on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Vanda Ralevska

Featured Photographer Revisited

Vanda Ralevska

Vanda Ralevska

I like those moments in time when everything goes quiet, my heartbeat gets faster, I take a deep breath and the time stops… until the shutter clicks and the moment that took your breath away is preserved… forever…


Michéla Griffith

In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.


Vanda’s images are full of life, love, joy and place - and increasingly the kind of place you might get to on your way to or from work, or in your lunch hour. She seems to be able to squeeze every (soft and misty) moment out of the day. The beauty extends to Vanda’s website, too - the way that it is laid out, the use of words and poetry, and the overall sentiment. She freely admits that for her, photography is about life rather than life being about photography.

When I first interviewed Vanda for On Landscape, her photography was driven by a love of travel, especially to the coast. Over time - without losing any of that desire to explore the country she loves - her work has become much more personal and she now admits that she needs to develop a connection to place to photograph it.

In the intervening period, Vanda has become a popular speaker and presenter, and a regular judge for photographic competitions.

I’m trying to get my head around how time has flown since our Featured Photographer interview with you in 2014. Do any particular experiences or highlights come to mind during this time? I know that you were particularly pleased to receive a Gold medal for your Thursley Common ‘Winter Sun’ portfolio in the RHS Botanical Art and Photography Portfolio Competition.

Time has certainly flown by fast. It seems like yesterday, yet so much has happened since.

For me, landscape photography is a solitary pursuit. I usually venture out on my own to be able to fully immerse myself in my surroundings and create a connection with the scene. However, there are times when sharing your experiences and your work with others feels right. Social media is usually the obvious answer, but there is nothing better than meeting in person. Joining several photography groups, such as Landscape Collective UK, Arena Photographers and most recently, the more informal Dorset Landscape Group has been a welcome change. I get the best out of both worlds. I get to spend time with highly talented, like-minded photographers who cover a wide range of styles and perspectives. The encouragement and support I receive make me feel free to share my work, including my most personal and unfinished projects, knowing that the feedback and advice will always be truthful and non-judgmental.

Speaking about sharing, I also started to get invitations to camera clubs, photographic societies and events. It has been a wonderful experience to be able to give something back and to encourage others to find their own view of the world. One of the most memorable events was my first ever presentation day. I still remember the butterflies in my stomach when standing in front of a large audience at an educational institute in Belgium. There have been many other days and evenings since. Some abroad, such as an unforgettable Fotofestival in Denmark, where I met some incredible photographers. Many others here in the UK are all very enjoyable, sharing my work and thoughts with many talented people and making new friends along the way.

There have been several joint exhibitions, the OXO Gallery in London, Denbies Wine Estate in Surrey, and a couple of galleries in France, amongst others. The Thursley Common portfolio, exhibited together with several other medalists in the Saatchi Gallery in London, was a total surprise and the cherry on top of the cake.

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