About PSA


PSA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

(Click on question for quick access to the answer.)
     
During what hours and days can I reach PSA Headquarters?

      Can you define the acronyms used by PSA?

      What is the difference between a PSA Honor and a PSA Distinction?

      How are Star Ratings Certificates related to ROPA Distinctions?

      What changed regarding acceptances and star ratings after July 1, 2010?




During what hours and days can I reach PSA Headquarters?

PSA Headquarters is open Monday through Thursday, 7:00am to 4:00pm and Friday, 7:00am to 1:00pm (Central USA Time Zone).

The office will be closed for the official US holidays as follows: New Year's Day (January 1), President's Day (February), Good Friday (March or April), Memorial Day (May), Independence Day (July), Labor Day (September), Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday and Friday of November), and Christmas Day (December 25).


Can you define the acronyms used by PSA?

3D or 3DD -The 3D Division (formerly called the Stereo Division) is responsible for conducting and overseeing PSA activities regarding 3D photography. Generally there are no limitations on subject matter or techniques used for image capture or post-processing. There is a single Stars track, which includes both projected images and prints.

APSA - Associate - A PSA honor awarded for material contributions to the advancement of photography, whether resulting primarily from photography proficiency and achievement, or for service. Photographic achievement must be combined with elements of service.

AM - Award of Merit - An award presented for excellence to images in PSA interclub competitions.

BOS - Best of Show - An award is often presented in PSA photograph competitions or PSA- recognized exhibition to the overall winning images.

CIC - Creative Interclub Competition - This competition is conducted by PID.

DIVISION - A team of volunteers that are responsible for the conduct of various activities related to a particular photographic area of interest. The activities include the conduct of individual and interclub competitions, study groups for individuals, providing PSA recognition for international exhibitions and the Stars/Galaxy ratings program. There are six divisions: 3D (3DD), Nature (ND), Photojournalism (PJD), Photo Travel (PTD), Pictorial Print (PPD) and Projected Image (PID).

EPSA - Excellence - A PSA distinction awarded for 700 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

FPSA - Fellow - A PSA honor awarded for outstanding contributions to the advancement of photography, involving a high degree of proficiency and achievement, combined with such elements of service as the dissemination of acquired knowledge through lecturing, judging, instructing, and publishing of articles or papers. Personal photography achievement alone does not qualify for this honor.

GMPSA - Grand Master - A PSA distinction awarded for 3,000 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

HM - Honorable Mention - This award is often presented to images in PSA photo competitions and PSA-recognized exhibitions.

HonFPSA - Honorary Fellow - A PSA honor only awarded  for unique or outstanding contributions of major importance to photography. This is the highest designation awarded by the Society. The recipient must be a PSA member.

HonPSA - Honorary Membership - A PSA honor awarded for outstanding service to photography, particularly through organizational or similar work; the recipient of this honor need not be a member of PSA.

IC - Interclub Competition - a chart of all of PSA's Interclub Competitions will help you find the right competition for your PSA-member club.

ICC - Individual Creative Competition - This competition is conducted by PID.

IOY - Image of the Year. The PID, Nature, and Photo Travel divisions hold Image of the Year contests. See also: POY

MOM - Master Operations Manual - Many PSA positions have a MOM associated with them, which serve as job descriptions. These are helpful to read when applying for a volunteer position with PSA.

MPSA - Master - A PSA distinction awarded for 1,500 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

ND - The Nature Divison is responsible for conducting and overseeing PSA activities regarding Nature photography; there is an accepted definition which specifies its scope. There is a single Stars track, which includes both projected images and prints.

PID - The Projected Image Division is responsible for conducting and overseeing PSA activities regarding open or general subject photography. There are no limitations on subject matter or techniques used for image capture or post-processing. There are two PID Stars tracks - Open and Monochrome. It replaced the CPID (Color Projected Image Division) and the EID (Electronic Imagery Division) divisions after the September 2012 PSA Annual Conference in San Francisco.

PJ or PJD - The Photojournalism Division is responsible for conducting and overseeing PSA activities regarding Photojournalistic photograpy; an accepted definition which specifies its scope. There is a single Stars track, which includes both projected images and prints.

POM - Print of the Month (Pictorial Print Division Competition).

POY - Published Picture of the Year in the Photojournalism division, Print of the Year in the Pictorial Print division, and Photo of the Year in the 3D division. See also: IOY

PPD - The Pictorial Print Division is responsible for conducting and overseeing PSA activities regarding print photography; generally there are no limitations on subject matter or techniques used for image capture or post-processing. There are four Stars tracks - Large Open, Large Monochrome, Small Open and Small Monochrome.

PPSA - Proficiency - A PSA distinction awarded for 288 or more exhibition acceptances supported by Star Rating Certificates from one or more PSA Divisions.

PSA - Photographic Society of America.

ROPA - Recognition of Photographic Achievement - A program which recognizes PSA Members' photographic achievements in PSA-recognized International Exhibitions. It is responsible for the award of the PSA distinctions (PPSA, EPSA, MPSA and GMPSA). 


What is the difference between a PSA Honor and a PSA Distinction?

PSA Honors are given for service to the photography industry and/or PSA. A PSA Distinction is based on acceptances to PSA-recognized exhibitions.


How are Star Ratings Certificates related to ROPA Recognition?

Star Rating Certificates (which can only be earned by PSA members) are used to apply for ROPA recognition.


What changed regarding acceptances and star ratings after July 1, 2010?

As part of the new rules PSA instituted on July 1, 2010, a common set of required titles and acceptances was established for the Star and Galaxy ratings of all divisions. This affected some of the division rules that were in effect prior to that time; CPID had the greatest change as its 5-star level requirements went from 192 titles and 640 acceptances to the common 96 titles and 288 acceptances. Also, there was no limit on the number of acceptance that could be earned for each title at the Star level before the new rules were installed; this is applicable under the new rules, as well.

The new rules also include a conversion process so that all exhibitors' rating could be adapted to the new system. Upon application by an exhibitor on a division-by-division basis, the appropriate division Star/Galaxy Ratings Director will evaluate the titles and acceptances to determine a revised rating, to include possibly going from a Star level to a Galaxy one. However, the rules change when reaching the Galaxy levels. Specifically, only 3 acceptances are permitted for each of to 25 required new titles necessary to advance to the next level for the first 5 levels; for levels 6 through 10, the requirements are 50 new titles and only 3 acceptances. For the higher Diamond ratings, the first 5 levels require 50 new titles and with only 6 acceptances each; levels 6 through 10 has requirement of 75 new titles and only 6 acceptances.

During the course of the Star/Galaxy Director's evaluation, the applicant will be assigned the appropriate rating and sent a certificate to that effect. In addition, the "leftover" titles and acceptances will be identified. All the titles can be used for the next Star or Galaxy rating. But that may not be the case for some acceptances based on the limits that can be used for each title if the applicant is working toward a Galaxy rating. Should the applicant find that some titles have too many acceptances for any of the titles they plan to use for the next higher Galaxy rating, they have two options. The first option is to use the title for the next application and lose the excess acceptances. Alternatively, the titles and accompanying acceptances may be set aside until they can be applied to a Galaxy level where they can be better used.