Designs by Cristina Zani

I occasionally get to work with  like- minded creatives which is great. Sometimes arranging with them prior to the shoot, either to provide the make up, hair styling or style for the shoot.

Alternatively  if they contact me and want to collaborate with me in terms of wanting to have  certain designs or looks photographed and that way we both benefit from the arrangement. They provide the outfits or designs and I provide the studio or location and find a model, after the shoot I send them their chosen images. Occasionally someone might turn up with the some of the others involved with the shoot.

This was in fact the case at a recent location shoot in Morecambe with wonderful model dancer Kate C.

I had the pleasure to meet Cristina Zani, she is a jewellery designer and her work can be seen here

Cristina had come along that day with her latest designs as she was wanting some images of these designs to use for her forthcoming exhibitions and for publicity information for these exhiditions.

Cristina works with various media and that day her pieces where made of wood and were bold and had muted colours that looked good against the skin of Katy, and the tones of the location. So we shot a series of images featuring Cristina work.

Below is a sample of the images Cristina chose, the model is of course Katy C, and the lighting is just using the natural light of the windows of the location. Hair was done by Amy and Make up by Donna Graham from Southport.

fashion photographer - fashion photography - jewellery
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kate 7
fashion photographer - fashion photography - jewellery
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kate 8
fashion photographer - fashion photography - jewellery
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kate 6
fashion photographer - fashion photography - jewellery
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kate 5
fashion photographer - fashion photography - jewellery
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kate 4
fashion photographer - fashion photography - jewellery
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kate 3
fashion photographer - fashion photography - jewellery
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kate 2
fashion photographer - fashion photography - jewellery
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kate 1

The last image has been published in an online article about a jewellery exhibition


A Window 7 crash causes a lot of frustration and angst while you try and sort the problems – read on to find out what I learned from the experience and how to get back your Photoshop and Lightroom setting and preferences.

In the past I have let windows updates go ahead automatically but this is not a good strategy, as I found out to my cost recently. In fact it can and did cause me a lot of work and angst.

The PC had been working fine all day but a break was need so I had switched it off, and it did an install of updates and when I returned that evening to do some more image work it would not boot up. One of the updates  (most likely a driver update) had changed something and it was stopping the machine from booting up.

The splash screen error message was “unmountable boot error”.

Portrait photographer- Portrait photography - anger
Richard Spurdes Photography – Anger

Which after a lot of web research and the trying different approaches to getting the system to boot again, I decided that the best solution was to reinstall the operating system on a new hard disc. This is of course a real pain as all your programs have to be reinstalled and then you have to find your key codes and then for programs like Photoshop your actions and setting too.

Fortunately all my images are stored on a separate Raid 5 drive, so they were ok I just need my operating system and programs back to be able to work with the image again. The timing of this event was of course practically bad as firstly I was half way through rebuilding my website follow its crash and I had my first camera club talk of this season coming up in two weeks and my presentation was only half done.

So what did I learn from this exercise, that is worth passing on in this blog: firstly don’t let windows do automatic updating turn this off. Just remember to check once a week to see what is in the list updates and make your own mind up about what to install.

Here is the windows info for changing that setting  info

  1. Open Windows Update by clicking the Start button , clicking All Programs, and then clicking Windows Update.
  2. In the left pane, click Change settings.
  3. Choose the option that you want.
  4. Under Recommended updates, select the Include recommended updates when downloading, installing, or notifying me about updates check box, and then click OK.

As a photographer who uses both Lightroom and Photoshop making a back up of your preferences / setting files for both these programs is well worth the small effort.

These are located on a Windows machine in the following locations on your system drive

Users/[Username]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop [version #]/Adobe Photoshop [version #] Settings

Users/[Username]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Lightroom [version #]/Adobe Lightroom [version #] Preference

These can be found by searching for  (*.agprefs)

Here is also a list of location of other bit of the Photoshop program that might be of use too.

ActionsActions panel.pspUsers/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Adobe Photoshop CS5 Settings
Camera Raw.xmp files saved from Camera Raw dialogUsers/[user name]/AppData/Adobe/CameraRaw/Settings
Color settings (Color management)Color Settings.csfUsers/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Adobe Photoshop CS5 Settings
Custom Color settings (Color management)Userdefined.csfUsers/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Color/Settings
Custom proof setups (Color management)Userdefined.psfUsers/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Color/Proofing
Editing and painting toolsBrushes.psp, Contours.psp, Custom Shapes.psp, Gradients.psp, Patterns.psp, Styles.psp, Swatches.psp, ToolPresets.pspUsers/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Adobe Photoshop CS5 Settings/Presets
Filters and EffectsAdobe Effect CS5 Prefs, Adobe Filter Gallery CS5 Prefs, Adobe Lens Blur CS5 Prefs, Adobe Lens Correction CS5 Prefs, Adobe Liquify CS5 PrefsUsers/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Plugins/[effect or filter name]/Photoshop
General settingsAdobe Photoshop CS5 Prefs.psp (32-bit version)(X64) CS5 Prefs.psp (64-bit version)Users/[user  name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Adobe Photoshop CS5 Settings
Saved Presets[User defined]Users/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Presets/[feature name]
Workspaces[User Defined][Workspaces that have been modified}Users/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Adobe Photoshop CS5 Settings/WorkspacesUsers/[user name]/AppData/Roaming/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Adobe Photoshop CS5 Settings/Workspaces (Modified)

You can also find these by searching using *.psp file

Armed with this info I was able to get most of my setting/ preferences back for both these programs as I could read the disc that would not boot in file manager so the various setting could be copy and replaced.

