November 07, 2014 15:43

With our Mother Earth competition well and truly under way, we thought we’d catch up with our resident Photography and nature enthusiast Paul Steele to see what he loves most about our beautiful natural world…

Mother Earth, we all see so much of it every day, and can quite easily take it for granted in our busy lives. When I am out and about hiking and trekking it is there, away from it all, that I make myself aware of all the beauty that surrounds us; from awesome landscapes to the smallest details of natural life around us. A lot of my hikes become not races against clocks or extreme exhibitions but chances to sit, look out, take stock and just marvel at the nature that I find myself in.

For me to show all my favourite spots here would be impossible. Every country, mile and landscape is unique; it’s one of the joys of nature. I wanted to show you a few spots that I have recently hiked across in the British Lake District that have really stuck with me.

Winter, a favourite time to be on the mountains, especially after a snowfall, when the sky is blue and the wind has died down, beautiful landscapes of white against the black rocks. Tarns and lakes like glass, reflecting the peaks and clouds. On days like this the view itself does all the work. The contrasts and colours coming directly into the camera without much manual help needed at all, all I needed was a good lens and what was in front of me. The picture above was taken on a point and shoot.

That is not to say summer is without beauty of course! Rich greens, deep blues and wondrous reflections light up the landscape from above on a bright calm day. Unfortunately the British weather does tend to cause most of summer days to get a smattering of haze! That can be a big problem with landscape photography, especially when capturing distant mountains. To counter this, I’ve always found it handy to have a polarizing filter to hand, like the one I used to take the above shot.

Autumn moss amongst the blues of the sky and water, together with the greens of the trees and ferns make the fall season a visually stunning and uniquely beautiful time of year. The hoards of tourists have faded away and you can have hours on the mountaintops to yourself. A useful, but simple tip for taking reflections along the tarns and small lakes is to get low. It is amazing how many people take photos at standing eye level. Crouch, get on your knees, or lie on the ground – It can be amazing how much more dynamic your photos can become.

So get out there and start making the most of what’s around you. It’s not going to be there forever. CoinaPhoto’s latest ‘Mother Earth’ competition is open to entrants until November 14th, so get snapping and share your best shots with the CoinaPhoto team. I’ll be judging the best entrants so I look forward to seeing what you can do!

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