2017 a year in review

So as 2017 comes to an end I thought it was worth taking a bit of time to reflect on this years photography.

Two of the main highlights from 2017 that spring to mind are being awarded a third London Salon medal for one of my images entered in this years (2017) London salon. Having been lucky enough to have been awarded medals at medal at previous Salons – I never thought I would get a third.

The second highlight was having an image in Great Britain entry for this years FIAP colour biennial .
I also achieved the EFIAP/Platiumn award which has been a long-term goal for me. (see below).

Studio wise, I have been busy in there and I have also done quite a number of location shoots too, which offers a different challenge to working in the controlled enviroment of a studio. I have enjoyed the challenges of working on location and learnt a few things too.

There have been chances to work with a number of new creatives again this year and I have enjoyed working with them and together we have created some great images, and also had good fun playing with different light approaches.

New creatives this year have included:

Dancers: Alexa Hilton, Charlie, Jay and Erica Mulkern.

Dance Photographer - Dance photography - dance moves by alexa hilton
Richard Spurdens Photography – Alexa Hilton – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV -Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Dance Photographer - Dance photography - dance moves by alexa hilton
Richard Spurdens Photography – Alexa Hilton on pointe feet movement – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Dance Photographer - Dance photography - dance pose by dancer erica mulkern
Richard Spurdens Photography – dance photography – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Dance Photographer - Dance photography - dance pose by dancer erica mulkern
Richard Spurdens Photography – Erica Mulkern red top black shorts – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
Dance Photographer - Dance photography - dance pose by dancer erica mulkern
Richard Spurdens Photography – dance photogrphy Erica Mulkern – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Models: Rachelle Summers, Nicole Rayner, Scarlot Rose, Pippa Doll (who is a karate expert, dancer and skate boarder too) and finally Zoi Morgan.

fashion photographer - fashion photography - colour image from a fashion shoot at pipewwll hall featureing designes by Jane-woolrich-design. model is seated in a red winged chair wearing a pink negligee and slip
Richard Spurdens Photography – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
portrait Photography - portrait Photographer - colour image of subject looking out to the right hand side of the frame shot using nature light she is wearing a light brown blouse which is off both shoulder and she is holding it in the middle of her chest.
Richard Spurdens Photography – Rachelle Summers – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM – 1/60 sec @ F / 14.0
fashion photographer - fashion photography - colour image from a fashion shoot with model wearing croped demin jeans and a striped shirt she is stood against a dark brown back ground with one arm hold the shirt coller and the other resting on the opposite leg
Richard Spurdens Photography – studio shot with model Pippa Doll – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM 1/125 sec @ F / 8.0
Fine Art Nude Photography - Fine Art Nude Photographer - a toned monochrome image showing the model holding a bunch of white tulips against the skin
Richard Spurdens Photography – four tulips -Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS 1/125 sec @ F / 3.2

I have also worked with a number of others from previous years including: Carla Monoco, Madame Bink, Ivory Flame, Elle Beth, Mischkan Scott and (aerialist and model) Em Theresa.

fashion photographer - fashion photography - colour image from a fashion shoot at pipewwll hall featureing designes by Jane-woolrich-design. model is standing by the wiindow with a rocking horse wearing brown lace negligee
Richard Spurdens Photography – fashion shoot series -Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: 35mm
Fine Art Nude Photography - Fine Art Nude Photographer - monochrome image of artistic nude model sitting in profile on a small wooden stooll and her legs are raised forward to form an angle she is wearing a white hat and her arms are both reaching up to hold the hats brim. lit with a single gridded rectangular soft box
Richard Spurdens Photography – Madame Bink with white hat – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS 1/125sec @ F / 4.5
Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour portrait head shot image of a subject looking directly into the camera lit from the window light on the rhs of her.
Richard Spurdens Photography – mischkan scott hs white top Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM 1/125 sec @ F / 3.2
dance photographer - dance photography - colour image of the dancer wearign a large floaty blue dress kicking her right leg high out the the lhs of her with her arms reaching back behind her
Richard Spurdens Photography – Blue Dress moves – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – EF50mm f/1.8 II 1/125 sec @ F / 6.3
fashion photographer - fashion photography - colour image from a studio fashion shoot subject is wearing a red ball dress, shot using natural light
Richard Spurdens Photography – fashion shoot – Canon EOS 5D Mark IV : EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM 1/125 sec @ F / 2.8

In terms of the FIAP distinctions trail; I was pleased to received my EFIAP/ platiumn award in June of this year, which a great achievement. So that goal was finally achieved within the 5 years I had set out for it.  As I mentioned in my last review (2016) I had really scaled back the number of exhibition I have been entering, only entering mainly prints and looking to support exhibitions that maintain a good printed exhibition catalogue. I have managed to maintain a good rate of acceptances and also have managed to pick up a few awards as well. A couple of my images have been on the front covers of the exhibition catalogue, which is always a good result for an entry into the salons.

