Le Train Bleu Restaurant -Images

As I recounted in this  blog. I have been lucky enough to attend the Austrian Super Salon Gala Dinner and awards evening in Linz. Another successful year at the Super Salon Circuit Salon meant I received an invite to attend the event so we need to plan another trip to Linz.

With a few days of research by my wife on how best to get to Linz with out flying, resulted in us opting to going by train. Which gave us the option of taking a few other places we had wanted to visit too. We found that we could get a visits to Zurich, Linz and Vienna as part of this trip. (We opted to fly home from Vienna). So instead of flying both ways as the last time see my blog about my visit to Munich  we opted to go by train. (Thanks to the man in seat 61)

The trip started with a train down to London on the East Coast main line an overnight in the London area then out from St Pancras by Eurostar to Paris. A few stops on the Paris Metro to Paris Gare de Lyon. Where the modern French TGV-Lyria train leaves for Switzerland. It whisks you across France and on into Switzerland via Basel and then Zurich. Running at up to 320 km/h (200mph) you arrive in Zurich around 4 hours after departing from Paris.

Le Train Bleu Restaurant.

Before I post some of the Zurich images I though it was worth sharing these images of the historic Le Train Bleu Restaurant (“The Blue Train”) which is located in Hall 1 of the Gare de Lyon station.

The restaurant was originally created for the World’s fair (1900) and each of the ornate dining rooms are themed to represent cities and regions of France and they are decorated with 41 paintings by some of the most popular artists of that time.

Initially called “Buffet de la Gare de Lyon”, it was renamed “Le Train Bleu restaurant” in 1963, after the train of the same name. It was designated a Monument Historique in 1972.

Having seen the website we decided that it was well worth getting to Gare de Lyon station with a few hours to spare so we could pay a visit to this historic Restaurant.

A few Images

1/60 sec @f8.0 XF18mm f2.0
train bleu ceiling
1/60 sec @ f11 ISO5000 Touit 2.8 12mm
train bleu interior 1
1/60 sec @ f5.6 ISO1600 Touit 2.8 12mm
train bleu interior 2
1/30 sec @ f9.0 ISO3200 Touit 2.8 12mm

It is not cheap but is well worth spending the extra euros just to take in the interior decorations, which are certainly very impressive as you can see from the images above – no one seemed to mind you taking images either.

The final image is as we started to pull out of the station on our way to Zurich really liked the all the lines and the feeling of traveling with this one.

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Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - high and low Lines
Richard Spurdens Photography – High and low Lines

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And then it was Three !

London Salon Medal 2017

A bit of an unusual title for one of my posts, but – when you find that you have been awarded a Medal in the prestigious London Salon of photography), and it is your third, then I think it is worth posting with an offbeat title.

Over the years I have always tried to support the London Salon, which is dedicated to exhibiting only that class of photographic work in which there is distinct evidence of artistic feeling and execution.

The London Salon does not run under FIAP Patronage yet it receives entries from around the world, so to get an image accepted is a real achievement, and then to be awarded a medal is really a great result.

Blue Haired Beauty was from a beauty shoot with the Model Amber Tutton and features the make up artistry of Monica Montalvo.

This was the image that received the award of the Salon medal.

portrait photography - portrait photographer - colour portrait image of model with blue coloured hair
Richard Spurdens Photography -Blue Haired Beauty

I had another image accepted into the Salon too, which was from a location fashion shoot, Styled by Jen Brook, Design by Mishi May, MUA: Sopie Battersby, Millinary: Donna Graham, part of the Walters wardrobe team.

Couture Fashion Stairway Elegance (Designer Mishi May)

Fashion Photography - Fashion Photographer - couture fashion stairway elegance (designer mishi may
Model: Nicky PHilips, MUA: Sopie Battersby, Designer Mishi May, Millinary: Donna Graham, Stlyist Jen Brook, Production Walters Wardrode Camera Model: X-T2, Lens: XF56mmF1.2 R

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Dragon boat racing

A chance to shoot some Dragon boat racing on the river Aire in Saltaire was too good to miss.

The event held at Roberts Park a World Heritage Site where the River Aire runs along the side of the park and gives a great vantage point to watch and photograph the close Dragon boat racing.

The Dragon boat racing event was billed as a team building event and the idea was that each team member would do there best to raise £50 for the Lord Mayor’s Appeal 2017 Charity: YoungMinds 

As well as the boat racing there was a large number of landside attractions from stalls, food, bars and entertainment to live music and just so much more in a stunning spectacular, picturesque venue. It gave some good photographic opportunites:

So here are a few images from this years Dragon Boat racing event.

sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, image captures the dragon boats head
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Having taken a few classic Dragon boat racing shots, I decided that the colours in the scene might provide something different and colourful absrtact images.

