Urban Ballet with Kayleigh Lush

Having finally managed to process some of the urban ballet images from my recent shoot with the dancer  Kayleigh Lush .

I thought it was worth sharing a few of them in my blog.

The idea of the project was to shoot a set of ballet themed images in a urban setting.

First of all I needed a good location, which also needed to be fairly local to me.

That choice of location was Saltaire, which is near Shipley and very local to me.

Because I have been there a number of times I knew that it had some really good locations which we could to shoot ballet against.

Another requirement was a trained ballet dancer, so I contacted Kayleigh Lush.

Now having worked with Kayleigh before , I knew she was capable of producing good ballet poses. Which is what I wanted for this project.

Kayleigh is a trained dancer and works really hard to produce great images, especially dance. So was the ideal choice for this project.

As I mentioned above the choice of location was Saltaire, near Shipley which is a world heritage site and has some interesting buildings to work against.

These include the famous Salts Mill with the Leeds Liverpool Canal running between its buildings.

As well as the impressive  United Reformed Church.  which is just across the canal for the mill builds.

All these building were built by Sir Titus Salt around the 1850s, and I was sure would give good and different building to shoot dance poses against.

On the day the weather was overcast and grey which was good, but to lift Kayleigh out of the background I needed some extra light.

To provided this extra punch of light, I therefore set up a single off camera flash unit fitted with a 19″ McGillicuddy beauty dish . This is my favourite modifier to use with a single off camera flash set up.

Urban ballet Images

As the day progressed the weather turned to light rain, which made working on pointe and landing jumps tricky for Kayleigh.

This therefore required us to make a change to the location, fortunately there was some local woods near by.

Which would provided some shelter from the rain for a while, but still allow us to shoot the projects theme of dance.

Question: How important is the title of an image?

The Question:

A question that came up at a recent lecture I was giving to a camera club was: How important is the title of an image?

Now this made me stop and think for a minute (so a good question).  I know that when I am creating images I don’t have a title in my mind, it is all about focusing on creating that image. I suggest that the titling process begins when I add images into my library.

They have a ‘working title’ which is normally a generic shoot title in combination with a file number. I don’t rely on just numbers and dates alone therefore all the images from that shoot get that generic title.

It is only when I have selected an image and start to process that image that a possible title might appear. It may also come from my thinking while processing the images.

You could say it all depends on what you are going to do with the images. If it is only for your personal portfolio then does a title matter?

My personal opinion is yes, image titles are important.

Images that are going out to be viewed either on my website or on an image posting website should have a title.

Creating a title for your image is all part of the creative process. I know from personal experience that sometimes it is easy to come up with a good title and some times it is very difficult to come up with a good meaningful title.

However this question was in the context of using images in exhibitions/ competitions.

So how important is a title?

My thoughts and experience of entering images into exhibitions is that for most International exhibitions the title makes very little difference.

The reason of this is the volume of images that have been entered makes the judging process a rapid affair. Some times the titles are read out other they appear as texted with the image. It is all about the image making an impact in the short viewing window that the judges have.

It is only in the medal selection process that the judges will most likely see the titles of the selected images.


There are exceptions to this – for example, the London Salon and possibly the Edinburgh International. (Both print salons) where the judging process is very different. The title of the image is very important for the judging here. Especially in the London salon where it is all about the images being selected that show distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution, So the title is a very important part of that.

But I suspect that for the majority of the digital salons the title is not seen until the end of the selection process. Certainly looking in salon catalogues you will see that certain authors don’t bother with strong title so you might see Mountain view III , or Window light 4.

At club level

However in club photography circles the title is very important and is usually read out prior to the image being presented for viewing/ judging.

So getting a good title for the image is essential. As in this area the title provides a useful handle for critiquing, reviewing and discussing the work.

Alternate titles may be suggested as this review is undertaken, which may or may not help the author.

To me the role of the image title is and will always be an important factor of image making.

It is perhaps the final part of the artistic creation process. The title once chosen, normally stays with that image or any form of art (whatever it is) for it life.

To choose a strong title should be part of the challenge for any artist no matter what type of art is being produced.

So my answer was that a good strong title is important.

Get the title right and it will be part of the emotional response of the viewer’s experience when they view the image.

These are my views so it would be interesting to read others views.

Below are a selection of images and with my chosen title that have done well at all levels with their titles:

Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour portrait image of model with deep blue eyes
Richard Spurdens Photography – EFIAP Gold – Nordic Blue eyes
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
balance and poise
Balance and Poise
artistic nude photography - artistic nude photographer - model turned away from the light in a long corridor
Richard Spurdens Photography – artistic nude series
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography
Richard Spurdens Photography – Are you the new cleaner ?

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from - Youtube
Consent to display content from - Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from - Google