Photo Travel Division (PTD): Photo Travel Essay Competition (Digital Only)
Formerly called the Travelette Competition
The Photo Travel Essay Competition is the new form of the PSA Photo Travel Division's long-running mini-show contest. Dubbed "Travelettes" when first introduced to filmmakers, today's PSA members make short digital shows of favorite travels using any program that can produce an essay that meets the formats and rules listed below.
There are three divisions in the Photo Travel Essay Competition and you may enter one show in each category. However, a specific essay may be submitted to only one PSA Division each year. The same essay may be entered in another Division in a different year. The categories are:
Eligibility & Rules
- All entrants must be Individual members of PSA and be in good standing.
- Shows may not be longer than 5 minutes.
- Shows may include video clips, music and/or narration.
- The maker’s name may not appear in the essay itself, in the title or in the name of the CD/DVD or their files. However, makers’ names must be written on the disc submitted.
- All images must be created in a camera, including mobile phones, by the entrant or scanned from the maker’s own transparency or negative. Images must be portrayed in their natural state.
- The use of copies of photographs or artwork which are part of an exhibit that explains the site being featured is permitted if they are a small portion of the show and help tell the story.
- Submission must be on a CD or DVD. The preferred method is to save or export the essay as a video file (see format choices below) and then burn it to a CD as a data disc. The less preferred method is to save or export the essay as a DVD video disc.
- The preferred format is either high quality .mp4 with H.264 or Quicktime .mov with H.264.
- No .exe or .ppt files may be submitted. Proprietary formats such as .psh for ProShow or .wmv for Windows Movie Maker cannot be submitted.
- Photographs must meet the photo travel definition as a whole, but individual pictures such as close-ups of people or objects can be included, but should not dominate the essay.
- Make sure that the file on the burned CD actually plays when double clicked or that the video DVD actually plays when inserted into the computer..
- Use any program that works for you. Usually, one program comes free on a computer. Also, there are some available at little or no cost on the Internet.
- Using title slides that the entrant makes rather than any provided by a program are usually more effective.
- Narration can enhance an essay and it is advisable to speak slowly giving the viewer time to see the photos you refer to and allow the commentary to cover a series of pictures. Try to avoid the obvious “this is a tree” type of narration.
- Information on photographing the area may be helpful. Narration should add to your essay, not distract from the photographs.
- Take time to look at photo essays on the Internet to see what others do so you can decide what you like and don’t like about them. That may help you avoid common pitfalls and produce a better show.
We want to encourage PSA members to submit entries to this competition and are trying to make it easier for users of PCs and Macs to produce essays that meet the requirements. Pro Show Gold and Producer are used by many members and the Photodex website provides good information. Apple has several programs such as iMovie, iPhoto and Aperture that can be used. The important thing to remember is to collect all your files in your program, create a video that can be burned to a disc outside of the program.
- Download and complete one Entry Form (available as a PDF or Word doc) for each Photo Travel Essay submitted.
- A completed Entry Form is required for each CD/DVD
- It is best to send all your entries together.
- Mailing instructions can be found at the bottom of the Entry Form.
- Grand Prize—best of all essays submitted
- Silver Medals and Honorable Mentions will be determined by the number of entries in the Categories
The Grand Prize will be posted on the PSA website only if the music used is Royalty Free.