When you first become involved with organised photography you find that there are many strange abbreviations in use. Many are about other organisations and recognition that you can earn. Here is a list of some of the most common abbreviations in the amateur photographic world.

Organisations and awards:

CACC: Chilterns Association of Camera Clubs, the ‘umbrella ‘ organisation for clubs in the Thames Valley and beyond. Full details can be seen on the CACC website.
The CACC provides a handbook with details of all the judges and lecturers that we book for our meetings. It also runs several competitions:

  • The Rose Bowl – this is a league competition held in various stages between September and May of each year. Clubs compete with each other in three rounds, and the top twelve clubs go forward to the Finals Day in May, with the winning club taking home the Rose Bowl trophy.
  • The Inter-Club Print Championship – single event held each March
  • The Inter-Club Projected Championship – single event held each March
  • The AV Competition – single event taking place each April, though the competition is currently being re-structured and might have a sabbatical in 2015.
  • The Chilterns Hundred Members Exhibition – single event for individual members taking place in March each year.

PAGB: Photographic Alliance of Great Britain, the ‘umbrella’ organisation for the regional federations/associations in GB.

There are a number of awards for individual photographers, as follows –

  • CPAGB, Credit from the PAGB, the first level of award, judged on 10 pictures, with a standard of ‘good club photography’
  • DPAGB, Distinction from the PAGB, judged on 15 pictures, with a standard of ‘open exhibition photography’
  • MPAGB, Master from the PAGB, judged on 20 pictures, with a standard of ‘the highest standard of amateur photography’
  • APAGB, PAGB award for meritorious service, based not on pictures, but to people who have given outstanding service to photographers who belong to member societies.

Additionally, the PAGB organises various events:

  • Annual Inter-Federation Print Competitions and Touring Exhibition
  • Annual Inter-Federation PDI Competition and Touring Exhibition
  • Inter-club competitions where the entrants are two clubs chosen by each federation to represent them (plus the previous year’s finalists):
  • Annual Inter-Club PDI Championship, held at Warwick University
  • Annual Inter-Club Print Championship, from 2014 to be held at Edge Hill University at Ormskirk, (previously held at Deeside College at Connah’s Quay)
  • An inter-club PDI competition (with 3 sections) where clubs make individual decisions to enter:
    • The Great British Cup (Open)
    • The Great British Cup (Small Clubs)
    • The Great British Cup (Nature)
    • A bi-annual Slide Sound sequences weekend run in conjunction with the Royal Photographic Society: The National Audio Visual Championships

RPS: Royal Photographic Society, a society open to individual amateur and professional photographers. There are a number of distinctions available:

  • LRPS, Licentiate of the RPS, the first level and judged on a panel of 10 pictures
  • ARPS, Associate of the RPS , judged on a panel of 15 pictures
  • FRPS, Fellow of the RPS, judged on a panel of 20 pictures
  • Hon FRPS, Honorary Fellow of the RPS, awarded for services to the RPS

DPS: Disabled Photographers’ Society, a registered national charity promoting photography for people with disabilities, or their carers, or groups or anyone with an interest in helping the disabled. Like the RPS above, it offers distinctions at the Licentiate (LDPS), Associate (ADPS) and Fellowship (FDPS) levels.

BPE: British Photographic Exhibitions, with awards made to individual photographers for the number of acceptances gained

  • BPE1* (“BPE one star”), for 25 acceptances
  • BPE2*, for 50 acceptances
  • BPE3*, for 100 acceptances
  • BPE4*, for 200 acceptances
  • BPE5*, for 300 acceptance

FIAP: Federation Internationale de l’Art Photographique, a worldwide federation to develop relationships amongst photographers (PAGB is affiliated to this organisation)

  • AFIAP, Artist of FIAP, the first level of award for photographic merit in international competition
  • EFIAP, Excellence of FIAP
  • MFIAP, Master of FIAP

BIPP: British Institute of Professional Photography
BPIA: British Photographic and Imaging Association
MPA: Master Photographers Association
PSA: Photographic Society of America
IAC: Institure of Amateur Cinematographers
Primarily a videographers association, the IAC also caters for audio-visual sequences and operates the music licensing scheme that allows members to use copyright music in their amateur productions.

General photographic terms:

PDI or PI – Projected Digital Image or Projected Image.
DPI – confusingly similar to the above, but standing for ‘dots per inch’. This is how an image is formatted before being printed, with 300 dpi being typical for an ink-jet printer
Aspect Ratio – the proportions of an image file in terms of width and height, usually expressed as Width:Height. eg an image 400 pixels wide by 300 pixels high has an aspect ratio of 4:3
Pixel – this is a shortened form of ‘picture element’, with each pixel being the smallest point of colour making up an image file. the higher the pixel count, the more detail the picture has.
RAW file – this is the native recording format of a digital camera. Most high-end cameras allow the images to be saved as a RAW file so that the data can be manipulated in a RAW editor.
JPG – a compressed file format that saves an image in a much smaller file size than a RAW file. Some cameras only save in jpg format and won’t export the RAW data.
AV – Audio Visual. This is a style of photographic presentation combining still images, videos and audio files into a synchronised sequence.