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Welcome to the Southern California Council of Camera Clubs (S4C) Exhibition Website

Home of the S4C International Exhibition of Photography - now in its 52nd year!

Recognized by the Photographic Society of America (PSA 2017-235) and Licensed by the Global Photographic Union (GPU L170083-M1G)

General Conditions

  1. Sponsor: The Sponsor of this exhibition is the Southern California Council of Camera Clubs (S4C).
  2. Exhibition Process: This Exhibition will be conducted according to the recommended practices of the Photographic Society of America (PSA).
  3. Eligibility: This Exhibition is open to anyone; however, an entry may be rejected when the Sponsor or its agent, in its reasonable discretion, believes the entry does not conform to exhibition rules and conditions. Membership in any photographic organization is not required.
  4. Sanctions: Entries will not be accepted from any entrant who is currently sanctioned by PSA.
  5. Entrant: To receive proper Star ratings credit from PSA, entrants must provide their names and country exactly the same* in each exhibition. Aliases are not permitted.
    *Please contact PSA in the event of name changes or relocating to another country.
  6. Image Creation:Entries must originate as photographs (image captures of objects via light sensitivity) made by the entrant on photographic emulsion or acquired digitally. By virtue of submitting an entry, the entrant certifies the work as his own (aliases are not permitted). Entries may not incorporate elements produced by anyone else*. ALL MEDAL-WINNING IMAGES AND RANDOMLY SELECTED OTHER ACCEPTED IMAGES WILL BE CHECKED FOR ORIGINALITY AND COPYRIGHT VIOLATION!
    *For example: clip art, images or art by others downloaded from the Internet, photos by NASA.
  7. Alteration and Computer Generation: Subject to divisional restrictions (i.e., Nature, Photo Travel, Photojournalism), images may be altered, either electronically or otherwise, by the maker, and artwork or computer graphics created by the entrant may be incorporated, if the photographic content predominates in a way that is obvious to the viewer. Images may not be constructed entirely with a computer.
  8. Entry/Sections/Rounds: An Entry consists of up to and including four (4) images per Section entered by a single Entrant into the same Section. The four or fewer images in a Section will be distributed throughout four rounds of judging. 
  9. Same or Similar Images: An image can only be entered once in the same S4C Exhibition. For this purpose, images that are substantially similar are considered to be the same image. CAUTION: images that are of the same subject entered into a Division - even if not the same or substantially similar images - run the risk of lower scores from the judges: entrants are urged to enter a variety of images into each Division.
  10. Certification/Posting: By virtue of submitting an entry, the entrant certifies the work in an image as their own and permits the Sponsor to reproduce all or part of the entered material free of charge for display and/or publication in media related to the exhibition. This may include low resolution posting on a website. An image will be disqualified if it is accompanied - in the metadata or elsewhere - by a statement that prohibits the Sponsor's right to reproduce the image as defined in the previous two sentences. The Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any misuse of copyright by anyone
  11. Email List: By virtue of submitting an entry, the Entrant accepts that his/her email address will be used for communicating information about this Exhibition; may be used for announcements of future PSA-recognized exhibitions sponsored by either the Sponsor or any of its member clubs; and may be used by PSA as indicated in the next paragraph. The Entrant may opt out of this email list after the Exhibition by notifying s4cex-info@pcms-photo.org. ALERT: opting out before the Exhibition catalogs are posted can result in the Entrant not receiving important Exhibition status information such as scorecards and the the posting of the Catalog.
  12. Use of Emails by PSA: The emails of entrants whose images are accepted into this Exhibition will also be forwarded to PSA. PSA affirms that "Entrant emails will only be used to help correct ways the same entrant’s name is listed by different Exhibitions. Entrant emails will not be published, made available to the public, nor used in any promotions". The Sponsor of this Exhibition supports PSA's objectives in this regard but can take no responsibility for PSA's actions.
  13. Re-Entry: Each image must have a unique title. Once an image has been accepted in a PSA Recognized exhibition, that same image, or a like "in camera” or a “reproduction” duplicate of that image:
    • May not be re-entered in any section of the same Division Star Ratings class in that exhibition regardless of media, format, or title.
    • May not be re-titled for entry in any other PSA Recognized exhibition, whether in the original language or in any other language.
    • May, but only in a different year, be entered into PID Monochrome if it is a monochrome version of an image previously accepted into PID Color. 
    • May, but only in a different year, be entered into PID Color if it is a monochrome version of an image previously accepted into PID Monochrome. 
  14. Titles: Titles will not be read at judging. Titles must be 35 characters or fewer, and only use english (Roman) characters. No titles may be visible to the judges, and nothing in the image may identify the maker. Titles may not include file extensions such as .jpg or .jpeg (or any other camera capture filenames), or words such as "untitled" or "no title". Titles may not consist solely of numbers.
  15. Judge Recusal: The image score by a judge who is a close relative or partner of an entrant will not be counted in the total score for that entrant's image. An average of the other two judges’ scores will be used. The image is also not eligible for medals or honorable mentions, although it may be accepted into the exhibition. Judges may not enter any Division/Section that they are judging.
  16. Chair Entry: The chair of a Division or of the Exhibition may not enter any Division/Section in the Exhibition for which they are responsible. Neither can any other person enter any Division/Section if they access to the images prior to the judging.
  17. Digital Image Format: Digital images must be in JPEG format and not exceed 1,400 pixels in width and 1,280 pixels in height. Images larger than the permitted size will automatically be rejected along with a request to resubmit a correctly sized image. There are no restrictions of filesize or on names of files (as distinct from restrictions on titles of images).
  18. Projection: Images will be projected on computer monitors with resolution at least 1400W x 1280H. See "Digital Image Format" above, however, for restrictions on image size.
  19. Entry Forms: Digital entries must be entered using the online entry process found at https://www.s4c-ex.org/enter. CDs and email attachments are NOT permitted. 
  20. Fees and Payment: The entry fees are $9 per Section for all sections.
    All fees must either be paid via PayPal or by Credit Card using the Sponsor's online payment system. Cash or checks are NOT accepted. Any entry without the appropriate fee will not be judged or forwarded to another exhibition.
    Subject to certain conditions, discounts are available for combined entries of 10 or more entrants with a single payment - email s4cex-info@pcms-photo.org for details.
  21. Prior Review: All images received in time before the judging will be reviewed by the Exhibition organizers for compliance with these Conditions of Entry. Any image found not to be in compliance will be disqualified and not entered into judging; the entrant will be notified of the disqualification and invited - if there is time - to send a substitute image.
  22. Catalog: The catalog of the Exhibition will only be in the form of a PDF downloadable from the Exhibition website.
  23. Medals & HM Certificates: Medals will be sent by first-class mail by the date specified in the Overview. Honorable Mention awards, however, will be in the form of electronic certificates in PDF format distributed online by the same date, Entrants may choose to print these HM certificates locally or store them in electronic format for later viewing.

