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CONDITIONS OF ENTRY - Coachella 2018

The Coachella Exhibition is recognized by the Photographic Society of America (PSA 2018-068)

and is now in its 11th year.
Please read these Conditions of Entry carefully before entering!

General Conditions

  1. Sponsor: The sponsor of this exhibition is the Coachella Valley Desert Camera Club.
  2. Exhibition Process: This Exhibition will be conducted according to the recommended practices of the Photographic Society of America (PSA).
  3. Eligibility: With exceptions noted in these Conditions of Entry, 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 these Conditions of Entry (see 25 below for more detail). 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 virtues of submitting an entry, the entrant certifies the work as their own. Entries may not incorporate elements produced by anyone else*. ALL MEDAL-WINNING IMAGES AND RANDOMLY SELECTED OTHER 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. Image Definition: The term "IMAGE" is used below to mean a projected image.
  8. 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.
  9. Entry/Sections: 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/prints in a Section will be distributed throughout four rounds of judging. 
  10. Acceptance Range: This Exhibition sets as a target that 29% - 35% of all images entered into a given Section will be accepted.
  11. Same or Similar Images: An image can only be entered once in the same Coachella Exhibition. For this purpose, images that are substantially similar are considered to be the same image. Entrants are advised to enter a variety of images into each Division.
  12. 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
  13. 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 infoex@cvdcc.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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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. The same is true for Print Color and Print Monochrome.
    • 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. The same is true for Print Color and Print Monochrome.
  16. 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 (or any other camera capture filenames), or words such as "untitled" or "no title". Titles may not consist solely of numbers.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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).
  20. Projection: Images will be projected on computer monitors with resolution at least 1400W x 1280H pixels that can display the images without re-sizing. See "Digital Image Format" above, however, for restrictions on image size.
  21. Entry Forms: Digital entries must be entered using the online entry process found at http://www.coachella-ex.org/enter. CDs and email attachments are NOT permitted. 
  22. 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 infoex@cvdcc.org for details.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. Breach of Conditions of Entry: If the organizers of this Exhibition determine before, during, or after the judging 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 reserves the right and discretion to delete the entry from the Exhibition and void any or all acceptances or awards. Fees may be forfeited in these circumstances.

    To ensure that images comply with the Conditions of Entry and definitions, the Exhibition may carry out checks of images to determine 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.

    This may involve asking the entrant to provide originally captured image(s), with EXIF data intact, by a set deadline. The questioned image(s) of any entrant failing to comply with such a request may be considered a breach of these Conditions of Entry, and declined.

    Such entries 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 entry conditions, impose sanctions if deemed necessary, void the acceptance of any image found to violate the PSA rules, include the entrant's name on the list of sanctions provided to exhibitions, and share the investigations with FIAP. Entrants automatically agree to these terms by the act of entering the Exhibition.


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.



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. The content is unrestricted - subject to the General Conditions that apply to all images.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Monochrome images that are eligible for entry into PID Monochrome (see below) may NOT be entered into this Color Division.



 Any image eligible for entry into Section 1 DOMINATED by a FLOWER or by a group of  FLOWERS. The flower or flowers should be the most obvious feature in the image. Synthetic flowers are not allowed.


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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.



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, INCLUDING  the border, if any.  


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.


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 ANIMALS. The animal or animals must occupy most of the image.


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Nature Division

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

Please click here to enter or use the tab above.


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


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.



(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.

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

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 (Open) and Photojournalism Human Interest. 


Please click here to enter or use the tab above.


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 Interestimages. 


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