The forces of nature continue to change the shape of our environment, nowhere more visibly than in the deserts of the Middle East. This striking and unusual shot of the desert sands was sent in by Inshard Naizer of Colombo, Sri Lanka. "This photograph was taken in Dubai, U.A.E. I used a Nikon D100 and a standard lens to capture the image from a vehicle following the Land Cruiser pictured. This picture attempts to capture two forces of nature: wind and the sun. The force of wind is depicted through the sand dunes, the setting of the picture, which are formed over hundreds of years by the constant blowing of the desert's dry wind. The force of the sun is depicted in how it creates amazing contrasts and shadows in this bare landscape."
You'd need a pretty long exposure to take a photo of continental drift, but the evidence of it can be see all around us, for instance in this superb mountainscape submitted by Michael Coupar of Preston, Lancashire, who was also one of our featured finalists in June. Michael says "For me, mountains - as the evidence of tectonic plate movement - epitomise nature's power. This is the Dolomites, mountains at their most dramatic." Michael used a Minolta bridge camera to take the shot.
The erosive forces of ice, rain, wind and time have shaped the landscape in this next shot, sent in by Tim Smalley of West Byfleet, Surrey, who was just pipped at the post in last month's competition with a superb shot of the Red Arrows display team. I'll let Tim describe his photo for this month: "The Isle of Skye is one of the greatest examples of nature at work in the UK with its strange rock formations in the North Eastern part of the island. I was recently in Skye on a walking holiday and I trekked up to photograph nature at its best on a day that promised to clear in the afternoon. After a three-hour wait in near zero visibility, high winds and heavy rain, Old Man of Storr revealed itself from amongst the clouds. You can see three free standing rocks in the photo that are overlooked by The Storr, the tallest being the Old Man at 48m.
The photo was taken looking southward at approximately 570m up (slightly above the Old Man of Storr) with Loch Leathan and the Sound of Rassay down the left hand edge of the scene. There's evidence of glaciation in the foreground, running down the hill into the small loch on the left. I used a Canon EOS 450D and an EF 17-40 F/4.0L lens with a 1 second exposure at F/18, ISO-100 at 17mm. I also used polariser and 0.9 ND grad filters to 'hold' the sky and get the desired effects on the lochs."