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


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.