Are you interested in photography? There are plenty of fantastic opportunities to capture striking images of panoramic views, wildlife and people in the stunning landscapes surrounding the lakes of the south west.

Why not try and capture a winning landscape, wildlife or action shot, and submit it to the annual South West Lakes and South West Water ‘Love your Lakes’ photo competition? Now is the time to brush up on your skills! Remember, there are four different categories, so there are lots of different photo types you can try out (Love your Lakes, Active Outdoors, Discovering Local Culture and Play and Explore).

This year, we will also be creating a calendar comprised of the 2019 competition winners' artwork for each month, as part of the Friends of South West Lakes scheme.


Renowned professional news and sport photographer Richard Austin will be judging the photo competition again this year. Here are some of Richard’s tips, and some of our own...

  • Find foregound, middle and distance in your image.

See Richard’s examples below illustrating this technique.


  • If you can find a point of interest, use it!

Sometimes, the focal point will sit most appealingly in the centre of the image. However, it may be more creative or eyecatching to place it off-centre.

  • Try to avoid dividing your image in half with the horizon – instead, try positioning it two thirds up or two thirds down.

The Rule of Thirds is a tried and tested formula. It involves dividing the image into nine equal sections (three across and three down), and positioning the crucial points of the scene into these areas. Intersections are good points to use!

  • The sky plays a big part in a landscape – use editing software to reveal hidden detail.

You might find this particularly useful when you take pictures of the night sky. The Dark Sky landscapes at Siblyback and Wimbleball are the perfect spots for capturing that perfect starry sky.

  • Exposure can be difficult

A bright sky will result in an under exposed foreground, so take several frames. If you are using an iPhone, tilt the phone down to crop out the bright background

  • Avoid blurry images

If you are using a camera, make sure you hold it securely with one hand on the body and one around the lens. Use an appropriate shutter speed, and a tripod if possible.

If you would like to enter the photo competition, please email your entries to Annabel at [email protected]. For more information, please click here.