WIN two nights in a beautiful barn in Norfolk and a private trip to see the seals!

In partnership: First News and National Trust

The competition is now closed.

Winners will be notified no later than 19th May 2024.

Take a photo of what nature means to you and enter our Nature Around Me photography competition.

We want to see your creativity, so go wild with it (literally!). It could be a shot of a weed in the wall, a beautiful tree or your favourite hill to roll down! Perhaps you could snap a curious bird or a tiny insect?

Your photo can be black and white or colour, portrait or landscape and can be taken on a phone, camera or tablet, but please make sure your entry contains no identifiable faces.

One winner will get a two-night stay in a barn in Norfolk for up to 6 people & a trip to see the seals at Blakeney Nature Reserve. Two runners up will receive a £250 National Trust holiday voucher, and all winners will get a bird box camera system for their school and a First News subscription.

Nature Around Me Competition Entry Form

Closing date for entries is Sunday 28th April

The competition is now closed. Winners will be notified no later than 19th May 2024.

James Dobson

James Dobson, National Trust photographer

Photographer James’ top tips

James Dobson is one of the National Trust’s top photographers. Travelling all around the country, he often captures images of wildlife and the natural world. He has shared his best tips for taking a great photo.

Choosing where you focus, what is sharp and what is not, is important when taking an image. Generally, it is good to have whatever you are photographing as the point of focus, especially if they are big in the frame.

A good rule is: “If it has eyes, make sure they’re in focus.” It gives the viewer an immediate connection with the subject and can add lots of impact. But don’t be afraid to experiment by shooting the same scene with different points of focus to see how it looks.

Whether you live in a city or surrounded by countryside, capturing the beauty of the natural world can be a very special experience, but it’s important you keep yourself and subject safe. Check you’re allowed to photograph it, how close you can get and what you should and shouldn’t do to allow it to behave in a natural and undisturbed way.

You need to look after yourself too, so don’t head off without telling someone where you’ve gone, keep an eye on the weather and make sure you have food, water and the right clothing.

The composition – or how you arrange what’s in your image – is an important part of how you take a good photo. Simply looking at other photographers’ work can be helpful.

Ask yourself, do you like the image? If so, what are the bits you like? Is it the subject, colours, shapes, depth of focus? Think about the angle from which you are taking the image; for example, does a low-down or high-up viewpoint change the story?

Symmetry can be a great thing to play with, like a bird on water, or perhaps an animal looking straight into or out of the frame. Rules or no rules, a great-looking image will always shine through, and the best ones tell a story.

The invention of digital photography has made the process of taking and using photographs so much quicker, easier and cheaper, and most mobile phones these days have good cameras.

Regardless of the kit you own, always carry it with you and have it ready to hand. Who knows when an animal might cross your path, or you might be confronted with a great picture opportunity?