Image that was the front cover of the Cotswold Salon 2017

artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - monochrome image the model in using a white posing box she pushing up with her arms at the back of the box and her left foot to lift herself off the box her other leg is lifted and pointed at ninty degress towards the light. which is a single side light to the right hand side of the model.
Richard Spurdens Photography -artistic nude figure study titled: A simple point of the foot – efiap platinum level image

I was also invited to be a judge for a number of national photographic exhiditions in the UK, which took up quite a few weekends in the first half of the year. As always, it was hard work but rewarding in being able to see what other photographers have been creating around the country.

I have also supported Walters Wardrobe (Jen Brook) and her couture themed shoots at some great locations. This year these have included a shoot at Western Park in Shropshire (Ruffles & Ready), which featured the designer: Mishi May, with styling by Jen Brook, Millinery: Donna Graham, and MUA: Sophie Battersby. The models included : Victoria Coutts, Jodi Lakin, Nicky Philips and Kamila Nowak.

We also returned to the vast stately home at Wentworth Woodhouse (Dance of the Decadent Dolls). This was with Designer: Rosie Red Corsetry and Couture, with styling by Jen Brook, and Millinery by Donna Graham, MUA: Sophie Battersby, Olivia Morewood, Rebecca Cordell, Sophie’s MUA/hair assistant: Rachael Doig. The Models for this event included: Ayla Rose, Ivory Flame, Jaye Yip, Rebecca Cordell.

The final shoot for this year was Sandon Hall Staffordshire, (Beauty and the Feast). This featured the designs of Katie Newsam, styling by Jen Brook, assisted by Jodi Lakin, Livvy Morewood. MUA: Sophie Battersby. Models: Amelia Mary, Katie Talyor, Charlotte Burton, Catherine Ashworth.

Images from the Walters Wardrobe shoots of 2017

colour fashion image of a model wearing a ruffle designed full wide skirt and match bodice and hat designed by Mishi May
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV – Lens: 35mm
fashion photographer - fashion photography - colour image of model wearing a red and gold ball gown with makeing red hat she is seated on a stone plinth in the garden room- shot on location at sandon hall, Dress Designer: Katie Newsam, Styling Jen Brook, Walter's Wardrobe Productions
Richard Spurdens Photography – Fashion shoot at Sandon Hall – Red and Gold dress – Model: Fuji X-T2 Lens: XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR 1/80sec @ f / 5.6 ISO 800
colour image of the model wearing a sculpted figure huging design of designer Mishi May
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: 35mm
fashion photographer - fashion photography - colour image from fashion shoot at sandon hall, Dress Designer: Katie Newsam, Styling Jen Brook, Walter's Wardrobe Productions, model wears full lenght purple ball gown with scalloped purple swirl running from the left shoulder down to the right foot of the dress
Richard Spurdens Photography – Fashion shoot image designer Katie Newsam – Model: Fuji X-T2 Lens: XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR 1/60sec @ f / 4.0 ISO 400
pom pom dress seated on the stairs
Fuji X-T2- Lens: F18mmF2 R 1/125 sec @ F /5.6
Fashion Photography - Fashion Photographer
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: 35mm
Dance Photographer - Dance photography -
Fuji X-T2 – Lens: XF18mmF2 R
Dance Photographer - Dance photography - colour image showing dancer on pointe wearing a white corset dress and to her rhs is a swam with eggs and balllons so the image is called dancing at the swans party
Richard Spurdens Photography – dance photography – Fuji X-T2 – Lens: XF35mmF1.4 R

EFIAP/Platinum Distinction Level

FIAP Distinctions for Photographic Merit

I received notification that my application for the EFIAP/Platinum Distinction level award (EFIAP/p) has been successful. This was great news as it has been a project which I started in 2012. The aim was to see if my images would gain acceptances in international photographic salons around the world.