I set a challenge and started to use a slow shutter speed and then added on camera flash set to second curtain sync.

Playing with different slow shutter speeds gave a set of interesting and sometimes abstract images which I really liked.

As you can see below:

sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, a slow shutter speed was used together with panning to give a feel of the speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used with panning of the camera to give an abstract effect and feel of speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect and feel of speed
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an feel of the speed the boat is traveling
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
dragon boat racing abstract
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
sport photography - sport photographer -colour image of dragon boat racing on the river aire at roberts park saltaire, slow shutter speed was used to give an abstract effect
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dragon boat racing series – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

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Madame Bink 2017 shoot (NSFW)

I have worked with Madame Bink a number of times over the years that I have been shooting models and I have always come away with some great images.

When working with Ivory Flame in January of this year she mentioned that Madame Bink (Bink) was working again, so I took the oppoutunity to set up another shoot with her.

Now the last time we shot together was at the first Walters Warbrode event which was a fashion theme shoot. It was therefore good to get to work with her again specifically in the art nude genre, although we did do some edgy fashion images too.

The sets I wanted to shoot were simple in terms of lighting. These sets were lit with a single studio strobe fitted with a rectanglar soft box. The softbox was also fitted with an egg crate grid to control the light spill, which gives good light and shadow areas on the body.

I chose to use some simple props – two wooden garden chairs and a small wooden table stool. There is a simple white hat with a black band that we added for a few of these shots. So really simple but make strong images I feel.

All that was then needed was the model to make strong Artistic Nude shapes and work into the light.

The results can be seem in the images below. Binky’s strong poses in this light setup stand out and this is one of the reasons I have always liked working with her.

Artistic Nude Images

Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - single light monchrome image of model make shapes and angles on the edge of a wooden chair the light is playing along to edges of her legs and arms to make strong highlights on those areas and deep shadows in on the rest of her figure
Richard Spurdens Photography – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - single light monchrome image of model make shapes and angles on the edge of a wooden chair the light is playing along to edges of her legs and arms to make strong highlights on those areas and deep shadows in on the rest of her figure
Richard Spurdens Photography – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - single light monchrome image of model make shapes and angles on the edge of a wooden chair the light is playing along to edges of her legs and arms to make strong highlights on those areas and deep shadows in on the rest of her figure
Richard Spurdens Photogrpahy – studio session with model madame bink Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - single light monchrome image of model make shapes and angles on the edge of a wooden chair the light is playing along to edges of her legs and arms to make strong highlights on those areas and deep shadows in on the rest of her figure
Richard Spurdens Photography – madame bink series Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - single light monchrome image of model make shapes and angles on the edge of wooden chairs the light is playing along to edges of her legs and arms to make strong highlights on those areas and deep shadows in on the rest of her figure
Richard Spurdend Photography – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - single light monchrome image of model make shapes and angles on the edge of two wooden chairs the light is playing along to edges of her legs and arms to make strong highlights on those areas and deep shadows in on the rest of her figure
Richard Spurdens Photography – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - single light monchrome image of model make shapes and angles on the edge of two wooden chairs the light is playing along to edges of her legs and arms to make strong highlights on those areas and deep shadows in on the rest of her figure
Richard Spurdens Photography – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - single light monchrome image of model make shapes and angles on the edge of a wooden chair the light is playing along to edges of her legs and arms to make strong highlights on those areas and deep shadows in on the rest of her figure
Richard Spurdens Photography – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

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First Studio shoot of 2017

So here are a few images from my first studio shoot of 2017, featuring the model Ivory Flame. Now I have worked with Holly many times over the last few years and alway enjoy working with her as we alway seem to make great images. So when she contacted my in December of last year to say she was going to be in the Lakes, I decided it was about time that I worked with her again. I had some new ideas to work with and had a new jacket to shoot, so this seemed to de a good opportunity to try working with the ideas and the new jacket too. So following a few mails we agreed a convient date for working together which gave me my first studio shoot of 2017.

Here are a few of the images from our first set just using studio window light:

Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour portait head shot image of a red hair model
Richard Spurdens Photography – red haired beauty
Fashion Photography - Fashion Photographer - holly in the natural light
Richard Spurdens Photography – Holly in the natural light

Moving on to the new Military style jacket:

fashion photographer - fashion photography - monochrome image of model wearing a white military style jacket and black pants
Richard Spurdens Photography – White Jacket I
fashion photographer - fashion photography - model wearing a white jacket and black pants
Richard Spurdens Photography – Red hair whtie jacket

Followed by some natural light Artistic Nude images:

Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - monochrome image of artistic nude model stood be a window which is giving soft even tones across her figure
Richard Spurdens Photography – Soft light nude

Another set was using Holly lovely Corset to do a tribute to Horst and his great black and white image of a designer Corset.

Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - monochrome image of model seated on a tall seat she is wearing a laced corset and is holding the laces out to the side to make a pleasing shape with the laces
Richard Spurdens Photography – corset laces shapes
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - monochrome image using a single side light to illuminate the model fiqure and the corset she is wearing
Richard Spurdens Photography – corset series
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography monochrome image of models back and the corset lacing of the corset she is wearing
Richard Spurdens Photography – Lacing details

The final set form this first studio session of 2017 was using the edge of a sofa and some good patterned tights, with Holly making some great shapes in the light.

Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - monochrome image of a model wearing black patterned tights leaning agains the arm of a settee and pushing up on her arms to give straight legs and a strong figure shape
Richard Spurdens Photography – Arching shapes

So thanks to Holly of a good start to 2017

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2016 a year in review

I can’t really believe that we are at the end of another year, and again I have had a good year photographically so here is some of the highlights from my 2016.

Having a studio has been a real boon and I have worked with a number of new models there this year. We’ve created some great images, and also had good fun playing with different light approaches.

New models have included Amber M, Em Theresa, Katie Green and finally Nicky Philips. Also Marmalade – but not at my studio as we worked on location in the Pit in Nottingham. The other creative I had the pleasure to work with during the year was the Make Up Artist (MUA) Monica Montalvo. We created some pleasing beauty images working with the model Amber Tutton.

New Models images:

portrait photography - portrait photographer - colour portrait image of model with blue coloured hair
Richard Spurdens Photography -Blue Haired Beauty
fashion photogarphy - fashion photographer - fashion with shadows
Katie Green – shadow patterns
dance photographer - dance photography - colour image of the model wearing a red leotard jumping and making a runing shape holding the rugby ball.
Richard Spurdens Photography – The sprint
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - model crouching in the window light on balls of her feet and holding her head in her hands exposed for the window light so models figure is in shadow
Richard Spurdens Photography – Crouching in the window light
Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour portait image of model topless looking across her shoulder back into the camera
Richard Spurdens Photography – model Nicky Philips
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - artistic nude model balanceing on a box with a panel to the left hand side making look she is on an L shape
Richard Spurdens Photography – Balancing on the L

I also worked again with Anita De Bauch, Elle Beth, Fredau H, Carla Monoco, and Amber Tutton. it is always good to work with models that you have worked with before, its a bit more relaxing as you know what they can do.

More models:

Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour image of the model reflected in a the mirror with her red nails and hair shining brightly
Richard Spurdens Photography – Red nails blue eyes
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - colour image of the model with the patterns of the material creating shadows on her figure
Richard Spurdens Photography – Mischkan shadow patterns
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - colour image of model wearing a white textured top light by natural window light
Richard Spurdens Photography – Elle beth in natural light
Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour image of the model wearign white tights seated on the floor with legs half crossed looking directly into the camera
Richard Spurdens Photography – Simple Fredua H
Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour portait head shot image of a subject wearing a white hat with a black rim and is looking directly into the lens
Richard Spurdens Photography carla m – white hat elegance – Fuji X-T1 – XF 56mm F1.2 R 1/ 125 sec @ F / 2.5

I have also supported Walters Wardrobe (Jen Brook) and her couture themed shoots at some great locations. These have included Allerton Castle and the vast stately home at Wentworth Woodhouse plus some other great locations too. The Wardrobe team included the MUAs Olivia Morewood and Abigail Pulleyn, with Jen doing the styling, sourcing outfits from the likes of Designer Sharon Bowen- Dryden.

Walters Wardrobe images:

fashion photographer - fashion photography - colour image from a fashion shoot at sledmere hall
Richard Spurdens Photography – fashion shoot – Lady of elegance
fashion photographer - fashion photography - colour image from a fashion shoot at allerton castle
Richard Spurdens Photography – fashion shoot at Allerton Castle,
fashion photographer - fashion photography - colour image from fashion shoot a wentworth woodhouse featuring model wearing a white bridal dress and high hair
Richard Spurdens Photography – fashion shoot a wentworth woodhouse
fashion photographer - fashion photography - colour portrait image of kelly ann showing of the dress design and hair
Richard Spurdens Photography – fashion photography fashion shoot a wentworth woodhouse house

This year I have also started a number of projects which I will feature early next year on this site. The main one has been “Reflected Leeds” which is about creating images of Leeds but using reflections.