Always rename the original preference files before replacing it with your preferences that way if they are corrupt then you can go back to that file. I usually use .old as the file extension.

Here is one really useful but useless bit of information that I thought might solve my issue was that Window 7 can be re installed on top of itself, but only if Window 7 is running. (smile)

The other thing that is well worth doing is backing up your Lightroom catalogue, its file name is:  Catalog.lrcat. I now make sure that I back this up weekly and I would strongly advise that these backups are on a different drive to your Lightroom installation, a stand alone hard drive is well worth the investment for this purpose. Keeping them separate avoids losing your catalog and your backups at the same time.

I also now store a copy of my catalog off site.

The other important files that are worth making a backup copy of are paper profiles; on a Windows based machine these are located here:

C: Windows, System32, Spool, Drivers, Color

Well worth getting those backup too.

The EFIAP Distinction Award

I keep getting asked about the FIAP awards so this is a re-post of my original blog from the old wedsite that stopped working.

EFIAP (Excellence FIAP) is the second step on the FIAP distinction hierarchy, and it follows on from the AFIAP (Artist FIAP). It is awarded to “authors who, apart from having an excellent technique and an abundant production, have often been accepted in many international salons under FIAP Patronage “ and I am delighted to say that I have received the notification that I have achieved this award.

EFIAP requires a photographer to have a pretty substantial body of work and to have been actively submitting that work to photographic salons around the world. With the substantial requirements for this distinction, it really is no mean feat to achieve it.

The EFIAP requirements for 2013 were:

  • You must be the holder of the AFIAP Distinction, and have held that for 12 months.
  • You will have gained (including those used for your AFIAP award) at least 150 Acceptances with a total of at least 50 different photographs.
  • This success must have come from at least 30 different salons with FIAP Patronage, and
  • Those salons must be from at least 15 different countries.

I gained my AFIAP in June 2012.

For my submission, I actually listed 36 salons across 23 countries. Now this exceeds the requirements but when you achieve your EFIAP award all the images used in gaining the award are void for any future FIAP distinctions awards. So I listed all the countries and salons they were accepted into, regardless of the fact that the additional salons and countries, don’t really count.

I listed the following 36 salons

ArticBeauty of Face & BodyBelgrade Photo Autumn
BristolCakovecCarol Pop de Szathmari
FKNS – Grand PrixGB Small Print CircuitHolland – Circuit
MariborNorthern CountiesObsession of Light – Vantaa
Photo Art CircuitPhoto FocusPhotovacation
Port TalbotRockSAID Circuit
SwanseaSydneyThe Photogram Salon
Trierenberg Super CircuitTropical imageWelsh
Wervicq-SubWith Love to WomenYuanlin

This gave me acceptances in the following countries


The image requirements are again a large step up for AFIAP, and to try and reach the target I adopted the following approach to my salon entries. I always used a couple of new images with every entry I sent off, whilst also submitting a couple of images that had a good acceptance rate to hopefully get the required country acceptance – but of course nothing was ever certain. Once an image had gained an acceptance I ‘parked’ it and then selected another image to try at the next salon.
In the end I listed 60 different works totalling 303 acceptances. Now this is well over the top in terms of the acceptances listed above, but when I started out the requirements were significantly different. At the 2012 FIAP congress, new requirements for the FIAP awards were announced. One of the key ones was a large increase in the number of image acceptances, an increase of 100 on the previous number. So when I started out I was aiming for 250 acceptances and so this was the strategy I adopted.
Half way through the year it was announced that the new requirements would not come into force until the end of 2013.

So perhaps a waste of a lot of image acceptances but if the new targets were in place. I would still have met them.
The images below are my most successful images from 2013 and these had to be submitted on a CD as part of my application.

Sports Photography - Sports Photographer - a tough guy competitior runing across the water trap with lots of smoke in the background
Richard Spurdens Photography – Sports photography
artistic nude photogrpahy - artistic nude photographer - model turned away from the light in a long corridor
Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour portrait image of model with deep blue eyes
portrait photogrpahy - portrait photographer- portrait of model wearing a leather jacket
architecture photography - architecture photography -interior view of the leeds corn exchange

The Account Is Now Wiped Clean
When going from AFIAP to EFIAP you can count your acceptances that gained you your AFIAP award, however after EFIAP, your account is now wiped clean. The images that you used to obtain the EFIAP can never be used in any future FIAP distinction process. Future awards can only be gained from new images and acceptances after the date of your EFIAP award.
So it’s now looking towards the EFIAP Bronze (75 acceptances, with at least 25 different works and 3 photographs gaining  awards in 3 different countries) and the rest of the EFIAP levels!

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