MPS logo

- 1 Salon Topic Definitions

- -

- -

October 5, 1992 - Light on Metal - Not necessarily reflections.

November 2, 1992 - A Different View - Everyday scenes or events as seen in non-normal ways.

December 7, 1992 - Rain, Mist or Fog - Self explanatory

January 4, 1993 - Hands - One or more hands as main subject.

February 1, 1993 - Still Life - Specifically set up to be photographed.

March 1, 1993 - Timepieces - Watches, clocks, etc.

April 5, 1993 - Ice or Snow - Self explanatory.

May 3, 1993 - People at Work - One or more people working.

June 7, 1993 - Best of the Best -

September 13, 1993 - Less is More -

October 4, 1993 - Shadows and /or Silhouettes -

November 1, 1993 - Flight -

December 6, 1993 - Food -

September 1, 2004 - In the Garden -

October 4, 2004 - Panorama -

November 1, 2004 - Rural Life -

December 6, 2004 - Motion -

January 3, 2005 - Texture -

February 7, 2005 - At Night -

March 7, 2005 - Out of Place -

April 4, 2005 - Around the House -

May 2, 2005 - Water -

June 6, 2005 - Best of the Best -

September 12, 2005 - Nature - Nature photography, as defined by the Photographic Society of America (PSA) rules, requires that there be no evidence of the hands of man. The line drawn by the PSA excludes man and/or manmade objects (road, path, telephone wires) with a few, narrow exceptions. Those narrow exceptions are for a wild animal (as a species) that has become so habituated to man's world as to become associated with it. The sterling example is the Barn Owl which is photographed inside a barn. Another exception is an animal tagged, and collared in the wild but which otherwise remains free. The following are not permitted: cultivated plants, domestic animals, mounted specimens, museum displays, or any kind of manipulative techniques which alter the truth of the photographic statement. Zoo animals are allowed as long as the enclosure is not visible and it all looks natural.

October 3, 2005 - Transportation - Any conveyance for moving people or material, or an associated place, site or activity, and personnel. Trains, planes, automobiles, horse-drawn carriages/sleds, dog sleds, people-powered peddle boats/bikes but also train station, airport, ferry boat dock are all appropriate.

November 7, 2005 - Action Sports - A competitive activity showing movement. Hunting, fishing, racing, foot/base/basket/ball, mountain climbing, bowling, badminton, curling on ice but not curling up on couch to watch someone else compete. Movement can be conveyed with panning to blur the background or motion can be frozen with a fast shutter speed.

December 5, 2005 - Painterly Effects - Picture should be shot in manner or manipulated after capture to give a final image that has the attributes and style of a painting, as exemplified, but not limited to; shapes in a painting are not sharply defined, colors may be simplified or exaggerated, lines and textures can simulate brush or stylus strokes. The artist's impressionistic interpretation of subject is encouraged.

January 9, 2006 - 'Scapes - Seascapes, landscapes, cityscapes, skyscapes, riverscapes. The big picture wide angle scenics are encouraged.

February 6, 2006 - Joiners - Multiple individual images (10 or more) joined into a somewhat coherent whole. Stitched panoramas, double/triple exposures, and mosaics are not allowed. The joiner may be constructed from individual prints glued together or put onto one print from multiple images through an image editing program. The idea is that the individual prints of the joiner are to show within the whole, i.e., not merged neatly as a stitched panoramic image. The artist's impressionistic interpretation of the assembled presentation is encouraged. Example will be posted to MPS website.

March 6, 2006 - Body Parts - Image must show only part of a living creature; animal/human/marsupial/etc. This excludes plants, cars, and typical head shot portraits although ultra close-up of an eyeball or other small part of a head would be appropriate.

April 3, 2006 - Silhouette - Main subject of image is single solid color outline, without any details inside, of an object or person against a strongly contrasting background. A subject in the dark with a light background resulting in a profile or shape definition.

May 1, 2006 - People Portraits - An image crafted to reveal the character of a person. I know you love your pet but this month we are restricting portraits to people.

