Subject Definitions

Subject Definitions

Open
An ‘OPEN Competition’ has no defined theme or subject (unless stated otherwise).
There is no restriction on digital manipulation or enhancement.
However, straight photos of someone else’s artwork, sculpture etc are not acceptable.
Try to incorporate something distinctive to yourself (added subject matter, viewpoint etc) which would make your photo unique and noteworthy.

Architecture
Architecture can be a building or structure of any type, old or modern, exterior or interior. Any part including windows, doors, roofs, stairways, steeples, towers, domes, etc.

PSA definition of Creative
The PSA definition of Creative is “Altered Reality.” 
The image may be of any subject matter and must obviously display a change in natural colour, form, shape or any combination of these three.
All images must be original and may not incorporate elements produced by anyone else.
Artwork or computer graphics generated by the entrant may be incorporated if the original photographic content predominates.
Images may not be constructed entirely within a computer.
High Dynamic Range (HDR) images without further changes are not considered “Altered Reality.”

PSA Photojournalism
Photojournalism entries 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.
There may be specific sub-sections within PJ:
General:   includes man-made or natural disasters.
Sports Action: of actual events, not set ups.
Human interest images: depict a person or persons in an interactive, emotional or unusual situation, excluding recreational or sports action.       

PSA Photo Travel
A Photo Travel image expresses the characteristic features or culture of a land as they are found naturally. There are no geographic limitations.
Images from events or activities arranged specifically for photography, or of subjects directed or hired for photography are not appropriate.
Close up pictures of people or objects must include features that provide information about the environment.
Techniques that add, relocate, replace or remove any element of the original image, except by cropping, are not permitted.
The only allowable adjustments are removal of dust or digital noise, restoration of the appearance of the original scene, and complete conversion to greyscale monochrome.
Other derivations, including infrared, are not permitted.
All allowed adjustments must appear natural.
Close up people images, where there is little environment visible (surroundings, perhaps characteristic clothing) to “provide information about the environment”, are likely to score poorly.
Images which appear unnatural, perhaps by excess processing, are likely to score poorly.

PSA Nature
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. The story telling value of a photograph must be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality. Human 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. 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. Color images can be converted to grey-scale monochrome. Infrared images, either direct-captures or derivations, are not allowed.
Images used in Nature Photography competitions may be divided in two classes: Nature and Wildlife. Images entered in Nature sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above can have landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant 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.
Images entered in Wildlife sections meeting the Nature Photography Definition above are further defined as one or more extant 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 Wildlife sections.  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. Wildlife images may be entered in Nature sections of Exhibitions.
PSA Nature definition – Kerry
Here is a simplified version of the accepted APS and PSA and FIAP nature definition.
FIAP has another definition for wildlife.
1.  Animals or birds maybe Zoo or game farm creatures.
That is, birds or animals where they are dependent on man for food.
2. So long as you cannot see enclosures, they are accepted.  (A kookaburra sitting on a railing, even though it is wild, and perched there, is not accepted)
3.  Farm animals or domesticated animals are NOT acceptable.
4. Wild plants and fungi are accepted. Any cultivated plants are not.
5. Landscapes are accepted, so long as you cannot see any man-made structures, or footprints in sand, or tree branches which show a cut surface (hand of man)
Landscapes must be taken with only one exposure. Blended exposures are not accepted. However in photoshop darks may be lightened, and highlights darkened.
But you cannot take one exposure for the sunrise or sunset, another for the land and blend them together, although this is what you may have seen.
There is no rule that says you cannot use a long exposure to blur water, as of course you need to use a long exposure at sunrise and sunset, due to low light levels.
6. Photoshop:
Removal of dust and scratches is allowed.
Cloning is NOT allowed.
Changing any content in the image is NOT allowed.
Allowed:  curves, levels, cropping, selective sharpening, brightening certain colours, dodging and burning.
All changes must appear natural. This does not extend to vignettes.
HDR and focus stacking (for fungi or flowers) is allowed.
Stitched images are NOT allowed.
Infra-Red is NOT allowed.
Colour images maybe converted to mono.
7. Story telling is more important than pictorial content, although technical ability is preferred.    Preferably, the animal(s) should be doing something characteristic, or interacting.

Landscape
Landscape photography attempts to capture a moment in nature and reveal something special and spectacular about it. It’s pretty clear that “landscape” is generally used to refer to open land, outside the city, with little (often no) evidence of human habitation. Common subjects for landscapes include mountains and valleys, fields, lakes, rivers, waterfalls and coastlines, deserts etc.
Seascape
Seascape photography is a branch of landscape photography where the sea is part of the main subject of the image.

People
Photography of subjects acting naturally or spontaneously without being posed. People photography is more about taking shots of people within their environment. Find a good location where you can photograph people doing all sorts of things. Capturing a moment of their daily life can provide you with some interesting pictures. Try finding a busy location with a lot of people, such as a crowded subway station or a busy market, where they won’t notice your presence. You will find yourself in the middle of a multitude of photo opportunities with different people in each shot. You can either make them aware of the fact that you are taking photos of them or not, but usually people who don’t know they are being photographed will seem more natural in the image.

 Portrait
A ‘Portrait’ is defined as any image which has the intent of displaying a likeness, personality, mood, emotions or lifestyle of a person or small group of people, in such a way that the person or people may be readily identified from the image. The focus of the images ought to be on the subjects face, although the whole form may be included, the face and facial expression should be the most important parts of the image. Both studio and environmental portraits, formal or informal, are acceptable; with the image being presented in either ‘Landscape’ or ‘Portrait’ format. The person or people must be the main subject matter within the image. The subject must be human – sorry animal shots will not be accepted.

Sports photography
is one of the most exciting and challenging types of photography. Capturing the action at its peak is your ultimate goal. In sports anything in the scene will be moving. Decide how you would like to capture that movement. Straight shots, no manipulation. Cropping for size only.
Fast shutter speed; to freeze the action. (so it looks still) or a Slow shutter speed; to let the movement blur giving the feeling of speed or excitement. Panning; moving your camera along in time with the moving subject so they come out nicely in focus/sharp but the background blurs. This gives a feeling of movement and speed. Sports photography isn’t just about capturing star athletes at the top of their game — some of the greatest shots focus on the reaction after a win, fans and athletes coming together, or the crowning of a champion on the Olympic podium. Others highlight an athlete’s physique.

Street Photography
Street photography is a non-formalised genre of photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions and other associated settings. Images can often be ironic or emotionally detached from subject matter, focusing instead on a particular context or detail. Framing and timing are key aspects of the craft, with the aim of creating images at a decisive or poignant moment.