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


The Hepworth Wakefield

I paid a visit to the Hepworth gallery in Wakefield to view the exhibition by the American photographer Philip-Lorca diCorcia, last week and took along my Fuji XE-1.

It is well worth a visit both to see the images in the exhibition but also to get a feel of the space. The Hepworth allows photography in most rooms so here are a few of the images I shot on the day. I started outside with a few images of the building which is quite angular and one either likes or you hate.

These are followed by images from the various areas and rooms within the building. All the images below were shot hand held and processed in Lightroom using the latest Fuji profiles released for Lightroom.

These work well and I have tried a couple of different variant to see what the overall effects to the images are.

Well worth a visit as the exhibition space is good and the café does some good food too. The Hepworth will certainly be on my list of venues to visit in the future.

A second London Salon Medal

A trip to London this weekend to attend the opening of the prestigious London Salon of Photography. This is third year that I have been down to attend the opening of this Salon. Although it is not a FIAP salon and therefore does not count towards any FIAP awards, I have tried to support it since being invited to submit some images three years ago. It is not an easy salon to get images into as they have a unique selection process where the images are viewed by all the assembled salon members and the images have to be passed by them, which is not easy. The images selected have to show distinct evidence  of artistic feeling and execution. It may not be a FIAP salon but it does receives thousand of entries from all over the world.

So to have managed to get images selected for inclusion within the exhibition for the last 3 years I feel is a great achievement. My first image selected into the Salon (2012) was entitled: the Lady and the Lamp.

Fine Art Nude Photographer - Fine Art Nude Photography - lady and the lamp
Lady and the lamp

Last year I managed gain two acceptances into the salon ( this is the maximum anyone can get selected), and “Synchronized Bathing Practice” picked up a Salon medal which is a really great achievement as only 10 medal are awarded at each salon.

So to this year – I again managed to have two images selected: “Perfecting the art of chair hurdling” and “Perfecting the art of table stands” are both on the exhibition wall.

The first image was also award a Salon Medal, which I was delighted with. To hold two London Salon medals is, I feel, a really great achievement.

perfecting the art of chair hurdling
Perfecting the art of Chair hurdling

The 2013 FIAP trail

The 2013 FIAP trial

Overall it has not been a bad year for Salon entries and successes I could not really start my project of gaining the required acceptances for the FIAP/Bronze level until I had received confirmation of the EFIAP award. As you cannot count any acceptance towards the new level until after the confirmation date of the EFIAP award, which for me was confirmed at the beginning of June this year.

So for that reason I have not been entering as many salons this year as in the past few years, due to the reasons stated above. It is only after the award date that you can start to count acceptances towards your next level, so it was really a waste of images and money to do many entries.  I did however support a few salons during that period and did gain a number of acceptances with a new range of images, but as I stated above none of these will count toward the bronze level.

That said there has been a few memorial highlights this year for me, the first high point was gaining acceptance of two images into the London Salon of Photography (2013) but the really highlight was that one of those images was awarded a prestigious London Salon Medal. This was a real surprise and a great achievement too.

These are prized medals as the London Salon only allows 10 medals to be available each year, and in some years only a few medals are award. So to actually be awarded one for your one of your images is really special and a great result. It was good to go  down to London to the exhibition opening and receive the medal and see the images hug on the wall. I was fortunate this year to also get another image accepted into the exhibition.

dance photographer - dance photography - in the mono synchronized bathing practice
Richard Spurdens Photography – Synchronized bathing practice

My second highlight of the year if you are allowed two, was in the Midlands Salon of photography were I was fortunate to win 4 different medals in the Salon.

The following images were medal winners.

Spotting a square landing was awarded PSA Gold Medal

Synchronised bathing Practice was awarded PSA Bronze Medal

Curves in profile was awarded UPI Silver Medal

Perfecting the art of table stands was awarded MCPF Medal

As they say, good things come in three and so finally and following my Blue badge win at the Exposed Salon in 2012. I was invited to be one of the judges for the 2013 Exposed Salon so a trip to Solvenia in the next couple of weeks is now arranged and I am looking forward to see and judging the images submitted into this year Salon.

So in terms of Salon this year I have entered 35 different Salons  and had 204 acceptances and picked up the 24 awards, so not a bad half year really

Here are some of my new images that have gained acceptances in 2013.

Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer -punch
Richard Spurdens Photography – Punch
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
dance photography - dance photographer - kapow
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kapow
perfecting the art of chair hurdling
Richard Spurdens Photography – dance photography – Perfecting the art of Chair hurdling
portrait photography - portrait photographer - monochrome image of a model standing behind a window with rain drops runing down the outside. she is reaching her finger to trace a rain drop down the window - rainy day reflections
Richard Spurdens Photography – Rainy day reflections
Portrait Photography - Portrait Photographer - monochorme profile image of the models face and hat making a curves shape
Richard Spurdens Photography Curves
artistic nude photography - artistic nude photographer - model standing with a ribbon wraped around her middle
Richard Spurdens Photography –
Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography - summer house reflections
Richard Spurdens Photography – Summer house reflections
dance photographer - dance photography - perfecting the art of table stands
Richard Spurdens Photography – Perfecting the art of table stands




Good things come in Pairs

As I have mentioned in my previous blog post  EFIAP Distinction Award, I enter images into international photographic exhibitions and with each salon there normally comes a catalogue (often a printed one, but some send a CD or DVD instead).

These are usually records of the award winning images and a selection of the accepted images from the exhibition. Now it is good to get acceptances with your submitted images in the exhibitions but when you get awards too it is good to have a record of that fact.
I recently received two packages on the same day containing catalogues and medals from two different salons.
One was from Serbia – the Photo Cinema club “POZAREVAC” who run the Salon of Art Photography “WORLD AROUND US ” and the other was from Spain from the Spanish Andorran Iberoamerican digital circuit.

The first was a good printed catalogue, the other a CD.
In both of these salons my images had gained acceptances and in Spanish Circuit my image entitled, ‘In Contemplation’ had been awarded a Gold medal and one of my other images entitled ‘Kapow’ had gained a FIAP Ribbon.

In the World Around Us Salon, my image entitled ‘Rainy day thought’s had picked up a Silver Medal and had a full page spread which is always pleasing.

fashion photography - fashion photographer - colour image of model seated on a wooden chair wearing an white top and pants looking off into the distance
Richard Spurdens Photography – In contemplation
dance photography - dance photographer - kapow
Richard Spurdens Photography – Kapow
Fine Art Nude Photography - Fine Art Nude Photographer - figure shape through the rainy windows of a door
Richard Spurdens Photography – Artistic Nude series

So as the Chinese say ‘good things come in pairs’


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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