June 5, 2006 - Best of the Best - Images which have been awarded Honorable Mention or higher in any of the current year's salons are eligible to compete in "Best of the Best," our year end competition. There is one class for monochrome and one for color.

September 11, 2006 - Humor - Usually something laughable, funny, ribald or sarcastic, but then could be a psychological feeling. "Humor is surprise without threat or promise." See if you can tickle the judge's funny bone and get the audience giggling.

October 2, 2006 - People at Work - Blacksmith, goldsmith, farmer, stockbroker, preacher, teacher; working hard or supervising, the image should tell what the people are and what they are doing.

November 6, 2006 - Dereliction - Abandonment or forsaken as in run-down old buldings, rusted cars or even homeless people; or challenge yourself and try to depict willful neglect of duty as a guard sleeping at his/her post.

December 4, 2006 - Coloring - By hand as in Marshal's oils or in digital program as Photoshop. Shart with a monochrome or desaturated image and add color to part or all of your image and maybe give it that good old-fashioned look. To enter in "Monochrome Topic" only add one color; if you add more than one color then image will need to go in "Color Topic."

January 8, 2007 - Weather - State of atmosphere at a given time and place. Judge should feel the wind and rain or fear the funnel cloud or lightening.

February 5, 2007 - Spiritual - Probably means something different for each of us; but generally something affecting the soul, relating to god/church/natural spirits or a religious folk song of African-American origin. Anything from a stained glass window to a church/mosque/temple or even a statue of Buddha would be in topic for this one.

March 5, 2007 - High Key - An image that is mainly made up of white and light tones, with relatively few mid-tones and little or no blacks. A photograph of a fair-skinned, blond-haired girl dressed in a white gown against a light background or window is a typical subject for a high-key picture.

April 2, 2007 - Triptych - Classically a tableau of three related images on hinged panels and for this salon the size restrictions are lifted and hinges are optional. Show us three views or thoughts on a subject, tell a story, or convey an emotion in three images on one matt board. You may enter up to two "Triptychs."

May 7, 2007 - Twin City Icon(s) - Subject of image should scream "TWIN CITIES"; State Capital, Humphrey Dome, IDS Tower, Stone Arch Bridge, Spoonbridge and Cherry, Hennepin Avenue Bridge, Como Conservatory would be good subjects.

June 4, 2007 - Best of the Best - Images which have been awarded Honorable Mention or higher in any of the current year's salons are eligible to compete in "Best of the Best," our year end competition. There is one class for monochrome and one for color.

September 10, 2007 - Botanical - Of, pertaining to, made from, or containing plants.

October 1, 2007 - Landscape - A section or expanse of urban or rural scenery, usually extensive, that can be seen from a single viewpoint. Landscape is a visual notion; it is about time as well as about space and as a consequence weather and seasons of the year are a part of the landscape by definition but are not the main subject of the image.

November 5, 2007 - Animal - Any member of the kingdom Animalia, comprising multicellular organisms that have a well-defined shape and usually limited growth, can move voluntarily, actively acquire food and digest it internally, and have sensory and nervous systems that allow them to respond rapidly to stimuli; person who behaves in a bestial or brutish manner.

December 3, 2007 - Motion - Action or process of moving or of changing place or position; movement; the manner of moving the body in walking; gait; a bodily movement or change of posture; gesture; A proposal formally made to a deliberative assembly; an optical illusion of motion produced by viewing a rapid succession of still pictures of a moving object or conveyed by panning or long exposure.

January 7, 2008 - Portraits of People -

February 4, 2008 - Fine Art - A visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness. An image that appeals immediately to the senses. The word "fine" does not so much denote the quality of the artwork in question, but the purity of the discipline. Photos are taken primarily to represent a more abstract quality or characteristic of the subject--beauty, symmetry, form, tone--rather than to present literally the subject itself. This distinguishes them from advertising, portraiture, fashion, architecture, and other variants of commercial photography, where the concreteness of the subject itself is what you hope to depict.

