FIAP colour biennial 2017

on pointe expression
Canon EOS 5D Mark II : EF 50mm f/1.2 L USM 1/125 @ F / 9.0

FIAP colour biennial 2017

Every year FIAP (International Federation of Photographic Art) hold international competitions called FIAP Biennials. These are hosted by different Federations around the world, under conditions laid out by FIAP. This year the competition was hosted by Norway and was a colour Biennial.

This is the first year that FIAP have merged the colour Print and Projected Image Biennials together.

In 2018 there will be the Black and White and Nature Biennials.

Within each medium, each country chooses its own theme for its entry, and puts together a panel of images or prints on that theme aiming to get the entries as coherent as possible.

During the competition the panel of entries is given both individual scores for each work, and also a mark for how coherent the panel is.

Obviously then the country with the highest combined score is the winner.

This year the Great Britain theme was “Dance and Movement” and the PAGB selectors selected 10 images to make that theme, including an image from myself.

Other authors representing GB were Dinah Jayes, Roger Parry, Derwood Pamphilon, Steve Marriot, Pauline Pentony, Joan Blease, Tim Pile, Greg Duncan, and Valerie Duncan.

In the competition the entry received a coherence score of 45 and an individual print score of 119, total score of 164.

There were 19 countries entered into the Colour Biennial (Print) and this score placed us 5th overall and we also received an honourable mention. We were one point off the FIAP Biennial bronze which went to Norway. Other notable awards were to Dinah Jayes who was awarded the FIAP Biennial individual gold medal for her image.

The overall winners of the World Cup were Italy.

Gold went to Luxembourg and Spain picking up the Silver, Norway the bronze medals

In the Projected Image Biennial, GB came second which was also a great result.

It was great to receive the printed catalogue showing all the print entries and I was especially impressed with the coherence of Luxembourg images, which was on a theme of ‘Black and Red’ .


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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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.

Exceptions:

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 ?

FIAP levels and the need to focus

From January to March anyone working towards the FIAP distinctions will have been finalizing their submissions and sending them off to their relevant FIAP coordinator. The Photographic Alliance of Great Britain (PAGB)  who administer the FIAP scheme in for England have set the deadline date as 31/03/2014.

I, like all the others on the FIAP trail, have submitted my form for the EFIAP/ bronze level, which I talked about in this post. To achieve this level you need 75 acceptances with 25 different Images and have gained 3 awards. As I could only count acceptances from June 2013 (the date of my EFIAP certificate) this was really halfway through the year so I was pleased to have achieved the required acceptance for this level in a relatively short timescale.

So what have been the learning points this year;

Focus

You need to be focused on getting new images into the salons and hopefully gaining acceptances; the important thing with the levels is to build up the number of different accepted images so you can achieve the required number for the level you working towards. It gives you no advantage in submitting previous images accepted, you are wasting your chances of getting other images accepted and building up your image count.

For the FIAP distinctions levels, you do need to have images that have gained awards. You need 3 for the bronze, 4 for the silver, 5 for the gold and 6 for the platinum – which is a total of 18 awarded images overall. Once an image has an award any further awards don’t help you, just the one is all that counts. So continuing to enter the same awarded image into other salons, in the hope of picking up any future awards is a real waste – these awards simply don’t count.

Strategy

The strategy I have adopted with new images is to enter them into at least 3 different salons and see if they gain acceptances. If they do gain an acceptance I then park it and move on to another image.

Learning

My main learning point this year was with image names. I used one image twice with different names and only discovered it as I was preparing my contact sheets. This is not acceptable and again a waste of time. I am not sure what I was doing but I guess entering Salons late at night after a long day at work had something today with it.

So I do need to improve my image numbering/naming system to ensure that images I use are numbered and named correctly to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

A few awarded images from my EFIAP/ bronze submission.

black and white geometry to mood
Black and white geometry to mood
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

Exposed Salon 2013

In 2012 as part of my project to obtain my EFIAP award I entered the Exposed salon in Slovenia.

When the results came out I was delighted to find that I won the FIAP Blue badge for best author in the Salon.

The Salon is organised by Foto klub Kamnik, and has run for 5 years.

During which time it has built up a good reputation as a Digital photo salon.