I have also had a few trips to various different parts of the country to give talks on my work. These have included a visit to Smethwich photographic society and Bristol photographic society. Both are very prestigous societies so I was pleased to have been invited to present my work. Earlier in the year I attended the Arena Photographers weekend in Bournemouth, showing some of my “Perfecting the art of ” series of images on the Photo walk on the Saturday. These were well received by the delegates at the weekend.

The FIAP distinctions trail had been progressing, I received my EFIAP gold in June of this year, which was pleasing, however I have scaled back the number of exhibition I have been entering, only entering the ones that have good exhibition catalogues. I have managed to maintain a high rate of acceptances and have managed to pick up a few awards as well. I now need to get on with submitting my application for the EFIAP/ platiumn award.

A couple of visits to Spain were fruitful in terms of photography with some more interesting bull running images and other image opportunites. A visit to Glasgow in late October also produced some good images of the city architecture.

Other images from the year:

Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour image of the subject looking up towards the light wearing a red beret
Richard Spurdens Photography – Red beret II
Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour portrait image of the victorian post mistress standing behind her counter in the victorian shop at the Black country museum
Richard Spurdens Photography – the post mistress
Travel Photography - travel Photograher - colour image of three surfers heading towards the sea carrying their boards
Richard Spurdens Photography – surfers in pembrokeshire
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - colour image of artistic nude model hold a vertical rope down the center of her figure with legs each side making strong shapes and arms gripping the rope each at an angle
Richard Spurdens Photography – Fine art nudes – elle beth with rope
Aerial Arts photographer - Aerial hoop photographer - Aerial Arts photography - colour image of aerialist on a red hoop and wearing a red leotard holding an aerial pose using hand one hand and inner leg
Richard Spurdens Photography – Aerial hoop shapes with Aerialist EM – Model: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: Canon EF 70-200 f2.8 1/125 sec @ f/ 5.6
fashion photographer - fashion photography - monochrome vintage fashion shoot with model wear a sixty style psychedelic designed dress hat and black shoes
Richard Spurdens Photography -Standing tall
Sport photography - sport photographer - colour image from the time trail stage from javea to calpe in spain.
Richard Spurdens Photography – time trail focus
Travel Photography - travel Photograher - images from a bull running festiveal in the port of Javea Spain
Richard Spurdens Photography – image from bull running in Javea Spain
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - colour image of artistic nude model standing on tiptoe in a square of window light comming from behind and the figure also been lit from the side again from a large window.
Richard Spurdens Photography – Elle Beth at The Natural light Studio
Landscape Photography - Landscape Photographer - Blue dawn light Javea
Richard Spurdens Photography – Blue dawn light

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Photo London

Photo London 2016

Photo London from the 19th -22nd May 2016 – held for the second year at Somerset house London. We had spotted the event  a couple of months ago and booked some tickets.  I wanted to see what it would had to offer. As a trip to visit Paris Photo was an option for a visit later in the year.

The guide stated: that they had brought together 80 of the world’s leading photographic galleries for this year’s fair. Galleries from around the world including countries like Ag Galerie | Tehran. Ayyam Gallery | Dubai – BeirutBILDHALLE | Kilchberg / ZurichCAMERA WORK | Berlinamana (amanasalto / IMA gallery) | Tokyo. So this was going to be an eclectic mix of images

Photo London also had a program of talks and symposia each day which were curated by William A. Ewing, writer and a distinguished curator. There were a number of talks I would have liked to have gone too listen too. These included: Nick Knight, Martin Parr, and Lois Greenfield. Unfortunately they were all sold out. Well before we had booked our tickets, so perhaps need to book earlier next year.

As the Photo London fair didn’t open until 12:30. We decided to use the morning and visited the Victoria and Albert Museum V&A. To view the photography exhibition that was getting 5 stars reviews in the various London guides.

Paul Strand: Photography and Film for the 20th Century

The advertising for the exhibition states the following:

Paul Strand was one of the greatest and most influential photographers of the 20th century. Whose images have defined the way fine art and documentary photography is understood and practiced today.

It was certainly well curated, and his early images were often taken from a high vantage point looking down into the city. His street images initially were often shot without the subject knowing that they were in the picture. But this changed in later years as he often discussed with the subject what he want to get from the image. He certainly travelled a lot and his actual cameras are on display. Which was good to see what he was working with. I would certainly agree with the 5 star reviews of this exhibition.

