The SPF is not a member of PSA but we have had PSA Patronage of our Scottish Salon for many of the years it has run, and we have added this page to enable our SPF Members to easily obtain more details about this International Organisation.

Photographic Society of America (PSA) was founded in 1934, is a world-wide organization providing abundunt resources for photographers, from the novice to the professional. PSA offers on-line learning, webinars, study groups, competitions, mentors and consultants. Membership is in over 80 countries, 5,000 members, 460 Camera Clubs and 12 Chapters across the United States. To find out all about PSA (click here)

A variety of photographic options are available to Scottish Photographers including PSA's Whos Who listings and PSA Distinctions.

PSA Photographic Distinctions are available to individuals who are members of PSA. Firstly, you must participate in salons with PSA recognition to gain acceptances. A full list of these qualifying Exhibitions (Salons) can be found on the PSA Website (click here) 

There are also options for Clubs to become members and compete in PSA's Club Competitions (click here)

We have supplied some details below which should help get you started. If you require additional information then please contact the new PSA Membership Director covering Scotland, together with England and Northern Ireland is Andrew Hersom APSA EPSA EFIAP. To contact Andrew please email cmd-scotland [at] or contact him through the following webpage (click here) 

Scottish Author does it again - 1st In the World - 2022 Who's Who

PSA Who’s Who in Photography - We reported previously that Ian Mitchell of Bon Accord CC had been named top exhibitor in Nature Division Prints for 2021. We'll he's only gone and done it again achieving 1st in the World for 2022, making this the third time he has achieved this. We managed to get a photograph of Ian with his Certificate at the 2023 SPF Digital Championship, shortly after the results had been announced. 

His image Juvenile Pine Marten on Branch was also chosen for the front cover of the Who’s Who 2021 publication announcing the results for 2021.

A few of Ian's successful photos are shown below and above.

Want to know how you can join PSA and turn your Acceptances into Distinctions and get your name on the list of Who's Who in the future? Many Scottish photographers have entered exhibitions with PSA patronage over the years, partly by entering our own Scottish Salon, but also many of the exhibitions throughout the world with FIAP patronage also have PSA patronage.

PSA members have the opportunity to use their acceptances to apply for PSA Stars and Recognition of Photographic Achievement (ROPA). ROPA Distinctions include Qualified (QPSA), Proficiency (PPSA), Excellence (EPSA), Master (MPSA) and Grand Master (GMPSA). All exhibitors, who have acceptances in PSA-recognized exhibitions and meet the minimum standards of each division for inclusion, will be listed in the PSA’s Who’s Who in Photography publication—the only such listing in the world for over the past 50 years.

Join PSA at (click here)

PSA Patronage Salons in Scotland
Edinburgh International Salons with PSA patronage

The Second EPS International Digital Salon 2023 is *now open for entries!* Run by Edinburgh Photographic Society the entry closes 30th Sept 2023.

Patronage support has now been secured from FIAP, PSA, GPU and PAGB. SPF have also granted their support for the Salon.

The Exhibition consists of **Six Sections **with up to Four entries allowed in each: Open Mono (PIDM), Open Colour (PIDC), Nature (ND), Creative (PIDC/M), Photo Travel (PTD) and Landscape (PIDC/M).

A FIAP Blue Badge plus 108 Awards will be presented including 5 Gold Medals for each section from each of the PSA, FIAP, GPU, PAGB and SPF. There will also be awards from Edinburgh Photographic Society as well as EPS Honourable Mentions and Salon Honourable mentions.

Entry fees are £12 for the first section then £4 for each additional section. Payment is via PayPal. If you wish to enter, simply (click here)

159th Edinburgh International Print Salon 2023

The 159th Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography 2023 online entry closed on 5th June. This is an open exhibition, with FIAP, PSA and GPU patronage, and two categories Mono and Colour Prints of any genre. Only a small percentage of the many submitted are accepted. Getting an acceptance at Edinburgh is sought after and many photographers submit each year hoping for success.

The ensuing Exhibition is displayed in Edinburgh Photographic Society’s premises in August, during the Edinburgh International Festivals. The exhibition attracts many thousands of visitors each year. 

Visiting the exhibition - The 159th Edinburgh International Exhibition of Photography 2023 print exhibition is open to the public during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, running from August 5th 2023 to August 27th 2023. Entry includes a printed A4 catalogue of all accepted images. You may pay at the door or tickets may be bought through the Edinburgh Fringe booking site (Venue 130). Those photographers who enter the Exhibition may visit free of charge.

New PSA Nature Rules

There has been changes in the PSA NATURE DEFINITION, which has also been agreed with FIAP. From the 1st Jan 2022 these Rules apply to any entries you make to Exhibitions held with PSA patronage, or FIAP and PSA patronage when entering Nature and Wildlife sections.

PSA Regional Member's Newsletter

The Scotland Newsletter was produced by Andrew Hayes on a quarterly basis MAR, JUN, SEPT and DEC and supplied to Scottish PSA Members. Some examples of past newsletters are given below. 

