Critical Mass


June 1 - Early Bird Registration Opens $65
June 9 - Early Bird Price Ends, $75
July 7 - Extended Deadline

Critical Mass is an annual online program that makes connections within the photography community. Photographers at any level, from anywhere in the world, submit a portfolio of 10 images. Through a pre-screening process, the field is narrowed to a group of 200 finalists who go on to have their work viewed and voted on by over 150 esteemed international photography professionals (check out the "success stories" page for connections made through Critical Mass). From the Finalist group, the TOP 50 are named and a series of awards are given.

This year we are pleased to offer:

Critical Mass 2023 Top 50 exhibit will be held at Colorado Photographic Arts Center's new gallery space in Denver from February 23 - April 13, 2024.

Three Solo Show Awards for CM23!
SE Center for Photography Solo Show Award – Greenville, SC.
Blue Sky Gallery Solo Show Award -  Portland, OR.
The Light Factory Solo Show Award - Charlotte, NC.

Michael Reichmann Project Development Grants - three Finalists will be awarded $1000 cash support the development of a current or future project.

Print Collecting Initiative Award – each of the 200 Finalists will receive a special edition signed + numbered print by CM22 Finalist Cody Cobb. The print, CC2780 is part of his series SPECTRAL. This award is generously sponsored by Pro Photo and Hahnemühle.

Maine Media Scholarship – A scholarship valued at $1,600 will be awarded towards one Maine Media workshop, either on campus or online. This award is generously sponsored by Maine Media.

Maine Media Lecture - An online artist lecture for a winner to speak about their work through Maine Media’s online channels.

Shutter Hub – Shutter Hub year membership and portfolio review for one Finalist. A feature for several Top 50 Finalists on the Shutter Hub website.

Feature Articles - A winner (or winners) will be featured in Analog Forever and GUP magazines.

Projections Webinar – Up to three finalists will have the opportunity to share their work and creative vision on Frank Meo’s monthly Projections webinar.

Merit-based Scholarships - selected photographers will have the entry fees to Critical Mass waived. Photolucida is pleased to offer 2023 scholarships to Ana Vallejo, German Vazquez, Mateo Ruiz Gonzalez, Roshni Khatri, Thalia Juarez, Yekaterina Gyadu, and Ukrainian artist Irina Shkoda.

Mila Teshaieva

Critical Mass Books

Over the years, Photolucida has offered book awards as part of our Critical Mass programming. Photolucida publishes and distributes these titles, and gives copies of the books to all participating photographers and jurors on the years the award is given.


Past titles have been collaborative efforts with publishers such as Daylight Books and Kehrer Verlag. Check out our library of current publications as well as our backlist!