When, Where, and
Who to Contact
Chairman: Marilyn Cloran, FPSA, MPSA, MNEC
and Rick Cloran, HonFPSA, GMPSA, HonNEC
Questions regarding the
PSA Interclub Competition?
Marilyn and Rick
Chairman: Larry Dunn, MNEC
Please make plans to join them for the
2023 Photo Festival (a/k/a Conference) in
Sept. 27-30, 2023.
Click here for map and hotel details.
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 USA and foreign clubs compete in each Class.
There are three competitions each season in the Pictorial Image Division and three in the Nature Division (Nov., Jan., and Apr.). We are allowed to enter six images from six different makers in both the PID and Nature competitions. 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. You do not need to be an individual member of PSA for your image to be used. The club is the PSA member in this case.
PSA has become even more sensitive to copyright requirements in recent years and now requests the individual makers of images submitted in the interclub competitions also sign a release form allowing PSA to post the images on its website, put them in the PSA Journal, etc. in the event the image is selected as a winner. With the introduction of the new interclub entry system, PSA now requires that a release is on file with them before the system will accept an image bearing that maker's name. Rick will circulate forms for signature early in each season. If you are interested in having your image used to represent the club, please execute the form and return it to Rick.
The results of the competitions are announced at the Association when they are received. We will also send them out in one of our regular e-mail blasts. If you miss the announcements the results can also be found on 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.
As a member of the Photographic Society of America (PSA), GLPA participates in the PSA Interclub Print Competition among other member organizations. For the 2022-2023 season, there will be twelve clubs from the US and Internationally participating. There are five classes in the Interclub Print Competition: Creative/Altered Reality, Large Color, Small Color, Large Monochrome and Small Monochrome. Print size for the Small Color and Monochrome Classes are up to 8.5"x11". For the Large Color and Monochrome Classes, eligible prints are up to 16"x20". Creative/Altered Reality prints can be any size up to 16"x20". All prints submitted are not to be mounted or matted with the maker’s name and title on the back.
There are three competitions each season in the Interclub Print Competition (Oct., Feb., and April). Each club is allowed to enter 4 prints in each of the classes. Only one print per maker is allowed in each class. Each competition is judged by three judges with scoring from 1 to 10. Ribbons are awarded for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honorable Mention.
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 a ribbon during the year. Prints receiving a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each class are awarded medals and displayed at the Annual PSA Conference.
Larry Dunn will be contacting members for prints of their images that he feels will represent GLPA well in each class for each competition. The selections are generally made from prints that have been submitted for GLPA's regular monthly competition. However, he occasionally will ask a member if he may use a specific print that he has seen or if the member can provide a selection of prints from which one or more might be chosen. Any member not wishing their prints to be selected from those submitted for monthly competition or who competes from a different club, should notify Larry of this as soon as possible. No changes are ever made to the print. If a change is desired, the maker is asked to make it and resubmit the print. All copyright remains with the maker.
The results of the competitions are announced at the Association when they are received. If you miss the announcements the results can also be found on the PSA website 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 Print Division (PPD) for the results of the 5 Classes in the competition.
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. The PSA website where all of its opportunities can be explored is at http://www.psa-photo.org.
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. Most Divisions have study groups available for members wanting to improve their skills or just interact with other photographers in an area they are interested in. The Projected Image Division has two study group tracks (Digital Dialog and Digital Study Groups). The Digital Dialog track has 99 distinct groups in it covering everything from basic to advanced creative. These groups came over from the Electronic Imaging Division which was merged into the PID division a few years back. The Digital Study Groups track adds 34 more groups including one for Nature where Rick Cloran serves
as one of the commentators. These groups are primarily digital now, but have their origins back in the slide study groups of the Color Slide Division before it and EID were merged. If you are into prints and would like to join a study group, one of the 20 “American Portfolios” groups may be for you. For more information on the Study Groups available to PSA members check out this link https://psa-photo.org/index.php?study-groups.
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 a variety of topics from basic to more advanced. Several are currently being rewritten to update the course contents. This includes the Creating Competitive Images course for which Rick Cloran is one of the instructors. 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 master’s 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.
One more feature of PSA is the annual Conference (now called the PSA Photo Festival) 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 2023 Photo Festival will be held in Williamsburg, VA from Sept. 27-30, 2023, at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel.
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 155 HonPSA's or HonFPSA’s have been conferred since 1940. There are only 35 living HonPSA's (28) / HonFPSA’s (8) and five of those live in New England. All five of the HonPSA's are members of Greater Lynn! They are: Charlie Burke, HonPSA, EPSA, MNEC; John Fuller, HonPSA, HonNEC; Jacob Mosser III, HonPSA, EPSA, HonNEC; Susan Mosser, HonPSA, HonNEC; and Rick Cloran, HonFPSA, GMPSA, HonNEC.
Rick Cloran is the eighth Honorary Fellow of PSA and was awarded his HonFPSA at the PSA Photo Festival held in Colorado Springs, CO in September, 2022. Congratulations Rick!
Recently deceased GLPA member, Dan Charbonnet, HonPSA, EPSA, HonNEC was the sixth member of GLPA to have those Honors.
Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA) Distinctions
The PPSA (Proficiency in Photography), EPSA (Excellence in Photography), MPSA and MPSA2 (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 BPSA or Bronze PSA followed by SPSA (Silver PSA) and GPSA (Gold PSA).
Keep reading to learn more about distinctions and how they are earned.
Star Ratings and Galaxy Ratings Explained
Images that are accepted in PSA approved 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)
QUALIFIED (QPSA) – 54 acceptances
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) – 1,500 acceptances and (MPSA2 – 2,250 acceptances
GRAND MASTER (GMPSA) – 3,000 acceptances (There are different levels of GMPSA that show even higher accumulations of acceptances beginning with GMPSA/B at 5,000.)
More information on the Star Ratings and ROPA can be found on http://www.psa-photo.org/index.php?stars-and-ropa
This is a recently 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. Our own GLPA member Ken Carlson is the first and only (so far) member of GLPA to have earned such a distinction. Ken was awarded the Silver level SPSA distinction in 2017 and attained the GPSA distinction in 2018.
Additional information can be found on the PSA Portfolio Distinctions web page https://psa-photo.org/index.php?portfolios-overview. In addition you can refer to the Portfolio Assessments – Entrants Guide that is under the members only reference section.