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?
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