SLIDESHOW: Hartlepool GP’s stunning nature photos

THIS is just a selection of the stunning photographs taken all over the world by an award-winning Hartlepool GP.

During the day Dr Miguel Lasa works at Hart Medical Practice, in the town.

Hartlepool GP and photographer Miguel Lasa

Hartlepool GP and photographer Miguel Lasa

Yet in his spare time he jets all over the world doing what he loves most - taking photographs.

Photographs which have been on display at the Natural History Museum in London and in New York.

Dr Lasa, 51, recalls the moment his mother first gave him a camera as a youngster, which triggered his passion for photography.

Now he can look back on the moments where he found himself just two centimetres away from a tiger shark, photographing polar bears in arctic Canada and winning the Creative Visions of Nature category at the prestigious BBC Wildlife Photographer at the Year awards in 2008.

“I love being outdoors,” explained Dr Lasa, who lives in the Bishop Cuthbert area of Hartlepool with his wife, Rosemary, 48, who works as a nurse in Hartlepool.

“As soon as I started taking photographs I fell in love with it immediately and it is my real passion, it takes up all of my free time.”

Dr Lasa has snapped bald eagles in Alaska, snowy owls in Canada, tigers in India and brown bears in Finland.

Among his hundreds of outstanding photographs of just about every single variety of birds are European gold and sea eagles in Norway, ospreys in Finland and flamingos.

Dr Lasa admitted he has found himself in some vulnerable positions as he shaped to get the best possible photograph.

None more so than when he came face to face with one of the most dangerous predators on the planet - the tiger shark.

Yet despite being circled by three of the sharks at once, Dr Lasa said he knew, as long as he followed his guide’s instructions, he would be safe.

He explained: “The guide has been doing this for many years so you have to trust him, and I did.

“When you think of tiger sharks people immediately fear the worst but when you are in their environment like that they don’t tend to bother you.

“The most important thing is to keep eye contact.”

Dr Lasa’s work has been published in a number of books and magazines around the world including USA Outdoor Photographer and BBC Wildlife magazine in the UK.

But despite his incredible portfolio, Dr Lasa’s work isn’t finished yet.

He says he is still dreaming of many more photo adventures to photograph the “beautiful natural world”.