All these photographic salons are run under the auspices of FIAP (Federation Internationale de L’Art Photographique).

Following on from my successful AFIAP (Artist FIAP) application I gained my EFIAP distinction in 2013 (Excellence FIAP) and each subsequent year since then I have achieved the required acceptance to progress up the levels each year.

I have also managed to pick up a number of awards along the way too, which is always a good feeling.

artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - monochrome image the model in using a white posing box she pushing up with her arms at the back of the box and her left foot to lift herself off the box her other leg is lifted and pointed at ninty degress towards the light. which is a single side light to the right hand side of the model.
Richard Spurdens Photography -artistic nude figure study titled: A simple point of the foot – efiap platinum level image

EFIAP/p: Excellence FIAP/Platinum

So a year on from achieving my EFIAP Gold (EFIAP/g), I managed to achieve and pass the requirement required for the EFIAP/p level.

I think it is worth just sharing the requirement for EFIAP/p distinction level. You need to exceed 700 acceptances with at least 250 different works, which have gained acceptances in at least 20 different counties, as well as 7 photographs gaining awards in 7 different counties and different salons.

Hence to achieve this level you need to have a pretty substantial body of work and to have been actively submitting that work to photographic salons around the world.  It really is no mean feat to achieve it.

In my post about achieving my EFIAP Silver, I noted with some regret that FIAP in their wisdom had made major changes to these awards requirements for the following year, which made me question the rationale of continuing to enter international salons.

However later in the year at the FIAP conference, the changes introduced to all the requirements of the awards were revised further, making the requirements sensible again.

So what I have learned along the way with this Project ?

First and foremost you need a good database to keep track of the salons you have entered and your image titles.

Within that database you will also need to keep the record of the FIAP Salon number of the salon you have entered and whether you have entered a Print or a PDI (Projected digital image), together with the year, and the country in which the salon is taking place. If the salon is a circuit you need to record each salon of the circuit and the images entered in each salon making up the circuit.

Upon receiving your results, it is important to check that the titles on the results sheet match your titles, as errors do occur and you need to make sure that the titles that are published in the results are the same as the ones in your database. You also need to record which images have received awards. The check of the awards is done on the image titles against the salon returns to FIAP so they need to match.

You can record lots of other things if you want but those listed above are the main things you will need at the end of the year when you are filling out your application submission.

Image titles are also very important. Make sure you don’t duplicate titles, over a year you can sometimes struggle to think of a title and end up using one that you have already used.  I made that mistake a few times and you can only use the title for one image, so effectively you lose the acceptances you gained from the duplicated title. Also make sure you don’t use the next image in a sequence of images you may have shot as they will be too similar. It is tempting to use another image from a shoot if one has done well. Look carefully at the images you use.

It is important to pick your salons, as you do need a good spread of countries each year. You may be very successful in one country, and it is very tempting to keep entering images in the same area if they do well. You will learn quickly which salons are well run and which to avoid!

If you want to read some of my other blogs about the FIAP distinction trail then the links are below:

 EFIAP2013 and EFIAP/b 2014), EFIAP/s 2015, EFIAP Gold

Here are a few of the images that were part of my EFIAP Platinum application :

landscape photography - landscape photographer - kirkjufell mountain and waterfall
Richard Spurdens Photography – Iceland series
fashion photographer - fashion photography - colour image from a fashion shoot at an old mill location in coppull featuring elegance femine designs
Richard Spurdens Photography – fashion shoot with Jen Brook – Pentax 645Z Lens: FA 645 150mm f/2.8 1/100sec @ F / 2.8
aerial arts photography - aerial arts photographer - aerialist inverted hanging from bue siks
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS 1/125sec @ F / 5.0
travel Photography - travel Photograher - colour image taken a the victorian village a ironbridge interior shot of the candel maker workshop using the back window light showing the machine and candle maker at work in the gloom light of the workshop
Richard Spurdens Photography – the candle makers workshop victorian village iron bridge
portait photography - portrait photographer - model wearing a leather jacket and hold a chain across her shoulder
Richard Spurdens Photography – Canon 5D EF 70-200mm F2.8 L 1/125sec @ F / 6.3
dance photographer - dance photography - colour image of the model wearing a white dress and leaping in the air with one leg pointing vertically down and the other out behind her she is hold a large sweeping brush in her right hand floor has been drop on her from above to make it look like she is sweep up magic dust
Richard Spurdens Photography – Magic dust sweeping EFIAP/ Platinum image – Canon EOS 5D Mark III Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS 1/125sec @ F / 4.5
Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour portait head shot image of a subject looking down to the rhs of the image she is place towards the lhs and the light is comeing in from behind her left shoulder and to her right as well
Richard Spurdens Photography – angela hudson by natural light -EFIAP/ Platinum image – Canon EOS 5D Mark III Lens: EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS 1/125sec @ F / 4.5