March 3, 2008 - Macro/Close-up - In strict photographic terms, "macro" means the optical ability to produce a 1:1 or higher magnification of an object on the film or sensor. Macro photography typically deals with magnifications between 1:1 and 50:1 (1X to 50X), while close up photography ranges from 1:1 to 1:10 (1X to 1/10X).
The board has eased rules for the topic definiton of 'MACRO' realizing many members do not have SLR cameras and macro lens; new definiton is that an object in print is larger than it was in real life; so one inch diameter coin must be one inch or more indiameter in submitted print.

April 7, 2008 - Long Exposure - For purposes of this salon topic, long exposure is defined as a shutter speed of greater than ten (10) seconds. See

May 5, 2008 - Street Photography - A type of documentary photography that usually features people in candid situations in public places such as streets, parks, beaches, malls, political conventions, and other settings. This genre of photography is present in contemporary times and is usually done as black and white photographs. Street photography tends to be ironic and distanced from its subject matter and often concentrates on a single human moment, caught at a decisive or poignant moment. Street photography is predatory and opportunistic. It appeals to some primordial instinct to hunt, capturing a 'decisive moment' is making the kill.

June 2, 2008 - Best of the Best - Images which have been awarded Honorable Mention or higher in any of the current year's salons are eligible to compete in "Best of the Best," our year end competition. There is one class for monochrome and one for color.

September 8, 2008 - Human Powered Vehicles - Besides bicycles (and other wheeled vehicles) other examples are: canoes, rowboats, paddleboats, kayaks, soapbox derby racers, skis, sleds, surfboards and glider/sailplanes. Ice/roller skates are not vehicles in this sense.

October 6, 2008 - Parts - A part of a person, animal, machine, whatever. Just don't show the "whole" of the subject.

November 3, 2008 - Reflections - Subject of image must be shown reflected.

December 1, 2008 - Out of Place - Image of something in a place it should not be; Teddy Bear in prison, textbook on/in ice, or cat in a dishwasher.

January 5, 2009 - Food - Any substance that is or can be consumed by eating, in order to sustain life. The waiter/waitress brought them food and drink. Fruit on the tree, peppers on the plant or plate. The food must be the subject.

February 2, 2009 - Series - Two or more pictures depicting an event/story. Displayed separately on one mount board or as a composite print; the size is not to exceed the 320 square inches limit.

March 2, 2009 - Fine Art Nudes - Nude photography is an art photography genre, and nude photographs often do not show a face at all. The line and form of the human figure is the utmost concern. Photographers sometimes use extremes of light and shadow, oiled skin, and shadows falling across the body to show texture and structure of the body.

April 6, 2009 - Tableau Vivant - Pictures of this sort are sometimes casually called "staged photography," but this is an imprecise term - since the simple posing of fashion models in the street is also "staged photography". Tableau vivant is a more precise term to use, if the staged picture obviously draws on the traditions and conventions of either the theatre or painting. Observe also that early photography involved exposure times in the minutes, so that there was the need to hold a pose.

May 4, 2009 - One Place/Como - Como Zoo, Como Conservatory; Como golf Course; Como Avenue running through Como Park, Lake Como, Cafesjian’ Carousel.

June 1, 2009 - Best of the Best - Year end competition

September 13, 2009 - Music -

September 13, 2009 - Music -

September 14, 2009 - Path(s) We Take - The Path(s) We Take may be straight and narrow without being boring; may be twisting through the woods to we know not where; may be leading to the edge of a high cliff; but any Path(s) We Take remains the choice of the photographer.

October 5, 2009 - Pedestrian - A Pedestrian is a person on foot whether walking or running, but may also be a type of bridge used for foot travel.

November 2, 2009 - Something Broken - Something Broken might be as simple as a fractured wine glass; might be more complex like a set of books with one missing; might be really complex, such as showing a home where one parent has left for some reason; might be only in the eye of the beholder, like a promise not fulfilled; or might be unfixable, like a love-sick teen's heart.

December 7, 2009 - Openings - Openings implies more than one clearing in the woods, a door ajar, a breach or aperture in a wall, an outlet, or a vent.

January 4, 2010 - Letters of the Alphabet - Letters of the Alphabet go from A to Z in America but from alpha to omega in Athens, and may be found in nature or in Madison Avenue advertising copy, and may be found singly or assembled collectively into a photomontage.

