PSA member organizations comprised of several camera clubs, whether named a Council, Federation, or Association*, are eligible and encouraged to enter the annual PSA Councils Challenge. (*Hereafter collectively referred to as council.) Each council may enter ten projected digital images from ten different makers in each of the following sections: Color Open, Monochrome Open, and Nature Open.

Each section is judged separately. Councils in each section are ranked by their score and the top three councils receive awards. The council scores for each section are tallied and an overall top-scoring council is also identified. The top three individual images in each section also receive awards.  Honorable Mention certificates are awarded in each section.

Conditions of Entry:

  • Opens May 1 and closes June 1.
  • PSA-member councils, associations, or federations are eligible and encouraged to participate.
  • The subject is Open for all sections. The images should follow Division Definitions for the Projected Image Division's Color and Monochrome and for the Nature Division. Definitions are given below.
  • Each person may submit only one image in each section.
    Images should be jpegs sized at 1400 pixels max horizontally or 1050 pixels max vertically with a color space of sRGB and no size limit. This sizing pertains to both horizontal and vertical images.
  • There may not be more than one image per section by the same photographer.
  • An entrant may submit entries from one council only. If an entrant has images submitted by more than one council, all images may be disqualified.
  • Like images from the same photographer in more than one section will not be accepted.
  • Images entered in previous PSA Council's Challenges are not eligible.
  • By signing the PSA Permission form for the Councils Challenge, individual photographers grant PSA the right to reproduce their image(s) for display at the PSA Photo Festival, Video Digital Program at the Festival, and PSA website, awards, and for the purpose of promoting the Council's Challenge and announcing the winners. PSA Permission Release Form for Councils Challenge may be downloaded here.
  • Digital Sections:
    • Color Open
    • Monochrome Open
    • Nature Open
Send your digital submissions along with your completed PSA Permission Form to Pat Gordy at patgordy@epbfi.com


  • Color Open Definition:  The subject matter is undefined.  Monochrome images are not allowed in this section.  All post-processing techniques are allowed in this section.
  • Monochrome Open Definition: The subject matter is undefined. An image is considered Monochrome only if it gives the impression of having no color (i.e., contains only shades of gray which can include pure black and pure white) OR it gives the impression of being a grayscale image that has been toned in one color across the entire image (for example by Sepia, red, gold, etc.). A grayscale or multi-colored image modified or giving the impression of having been modified by partial toning, multi toning, or by the inclusion of spot coloring does not meet the definition of monochrome and shall be classified as a Color Work.
  • Nature Open Definition‎‎: Nature photography is restricted to the use of the photographic process to depict all branches of natural history, except anthropology and archaeology, in such a fashion that a well-informed person will be able to identify the subject material and certify its honest presentation. The storytelling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human elements shall not be present, except where those human elements are integral parts of the nature story such as nature subjects, like barn owls or storks, adapted to an environment modified by humans, or where those human elements are in situations depicting natural forces, like hurricanes or tidal waves. Scientific bands, scientific tags, or radio collars on wild animals are permissible. Photographs of human-created hybrid plants, cultivated plants, feral animals, domestic animals, or mounted specimens are ineligible, as is any form of manipulation that alters the truth of the photographic statement. ‎

No techniques that add, relocate, replace, or remove pictorial elements except by cropping are permitted. Techniques that enhance the presentation of the photograph without changing the nature story or the pictorial content, or without altering the content of the original scene, are permitted including HDR, focus stacking, and dodging/burning. Techniques that remove elements added by the camera, such as dust spots, digital noise, and film scratches, are allowed. Stitched images are not permitted. All allowed adjustments must appear natural. Color images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct captures or derivations, are not allowed.

  • ‎Model Release:
    • If an award image is a portrait of a recognizable person and PSA would like to publish it, a Model Release will be required.
    • If there is no Model Release available, the image may win but cannot be published. For those who do not have a Model Release, Sample Model Release Form - doc - interactive -pdf - both of these forms can be filled out and saved on a mobile or desktop device. (On some computers the pdf document may be required to download and complete.)


• Best of Show
• Overall High Point Councils (first through third)
• High Point Council Digital Color Images (first through third)
• High Point Council Digital Monochrome Images (first through third)
• High Point Council Digital Nature Images (first through third)
• Individual Digital Color Image (first through third and HMs)
• Individual Digital Monochrome Image (first through third and HMs)
• Individual Digital Nature Image (first through third and HMs)
• All winning images may be shown in a video at the PSA Annual Photo Festival. The slide show will be available to all Councils and Federations

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