The Portland Photographic Society provides photographers with an opportunity to improve their skills and share their knowledge with others. Photographers of all levels share images at PPS meetings, explore with our field trips, and participate in our educational programs. We welcome visitors and new members. Read more about on the About Page or check the Frequently Asked Questions.
The Portland Photographic Society was founded in January 1940 in Portland, Oregon. The four founders were Towner H. Phillips, Louise Phillips, Joe Smith, and May V. Nordstrom. In 1939 and 1940, the four planned and formed a new, central Portland camera club, titled the Portland Photographic Society, as the primary Portland camera club at the time would not enroll women. The four founders felt that a co-ed camera club, open to all, could be formed and succeed. Read our History Page for more.
Become a Member
The Portland Photographic Society is a non-profit organization (formed as an Oregon Public Benefit Non-Profit Corporation) and all membership dues are used to pay for the costs of our events, such as renting meeting venues. PPS members do not draw a salary or stipend, and work entirely as volunteers. Although we meet in a church, we are not affiliated with any particular faith or religion, and are open to all.
If you’re ready to become a member, please click the “Buy Now” button below to make an online payment with credit card or bank transfer. You do not need a personal PayPal account to use this feature.
For payment instructions by postal mail or in person, please contact us.
Membership dues are only $35 per year, and are billed on the PPS activity calendar, which begins in September and ends in August. Alternatively, a less expensive “non-competing” membership option is available at $10 per year, but does not entitle the member to display their images at club meetings (our “Projected Image” or “Print” meetings). If you are interested in everything the PPS has to offer, or just want to help support the group, the full membership is the best choice.
Of course, please feel free to attend one of our meetings (excluding field trips) before becoming a member, so that you can see what we’re all about and if the PPS is right for you. If you have any questions about membership, or the PPS in general, please feel free to contact us.
Once you become a member, you will need to sign a liability waiver (digitally through DocuSign). This waiver is important as it protects all members, not just the organization itself. It can be previewed here.
- Projected image sharing, discussion, and competitions on the 1st Monday of the month
- Educational programs and movies on selected 2nd or 4th Mondays of the month
- Printed image sharing and discussion on the 3rd Monday of the month
- Field trips around the Northwest throughout the year
- Entry into regional and national competitions with other clubs
- Gallery space on the PPS web site to exhibit your work
- Access to the PPS email list (via Google Groups) where we announce the majority of our activities
- Make new friends and learn from experienced digital and film photographers
- Learn about new photographic locations in the Pacific Northwest
- Have fun and improve your picture-taking skills
- Teach and share your knowledge with others
- Membership dues are only $35.00 a year
The Portland Photographic Society holds image sharing and discussion for our members during Projected Image Night (on the first Monday of the month), with a focus on sharing photos, photo ideas, locations, constructive criticism, and knowledge.
For each month, a “theme” is provided in advance (see our calendar or our history), such as “Self Portraits” or “Autumn” or “Humorous”. These “theme” images are discussed in a separate round from “open” category images, which can be any type of image or subject matter. A third group of images is “comments” category where we discuss the image, but the judges don’t score them.
Images are scored by three judges, on a “1 to 9” scale, with 9 being the best (in practice, actual image scores fall in the 6 to 9 range). The number of points are totaled for each image (for example, 6+7+7=20) and the highest-scoring image (or, sometimes, tied images) are the winners. Judging is a subjective process, so an image may receive very different scores depending on the judges present at the time. Consequently, we try not to take judging and scoring too seriously.
Here is a PDF presentation that demonstrates how we judge images at these meetings.
Images shown to the club during the year can be entered in our year-end “Image of the Year” competitions. You can see previous winning images here.
All types of film and digital cameras and photographic equipment are allowed and used by our members, including cell phones, point-and-shoot cameras, mirrorless and rangefinder cameras, digital and film SLRs, and medium-format and large-format cameras.
Projected images are displayed by a digital projector, similar to what you would find in a modern college classroom. Images are displayed at 1920 x 1080 pixels by an Epson 5025UB digital projector, on a high-quality 6’x9′ matte white projection screen. Discussion focuses on composition, lighting, intent, meaning, and the other aspects of photography. Projected images also provide an easy opportunity to receive feedback on your images and view them at a large scale, before committing to making a large print.
Print nights provide an opportunity to print out your photos in a variety of sizes and share them with other members. Depending on the size of the print, the print nights provide the opportunity to demonstrate technical mastery and printing skill — resolution, sharpness, exposure range, tonal gradation and tonal range, contrast, and other qualities that may not be perceptible in a projected image — in addition to the many other aspects of photography, such as composition, lighting, subject matter, and printing methods.
Images are viewed in five groups. (1) Monthly theme images, (2) Large color, (3) Large monochrome, (4) Small color, and (5) Small monochrome. For the monthly Theme, print night uses the same thematic category each month as projected image night, which are on the calendar.
Unlike projected image night, print night does not involve the traditional competition and scoring of images. Rather, we discuss the prints as a group in a less-formal setting, with comments from the maker and the members.
- President – Meei Lum
- Vice President – Victor Dallons
- Treasurer – Dean Zimet
- Secretary – Martin Giles
- Past President – Adam Calamar
- Electronic Image Chair – Robert Sleator
- Print Chair – Mike Burgess
- Membership Chair – Martin Giles
- Field Trip Chair – TBD
- 4Cs Representative – Nels Johnson
- 4Cs EID Selection – TBD
- Webmaster – Adam Calamar