February 1, 2010 - Rural Landscape - Rural Landscape implies the country outside the urban center whether the country is littered with the products of human invention, or sculpted by some more powerful force and devoid of the hand of man.

March 1, 2010 - Light and Shadow - Light & Shadow establish the correlation of one object to another and their place in the full scene. Playing with shadow and light can transform people into anonymous silhouettes, simplify forms, crush perspectives and turn photographs into graphic images.

April 5, 2010 - From Behind - From Behind, means you are photographing the backside of your subject, be it a person, animal, structure or event.

May 3, 2010 - Living Human Faces - Living Human Faces are those of live people, not animals or pictures on billboards.

June 7, 2010 - Best of the Best - Best of the Best will be defined by the judge.

This year’s MPS Awards Dinner will take place at the Izaak Walton League’s Breckenridge Chapter House in Brooklyn Park. This historic landmark was built by its members in 1936 and remains as a charming community center in the heart of the city. It will be a casual but tasty buffet meal catered by Spirit of Asia catering (let us know if you want veggie/have allergies etc). This party is BYOB, with some chips, coffee and soda thrown in by the club.

We will have the place to ourselves with plenty of room to admire the “Best of the Best” photos from this year’s award winners, as judged by Rikk Flohr. You are welcome and encouraged to bring spouses and friends, anyone who would enjoy seeing the array of this year’s winners.

Social Hour: 6:00 - 7:00  *  Dinner: 7:00 – 7:45 * Awards: 7:45 – 9:00ish.

WHAT: MPS Awards Dinner
WHEN: Monday June 7th, 2010 from 6-9 pm.
WHERE: 8816 West River Road North, Brooklyn Park
HOW MUCH: $20 per person, (check made out to MPS).

Directions: From I-694, go North about 3 miles on State Highway 252 to 85th Avenue, East to W. River Road, then North to the Chapter house.

You are looking for a log cabin with a parking lot. LOST?: Building phone: 763-561-5364

Here is a link to the site:

September 13, 2010 - Humor - Make us laugh.

October 4, 2010 - Larger than Life - It might be a charismatic personality, an oversized set of tires on a monster truck, or anything out of proportion to its environment.

November 1, 2010 - Interior/Exterior Architecture - Includes parts of or entire buildings. Can be public or private structures; including churches, stores, malls, commercial buildings, bridges, or any structure with emphasis on artful design. Building environment or landscaping may be included.

December 6, 2010 - Fall Color - Think fall! Can be parts of plants or trees, whole plants or 
trees, or landscapes featuring colorful foliage.

January 3, 2011 - The Color Blue/Tangled in Blue - Images where blue is the important feature. Includes blue-toned monochromes, or black and white images with a blue accent. Does not include images where a blue sky is in the image, but is not the subject of the image. Anything and everything that celebrates and emphasizes the color blue. Can even be the mood associated with it.

February 7, 2011 - Abstract - Non–representational images. Those having "an intellectual and affective artistic content that depends solely on intrinsic form rather than 
on pictorial representation".

March 7, 2011 - Winter Landscapes - We need reasons to get out in the winter! This could be a cityscape or nature scene, just so it's a sweeping expanse of winter.

April 4, 2011 - Catching the Wind - You can't really see the wind but only its effect on things. Maybe it's the aftermath of a storm, eagles gliding on a stiff breeze, a colorful regatta on a local lake, or a young girl catching her hat as it blows off her head.

May 2, 2011 - Ice - As Minnesotans we don't have to go far in the wintertime to find ice and its infinite number of shapes, colors, and textures.

June 6, 2011 - Best of the Best - The Best of the Best will be defined by the judge from this salon season's award–winning images.

September 12, 2011 - Alleys - These largely inner-city passages through the backside of neighborhood property lines are becoming a thing of the past, but can have a lot of character and personality.

October 3, 2011 - Reflections - Water, windows, eye glasses, snow, sky, mirrors.

November 7, 2011 - Minimalism - A style of art that emphasizes extreme simplicity of form; anything spare or stripped to its essentials.

