When, Where, and
Who to Contact

Chairman: Marilyn Cloran, FPSA, MPSA, MNEC
and Rick Cloran, FPSA, MPSA, HonNEC

Questions regarding the
PSA Interclub Competition?

Marilyn and Rick

What is PSA?


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PSA Interclub Competition

(projected image)

As a member of the Photographic Society of America (PSA), the Association participates in projected image competitions between other member organizations. The two areas in which the Association is currently active are Pictorial Projected Images and Nature Projected images. The Association competes in Class A, the highest level, in each of these areas. Both US and foreign clubs compete in each Class.

There are four competitions each season in the Pictorial Image Division (Nov., Jan., Mar., and May) and three in the Nature Division (Nov., Jan., and Apr.). We are allowed to enter six images from six different makers in the PID competitions. The Nature Division allows us to enter six images but only requires that there be at least four different makers. Each competition is judged by three judges scoring from 1 to 5. Two levels of awards are given in each competition. These consist of an Award of Merit for those images deemed to be the top 5% for that competition and from which a Best of Show is chosen (top honor) and Honorable Mentions to round out the top 10% of the entries.

There is also a season ending Image of the Year competition in each class to pick the top image for the season from those that won an Award of Merit during the year. GLPA members have been recipients of the Gold Medals that are given to the top five images from the year end competition.

Co-chairs Marilyn and Rick collect images they feel will represent the Association well in each competition. The selections are generally made from images that have been submitted for the Association’s regular monthly competition. However, they occasionally will ask a member if they may use a specific image that they have seen or if the member can provide a selection of images from which one or more might be chosen. Any member not wishing their images to be selected from those submitted for monthly competition or who competes from a different club, should notify Marilyn and Rick of this as soon as possible. No changes are ever made to the images. If a change is desired, the maker is asked to make it. All copyright remains with the maker.

The results of the competitions are announced at the Association when they are received and are published in the following issue of the Filter. If you miss the announcements the results can also be found on the PSA website www.PSA-photo.org for each Division. Just look under Divisions, then the Division name, and then interclub competitions. Take a little time to study the results as they may not be in strict top to bottom ranking. You will need to look under the Pictorial Image Division (PID) for the results of the general projected image competitions. The Nature interclub results are under the Nature Division banner.

If the links fail, it is because PSA has re-organized their website. Contact the GLPA webmaster and we will make an effort to resolve the failing links


What is PSA ?
(maybe you'd like to join!)

By Marilyn Cloran, FPSA, MPSA, MNEC and
Rick Cloran, FPSA, MPSA, HonNEC

PSA is the national organization that provides a framework and structure to amateur photography.  The Society has individual, club, and council or chapter level memberships.  Greater Lynn is a member club.  The New England Camera Club Council (NECCC) is a member council.  More importantly, many of our fellow GLPA members are individual members of PSA in addition to being members of our club.

PSA membership brings a number of benefits including the PSA Journal.  The Journal has a variety of articles each month including how to’s, travel info, digital tips, recognition of photographic achievement, and much more. The club’s copy of the monthly Journal is available in our library so be sure to check it out. Newer members often find the Study Groups available in many different areas including: pictorial images, nature images, photo-travel, portraiture, and prints, to be very beneficial in expanding their skills and learning how to evaluate their own and other peoples work.  A growing number of these study groups are available on-line.  You may also have heard us announce special opportunities, such as the portrait competitions for individuals or the creative competitions for individuals that are available to PSA members for no charge this year.

There is a special section of the PSA web site dedicated to member photography education. The majority of these courses are free to PSA members. They cover everything from basic composition and photographic techniques to a full course with certification on image evaluation (judging). On the PSA home page click on the Education tab or use this link http://www.psa-photo.org/index.php?sn-education. The section is intended to help members improve their photographic skills from capture to image evaluation to get the most out of their membership. As we noted above, most of these resources on the page are free to PSA members, so have a look.

