Ian Ledgard - Stars & Galaxies

Ian Ledgard - Stars & Galaxies

15 November 2018

With Christmas fast approaching Sue had been investigating venues for our Christmas party. As we were unable to have a session of Indoor Bowls an alternative suggestion was to go 10 Pin Bowling. They do a Christmas special for £20 which includes not only 1 hour bowling but a 2 course meal including a drink. A minimum of 20 people per party is required. The planned date is the 20 December - Sue will need to know as soon as possible if we have enough people interested (partners of club members welcome). Please contact Sue by phone, email or Facebook to let her know if you are interested.

This week our speaker was Ian Ledgard, member of Towy Valley Camera Club and an international exhibitor, whose talk would take us through the process of entering international competitions, in particular the Photographic Society of America (PSA).

Ian’s first go at entering an international competition was in 2005 when Swansea Camera Club held their first international competition and he was successful in getting a number of images accepted. He discovered that an easy way to get some photographic honours was through the PSA. There are currently 6000 members of the PSA, from 80 countries, with 15 members from Wales. For this membership you get a monthly journal, online photo galleries, image evaluation, study groups, courses, competition and an annual conference in the US.

Members of the PSA apply for recognition through a system of Stars, Galaxies and Diamonds and you do this having images accepted in salons, of which the PSA recognised 400 in 2018. There are several sections in different divisions in both digital and print - these include colour, monochrome, nature, travel, photo journalism, stereo photography, colour and mono prints. Membership of PSA currently starts from $45 for a digital membership, $100 for the printed option.

You have to be prepared to submit a large number of images to work your way up through the awards. To get 1 star you need 6 images with 18 acceptances and then you work your way up to the maximum 5 stars which requires 288 acceptances of 48 images in 1 or more divisions. You can then carry on up through the system with Proficiency, Excellence (Ian was awarded Excellence in 2011) this takes 700 acceptances, Grand Master (Ian awarded this in 2018 which required 3000 acceptances). To get Galaxies you need 25 sets of new images with 3 acceptances to get your first one and for Diamonds you need 50 new titles with 6 acceptances. The full list of Acceptance Requirements are on the PSA Website - https://psa-photo.org.

Ian ran us through the application process which is all done online, some competitions have a theme or are open and whilst you can enter as many sections as you want, you can only enter up to 4 in each round. Any images that don’t follow the published rules are immediately disqualified. Typical fees are £10 per section.

Every salon produces a catalogue of images selected, these can be printed or digital catalogues. Ian had a number of these on display. Competitors are given awards, which run from Best of Show, PSA Gold, medals (gold, silver, bronze), ribbons etc. Ian had a selection of his awards for us to see.

Ian has recently been appointed PSA Membership Director for Wales which will enable him to assist existing and prospective members, 4 new members in Wales have recently gained their first awards.

Finally Ian showed us a selection of his images that had been selected for salons, covering a wide range of divisions including photo travel, nature, colour, portrait, photo journalism, city life and street photography.

Next week is the 2nd round PDI competition.

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