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Divisions and Sections

Projected Image Division: Color Class

There are two sections, Color General (Open) and Color Theme (Human or Animal Portrait).


Please use the Entry Form at: https://www.s4c-ex/enter


Color images will be judged both for their technical and pictorial merit. The image should be properly exposed, be appropriately in focus, and have appropriate depth of field. The image should have strong composition, pleasing quality, and color impact. 


IMPORTANT NOTE: Images eligible for entry into PID Monochrome Class (see below) may NOT be entered into this Exhibition's PID Color Class. Spot color images with a greyscale background, however, may be entered.


Images must meet the requirements of the General Conditions at left.


Section 1: Color General (Open)

There are no other restrictions on content.


Section 2.: Theme (Human or Animal Portrait)

Human/Animal Portraits are further required to be close-ups or full body images of a SINGLE human or SINGLE animal that dominates the image. Portraits of domestic animals as well as any animal (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, and insects) in any setting that shows the colorful visual characteristics of the animal are eligible. Tasteful nudes are eligible.


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Projected Image Division: Monochrome Class

PROJECTED IMAGE DIVISION (PID): MONOCHROME CLASS There are two sections, Monochrome General (Open) and Monochrome Theme (Olden Times).


Please use the Entry Form at: https://www.s4c-ex/enter


Requirements for a Monochrome Image
(applies to both sections): 

Beyond meeting any requirements imposed by the General Conditions at left, an image is considered to be 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.


Borders, if any, must be colored the same as the overall image, that is, in shades of grey for a greyscale image; or toned in the same color as the rest of the image for a toned image. Pure black and pure white are acceptable shades of any color.