December 5, 2011 - Breaking the Rules - Break at least one rule of photography. Conscious but successful attempts to create a work of art by abandoning traditional design precepts such as the Rule of Thirds or even correct exposure. Some of the most unique images defy all standards and preconceptions.

January 9, 2012 - Inside Looking Out or See Through - Capture the view of looking out from inside something. Examples: Or seeing something through something, as through a window, a gap in a door, through spread legs, or framing something or someone.

February 6, 2012 - Shadows - Shadows define or accentuate and guide the eye within the image. Shadows can be the primary space and interest or as in negative space, used to provide context for the other parts.

March 5, 2012 - Running on Empty - This could be a car that has seen its better days but is still running, an athlete giving it all he or she has to make it to the finish line, or someone at the end of his or her rope.

April 2, 2012 - Curves - Curves in roads, trails, cars, people, trees, tools, things.

May 7, 2012 - Weather - Dark and roiling clouds, rainbows, sun or moon dogs, rain, snow, hail.

June 4, 2012 - Best of the Best - The Best of the Best will be defined by the judge from this salon season award–winning images.

September 17, 2012 - Backyard - An image that is taken in your backyard or neighborhood.

October 8, 2012 - Delicate - Adjective: Very fine in texture or structure; of intricate workmanship or quality. Noun: A delicate fabric or garment made of such fabric.

November 5, 2012 - People At Work - Image of occupations or crafts.

December 3, 2012 - Action Shot -

January 7, 2013 - Still Life -

February 4, 2013 - Circles - Plants, staircases, merry-go-rounds, plates-anything that could make a circle or part of one.

March 4, 2013 - Dignity - It might be an indomitable personality that comes through in the character-in their eyes or the way they hold their bodies.

April 1, 2013 - Mirroring Monet - Create an impressionistic image of sorts by playing with light and shadow.

May 6, 2013 - Planes, Trains and Automobiles -

June 3, 2013 - Best of the Best - The Best of the Best will be defined by the judge from this salon season award–winning images. Here are directions:
Izaak Walton League Breckenridge Chapter House
8816 W River Road, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
(From I-694, go North about 3 miles on State Highway 252 to 85th Avenue, then East to W. River Road, then North to the chapter House at 8816).

September 9, 2013 - Music -

October 7, 2013 - Patterns -

November 4, 2013 - Abandoned - Derelict or decay in person, place or thing.

December 2, 2013 - Food - The production, preparation, presentation or enjoyment of food.

January 20, 2014 - Holidays - People, places or events representing any of our holidays.

February 3, 2014 - Macro - Close-up images of animate or inanimate subjects.

March 3, 2014 - Animals - Images of wild or domestic creatures, free or in zoo.

April 7, 2014 - After Dark - Night scenes, possibly time exposures - e.g. state fair.

May 5, 2014 - Signs of Spring - Look around for signs of Spring.

June 2, 2014 - Best of the Best - The Best of the Best will be defined by the judge from this salon season award–winning images.

September 8, 2014 - Boats - Any aquatic vehicle from a canoe or row boat to a cruise ship or freighter.

October 6, 2014 - Appliances. - Household items. Examples are a toaster, washing machine, dish washer, microwave oven, barbeque grill, television or radio, etc. Either indoors or outdoors. Be creative.

November 3, 2014 - Seen From Above. - A photo from the top of a high place. Height is relative. Someone's front steps might be high enough.

December 1, 2014 - Minnesota Icons. - Subjects could include Spoonbridge and Cherry, Split Rock Lighthouse, Paul Bunyan, Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge, or the State Fair. See these things in a new and interesting way.

January 5, 2015 - Children At Play. - Be a keen observer. Capture a decisive moment. Kids move fast!

February 2, 2015 - Far Away Land. - An image obviously taken at least 500 miles from the Twin Cities. The subject could be an America-the-Beautiful landscape, a distant city, foreign people or African animals.

March 2, 2015 - Power of Nature. - Storms (rain, ice, snow, wind), extreme cold, threatening clouds, floods, big surf or glaciers. Capture a WOW! or a RUN-FOR-YOUR-LIFE! scene.

