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Please note: RPS House is closed for our exhibition install. We will be open again from 10am on Friday 9th August 2024.

Cauldron Falls by Viv Cotton ARPS

Landscape Group Committee Member Profile - Viv Cotton ARPS

RPS Landscape Group Newsletter, September 2023

Landscape Group Committee Member Profile - Viv Cotton ARPS, Secretary


When did you first become interested in photography and how? 

Photography was a hobby that my father and grandfather were both interested in, so I think I got my first camera when I was about 8. A Kodak Instamatic, which used 126 cartridge roll film and square flashcubes that literally self-destructed when used.  I have fond memories of spending time at my grandfather’s house going through photo’s I’d taken and in turn he would show me the latest of his.  


The Kelpies © Viv Cotton ARPS


What does photography mean to you? 

Photography is a way for me to clear my head and de-stress, there is nothing like heading out on a walk with my camera and just looking at and appreciating my surroundings. I enjoy the challenge of trying to find an appealing composition and get a sense of satisfaction when I capture something that I really like.

What do you most like to shoot? 

My preference is to be outdoors, mainly capturing landscapes, but I also quite like finding small details and often have a macro lens with me.  I don’t photograph people very often; however, I have done some event photography for the professional performance team of the taiko drumming dojo that I am a member of which is quite daunting and exciting in roughly equal measures!


The Strid © Viv Cotton ARPS


How do you approach a shooting? Do you choose the location/subject in advance, or do you drive somewhere and start taking pictures? 

It’s a mixture, I usually have some idea of what to expect e.g. is it coastal, hills, lochs, woodland…  but I don’t usually have a specific objective in mind.  I recently headed to Inverkeithing to photograph the remains of an old gantry/pier. When I got there, I found that the scene really didn’t appeal to me, but shooting in the totally opposite direction did!  I think it’s important for me to keep an open mind and just shoot what I respond to. 

My current personal project is slightly different in that I have specific targets to photograph.

Are you a member of a camera club? 

Not currently.


138 Tower, Japan © Viv Cotton ARPS


What is your favourite camera? 

I am a long time Canon user (at least 20 years). I have an EOS 5d Mk 3 and a 5d Mk 2 (modified for IR) in my bag, they are not the latest tech, but I am totally comfortable with them. I actually haven’t bought any new camera gear for many years now being very happy with the cameras, lenses and accessories that I use although, I do find myself occasionally wishing they were a bit lighter!

What are you working on now? 

I’m continuing to work on a personal project of photographing Scotland’s historic castles, palaces, cathedrals, abbeys, and churches in IR. I’ve “bagged” over 300 to date with plans for a few more in the coming months!

I have signed up for the Shipping Forecast Project and I have plans for some coastal work before the end of the year. 


Header Image: Caludron Force © Viv Cotton ARPS






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