Monochrome images are judged both for their technical and pictorial merit. The image must be properly exposed, be in focus, and have appropriate depth of field. A monochrome image should have strong composition; pleasing quality; and texture, pattern, and/or tone impact. The content is unrestricted. 


Section 1: Monochrome General (Open)

Any Monochrome Image may be entered into this Section. The content is unrestricted.

Section 2: Monochrome Theme (Olden Times)

Olden Times images eligible for this Section must be Monochrome Images that convey the feeling of the past. Creative enhancements that add to this feeling/impression such as sepia tones, textures, and/or tattered edges are strongly encouraged. Historical buildings and shops, ghost towns, people in period clothing, old-time transportation, old equipment, antique tools and utensils are some suggested subjects.


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Nature Division

There are two sections: General (Open) and Wildlife. 


Please use the entry form at https://www.s4c-ex/enter


Requirements for Nature Photography

(applies to both sections): 

Beyond meeting any requirements imposed by the General Conditions at left, an image eligible for 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. Furtheremore:

  • The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality.
  • Human-made 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, that are acting on the human-made element.
  • 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 to the viewer.
  • Color images may be converted to greyscale monochrome.
  • Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed. 
  • Sequences are not permitted.

(Click here for further clarification) 


Only Wildlife photographs may be entered in the Wildlife Section. Photos elible for the Wildlife Section may also be entered in the General (Open) Section (subject to the Re-Entry rules in General Conditions above).


WHITE OR GREY BORDERS OF 3 , 4, or 5 PIXELS IN WIDTH ARE PERMITTED. LARGER, SMALLER OR COLOR BORDERS ARE NOT PERMITTED. Entrants are, however, advised that borders of less than 5 pixels may appear incomplete in the smaller images used in the final Catalog due to jpeg artefacts.


Section 1: General (Open)

Images entered into this Section may be any image that meets the above requirements for Nature Photography.


Images entered in Nature Open/General meeting these requirements can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant (that is, still in existence) organisms as the primary subject matter. This includes images taken with the subjects in controlled conditions, such as zoos, game farms, botanical gardens, aquariums and any enclosure where the subjects are totally dependent on man for food. 


Section 2: Wildlife 

Images entered into this Section must meet the above requirements for Nature Photography. In addition:


Images entered in Nature Wildlife are further defined as one or more extant (that is, still in existence) zoological or botanical organisms free and unrestrained in a natural or adopted habitat.


Landscapes, geologic formations, photographs of zoo or game farm animals, or of any extant zoological or botanical species taken under controlled conditions are NOT eligible in Nature Wildlife sections.


Nature Wildlife is not limited to animals, birds and insects. Marine subjects and botanical subjects (including fungi and algae) taken in the wild are suitable wildlife subjects, as are carcasses of extant species. 


(Click here for further clarification)


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There are two sections: Photojournalism General (Open) and Photojournalism Human Interest. 


Please use the entry form at https://www.s4c-ex/enter


Requirements for Photojournalism images

(applies to both sections): 

Beyond any requirements imposed by the General Conditions at left, photojournalism images shall consist of images with informative content and emotional impact, reflecting the human presence in our world. The journalistic (story-telling) value of the image shall receive priority over pictorial quality. In the interest of credibility, images that misrepresent the truth, such as those from events or activities specifically arranged for photography or of subjects directed or hired for photography, are not eligible.


Techniques that add, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, are not permitted. The only allowable modifications are removal of dust, scratches or digital noise, restoration of the existing appearance of the original scene, sharpening that is not obvious, and conversion to greyscale monochrome. Derivations, including infrared, are not eligible.


WHITE OR GREY BORDERS OF 3 , 4, or 5 PIXELS IN WIDTH ARE PERMITTED. LARGER, SMALLER OR COLOR BORDERS ARE NOT PERMITTED. Entrants are, however, advised that borders of less than 5 pixels may appear incomplete in the smaller images used in the final Catalog due to jpeg artefacts.


All parts of a sequence should be combined into a single JPEG image so that they will be projected simultaneously. Each sequence thus counts as one image in a Section. 


Section 1: General (Open)

Any Photojournalism image. The content is otherwise unrestricted.


Section 2: Theme (Human Interest)

Human Interest images are Photojournalism images limited to those that depict a person or persons in an interactive, emotional or unusual situation, EXCLUDING RECREATIONAL OR ORGANIZED SPORTS ACTION.


Please download the PDF of the PSA Guidelines for Human Interest images. 


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