The court yard was also worth a visit as a canopy designed to mimic the microscopic structure of the forewing shells of flying beetles has been constructed by a robotic arm using a carbon and glass fibre spun by the arms program, the Elytra Filament Pavilion forms a waterproof shelter in the courtyard. This is part of the exhibitions and events focused on the “unsung role” of engineering in society.

A selection of images from the days visits

Photo London thoughts:

So this was an opportunity to see lots of different people’s work in one location and also see how the medium was being used by many different types of photographers. While you might not like the results it was good to see the range and depth of the different approach to image making in the different forms in each of the galleries.

I enjoyed visiting all the different galleries and it does take a long time to get around then all – you need lots of breaks too. Fortunately the layout of the event made it easy to get around and view the work without lots of other visitors being an issue. It was great to see images from the some of the great photographers of the past, the likes of Horst, Bob Carlos Clarke, and Norman Parkinson as well as images from today image makers like Andreas H. Bitesnich and Nick Brandt Each gallery has something different to view. For the Horst (Mainbocher Corset, 1939) image that I love you needed around 8500 euro to buy one of the prints. However it was amazing to get up close and see the details and shadow tones in the image which was taken in 1939 on a plate camera.

Photo London also had some specific artists with a room dedicated to their work these included Don McCullan (a range of his work, presented in association with Hamiltons Gallery.)  This exhibition included a wide range of his works. A dark moody room for his images worked well.

Craigie Horsfield’s work was also on display in a separate exhibition, which featured 12 of his large scale portrait images. Horsfield is known for his intimate style and sensitive employment of diverse printing techniques, and it was certainly worth visiting.

However for me the best exhibition was the work of Sergey Chilikov, the exhibition was entitled  Photoprovocations

The exhibition info stated the following:

Sergey Chilikov is one of the most outstanding practitioners of the ‘new’ photography which emerged in the USSR in the 1970s. This specially-commissioned exhibition, curated by the Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow, brings this important artist to the fore.

Closely linked to the Sots Art (Soviet Pop Art) movement, Chilikov’s work is a subversive response to the strict Brezhnev era of the USSR. Away from the oppression of public society and in the privacy of domestic situations, people were free to behave as they wished. Chilikov turned his lens upon his subjects in this liberated state. His work offers a glimpse into a fascinating past counter-culture that has striking resonance to our societies today.

It certainly did and was as I had said above was the best exhibition of Photo London. Overall and good day visiting both the V&A and also Photo London.


2015 – a review of the year

So here we are at the end of 2015 and a time to reflect on the year photographically.

Has 2015 been a good year?

The answer, I think is yes, it has been a good and varied year.

I have worked with a quite a number of new models which was one of the aims of the year. On the photographic Salon front I have continued to enter a few of the National and International Salons and been rewarded with some success with images being accepted into the exhibitions and on a number of occasions picking up awards. One of the highlights was picking up my second Gold medal in the Trierenburg Super Salon, which resulted in an invitation to the Gala dinner in Linz in October to collect this. This year our trip was by train and we visited Zurich on the way there and Vienna on the way home. A blog post will be coming in early January about the visit to these two locations.

A few Judging invitations this year, including one of the National PAGB competitions (The GB Cup with fellow judges Leigh Preston  and Eric Orme) and also the international Yorkshire Salon 2015 with fellow judges Libby Smith and Rod Wheelans.

I have also had a number of invitations to present my images to camera clubs both locally in Yorkshire and nationally too, I even did a Couture fashion shoot too.

Mid-way through the year, I managed to put myself out of action for around 2 months when I broke my foot, so I had to cancel a trip to Spain and also a number of booked shoots which was a real pain. Fortunately at least one of the models I was able to work with later in the year. Just at this time I also got a studio space to work from so that has been a good step forward to have somewhere to work and play with lighting styles etc. I just had to wait for two months to start using it!

To make up for missing the trip to Spain in June we arranged a trip in September to visit the city of Bilbao, in northern Spain, which was well worth the visit as you can see from my post about it here.

On to the new models that I had the pleasure of working with this year, starting in January 2015, with Rosa brighid, then in alphabetical order: Angela Hudson, Amber Tutton, Darren H, Dee Delahunty, Gem, Mischkah, Rosewell Ivory and Tillie Feather.

I also enjoyed working again with Carla Monaco, Ella Beth, Faith Obae, Ivory Flame, Jen Brook, Kayleigh Lush, Raphella, and Madam Bink.

Finally I must put in a short bit around the FIAP awards which last year were revised upwards dramatically which made me decide not to follow on with the level awards. (see FIAP silver) Well in the FIAP congress in November 2015, guess what – they changed them all around again, you really do have to wonder!

