Your web browser is out of date. Update your browser for more security, speed and the best experience on this site.
Find out more

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

Yosemite Forest Fire By Vaughn Sears AIS ARPS

Explore the great outdoors with six must-see vistas

See the world in a different light with highlights from a touring exhibition of work by the RPS Landscape Group

It is rare that an audience can experience a landscape exhibition with the wind whistling around their gills.

But that's just what you can do when you view the Royal Photographic Society Landscape Exhibition, which begins its tour at St Andrew Square, Edinburgh. Passers-by will be able to immerse themselves in the show, organised by the RPS Landscape Group and staged at UK outdoor venues.

There are 61 prints in all, spread across a near 25m panel display, covering a range of landscapes, creative approaches and technological innovations. Some prints show the natural world at its most dramatic – including a fiery Yosemite image by Vaughn Sears AIS ARPS – while others reflect the tranquility of more peaceful landscapes.

The exhibition is in Edinburgh until 18 June before moving to Dame Judi Dench Walk in York between 26 June-10 July. Future stops in the Midlands and London are also planned.

To mark the exhibition opening, six photographers reveal their creative and technical secrets for success.

‘Yosemite forest fire’ by Vaughn Sears AIS ARPS (main image, above)

"Arriving at our hotel in Yosemite National Park late in the evening, we found there was no power to the guest rooms as a large forest fire had burnt through the power cables leading to the valley. The next afternoon we were on our way to Mariposa Grove and saw the fire on the slopes across the other side of the valley.

"We stopped in a layby to take some photos but shooting towards the sun made it difficult and we moved on. Later, when returning, we stopped again and this time using the longest lens I had with me I managed to get a couple of images of parts of the fire front.

"I was using a Sony a77ii camera with a 70-300mm lens at 300mm (equivalent to 450mm as the camera has an APSC sensor) and the image was taken at f/13, 1/400th of a second and ISO 400. The image was a jpg and was processed in Adobe Photoshop and ON1 Photo RAW to ensure it had good drama." 

‘The clam’ by Alison S Taylor ARPS 

The Clam By Alison S Taylor ARPS

"I just love waves and was fortunate enough to be at Newhaven during high winds and a spring high tide. I spent an excited two hours reading the waves and capturing as many photographs as I could. Timing was critical as I had to try and press the shutter at the point of impact, so there was no time to fiddle with controls. Aim and fire was the order of the day and I was pleased with the results when I got back to base.

"I pre-focused my camera with a shutter speed of 1/1000sec and left the ISO to go where it wanted as grain isn’t an issue with big waves. I underexposed by 1/3 stop to enable me to pull back the detail in the spray during post-processing. I also used a 200mm lens to close in on the waves but still leaving me space in the viewfinder to capture the whole wave with a bit to spare." 

‘Aura of the dunes’ by Mohammed Arfan Asif FRPS 

Aura Of The Dunes By Mohammed Arfan Asif FRPS

"It was an unusual day, as I was taken off guard. The early morning was pleasant when I set out with a friend for my landscape photographic project, but when we reached the location the weather changed dramatically. I had not anticipated the seasonal shamal (sandstorm). My friend refused to come out of the car to take pictures fearing the very strong winds with continuous sand blowing would destroy the camera.

"For me, it was a moment not to miss. It was difficult to even keep the eyes open and I rapidly pre-visualised a composition which would present the most intense moment. I would quickly remove the cap from the lens and take a couple of shots then place it back in position. But after a few attempts the situation was unbearable and I had to retreat to the car.

"I used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II at f/5.6, 1/250sec, 300mm and ISO 125." 

‘Buachaille Etive Mòr, autumn’ by Ray Grace ARPS 

Buchaille Etiv Mor Autumn Ray Grace

"This image was captured in autumn 2018. This particular viewpoint is popular with photographers and at the time the area was deep in mud from a lot of recent rain and photographers’ feet. I waited in the rain while a mid-morning heavy shower passed over and from a dozen or so shots taken, this was the most pleasing for me.

"A Canon 6D Mark II was used with a 17-40mm lens. Very little in the way of post-processing was done other than to enhance the contrast and provide a bit of saturation to the colours." 

‘Sunrise at the Seven Sisters’ by Istvan Lorincz

Sunrise At The Seven Sisters By Istvan Lorincz RPS HI R

"Cuckmere Haven is my much favoured local shooting location. Being just a few miles away, I take every opportunity to go out there for sunrise and sunset shots. The location has great views of the Seven Sisters cliffs, Cuckmere River where it meets the sea, along with the iconic coastguard cottages. 

"The image was taken on a cold January morning from the cliff top by the cottages on my way walking down from Hope Gap. Every morning, and every day, the light and composition is different there. On this day, the dew had settled on the cliff face and was acting like a mirror, reflecting the soft, warm light of the golden sunrise. As magical and peaceful as that beautiful setting can be there, it only lasts a short while before the angle of the light changes, or the clouds get in the way.  

"The gear used is Nikon D780 + 200m (Nikkor VR 70-200 f/2.8), tripod. Five images bracketed with shutter speed from 1/6 – 1/100 at f/14, ISO100, manual, centerweighted-average metering." 

‘Forest’ by Honey J Walker

Forest For RPS Landscape Group Exhibition
CREDIT: Honey J Walker ARPS

"My image was a labour of love, determination and research. Some five years earlier, I had come across the work of photographer Tom Hegen, who was exploring salt production with aerial shots. Initially I became obsessed with salt flats and the possibility of taking abstract images from the air. This required finding salt flats close to a large conurbation with easy access to a small helicopter and pilot, at a reasonable rate.

"My trial run and steep learning curve was over the salt flats just outside San Francisco. This led, five years on, to a trip to Iceland with the specific aim to photograph the glacial ice melts that occur each year.

"Careful planning of the time of year, weather and exact locations were paramount, in addition to locating a helicopter pilot who could understand my exact instructions on angling the helicopter, with an open door, 1,000ft up in freezing cold air. I was not interested in grand panoramic shots, rather the abstraction of pattern and form that the melting ice carves through the terrain. 

"The photograph was taken on my Canon Mark IV, ISO 1000, 300mm zoom lens, f/8, 1/1250 sec."


The Royal Photographic Society Landscape Exhibition is at St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, until 18 June 2022; then Dame Judi Dench Walk, York, 26 June-10 July 2022, before touring to other outdoor UK venues