Enter the 2021 Lancashire Life reader photography competition

Les Fitton, Lancaster Canal

Les Fitton, Lancaster Canal - Credit: Les Fitton

We launch our annual photography competition by looking back at past winners.

This wonderful top ten are the winning shots from the last decade of our super photography competition – and we hope they give you the inspiration to enter this year’s contest.

Entries are now open for the 2021 competition as we start the hunt for the county’s best amateur photographer.

The competition is once again sponsored by Wilkinson Cameras, who have provided brilliant prizes for our winners since 2010.

This year the photographer the judges choose for the top prize will receive a Sony Cybershot RX100 III camera and a 32GB media card worth a total of £500. The second prize winner will be given a Wilkinson Cameras gift voucher to the value of £150, with a £75 Wilkinson Cameras gift voucher for the third prize winner.

The competition closes on September 24th, 2021 and there are just two rules: the competition is not open to professional photographers, and all shots must be taken in Lancashire or the Lake District.

This year, we’ve made it even easier to enter - simply email high res versions of your best shots to photocomp@lancashirelife.co.uk

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We’ll print a selection of the entries in the magazine each month and will reveal the winners in our December issue.

Our judges include David Parkinson of Wilkinson Cameras along with Lancashire Life’s chief photographer Kirsty Thompson and editor Paul Mackenzie.

Paul said: ‘You’d be forgiven for thinking that after all these years we’d have seen pictures of every landscape and view from every conceivable angle and in every possible light, but our talented readers keep surprising us.

‘Every year it gets harder to select our winner. From the hundreds of images we are sent every year, we select a longlist of about 40 and then we start arguing about which should make the shortlist of 13. And then it gets really difficult when we have to choose a top three.

‘It’s not easy, but it is a very enjoyable task, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing this year’s images.’

Tips from a winner

Our latest winner, Les Fitton from Lostock, near Bolton, offers advice on landscape photography

Get to know your camera. If you’re just starting, I recommend buying a reasonable priced DSLR camera with a 24-70 lens. Experiment with the settings and don’t be afraid to ask advice from more experienced photographers.

I nearly always use a tripod when I’m taking landscape shots. However steady you think your hands are, you will always have some ‘camera shake’ which will affect your shot. A tripod eliminates that and leaves you both hands free to make any adjustments that are needed.

The composition of your image is key. Keep your eyes open when you’re out and about and see how other people have photographed them to see what works and what you want to do.

Avoid working in harsh light around the middle of the day – the best light for photography tends to be in the early morning and evening.

I find it pays to do a recce of a location to see how the light is at different times of the day and what conditions would be best to give you the shot you want. The photo that won the Lancashire Life competition was taken at a spot I’ve been to lots of times. I’ve not always come away with the shot I wanted, because there’s not been a boat there, or there’s been too much cloud cover. But I knew the conditions should be right there at about 10am in autumn when the leaves were turning, and I was lucky it was so still and that the boat was moored just at the right spot.