So having achieved my aim of gaining the EFIAP/Platinum level what is next ?

I plan to keep entering a few of the international salons but I will be very selective in the ones I spend my money on.

I will mainly be focusing in on the ones that have prints sections. I enjoy creating prints and certainly feel that it is important to keep supporting salons that exhibit prints.

Final thoughts:

As I have pursued the FIAP Salons trail I have seen lots of inspiring work; I have met a number of good photographers; and made some new friends. I’ve been lucky to have travelled internationally as both an award winner and also as a judge.

Fine Art Nude Photography - Fine Art Nude Photographer - monochrome composite image of the model elle beth the front image is the model looking down toward the floor with one arm in a triangle and other is up to her face. the second image is larger and faded out more elle is holding one hand to her face and the other is behind her head
Richard Spurdens Photography – thoughts of the one IV Elle Beth – Canon 5D MkIII – 1/125sec @ f / 11.0 EF70-200mm F2.8 L
artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - colour image of model lying against a corridor wall with her leg out straight across the corribor her arm is across her chest and she is looking up towards the window light coming in from the rhs. the corridor wall are painted burnt orange and the floor is a light brown orange which goes with her white skin
Richard Spurdens Photography – towards the light ii – efiap platinum level image

EFIAP Silver

I’m delighted to have received notification this week that my application for the EFIAP Silver (EFIAP/s) award has been successful; this makes it my fourth FIAP distinction in consecutive years which I feel is a good achievement.

As with my other blog posts about the FIAP distinction trail,  EFIAP2013 and EFIAP/b 2014), I will share all the images that gained me acceptances for my successful EFIAP Silver application below this text.

I have been entering FIAP salons now for the last 5 years and over that period have had success with gaining acceptances and a few awards too. Through pursuing the FIAP salons trail I seen inspiring work, I have met a lot of good photographer and made some new friends and travelled internationally as both a judge and an award winner. The salons have provided me with an outlet for my work to be seen and shown internationally.

However from 2016 FIAP have decided to introduce an increase to all the level requirements, effectively a 100% increase in the numbers required at each level. This suddenly makes this a very expensive task and perhaps not worth the effort as future increase could again be made in following years.

Now I have seen the acceptance requirement increase at EFIAP level and was fortunate to have been successful enough with my images to gain sufficient acceptances to meet that increase. FIAP then decided to delay the introduction of that increase which then meant that I had a large number of acceptances that could not be used. However it seems that they may come into play with new changes to the requirements that FIAP have introduced as you can now include all your acceptances from your AFIAP and EFIAP towards these new level requirements.

So will I continue on the distinction trial?   I will wait and see as if those images are now able to count, if that is the case, then the task is not as great as it would have been. So clarification will be required before I make any decision on progressing on to EFIAP/Gold. I know that I will certainly not be going on from there.

I do feel a certain amount of regret that changes he been made without any consideration for people already within the process. Most other organisation would have taken a phased in approach to the changes, to allow for many of the members who were already well through the process to complete it, but that is not the case. This is a shame, as I feel I can no longer recommend the FIAP distinctions process as worth having a go at, which I used to do in my lecture tours.

Above are the a few of the award winning images:

Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - colour portrait image of model with deep blue eyes
Richard Spurdens Photography – EFIAP Gold – Nordic Blue eyes
Dance Photography - Dance Photographer - red pointe expression
Richard Spurdens Photography – Red pointe expression
dance photography - dance photographer - kapow
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kapow
Fine Art Nude Photography - Fine Art Nude Photographer - monochrome image of artistic nude model making shapes with a set of gossamer wings
Richard Spurdens Photography – Gossamer Wings in Mono

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