PSA also serves as a governing body providing structure to the international exhibitions that are held within the US and around the world.  You may have heard us talking about “star ratings” when we introduce a judge or presenter.  These ratings are very similar to bridge or chess masters points and represent the cumulative level of acceptances that the person has gathered in PSA recognized international exhibitions.  These ratings are only available to PSA members.

Finally, you may hear or see presenters introduced as APSA, FPSA, HonPSA, HonFPSA, PPSA, EPSA, MPSA or GMPSA.  The APSA (Associate of the Photographic Society of America), FPSA (Fellow of the Photographic Society of America), HonPSA (Honorary Member of PSA), and HonFPSA (Honorary Fellow of PSA) honors are conferred on individual members for their work on behalf of the Society, local, and regional photographic organizations and their contributions to furthering the understanding and appreciation of photography. We are talking years and in some cases decades of work here.  Several of our members carry these honors. In particular, you should know that only 124 HonPSA's have been conferred since 1940. There are only 27 living HonPSA's and only four of those live in New England. All four are members of Greater Lynn! They are: Dan Charbonnet, HonPSA, EPSA, MNEC; John Fuller, HonPSA, HonNEC; Jacob Mosser III, HonPSA, EPSA, HonNEC; and Susan Mosser, HonPSA, HonNEC.

The PPSA (Proficiency in Photography), EPSA (Excellence in Photography), MPSA (Master of Photography), and GMPSA (Grand Master of Photography) distinctions are conferred based on the individual’s accumulated record in international exhibitions in multiple areas, e.g., Pictorial, Nature, Photojournalism, or Photo-Travel projected images or monochrome or color prints.  There are also specialty areas such as 3D (stereo) projected images and videos. It often requires years of successful participation in international exhibitions to achieve the star rating required to apply for these distinctions. PSA has also recently introduced a new series of distinctions for work compiled and submitted as a portfolio. The initial level is SPSA or Silver PSA and we are very please to note that Ken Carlson is our first member to achieve one of these distinctions.


One more feature of PSA is the annual Conference that is held in a different location each year.  Like the annual NECCC Conference in Amherst, the PSA Conference is a wonderful way to make new friends, meet old friends, and share and learn more about photography.

The 2017 Conference will be coming back to Pittsburgh, PA From October 8 - 14, 2017, at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center. Quite a number of us attended the last Conference in Pittsburgh and had a wonderful time exploring the city with our cameras. The 2018 Conference will be held in Salt Lake City, UT from September 30 - October 6, 2018. You can find more information at this link http://www.psa-photo.org/index.php?2017-psa-conference.


Star Ratings and Galaxy Ratings Explained

Images that are accepted in PSA patronized Salons are eligible to be used by PSA members to apply for PSA Star Ratings. Stars are awarded for increasing levels (One Star, Two Stars, Three Stars etc., eventually to Galaxies) based on an established minimum number of titles and acceptances for each level.

One image MUST have only one title and MUST NOT have multiple titles. There is no limit to the number of acceptances one image may achieve be recognized for the basic Star Ratings. This changes when you have accumulated enough acceptances to begin pursuing Galaxy Ratings.

In PSA, every Division (or Class within a Division), is different and has it's own Star Path.  If a picture can be entered in Nature or Photo Travel, it could also be entered in a Pictorial division such as PID or, if made into a print, one of the Pictorial Print Division classes, (large or small color prints, or large or small monochrome prints).  It would be eligible to earn acceptances that can be used toward stars in those divisions/classes.  Only acceptances accepted in a section patronized by a given Division/Class may be used towards stars in that Division/Class.

Also remember that some exhibitions allow both Color and Monochrome images to be entered in a PID Color Class, PIDC, section of their exhibition.  Any acceptance earned in a PIDC Section, whether the image is color or monochrome, is considered a PIDC acceptance and goes toward PIDC Stars. Only acceptances earned in a PID Monochrome Class, PIDM, section of an exhibition count toward PIDM stars. Star Ratings and Galaxy Certificates across different divisions can be accumulated and be used to apply for ROPA Distinctions.

