Last week, we introduced Katie Ormerod, a young snowboarder with a penchant for flying through the air. This week, we wanted to introduce you to another person who’s making the most of what Xperia has to offer – Paul Steele.
Better known to his (many) followers as The Bald Hiker, Paul is one of the UK’s most prolific ramblers. Whether it’s hiking across Europe’s mainland or traversing through the Scottish glens, Paul finds time to take some truly beautiful photographs of all the incredible landscapes he’s fortunate enough to see.
A couple of weeks ago we kitted Paul out with an Xperia Z1 Compact to see how he’d get on with it during his travels;
Q1. You seem to have hiked your way around the whole country. Is there anywhere in the UK you haven’t trekked?
It feels that way sometimes, but to be honest I still think there are a lot of paths I am yet to tread, which is great as it always gives me lots to look forward to. Scotland is an area I want to do a lot more of, it has such a vast, wild and beautiful landscape.
Q2. How about outside of the UK? Where did you love and where would you like to go next?
Now there’s a difficult question to answer. A lot of places I’ve travelled to have been brilliant, but for different reasons. Hiking the highlands of Iceland was a particular favourite – it was stunning. Azerbaijan is a country I have been to three times now and it keeps on surprising me with its culture, history and views. Europe as we all know from north to south, east to west is rich in variety and I love learning new things and experiencing things with my own eyes and mind. In terms of what I want to do? The Antarctic, definitely the Antarctic!
Q3. Looking at your Twitter account you have an amazing amount of followers, why do you think you’re so popular on there?
I think it goes back to me being one of the early adopters of Twitter, before it became mainstream. But it all changed when somebody invented a way of embedding pictures onto Twitter, live from where you were. At the time I was heavily hiking around Britain and climbing high altitude mountains for charity. The new technology meant I could share the beautiful landscapes I was seeing live via my phone, so people sat at home or in an office can see the sights I’m seeing. People enjoy that.
Q4. So, you’ve had the Sony Xperia Z1 Compact for a couple of weeks now and you’ve had a chance to play about with some of the cool features. What’s your favourite feature on the phone?
It’s safe to say, given what I do, that my phone is my office. All my work gets done on there; social media, live tweeting, scenic photography, email, even the blogging and so on. Being on the go, either stood in a boggy Cumbrian field or on a five star beach on the other side of the world, I rely on my phone to help produce the content I need. The features I most value are speed, reliability, durability, size and most importantly, a great camera. The last thing I want on the side of a mountain is to be playing thumb gymnastics in the rain with a phone too big to do all one-handed. The Z1 Compact has genuinely given my travels a new lease of life. Weatherproof, powerful, quick, convenient, all without compromising on other essentials. And of course the camera really is impressive
Q5. You take a lot of photos when you hike. Has the Z1 Compact’s camera helped in that regard at all?
I have been testing the camera in many conditions over the last couple of weeks and can honestly say it’s one of the best I’ve experienced. I have felt less of a need to worry about things like light, colour, blurriness, noise, underexposure etc. I know, the pictures on smartphones are for sharing on social media etc and not for big projects, or so you would think. The 20.7MP camera is extremely powerful and, having owned a few cameras from the Cyber-shot range in the past, I knew how impressive things like Intelligent Auto mode were. The Z1 Compact camera has not let me down. In fact some of the larger pictures I have featured on the blog, which are usually shot with my larger digital camera, have been taken with the Z1 Compact, and they’ve come out great.
Q6. What have you got planned for the future? Any exciting hikes ahead?
I’m always looking for the next adventure. I’ve got hikes planned for the North of England, Malta and Italy coming up, which I’m very excited about. There may even be a few surprises in store for my followers, so stay tuned.
Have a look at some of the stunning photos below that Paul has already taken with his Xperia Z1 Compact. You can download all of his amazing pictures here.
We’ll catch up with Paul again in a couple of weeks to share some more of the beautiful photos he’s taken along his travels.