PSA has further defined the judging criteria for the Photo Travel Division, with examples of what is acceptable and non-acceptable. You can view a copy of these recommended guidelines defined by Roy Killen of PSA . click here.


There is even more information about the ethics of Photo Travel Photography by Stan Borman, the PSA Photo Travel Division chair. click here.


Competitions Guidelines

The Coachella Valley Desert Camera Club normally holds competitions at about half the regular Meetings during the Competition Year - which coincides with the calendar year. Competitions are normally held at the Regular Club Meeting in January, March, May, October, and December - but this schedule may change for various reasons. Changes are announced on this site's Home Page.


Competitions are held in the following divisions listed below. Pictorial Color and  Pictorial Monochrome,  and the "reality divisions": Nature (General), Photo Travel, Photojournalism General, and Photojournalism Human Interest.


Only digital images are accepted into these competitions. Prints and slides are no longer accepted.


Although images entered are scored and awards are made, the primary purpose of these competitions is as a learning experience for club members to improve their photographic skills. A key corollary purpose of competitions is to stimulate members to take more photographs, this being a fundamental prerequisite to photographic improvement, and to learn through judges' comments how their work might be improved. 

General Requirements

For all images entered into competition, the original image must be made by the entrant on photographic emulsion or acquired digitally. All images must be original and may not incorporate elements produced by anyone else. In particular, images are not acceptable in CVDCC competitions that are for all intents and purposes photographs or direct manipulations of images* that are the work of others where there has been no substantive value added by the entrant.


Subject to divisional restrictions (in particular, 'reality-based' competitions:  Nature, Photo Travel, and Photojournalism), images may be altered by the maker, and artwork or computer graphics created by the entrant may be incorporated, if the photographic content predominates. Images may not be constructed entirely within a computer.


This definition does not disallow entry of photographs of sculptures, for example, where there are issues of lighting, angle, surrounding etc; or, say, of people viewing an exhibition of paintings at a gallery.



*Such as photographs, paintings, or newspaper clippings. 


Division Definitions

The CVDCC is a member club of the Photographic Society of America (PSA), and normally utilizes similar Division definitions to those that PSA publishes on occasion in the PSA Journal and elsewhere as to what can and what will not be allowed into competition as far as content is concerned.  As these rules for PSA evolve, the CVDCC Board OF Directors will discuss and decide how these changes may apply to the CVDCC.  The Board will institute changes to the rules as they see fit after a proper vote on any changes.


Division Definitions will be rigorously followed by competition judges. Failure to follow these definitions can result in an image being DQed (disqualified)! For the "reality" divisions (Nature, Photo Travel, Photojournalism) there are strict limitations on allowed modifications and borders.


Divisions (click on division title for definition):


Pictorial Divisions:


Reality Divisions:

Other Requirements

  • No of images: On a given competition night, up to 2 images may be entered into each Division, with an overall limit of 8 images in total across all Divisions.
  • Age of Images: In the "reality" divisions (see above), images must have been captured not more than 18 months prior to the date of the competition.
  • Format of Images: Only JPEG digital images are accepted. Each image must be not wider than 1,400 pixels or higher than 1,280 pixels. There are no limitations on filesize or filenames.
  • Titles of Images: Image titles must conform to specific requirements. Re-use of titles on different images is not permitted. The same or like image must always bear the same title.
  • Submission of Images: Images must be submitted not later than midnight on the Saturday immediately preceding the competition using the CVDCC online entry system accessible from the member's Home Page.
  • Skill Levels: Entrants are assigned to one of two Skill Levels: Intermediate and Advanced. On first joining CVDCC, entrants are assigned to the Intermediate Skill Level. Once the entrant has received 4 Excellence Awards (see below) in competitions, they are assigned to the Advanced Skill Level.
  • Scoring and Awards: Images are each assigned a score by the judge in the range 5 through 9 without the judge knowing the Skill Level of the entrant. Images of particular merit are assigned either an Honorable Mention (HM) or an Excellence Award (EA) as follows: for Intermediate entrants it takes a score of 7 to receive an HM and 8 or 9 to receive an EA; For Advanced Entrants if takes a score of 8 to receive an HM and 9 to receive an EA.
  • Re-Entry and Makeups: Once an image has been judged in a CVDCC monthly competition it may not be re-entered into any monthly competition except under very specific circumstances. Makeups are also not permitted except under very specific circumstances.
  • Absence from Competition: With the exception of one meeting each year, for the scores of a member's images to be recorded the member must attend the competition where the images are being judged. Participation via videoconference is considered to be attendance since the entrant can see the images being projected and hear the comments of the judge.