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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 54th year!

Recognized by the Photographic Society of America (PSA 2020-5408) and Licensed by the Global Photographic Union (GPU: L200124-M1G))





 The Sponsor of this Exhibition is the Southern California Council of Camera Clubs (S4C).

The Exhibition Organizers refers to the  General Chair of the Exhibition, appointed by the Sponsor,

and others delegated by the General Chair to assist with the organization and operation of the Exhibition.


PSA refers to the Photographic Society of America.

GPU refers to the Global Photographic Union.


Please see the Home Page for information on the Exhibition Schedule, Medals and Awards, and Judges.


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. 

General Conditions


- What You Need to Know!

  1. Image Creation: Images entered into this Exhibition must originate as photographs (image captures of objects via light sensitivity) made by the entrant on photographic emulsion or acquired digitally.
  2. Subject Matter: The content of images must comply with these General Conditions and with the  Division and Section definitions listed on the right side of this page. Images that - in the sole opinion of the judges or the Exhibition Organizers - do not comply are likely to be disqualified (DQed) so the entrant may be aware of the problem when considering entry into other PSA-recognized exhibitions.
  3. Certification: By virtue of submitting an image, the entrant certifies the work as his or her own (aliases are not permitted). Images may not incorporate elements produced by anyone else (for example: clip art, images or art by others downloaded from the Internet, photos by NASA).
  4. 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 of names of files (as distinct from restrictions on titles of images - see below).
  5. Identical Images: Images are considered to be identical if they are the same image or a like "in camera" or a "reproduction" duplicate of that image regardless of media, format, or title.
  6. Double Entry in Same Exhibition: An image or an Identical Image -  or a monochrome version of an image -  can only be entered once in the same S4C Exhibition.
  7. Alteration and Computer Generation: Subject to Divisional restrictions (particularly Nature, Photo Travel, and Photojournalism - see right column), images may be altered, either electronically or otherwise, by the maker. 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. Re-Use of Accepted Images: Once an image has been accepted in a PSA-Recognized exhibition,  any Identical Image: 
    • may not in future be entered or 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 into any other PSA Recognized exhibition, including translation into another language.
  9. Sequences: Entries into the Nature or Photojournalism Divisions cannot consist of Sequences, that is, the compositing of several images into a single image, such as a series of images relating to a single event.
  10. Entry/Sections: An Entry consists of up to and including four (4) images entered by a single Entrant into the same Section. An entrant may only enter a single Entry into a Section (see Sections at right).


- Do's and Dont's!

  1. Unique Titles: Each image must have a unique title. That unique title must be used for entry of that image or of an Identical  Image (see Paragraph A5 above) into any and all PSA-Recognized exhibitions.
  2. TitlesTitles will not be read at judging. Titles must be 35 characters or fewer. 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.
  3. Monochrome and Color Image Titles: Color and Monochrome images from the same capture that share substantial pictorial content in common shall be considered the same image and be given the same title.
    However, PSA members working on Galaxy and Diamond Star Ratings shall be allowed to continue using different titles of monochrome versions and color versions of the same capture that have already been accepted until the required number of acceptances for those titles has been completed.


- Thank You for Entering Our Exhibition!

  1. Fees and Payment: The entry fees are: 

    US$15 (Exhibition Fee) plus  US$6 per Section.

  2. 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.
  3. Due Date: Fees must be paid on or before the Closing Date of the Exhibition.Any entry without the appropriate fee having been paid will NOT be judged. 
  4. Discounts: Subject to certain conditions, discounts are available for combined entries of 10 or more entrants with a single payment. Contact s4cex-info@pcms-photo.org for details.


- Anyone Can Enter (almost)!

  1. Eligibility: With exception noted in the following paragraph, this exhibition is open to anyone; however, an entry may be rejected when the Sponsor or the Exhibition Organizers, in their reasonable discretion, believes the entry does not conform to exhibition rules and these Conditions of Entry (see last section below of these General Conditions for more detail). Membership in any photographic organization is not required.
  2. Sanctions: Entries will not be accepted from any entrant who is currently sanctioned by PSA. Entrance fees for such entrants are NOT refundable.
  3. 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.


- How We Run the Exhibition!

  1. Exhibition Process: This Exhibition will be conducted according to the recommended practices of PSA.
  2. Image Preview: Every image entered is previewed by experienced members of our team. If they spot an image that does not comply with these Conditions of Entry, the entrant is given the opportunity to replace their image before it reaches the judging stage.
  3. Remote Judging: This exhibition is judged remotely over the Internet. First, judges independently score each image from wherever they are located; judges have the time to consider and re-consider their scores over several days. Second, judges collaborate via videoconference to select Medals and HMs. Images are always presented full size to each judge.
  4. Entry Presentation: An entrant's images will not be presented consecutively to the judges. The four or fewer images in a Section will be distributed throughout four rounds of judging in that Section. Distribution of images shall be in the same round order as submitted by the entrant. However (see previous paragraph) a judge may jump around the sequence as they reconsider their scores.
  5. Acceptance Range: This Exhibition sets as a target that 29% - 35% of all images entered into a given Section will be accepted.
  6. Projection: Images will be projected to the judges on computer monitors with resolution at least 1400W x 1280H pixels that can display the images in their native resolution without re-sizing.
  7. Exhibition Catalog: The catalog of the Exhibition will only be in the form of a PDF downloadable from the Exhibition website with links to all the accepted images, and this will constitute one actual exhibition. A second exhibition is  expected to be held at a regular meeting of the Sponsor on November 14th, 2020, contingent upon the COVID-19 virus situation at the time.
  8. Medals: Medals will be sent by first-class mail by the date specified in the Overview. At most 2 attempts will be made to deliver the medal at Exhibition expense in the event of failed deliveries.
  9. Honorable Mention (HM) Certificates: HM awards 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.
  10. Judge Recusal: Image scores by judges who are close relatives or partners of the entrant will not be counted in the total score of that image. An average of the other two judges’ scores will be used. Such images are also not eligible for medals or honorable mentions, although they may be accepted into the Exhibition. Judges may not enter any Division/Section that they are judging


- What You Are Agreeing To!

