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HomeImage Competition: PPA Photo Competitions
PPA Photographic District and International Competitions

PPA hosts two annual photographic competitions the District Competition and the International Photo Competition (IPC), where your images are judged at the highest level and can gain national and international recognition by being considered for the PPA Loan Collection - the best image submissions for the year. 

District competitions are based on regional areas
PPSCV is part of the Western District, including US states from California to Alaska, and the western parts of Canada.

The PPA District Photographic Competition
Up to four images can be entered in the annual District Competition, which is judged in June.  
Images receive a non-numeric merit/non-merit judgment from votes by the panel of 5 judges.
The competition can be live streamed online from the PPA website. You should receive an email one hour before each image is judged, (thought this does not always work) so you can watch your image being judged and can hear if the judges discuss your image and highlight the things they liked or did not like, to justify their vote.
In addition, the judge's votes are recorded against your entries in your MyPPA account, so you can see how many judges voted for merit/non-merit.

Note: for those working on their PPA Degrees, this merit is recorded as a "Seal" at the district level.
The image must be entered in the IPC for the seal to be converted into a merit.
For a borderline merit image at the district level (e.g. a close vote of 2:3 for and against), the image can be be re-processed and uploaded for re-judging at IPC. Or, a new image can be substituted as one of the four IPC entries.

Note: it is not necessary to enter district competitions to get a merit. Images can be entered directly into the IPC, but it does give a valuable opportunity to see how the images get judged. Images that get a seal are safe, images that are borderline can be re-processed, and images that are judged poorly and not likely to get a merit at IPC can be replaced with different images that may be judged merit-worthy.

This is why PPSCV Image Competition is an ideal opportunity to have qualified, experienced judges critique the quality your work and give feedback before you submit images to the PPA competitions.

Note: 2020 competition dates have been revised due to COVID-19
Registration has been extended and the competitions are pushed back.

2020 District Competition Registration:
District competition has been cancelled

Click here to register for PPA competitions.

The PPA International Photographic Competition (IPC)
Up to four images can be entered in the annual International Photographic Competition, which is judged in August (see below for IPC changes in 2020).
The IPC is also live streamed, so you can watch and hear the judges at work discussing the latest entries from your peers.
Images receive a merit/non-merit judgment.

An image with an unbroken seal from the district level competition is not re-judged, the seal is automatically converted to a merit at the IPC.
IPC merit images and converted district seal images are then automatically considered for selection in the annual Loan Collection. (Loan/non-loan.)
The panel for loan images can be made up of 7 or more judges who select the best of the submitted work.
All loan images are then judged for the Grand Imaging Awards - the highest level awards.
Here are examples of the results from PPA District  and IPC competitions - you can see the sealed images become accepted as a general merit, and the not-sealed image is replaced for IPC.
PPA District results example

Here are downloadable examples of critiques for the above images.

[Critique Example 1, Critique Example 2, Critique Example 3. Critique Example 3)

Feeling Lucky? Spot an improvement to make? Break the seal
Merit images from the district level receive a seal, which guarantees a merit when re-entered in the IPC without being re-judged. However, if you think the image can be improved, the seal can be "broken", the district merit discarded, and the updated image uploaded and entered as a replacement image in the IPC. It will be judged again, by a different panel of judges, and runs the risk of not receiving a merit, but it may also improve chances to be added to the loan collection.
An image which receives a merit at IPC gets one merit point towards a PPA degree, but a loan collection image receives two merit points, so the gamble to update and re-enter may be worth it.

Straight from the horse's mouth - Image Critiques by a district or IPC judge
It is also possible when you enter the district competition or the IPC to pay for a critique, where for each of your image submissions a judge will record a 3-5 minute video describing their thought process on judging your image. Critiques can also be ordered for up to one week after the end of the competition* (see below for changes to critiques for 2020).

PPA IPC results example

Order and review the critiques from your MyPPA Events > My Photo Competitions page on your PPA account.
Note: for 2020, PPA Image Critiques are open to all members, not just competition participants, and at $10 each.

PPA is working to rebuild its one-of-a-kind judging system, which will allow the International Photographic Competition judging to take place remotely from October 18–23, 2020.

International Photographic Competition Registration:
Aug. 24-Sept. 28, 2020 by 5 pm ET

Late registration:
Sept. 29-Oct. 6, 2020 by 5 pm ET

Oct. 18-23, 2020

Check for the latest news on IPC here

Not a PPA member yet? Click here to join.