April 6, 2015 - High Key. - An image with predominately light tones or pastels, and without blacks or dark colors.

May 4, 2015 - Religious. - Buildings or objects used in the practice of religion; religious ceremonies, leaders or worshipers.

June 1, 2015 - Best of the Best. - The Best of the Best will be defined by the judge from this salon season's award–winning images.

September 14, 2015 - Spring - Nature awakening, spring flowers, spring landscapes.

October 5, 2015 - Reality Unconstrained - Begin with a realistic image and go for broke: false scale, distortions, false color, multi-image lens.

November 2, 2015 - Summer - Landscapes, weather, summer flowers, sports, recreation.

December 7, 2015 - Composite - Two or more images combined into a single image, or a double exposure.

January 4, 2016 - Postcard of the Twin Cities - Give us your best promo photo for all that is great about the Twin Cities.

February 1, 2016 - Fall - Landscapes, colors, sports, recreation.

March 7, 2016 - Silhouette - Black and white or black and color. Be creative.

April 4, 2016 - Winter - Landscapes, ice, snow, sports, recreation.

May 2, 2016 - Macro - Get up close and personal with your subject.

June 6, 2016 - Best of the Best - The Best of the Best will be defined by the judge from this salon season's award-winning images.

September 12, 2016 - Noir - Black, dark, gloomy, dirty, base, foul. Think creative underexposure.

October 3, 2016 - Unusual Perspectives - Find a high or low viewpoint, use a short-focus or fisheye lens, exploit keystoning. Do not fall off a ladder!

November 7, 2016 - Night Sky - The sky at night.

December 5, 2016 - Architectural Details - Unusual doors, windows or roofs or more surprising and interesting building details, not complete building exteriors or interiors.

January 9, 2017 - Light Painting - Get out your flashlight!

February 6, 2017 - Wildlife - Zoo animals are OK if their captivity doesn't show, except in their eyes.

March 6, 2017 - Blue Hour - Get out there before sunrise or after sunset to exploit long summer twilight or save some sleep by shooting when days are shorter. Don't fake it with a blue filter!

April 3, 2017 - National or State Parks and Monuments - Take a fresh look at some of your old vacation photos or, better, take a vacation ASAP!

May 1, 2017 - In Midair - Planes, balloons, drones or birds in flight; divers, trampoline jumpers — any subject except clouds with no visible means of support.

June 5, 2017 - Best of the Best - The Best of the Best will be defined by the judge from this salon season's award-winning images.

September 11, 2017 - Macro - 1:1 - any small object(s) enlarged.

October 2, 2017 - Still Life - A small group of inanimate objects arranged by the photographer.

November 6, 2017 - Shadows - The image must be of shadows or contain shadows.

December 4, 2017 - Patterns - Repeated shapes, colors or objects, ordered in either regular or irregular formations.

January 8, 2018 - Seen from Below/Looking Up - An image taken from the perspective of being below the subject.

February 5, 2018 - Sports - Subject must be of a sport; capturing the subject in action. Excludes chess, checkers or board games.

March 5, 2018 - High Key - An image making use of lighting and lacking in contrast and dark shadows — using mid-tone grays through to bright whites.

April 2, 2018 - Oops! - A depiction of something not going as planned; happy or humorous accident.

May 7, 2018 - Parades and Festivals - Images of parades or festivals; get out and be there.

June 4, 2018 - The Best of the Best - The Best of the Best will be defined by the judge from this salon season's award–winning images.

September 10, 2018 - Anything With Wheels -

October 1, 2018 - Spring Colors -

November 5, 2018 - Texture -

December 3, 2018 - Cityscape -

January 7, 2019 - Fun In The Sun -

February 4, 2019 - Parallel -

March 4, 2019 - Kitchen Closeups. Meeting canceled due to weather - see you in April. - The meeting has been canceled due to weather. Please bring your March and April salon prints to the April meeting.

April 1, 2019 - Corners -

May 6, 2019 - Behind Glass -

June 3, 2019 - Best of the Best. - The Best of the Best will be defined by the judge from this salon season's award–winning images.