  1. Posting: By virtue of submitting an entry, the entrant 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. Entrants who indicate that their images may not be reproduced or used will not be eligible for awards and they and the offending images will not be eligible for inclusion in the audio-visuals of the Exhibition. Furthermore the offending images could be subject to disqualification at the sole discretion of the Exhibition Sponsors.
  2. Copyright: The Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any misuse of copyright by anyone.
  3. Image Disqualification: Images may be disqualified (DQed) from competition and not scored or accepted if the Exhibition Organizers or the Exhibition Judges decide that the image does not conform to these Conditions of Entry. In such cases no refund of fees will be made to the entrant. The Exhibition Organizers make reasonable efforts to review entered images for conformance to these Conditions of Entry and may give the Entrant the opportunity to submit replacement images if the Exhibition Organizers believe that the original submission should be disqualified. Such opportunity for resubmission may only be offered if the image is submitted in ample time before the Closing Date of the Exhibition.
  4. 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 by the PSA Council of which the sponsor is a member (the Southern California Council of Camera 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 posting of the Catalog.
  5. Data Protection and Email Addresses:  By entering this exhibition, you, the entrant,  are explicitly consenting to the personal details you have supplied, including email addresses, being held, processed and used by the exhibition organizers for purposes associated with this exhibition. You also explicitly consent to such information being sent to organizations that have accorded official recognition, patronage or accreditation to this exhibition. You acknowledge and accept that entering this exhibition means that the status and results of your entry may be made public.
  6. Third Party Submission: If another party is submitting images on the entrant's behalf, the entrant will still be held responsible  for adhering to these Conditions of Entry  and will be subject to sanction for any violations to these Conditions of Entry and PSA’s Statement of Ethics that may result.
  7. Breach of Conditions of Entry: If at any time it is determined in the reasonable discretion of the organizers of this Exhibition or the judges before, during, or after the judging of this Exhibition  that an entrant has submitted entries where one or more images fail to comply with these Conditions of Entry, including the stated definitions, the Exhibition organizers  reserve the right  to delete the entry from the Exhibition and void any or all acceptances or awards. Fees may be forfeited or refunded in these circumstances at the sole discretion of the Exhibition organizer. The entrant acknowledges that the decision of the Exhibition organizers or the judges is final.

    To ensure that images comply with these Conditions of Entry and definitions contained herein, the Exhibition may carry out reasonable measures to verify that (a) the images are the original work of the entrant; and (b) the images comply with the rules and definitions as set out in these Conditions of Entry.

    These measures include, but are not limited to, questioning any entrant, requiring the submission of RAW files or other digital files   representing the the original capture of the submitted image(s), confronting the entrant with evidence that one or more submitted images fail to comply with these Conditions of Entry, and offering the entrant a reasonable opportunity to provide counter evidence to refute the Exhibition organizer's evidence by a set deadline.

    Such entries that are not cleared or are still questionable after the entrant has provided evidence may be referred to PSA for further investigation of possible ethics violations.
    PSA retains the right to investigate in any way all complaints/suspicions of breaches of conditions of entry, impose sanctions if deemed necessary, void the acceptances of any image found to violate PSA rules, include the entrant's name on the list of sanctions provided to exhibitions, and share such investigations with the International Federation of Photographic Arts (FIAP).

    Entrants to this Exhibition automatically agree to all the foregoing terms by the act of entering the Exhibition and agree to cooperate with any investigation.

Division/Section Conditions


Link Directly To:

Projected Image Division: Color Class

There are two sections, Color General and Color Theme (Creative).



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

There are no other restrictions on content.


Section 2.: Theme (Creative)

The image must be eligible for this Division (see Important Note above) and consist of altered reality that is apparent to the viewer. Good creative images surprise the viewer with their originality of expression, their uniqueness, and their imaginative content. The appropriateness of the technique selected to create altered reality is considered in the judging.


Projected Image Division: Monochrome Class

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


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

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 strongly 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 and Wildlife. 


NOTE: There is one hard and fast rule, whose spirit must be observed at all times. The welfare of the subject is more important than the photograph. This means that practices such as baiting of subjects with a living creature and removal of birds from nests, for the purpose of obtaining a photograph, are highly unethical, and such photographs are not allowed in Nature competitions. Judges are warned not to reward them.


SINGLE WHITE OR GREY BORDERS OF 3 , 4, or 5 PIXELS IN WIDTH ARE PERMITTED. LARGER, SMALLER, BLACK, 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 artifacts.


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 images must appear natural.
  • Color images may be converted to greyscale monochrome.
  • Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed. 

(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).


Section 1: General

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 and Photojournalism Human Interest. 


SINGLE WHITE OR GREY BORDERS OF 3 , 4, or 5 PIXELS IN WIDTH ARE PERMITTED. LARGER, SMALLER, BLACK, 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 artifacts.


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.


Section 1: General

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 

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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. 


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