With the Galaxy Ratings, all images and associated acceptances used for Star Ratings 1 - 5 MUST be retired and never used again for any Galaxy Rating.  None of these are eligible for use in Galaxy Ratings.  Any acceptances on photographic titles used when filing for a star rating that were not already claimed for a Star Rating level are lost when that title is retired after you successfully file for the fifth star in that Division / Class.

Each Galaxy Rating must use new titles that have never been used for prior Star or Galaxy Ratings.  For Galaxy 1 - 5 you need 25 new photographs for each Galaxy, each accepted 3 times.  For Galaxy 6 - 10 you must use 50 new photographs for each Galaxy, each accepted 3 times.  Any acceptances over those 3 each photograph cannot be used for higher ratings. All photographs used for one Galaxy Level must be retired and cannot be used for higher Galaxy levels.

Minimum Requirements For Star Ratings

1 STAR – 18 acceptances with at least 6 titles
2 STARS – 36 acceptances with at least 12 titles
3 STARS – 72 acceptances with at least 24 titles
4 STARS – 144 acceptances with at least 48 titles
5 STARS – 288 acceptances with at least 96 titles
Galaxy 1 to 5 – 25 new titles each, each title 3 acceptances
Galaxy 6 to 10 – 50 new titles each, each title 3 acceptances
Diamond 1 to 5 – 50 new titles each, each title 6 acceptances
Diamond 6 to 10 – 75 new titles each, each title 6 acceptances

Case Study 1:
Lets take 1 star for example for PIDC
1 Star - 18 acceptances with 6 titles.
In PIDC, photographer A has a photo titled "women in red" with 12 acceptances and 6 other titles each of which has 1 acceptance. He/she may use these for 1 Star application.

Case Study 2:
Lets take 3 stars for example for PIDC
3 Star - 72 acceptances with 24 titles.
In PIDC, photographer B has a photo titled "boat in mist" with 23 acceptances, a photo titled "women in red" with 29 acceptances and 22 other photos with one acceptance each. He/she is eligible for 3 Stars.

Case Study 3:
Lets take 3 stars for example for PIDC
3 Star - 72 acceptances with 24 titles.
Photographer C has the following photographs: "Women in red" with 24 acceptances in PIDC Color Open, "Boat in the mist" with 14 acceptances in PIDC Color Open, "Man with Beard" with 10 acceptances in PIDC Portrait Theme, "Water Melody" with 10 acceptances in PIDC water theme PLUS 20 other photographs each with 1 acceptance in PIDC Color Open. This brings a total of 78 acceptances for PIDC (open plus theme). He/she is eligible to use these for his/her 3 star application.  (NOTE: Even though 78 acceptances would be used for the 3 star application, the certificate will only indicate the number of acceptances required. The total of 78 will carry forward toward the exhibitor's fourth star.)

Minimum Requirements for ROPA Distinctions

(Star Ratings Certificates are proof of the number of acceptances you have received and the Certificates from various divisions can be combined to apply for ROPA)

PROFICIENCY (PPSA) – 288 acceptances
(Example – PIDC 4 stars [144 acc] + PIDM 2 stars [36 acc] + ND 3 stars [72 acc] + PTD 2 stars [36 acc] = 288 acceptances)
EXCELLENCE (EPSA) – 700 acceptances
MASTER (MPSA) – 1500 acceptances
GRAND MASTER (GMPSA) – 3000 acceptances

More information on the Star Ratings and ROPA can be found on http://www.psa-photo.org/index.php?stars-and-ropa

Portfolio Distinctions

This is a newly added path to distinctions. The Portfolio concept is that a PSA member will submit a cohesive body of work following a specified theme. If the review panel feels the member has satisfied the requirements of the distinction level, the member will be awarded that Distinction. At the present time there are three potential levels: Bronze, Silver, and Gold signified as BPSA, SPSA, and GPSA.

Additional information can be found on the PSA Portfolio Distinctions web page.

Be sure to check out the PSA web site at www.PSA-photo.org or see Marilyn or me if you want to learn more about how to become a member of PSA.