Scotland no longer has it's own Membership Director as noone from Scotland volunteered for the role. Andrew Hersom, who is the PSA Country Membership Director for England and Northern Ireland has also taken on Scotland as well in the interim. A copy of his July 2023 Newsletter is available from the area below.

PSA Distinctions

PSA Photographic Distinctions are available to individuals who are members of PSA. Firstly, you must participate in salons with PSA recognition to gain acceptances. A full list of these qualifying Exhibitions (Salons) can be found on the PSA Website (click here) 

The PSA distinctions are called Recognition of Photographic Achievement Awards (ROPA) and they consist of QPSA, PPSA, EPSA, MPSA, MPSA2, GMPSA, GMPSA/b, GMPSA/s, GMPSA/g and GMPSA/p. You can apply for these awards sequentially or you can skip awards and apply for higher levels if you have sufficient qualifying acceptances. You have to be a member of PSA to apply for PSA distinctions. For these distinctions you can count only acceptances achieved in PSA recognised International exhibitions.

In the PSA system, the verification process and the application for a distinction are separated. Verification takes place through what PSA calls the Star Ratings system. Applications for Stars are checked by a Star Ratings Director using the PSA’s electronic database of exhibition acceptances. Each Star application requires a specific number of acceptances from a specified minimum number of different images. For example, you can apply for Star 1 with just 18 acceptances from 6 images. You then need a total of 36 acceptances from 12 images to qualify for Star 2, and so on up to 288 acceptances for Star 5. If you continue to accumulate acceptances beyond those required for Star 5, your acceptances are verified through the Galaxy Rating system. Once you have accumulated sufficient verified acceptances (through Star or Galaxy ratings) you can apply online for the appropriate ROPA award.

In the PSA system the verification process through the Star/ Galaxy Ratings system is done through different Divisions of PSA (Colour Projected Images, Monochrome Projected Images, Nature, Photojournalism, Photo Travel, Pictorial Prints and 3D). You cannot mix acceptances across Divisions for Star or Galaxy applications. For example, when applying for Star 1 in the Nature Division all your acceptances must have been obtained in PSA recognised Nature sections of exhibitions. However, once acceptances are verified through Star or Galaxy Ratings they can be combined to give the required number of acceptances for ROPA applications. For example, Star 4 in Nature plus Star 4 in Photojournalism would give the required 288 acceptances for the PPSA distinction.

PSA, Star Ratings applications can be made at any time. When sufficient acceptances have been achieved the relevant ROPA application can be made online at any time. There is no mandated waiting period between achieving one distinction and the next. With sufficient acceptances you could, for example, achieve QPS, PPSA and EPSA in the same calendar year.

There are no special requirements on the number of exhibitions or countries in which acceptances must be obtained and there are no requirements for achieving awards.

There is no special requirement for prints in the PSA system unless you are applying for Stars or Galaxies in the Print Division.

In the PSA Star Ratings system there is no limit to how many acceptances can be claimed for each image. However, once Star 5 is achieved in a Division (Nature for example) the images that were used up to that point have to be retired and acceptances that are claimed for Galaxy ratings have to be from new images and the number of acceptances that can be claimed for each image is limited to three. Beyond the Galaxy system there are Diamond ratings that require new images that have each received three acceptances.

PSA Distinctions (ROPA)Number of Acceptances
QPSA (Qualified)*54 acceptances
PPSA (Proficency)288 acceptances
EPSA (Excellence)700 acceptances
MPSA (Master)1500 acceptances
MPSA (Master 2)2250 acceptances
GMPSA (Grand Master)3000 acceptances
GMPSA/b (GM Bronze)5000 acceptances
GMPSA/s (GM Silver)7000 acceptances
GMPSA/g (GM Gold)9000 acceptances
GMPSA/p (GM Platinum)11000 acceptances

More about PSA and PSA Distinctions can be found on the PSA Website. For more on PSA (click here) or more on PSA Distinctions (click here)

A few of Scotland's holders of PSA Distinctions Images are shown on this page.

PSA Guidance

During 2020 PSA developed Judges definition guidance notes for both Travel and Nature. For any SPF members who Judge these sections in Internationals, please see the below documents.

Entrants to PSA Internationals may also find this information useful in knowing what is eligible to be entered into these sections.

Whos Who

During the formation of PSA, a Who's Who in Photography listing was created - the only such list in the world. Each exhibitor had to enter a minimum of ten exhibitions each year to be included in the Who's Who list for that year. A favorable review of this program created the impetus to develop the Pictorial Division's Award of Merit, which evolved into the PSA Star Ratings program. The first actual publication of the Who's Who in Photography list was in the January 1942 issue of the PSA Journal.

How to Get Listed Exhibitors in each division and section who have met the minimum number of acceptances in PSA-recognized exhibitions the previous year are listed. The minimum number is 5% of the total possible acceptances in each section for that year. The minimum number and the exhibitions for that year are listed with each section. If the minimum number is four or less, the added requirement is acceptances in two or more judgings. Any section with 20 or less judgings must meet this requirement. To find out more (click here)