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The Coachella Exhibition is recognized by the Photographic Society of America (PSA2019-095) and is now in its 12th year.
Please read these Conditions of Entry carefully before entering!

Notice: Prior to starting an entry, an Entrant will be presented with a feature to affirm that he or she has read and agrees to abide by these Conditions of Entry. Failure to so affirm will mean that the Entrant will not be permitted to enter. 


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General Conditions

  1. Sponsor and Exhibition Organizers: The sponsor of this exhibition is the Coachella Valley Desert Camera Club. 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.
  2. Exhibition Process: This Exhibition will be conducted according to the recommended practices of the Photographic Society of America (PSA).
  3. Eligibility: With the exceptions noted in these Conditions of Entry, the Exhibition is open to anyone; however, an entry may be rejected when, in its reasonable discretion, the sponsoring organization of the Exhibition or its agent believes the entry does not conform to the exhibition rules and conditions.  Membership in any photographic organization is not required
  4. Sanctioned Entrants: 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. Entry/Sections: An Entry consists of up to and including four (4) images entered by a single Entrant into the same Section.
  7. 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
  8. 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. 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). All final work must be on photographic film, or on electronic file, or on photographic or electronic print material, mounting excepted. 
  9. Digital Image Format: Images must be submitted as digital images in JPEG format. The size must not exceed 1,400 pixels in width and 1,280 pixels in height. Images larger than this in either dimension will automatically be rejected along with an error message notifying the maker 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 (see below).
  10. Sequences: No sequences are allowed in any Section/Division.
  11. 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.
    Note: Entrants who indicate that their images may not be reproduced or used “will not be eligible for awards” or inclusion in audio-visuals of the exhibition. Furthermore the offending images could be subject to disqualification at the sole discretion of the Exhibition Sponsors
  12. Copyright: The Sponsor assumes no responsibility for any misuse of copyright by anyone.
  13. Image Check: All medal-winning images and randomly-selected other images will be checked for originality and copyright violation.
  14. Alteration and Computer Generation:  Subject to divisional restrictions (particularly Nature, Photo Travel, and Photojournalism), 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.
  15. Titles: Titles 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;  any other camera capture filenames); or words such as "untitled" or "no title". Titles may not consist solely of numbers.
  16. Unique Titles and 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:
    1. May not be entered or re-entered in any section of the same Division Star Ratings class in that exhibition regardless of media, format, or title.
    2. May not be re-titled for entry in any other PSA Recognized exhibition, including translation into another language.
  17. Title Requirements for Monochrome and Color Images: Images meeting the Monochrome Definition and non-manipulated color images from the same capture shall be considered the same image and must 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.
  18. Single Entry: An image may be entered in only one section where acceptances of that image in multiple sections would be eligible for the same star path. An image or an identical image -  or a monochrome version of an image -  can only be entered once in this Exhibition.
  19. Acceptance Range: This Exhibition sets as a target that 29% - 35% of all images entered into a given Section will be accepted.
  20. 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.
  21. 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 or when they have access to that Division/Section's images. Neither can any other person enter any Division/Section if they have access to the images prior to the judging.
  22. Projection: Images will be projected on computer monitors with resolution at least 1400W x 1280H pixels that can display the images without re-sizing. Laptops will not be used.
  23. Entry Forms: Digital entries must be entered using the online entry process found at https://www.coachella-ex/enter. CDs and email attachments are NOT permitted.
  24. Fees and Payment: The entry fees are US$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. Contact infoex@cvdcc.org for details.
  25. Exhibition and 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 images, and this will constitute one actual exhibition. A second exhibition will be held at a regular meeting of the Sponsor at a date to be announced.
  26. Medals & HM Certificates: Medals will be sent by first-class mail by the date specified in the Overview on the Home Page. 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.
  27. Data Protection: By entering this exhibition, an entrant explicitly consents to their personal data supplied, including email addresses, being held, processed and used by the Organizers for purposes associated with this Exhibition. The entrant also explicitly consents to such information being sent to organizations that have accorded official recognition, patronage, or accreditation to this Exhibition. The entrant further acknowledges and accepts that entering this Exhibition means that the status and results of their entries may be made public..
  28. Announcement List: The entrant also consents that  his or her email address may be used in a separate list ("List") for announcement of future PSA-recognized exhibitions sponsored by either this Sponsor or by the Southern California Council of Camera Clubs ("S4C") -  of which the Sponsor is a member - in accordance with the  S4C Exhibitions Privacy Policy. The entrant may opt out of the List after the Exhibition either by clicking here or by notifying s4cex-info@pcms-photo.org. 
  29. 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 Organizers' 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.

Notice: Prior to starting an entry, an Entrant will be presented with a feature to affirm that he or she has read and agrees to abide by these Conditions of Entry. Failure to so affirm will mean that the Entrant will not be permitted to enter. 

Divisions and Sections

Projected Image Division: Color Class

There are two sections, Color General (Open) and Color Theme. Please click here to enter or use the tab above.


NOTE: Sequences are not permitted by this Exhibition.




Color Images: Color images are 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.


See also Note 16 of General Conditions at left for special requirements for the same capture being entered into PID Color and PID Monochrome Classes.


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



 Any image eligible for entry into Section 1 DOMINATED by a BROAD landscape, cityscape or seascape. Views are not permitted that just depict a narrowly focussed section of a scape, such as a few trees or a single building.


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Projected Image Division: Monochrome Class

There are two sections, Monochrome General (Open) and Monochrome Theme.

Please click here to enter or use the tab above.


See Note 16 of General Conditions at left for special requirements on titling the same capture being entered into PID Monochrome and PID Color Classes.


NOTE: Sequences are not permitted by this Exhibition. 


Images must meet the requirements of 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 - subject to the General Conditions that apply to all images



Any monochrome image eligible for entry into Section 1 that is DOMINATED by one or more human beings identifiable as such. Whereas, for example, portraits are encouraged, images of just a faceless part of a human being(s) -  such as an arm or a leg-  are are not permitted.


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Nature Division

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

Please click here to enter or use the tab above.


NOTE: Sequences are not permitted by this Exhibition. 


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


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 due to jpeg artifacts borders of less than 5 pixels may appear incomplete in the smaller images used in the final Catalog.

Only Wildlife photographs may be entered in the Wildlife Section. Wildlife photos may also be entered in the General (Open) Section.



(Click here for further clarification) 


Nature Photography: 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.


In the judging of Nature Photography, the story telling value of a photograph will be weighed more than the pictorial quality while maintaining high technical quality.


In addition:

  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Scientific bands, scientific tags or radio collars on wild animals are permissible.

Clarification for Nature Open/General:

Images entered in Nature Open/General 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.



(Click here for further clarification) 

In addition to meeting the above definition of Nature Photography: 

  • Images entered in Nature Wildlife sections 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.

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There are two sections: Photojournalism General and Photojournalism Human Interest. 

 Please click here to enter or use the tab above.


NOTE: Sequences are not permitted by this Exhibition. 


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

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.


Requirements for Photojournalism images

(applies to both sections): 

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. All images must appear natural.



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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