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.
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 – Victor Dallons
- Vice President – Mike Voelker
- Treasurer – Dean Zimet
- Secretary – Debi Bradway
- Past President – Meei Lum
- Electronic Image Chair – Robert Sleator
- Print Chair – Mike Burgess
- Membership Chair – Debi Bradway
- Field Trip Chair – Nels Johnson
- 4Cs Representative – Open
- 4Cs EID Selection – Raychell Rohrwasser
- Webmaster – Adam Calamar