So the upshot is I can now apply for my FIAP gold level award.

So to finish off here are some images from the 2015:

landscape photography - landscape photographer -January light Javea 2015
Fuji XF18mm 1/60sec @ F8.0
artistic nude photography - artistic nude photographer - pushing the blocks
portairt photography - portairt photographer - carla m
Richard Spurdens Photography – Carla M
Landscape Photography - Landscape Photographer - scotish highland view to the buachaille
Richard Spurdens Photoography the buachaille
artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography -Fine art nudes - shapes in the square
Richard Spurdens Photography – Shapes in the square
artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography -raphaella floor shapes
Fuji XT-1 Zeiss Touit 12mm /f2.8 i/125 @ f5.0
Dance photographer - dance photography -Faith and Darren
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography colour image of model looking out of a large window wearing a sheer top.
Richard Spurdens Photography
fashion photographer - fashion photography -gem 1
fashion photographer - fashion photographer - jen and amber
Richard Spurdens Photography – fashion photography – Jen and Amber
portrait photography - portrait photographer - high key monochorme image of model looking through to gap in some net curtains, subject is lit with natural light from behind
Richard Spurdens Photography – portrait image – mischkah highkey – III – Canon EOS 5D Mark III : EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM 1/125 @ F / 3.2
dance photography - dance photographer -checking the dance shapes
fashion photographer - fashion photographer - dee delahunty
Richard Spurdens Photography – Dee

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Bilbao visit part II

Following on from, my recent blog post on my visit to Bilbao in September. Which mainly featured the architecture and areas around the Guggenheim.

I thought it would be worth sharing some of the other interesting places that are worth visiting whilst you are there.

Starting off a the tourtist information center where there was this interesting use of light bulds and photographes of the city of Bilbao.

Travel Photography - travel Photograher - light bulds and hotographs of the various locations in bilbao
Richard Spurdens Photography -travel photography series XF 35mm 1/60 sec @ f/4

The river Nervión runs through the city and you can walk on either side of this river and cross it by many of the different bridges that have been built at regular intervals in the centre. These are all different and some are more photographic interesting than others.

foot bridge sweep
Touit 12mm, 1/125 sec f13.0

Some of the outdoor sculptors along the banks of the river make interesting subject too and I choose to photograph them using a low angle to make these strong shapes stand out again the sky.

Travel Photography - travel Photograher -monochrome image of commemoration day of the sea sculptor bilbao
Richard Spurdens Photography – commemoration day of the sea sculptor series XF 35mm 1/60 sec @ f/16.0
travel photography - travel photographer - commemoration day of the sea sculptor
Richard Spurdens Photography – commemoration day of the sea sculptor
Travel Photography - travel Photograher - one of the commemoration day of the sea sculptor bilbao
Richard Spurdens Photograhy -commemoration day of the sea sculptor series. Fuji XF 35mm 1/60 sec @ f/16.0

Commemoration day of the Sea – XF 35mm 1/60 sec @ f/16.0

Another good place to visit was the Azkuna Zentroa, or in English the (Azkuna Centre) previously known as the Alhonhiga Bilbao. It is an interesting building which was originally a large wine warehouse designed 1909 but following it closure around 1970 was finally renovated between 2001-2010 by the architect Philippe Starck  in collaboration with Thibaut Mathieu. This is now a multi-purpose venue which houses: a gallery, cinemas, café, shops, fitness center and a swimming pool.

circles of light
2.0 secs @ f/8.0 Touit 12mm

But this is a swimming pool with a difference, it that at the top of the building and has glass panels in the bottom – so you can walk underneath it and look up at the swimmers in the pool back lit from above.

Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - a view from underneath to a swimming pool on the roof of the building
Richard Spurdens Photography – 1/125 sec @ f/11.0 Touit 12mm

The whole building make for an interesting place to visit: the open space has some interesting lighting and areas to sit and chat in.

Even the pillars supporting the internal structures are all different with attractive decoration patterns.

the ornate tiling of one support pillar
1/4 sec @ f5.6 Touit 12mm
travel photography - travel photographer - monochrome image of a decortive brick support pillar under a building in spain
0.5 sec @ f/5.0 Touit 12mm

As I said above you can walk around the city but there is also a very good tram and metro system, if you need to travel quickly or go further out of the city. Of course the metro system, which was designed by another fine architect Sir Norman Foster and as you enter the system by what the locals call ‘Los Fosteritos’ you feel you are entering a futuristic world. Once you have come down the escalators or glass lifts you are lead through tunnels to cavernous stations. With mezzanines floors above the trains and stairs from these lead you down on to platforms. Here are a few images from the stations which feel light and airy compared with some of the other metro systems that are around Europe.

