional impact, etc.

    Technical accountability includes meeting the PTD image definition. If the reviewer feels the image does not meet the definition, he/she should mention it in their remarks and lower the numeric grade. Technical excellence also includes image criteria like focus, noise, exposure, color, etc.

    Composition generally pertains to an images framing, arrangement, balance, distracting elements, etc.

  • 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 appropriate. Close up pictures of people or objects must include features that provide information about the environment. 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 allowed adjustments must appear natural.

  • Appendix to Photo Travel Definition

    Photo Travel Modification:

    No elements may be moved, cloned, added, deleted, rearranged, combined or changed in any way that affects the integrity of the image content. No manipulation or modification is permitted except resizing, cropping, selective lightening or darkening, and restoration of original color of the scene. No special effect filters can be added or applied, and any sharpening must appear natural.

    Image adjustments allowed in Photo Travel:

    1. Exposure adjustment
    2. White balance/color correction
    3. Adjust highlight and shadow detail
    4. Adjust contrast
    5. Adjust saturation
    6. Dust spot removal
    7. Noise removal
    8. Flare removal
    9. Cropping
    10. Sizing
    11. Straightening
    12. No borders; however thin strokes are allowed to define the image if necessary

    Definition clarification:

    It is definitely not required that the image location can be identified by the viewer. If it were it would limit contest acceptances to only those places the judges had been to or seen in pictures. It is important recognize that the definition doesn’t exclude images because “I can’t tell where this is”. The phase “image expresses the characteristic features or culture of a land” means that the image must depict elements that make it unique and recognizable should it be visited. Examples that meet the definition include: city scapes, mountains, city scenes, people dressed in national costume, etc. Examples not meeting the definition include: flat beaches, people not dressed in national attire without any identifying background, etc.