on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Antony Spencer

Winner of Take a View 2010

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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Anthony Spencer

Antony is a deserving winner of Take a View 2010, his capture of Corfe is original and well seen and his other commended images are, even better .


Antony is a deserving winner of Take a View 2010, his capture of Corfe is original and well seen and his other commended images are, in my opinion, even better (especially the lavendar sunrise shot which is mentioned here). We spoke to Antony on the Monday after the winners were announced.

Presumably you entered more than one picture into the competition, how did you go about choosing and why do you think the judges chose the winner?

"To be perfectly honest I wasn't going to enter this year. I had entered the two previous years and made the shortlist both times but never got any further. I was a little disillusioned with many of the choices especially the winning images from the last two years. At the last minute I changed my mind and entered in the last few days. I entered what I felt were my strongest 5 images and just hoped to make the book, never for a minute did I expect this to happen, having Charie Waite turn up at my house was one of those moments I will never forget. The aspects I like most about my winning image would be the unique composition and the subtle sky colours working very nicely with the frozen foreground details. I think although the concept is ultimately fairly cliched (another Corfe Castle mist shot), its been executed in a way that is not and I hope thats what the judges liked most about it."

Which pictures that you submitted did you think would get through and why?

"Out of the images I entered I guess I thought the lavender image would be the one most likely to get through. Its an image I consider my personal favourite, its very naturally vibrant and the light that morning was fantastic. Just based on previous years it seemed to be the photograph most likely to do well. As soon as Charlie said I had won I assumed it was the lavender picture that had done it."

Lavendar - Anthony Spencer

£10,000 is a reasonable sum of money, will you be spending it on photographic equipment or on more 'reasonable' purchases.

"Yes £10,000 is a massive amount of money for me. This year has been one of the hardest of my life, the recession has made things very difficult for me and being a self employed stonemason, work has been very inconsistent for a couple of years now. My wife and I had our third child this summer so a bigger car is high on the list of priorities, I will try to spend half of it on equipment and maybe the odd trip or two as well. One thing I'm almost certain to upgrade to is at least one more zeiss prime, I would however really like a timelapse dolly and a spare 5dmkii also."

What sort of effect has the success and consequent exposure have on your business (e.g. print sales and workshop bookings).

"The effects of all the recent publicity has been massive. The list of emails to reply to the day I got back from Norway was just mind blowing. Print sales have been great, I've never sold so many through my website and there are a lot of workshop bookings. I've just added another trip to Northern Norway in March which is very nearly fully booked and a lot of whole and half day bookings have been made down around the Dorset coast. I don't think I will be returning to "normal" work until well into the new year, I have a couple of trips still planned in the next 6 weeks before spending 5 weeks in Australia for Christmas, its going to be nice shooting the Indian Ocean in December rather than the Dorset Coast again in the cold and wet! :-)"

Where do you think your photography is heading (in terms of style and subject matter)? & Do you think your choice of photographic subject and style is changing as you become more experienced and are exposed to the work of more photographers?

"I think my photography is evolving all the time, I look back at what I considered to be really good a couple of years ago and most of it now looks pretty average. I think as time goes on you develop as a photographer and work out your own style. My first few years were spent running around doing the more cliched shots everywhere I went, I don't really even attempt those images now. There is just no satisfaction anymore in shooting those compositions that have been done to death. I really have slowed down in the last 12 months or so, I really try to achieve different compositions which is much more rewarding but can also be incredibly frustrating when it doesn't come off."

Which photographers are your peers; who influences you and who do you admire?

"The list of photographers I admire right now is pretty large. I called into a Joe Cornish Gallery in Northallerton earlier this year as was absolutely blown away. I knew it was going to be good but I had no idea it would be that good! His work was just outstanding, the compositions are absolutely superb and the execution and use of light is equally as good. Joe is one of those landscape photographers who can satisfy everyone with each single image, its something thats definitely got me thinking about my own work a lot more."

"I'm also a massive fan of David Clapp's work. Browsing his images is something I do often, its all so technically perfect and again beautifully executed. I think David Clapp is probably my favourite 35mm digital photographer. He really captures fantastic emotion and leaves me feeling very inadequate with his technical abilities, something I really have to work on in the future."

"A lovely guy called Christian Fletcher is another big influence on me, a Western Australian panoramic photographer, whose work is just breathtaking. I called into one of his galleries a few years back and have never seen prints like it since. 3-4 meter prints everywhere, at that size and with his processing and vision its an incredible viewing experience."

"David Noton was probably the first photographer who caught my eye, I think his work has given me the most inspiration over the years. There seems to be a whole host of professional photographers making a living on replicating his work, I guess it just goes to show how influential he is on the U.K landscape scene."

"There really are so many landscape photographers whose work has inspired me, Charlie Waite, Jeremy Walker, Ken Duncan, Jason Theaker and many extremely decent photographers on flickr that never get the attention they deserve, the list is almost endless!"

If you were on the judging panel, which photograph would you have chosen?

"I think thats a really difficult question to answer. I have yet to see the book so can only comment on what I have seen so far. Rhys Davies image of Beachy Head was lovely and extremely well executed. That could very easily have won the competition, I love all of Marcin Bera's work and it was great to see him get some recognition is this years competition. I think if I had been judging though I would have chosen an image from a very good friend of mine an image that is one of the very best photographs I have ever seen the guys name is Mike Kempsey and his work is just stunning in print.

Dorset by Mike Kempsey - Commended, Take a View 2010

The picture is here and really should be checked out! I still cant believe my image was chosen, I only ever hoped to make the book! I think a lot of the regular entrants to the competition didn't seem to enter this year, I don't think it would be myself answering these interview questions if people like David Clapp, Ian Cameron and Simon Butterworth had entered this time around."

Thanks to Antony for sparing the time in his suddenly very busy schedule for this interview..

What Digital have a short video interview with Antony here

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