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National Parks, National Treasures

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Over the course of two years, photographer and CEWE Photoworld customer Robert Harvey visited and photographed all 15 of Britain’s National Parks. He documented this journey in a CEWE PHOTOBOOK, which is a stunning record of the diversity and beauty of Great Britain. Inspired by previous visits to National Parks in the United States, Robert wanted to create a book which shows that our own parks are just as diverse and photogenic.

Salt Cellar

Salt Cellar and flowering heather in August evening light, Derwent Edge – Peak District

So began a project which saw him visit most of the parks at least three or four times, to capture each one in different seasons. The result is a beautiful book which transports us to the far corners of Britain to explore the breathtaking scenery of the place we call home.

Great Mis Tor

Great Mis Tor before sunrise in mid winter – Dartmoor

Having visited every one of our National Parks, Robert particularly likes Dartmoor. “I enjoy Dartmoor and run photography tours there each year in association with Naturetrek,” he explains.

“It’s easily accessible and there are great contrasts in the landscapes within close proximity. Dartmoor’s granite tors are famous and very different to its lesser-known hidden valleys of luxuriant waterfalls and gnarled ancient woodlands.”

Green Bridge of Wales

Green Bridge of Wales in early morning light, Pembrokeshire

As with any outdoor activity in Britain, the elements are the main challenge for landscape photography, but Robert lives by the mantra, ‘whatever the weather there are images to be made’. It is the varied weather and changing seasons that give the National Parks their character, and this is what stands out when looking through Robert’s images.

“My favourite season for landscape photography is winter. The countryside is transformed by snow, frost and ice. On good days, the quality of light is better than at any other time of year.”

Langdale Pikes

Langdale Pikes reflected in Blea Tarn at sunrise in January – Lake District

Whatever the season, there’s one bit of kit that he would never be without, and that’s a tripod: “Even a small tripod holds the camera much steadier than your hand ever can. That way you can fine-tune your composition and get a good depth of field in sharp focus without having to worry about shutter speed or camera shake.”

Hadrian's Wall

Housesteads Crags, Hadrian’s Wall before sunrise in November – Northumberland

“The other piece of equipment I recommend is an alarm clock! Early in the morning is often the best time for outdoors photography. You can benefit from mist in autumn, frost in winter and lovely soft light when there is no one around in spring and summer.”

Wonderful in all weathers and seasons, our National Parks are a treasure to be enjoyed again and again, and well worth a visit with your camera.

Behind the photo

“I think the images I am most proud of are the ones that took careful planning and then all came together with a little bit of luck to add that extra ingredient,” says Robert.

Sycamore Gap

Aurora and Milky Way, Sycamore Gap on New Year’s Eve – Northumberland

“One I took in Northumberland comes to mind. I walked along the Hadrian’s Wall in pitch darkness late on New Year’s Eve. I guess everyone else was partying but I wanted to make a picture of the lone tree at Sycamore Gap with its bare branches silhouetted against the night sky and the Milky Way in the background. When I got there it was all just as I planned – plus the bonus of the Northern Lights in the sky right behind the tree. Magic!”

Explore more of Robert’s photography at robertharvey.net. All images copyright Robert Harvey.

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