metro esculators
XF 18mm 1/5 sec @ f/6.4
ticket barrier pop
The ticket barriers were worth a look at a bit of selective colouring. XF35mm 1/125 sec f/5.6
travel photography - travel photographer - colour image showing the station platform at moyua station with all the various lines runing towards the top of the image
Richard Spurdens Photography – Bilbao visit series – FX18mm 1/15 sec @ f/4
travel photography - travel photographer - colour image showing the station platform at moyua station with a train in the platform with the station name reflecting in the carrage windows
Richard Spurdens Photography – Bilbao visit series – XF18mm 1/30 sec @ f/2.8

We used the metro to go out to the Areeta metro station to visit the Vizcaya Bridge,  known to locals as the Puente Colgante (hanging bridge) which is a link between Portugalete and Getxo. It is the oldest hanging bridge in the world and was constructed in 1893 of iron and was designed so that the passage of ships would be interrupted.

the hanging bridge
1/180 sec @ f/16.0 XF-18mm

Another transport hub that is worth a vist is the railway station located in Abando near the old town. It is know locally as Bilbao-Abando and locally named as Estación del Norte (“North Station”), it is an interesting build and has a great station glass window showing the industrial heritage of Bilbao.

XF -18mm 1/60 sec @ f/8.0
XF -18mm 1/60 sec @ f/8.0

The skyline of Bilbao has some other notalbe buildings that are worth a look photographing, there is the Iberdrola tower ( Iberdrola dorrea) the head quarters of Iberdrola( the spanish electricity company) it certainly towers above the skyline and makes a interesting subject in various lights.

the Iberdrola tower
Touit 12mm 1/125 @ f/13
Reflected blues and whitess
Iberdrola Tower XF -18mm 1/180 sec @ f/11
XF -18mm 1/125 sec @ f/11
Iberdrola Tower sunset II
XF-55-200 mm @ 55mm. 1/125 sec @ f/ 5.0
office block colours
XF-55-200 mm @ 200mm. 1/125 sec @ f/ 6.4

The final images I shot were at another transport link the airport which is also designed by Santiago Calatrava and the terminal is a sleek design and looks like the front of a large arrow pointing to the sky. This is a shot from the interior departure hall.

Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer -bilbao airport interior roof
Richard Spurdens Photography – bilbao airport windows FX18mm 1/125 @f /10.0

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Bilbao with the Fuji XT-1

We had talked about going to Basque Country in Northern Spain for a number of years, and Bilbao was on my list as a Spanish city I wanted to visit too. We decided to take the plunge and make arrangements to go there for a few days and experience the Basque region.

Now I knew that one of the attractions for me in Bilbao was the Guggenheim Museum for its architectural design both on the outside and inside too. But were there other photographic opportunities as well? With a bit of research on the web I found a good photographic blog from Lizzie Shepherd who had been there in December of last year. Her blog showed that there were quite a few other areas to visit that were worth taking a camera along to.

With a few days of research on how best to get there by my wife, we decided to go by train. So at the beginning of this month we boarded a train and headed down to London via the East Coast Mainline; then out from St Pancras by Eurostar to Paris; and across Paris by Metro to Paris Montparnasse. Boarding the modern French TVG Atlantique train, we travelled across France to Hendaye and then a short walk to the tram station and on across the Spanish border to Irun. A night in a hotel in Irun was followed by another local train journey to the city of Bilbao.

travel Photography - travel Photograher - railway lines overhead power lines for the trains and a background of vertical lines from the buildings make this a high and low line image - taken as the train leaves one of the paris stations
Richard Spurdens Photography – High and low Lines

My camera of choice for traveling is now the Fuji system as the XT-1 and the 5 lenses I carry are capable of covering all the images I might want to take. It is also a lot easier on the shoulder when you are out walking all day – that can make a lot of difference. All my Fuji gear fits into a small Bingham shoulder bag so if you are flying it doesn’t give issues getting the bag onto the plane. I had also brought my recent addition to my travel kit the ‘Brian’ – the 3 legged thing, and a range of filters but in the end the only filter I used was the polarizer.

Once we had settled in to the hotel which was situated near the Guggenheim we headed out to explore.