It also provides entrants with a good printed catalogue too.

However what I had not realised was that they have a policy of inviting the blue badge winner from the previous years salon to be one of the judges at the folowing years salon. So in early June I received an email from Klemen Brumec, one of the salon organizers inviting me to come and be one of the judges the next salon.

Which of course I was delighted to accept.

Now I have entered over 74 FIAP Salons around the world and pick up over 35 awards, but I had never been involved on the other side i.e. judging.

I was honoured to be invited to judge, especially in a foreign country, but I was also very interested to see and experience the whole process.

So in mid-December I drove to Stansted and flew direct to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia. On arrival I was met by Klemen who then drove us to Kamnik a small town about 20 miles outside the capital and home to the Kamnik Foto club.

The judging weekend

Now as I mentioned above Exposed is a digital salon, which means all entries are submitted digitally and to judge them they are displayed/projected.

So two days in a darkened room was ahead. On the day of judging I was joined by two other judges, both from Slovenia, Domen Dolenc, (F1 FZS), and Matej Peljhan, (KMF FZS, EFIAP) – so it was prestigious company to say the least.

Richard Spurdens Photography - Judging 2
chard Spurdens Photography – Judges at work

In terms of entrants, whilst I don’t know the exact figures there were around 9200 images. These were from around 800 different authors from all over the world.

It was going to be a busy two days of judging with that amount of images.

Judging wise, we were asked to score each image out of 9, using the full range from 1 to 9.

After the first round it is the highest scoring images that went forward to the awards selctions.

These images were then reviewed again with the judges discussing and sometimes debating the merits of a particular image.

I think for me a good point to keep in mind when entering FIAP salons you need to make sure that the images you submit have a high impact. They need to get the judges attention immediately.

As a judge you have a few seconds at best to determine if an image will be accepted or not. More subtle images are less likely to make it through.

Travel Photography - travel Photograher - the judging
Richard Spurdens Photography – Judging 2

Thoughts

As a photographer, I have to say that I felt privileged to see the work of so many different photographers from around the world.

However it was noticeable in a number of the sections that the almost identical image appeared.

It would seem that these were all shot at the same time by multiple authours.

Either at a workshop or staged shoot with each person standing next to each other.

I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard work, getting through that volume of images in two days was quite tiring.

Especially when I wanted to make sure that every image I viewed had the same amount of attention.

Irrespective of whether it was shown at the start or at the end of the judging process.

Travel Photography - travel Photograher - the judges
Richard Spurdens Photography – One of the album

The Exposed salon certainly now has good memories for me. In 2012 I won my first Blue badge and now I had the pleasure to meet the organisers and judge the 2013 salon entry.

The hospitality of Kamnik Foto club was excellent and I was made to feel very welcome.

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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

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FIAP Awards

I started on the FIAP Distinction trail in 2010 and when I entered some images in the GB Small Print Championship and managed to gain a number of acceptances, I started to see if I could achieve my AFIAP.  That became my project for 2011 and I have been submitting to salons on a regular basis ever since.

Thankfully I have been lucky enough to have my work feature amongst the awards in a number of salons, and so rather then keep posting in my blog I have put this gallery together which features my images that have received awards.

 Received Awards

FIAP Blue Badge/Best Author (x1)PSA Gold Medal (x4)
FIAP Gold Medal (x 2)PSA Silver Medal (x2)
 PSA Bronze Medal (x2)
FIAP Bronze Medal (x2)PSA Honorable Mention (x1)
FIAP Ribbon (x6) 
FIAP Honourable Mention (x13)London Salon Medal (x1)
UPI Gold Medal (x1) 
UPA Silver Medal (x1)Salon Medal (x6)
AFFR Gold Medal (x1)Judges Medal (x2)
FFS Gold Medal (x1) 
RPS Silver Medal (x1)Salon Praise/Honorable Mention (x2)
RPS Ribbon (x1) 

Awarded Images

Artistic nude photographer - artistic nude photography

Count

To date my count stands at 481 acceptances from 172 images, 74 salons from 23 countries & 35 awards from 21 different images


Distinctions

  • AFIAP- June 2012
  • EFIAP – June 2013

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’

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