The Guggenheim was just a short walk alone the river Nervión and as you approach it, the distinctiveness of Frank Gehry’s  design comes into view – those curving titanium sculptural and expressionistic curves and lines standing out against a dark sky. Time to bring out the 3 legged thing tripod and the telephoto lens to zoom in and capture those flowing curves and wonderful lines against the dark sky. I was not disappointed with these first images:

Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - guggenheim titanium colours
Richard Spurdens Photography – Guggenheim titanium colours XF-55-200 @ 55mm 1/60 sec @ f13
Architecture Photography - Architecture Photograher - the evening light hitting the cladding of the guggenheim Museum bilbao,
Richard Spurdens Photography – Architecture series
Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - guggenhiem view II
Richard Spurdens Photography – Guggenhiem view II Touit f2.8 – 1/125 @ f14
Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - Kapoor's Tall Tree & The Eye Instulation
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kapoor’s Tall Tree & The Eye Instulation XF55 – 200mm @ 55m 1/100 @ f13
Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - tall tree and the eye reflections
Richard Spurdens Photography – Reflections from the Tall tree and eye sculpture by Anish Kapoor XF55-200 @ 110mm 1/125 @ f9.0

Over the next few days I had plenty of opportunity to explore both the exterior and interior of this wonderful building. I loved the shapes and flows of the lines and different colours the titanium cladding gave in the different light. I could have spent a lot more time trying to do it justice. I was lucky that on the days we were there was a lot of rain clouds around so the roof structures stood out well against these dark clouds. It would be a lot different against a clear blue sky I would think.

Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - guggenheim roof angles and shapes
Richard Spurdens Photography – Guggenheim roof angles and shapes XF55-200 1/125 @ f6.4
Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - guggenhiem view II
Richard Spurdens Photography – Guggenhiem view II Touit f2.8 – 1/125 @ f14

Of course the Guggenheim is not just about the outside and an afternoon was spend inside the wonderful building were you can see the flow of the architect’s design. The support structures are described as being like arteries and the building flows from the outside to the inside with the titanium plates continuing into the building and become part of the interior.

Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - glass and steel interior of the guggenheim museum Bilbao
Richard Spurdens Photography – Interior lines and flows Touit 12mm – 1/60sec @ f4.0
Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - glass and steel exterior of the guggenheim museum Bilbao
Richard Spurdens Photography – Glass and steel upwards Touit 12mm-1/60sec @ f5.6
Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - glass and steel interior of the guggenheim museum Bilbao looking up
Richard Spurdens Photography
Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - wall shapes - interior of the guggenheim museum Bilbao
Richard Spurdens Photography – Curves and lines in white XF18mm 1/125 sec @ f6.4

Photography is allowed in some areas of the building but not others, and you are quickly told if it is not allowed. The exhibition by Richard Serra, entitled The Matter of Time, is just amazing to see and experience and you seem to be able to take images among the structures without any issues but not from the viewing gallery above!

Another more colourful sculpture in the Guggenheim is actually outside but you can only get to it by going and paying the entry to visit the museum. This is a collection of giant tulip bulbs by Jeff Koons, it is certainly photogenic and offers lots of different viewpoints, you just have to wait your moment between other visitors.

Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - tulip's by jeff koons
Richard Spurdens Photography – Tulips by Jeff Koons Touit 12mm 1/60 @ f10

The other big exhibition was a retrospective of the work of Jeff Koons (Artsy’s Jeff Koons) including the controversial, ‘Made in Heaven series’. But I didn’t take any images of this exhibition interesting and colourful as it was; for me the building was the star of this show.

Bilbao also offers some good low-light night photography. Obviously the Guggenheim is the first port of call for this as the building is well illuminated at night as are the outside sculptures and bridges near the museum.

Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - guggenheim at twilight Bilbao
Richard Spurdens Photography – Guggenheim from acoss the Nervión river at twilight Xf18mm 1sec @ f10.0
Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - glass and steel exterior of the guggenheim museum Bilbao at night
Richard Spurdens Photography – Guggenhiem night colours XF56mm 1sec @ f8.0

There is a Louise Bourgeois giant spider to try and capture as the night falls and the sculpture and building are lit up. The composition using the spider and building is a bit tricky but I think this one works for me as it also captured the fire fountain (Yves Klein) The fires burn at regular intervals for around 30 seconds so you just need to choose your location and then setup and wait for the roar of the flames. I was hoping the long exposure would take out most of the other visitors but one or two chose to stand for long enough to register.

Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - maman spider at night
Richard Spurdens Photography – Maman spider at night Touit 12mm 1sec @ f8.0 ISO800,
Travel Photography - travel Photograher -Bilbao reflections
Richard Spurdens Photography – Fire fountains and reflections XF35mm 4.0 @ f 14
Architecture Photography - Architecture Photographer - maman and arcos rojos at twilight
Richard Spurdens Photography – Bilbao maman and the arcos rojos bridge structure

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