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Take a View winner – “Condemned”

by Simon Butterworth

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Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

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

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Take a View winner - "Condemned"

The following is an interview with Simon Butterworth recorded the weekend that he had heard about his win in the Take a View competition. 

Well I had heard about the urban category that was a surprise in itself, that I was really chuffed about. I received an email whilst I was up in Perth photographing the autumn colours; so that was a very nice surprise. And then I think it was Friday afternoon I had to go up and do a concert in Inverness and the last thing that happened before I set off was that I got an email from the Take a View office saying could I send them the raw file tonight for the picture that had won the urban category; so the very last thing I did was dig the raw file out and send it to them and I wondered what the problem was but put it to the back of my mind whilst I was driving up to Inverness. I was just getting ready to go on stage for the rehearsal at 5pm when the phone rang and it was Charlie Waite who told me there had been some controversy over the winning image and that the votes cast put my image second overall in the whole competition so it was a but of a Lance Armstrong moment where everybody moved up which therefore put me in the winning position. So when I’d been revived and got up off the floor and given oxygen I was totally gobsmacked.

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  • Sandy Miller

    Congratulations. I think you are a very worthy winner. Not necessarily because of this image. It’s not really my sort of thing to be honest but because of your overall body of work, which is really excellent. I like your eye and I also really like the fact that there is a great deal more to your work than the usual overly saturated and overworked ‘wow’ type of images that the magazines and this sort of competition seem to attract. Very refreshing, always interesting and always beautifully composed with real harmony and balance. Well done.

    • Simon B

      Hi Sandy,

      Thank you for your generous comments. I very much appreciate that even though this is not an image you are naturally drawn to, you have taken the time to dig deeper and see what makes me tick as a photographer.

  • Simon

    Congratulations, and thoroughly well deserved. It’s obvious that you love photography, and keep up your beautiful work which I hope goes from strength to strength. There were c. 185 comments in the last issue about LPTOY, so I’m a bit surprised by the lack of comments on this thread. Maybe a lot of readers are out taking advantage of the lovely colours :-)



    • Simon B

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for the Comment.
      Perhaps folk have had enough of LPOTY for this year. It seems to to have dominated much of the photo blogosphere for quite a while now. I also wonder how many people have difficulty relating to my image in the context of a landscape photography competition.

      • I would like to think that people only really comment en-masse when they disagree with something so I’d take it as a good sign…

        • Simon B

          Thanks Tim. Good advice.

          • Jason Theaker

            I think everybody is Christmas shopping!

  • Hi Simon – that’s a vey humble response, but I wouldn’t put your image down, After all, there are distant mountains, trees in the foreground etc – the buildings are obviously (now) part of the landcape. Maybe you are right that readers have had enough of the competition this year. Still……whatever the case, congratulations again. Michael.

  • Johnirvineimages

    Great work Simon, a wonderful body of work which has been given suitable recognition :)

    The offer still stands if you would like to meet up some time.



    • Simon B

      Hi John,
      I will take you up on that one of these days. Could you send your number.

  • Well done Simon. Hopefully the result will make everyone broaden their minds about images and image making. Your photos are a good reminder to look beyond the obvious and I’ve enjoyed looking at them.

    • Simon B

      Thank you Michela, I appreciate your comment.

  • kevin-allan

    A great set of images accompanying this article. I feel that Simon’s body of work has the potential for widening the perception of what constitutes landscape photography – a “genre-shift”.

    I’m sure that Simon could come up with a more suitable musical analogy but it’s like 95% of what we see in the photographic press is Mozart and his work is more like Stravinsky, but not quite Schoenberg.

    • Simon B

      I don’t think I could top that Kevin. I’m both flattered and impressed!

  • Sandy Miller

    Blimey. That means 95% of the work your looking at is pretty much exquisite. Perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places. Think I’d take Abba, let alone Mozart to be honest :)

  • Roger Voller

    Hi Simon
    I didn’t bump into you at the exhibition so I would like to congratulate you now on your success, I felt the mistakes of take a view did tarnish the competition in a ugly manner but in the end I feel the real winner as a photographer and as the winning photograph (compared the previous winner)represents much more about landscape photography so well done, and keep on tracking.

    • Simon B

      Thank you Roger.

  • Jason Theaker

    First congratulations for the win. It must have been a very rewarding thing to experience and it’s a shame it had to happen in such a way, but a worthy winner in my view (even if it’s not my cup a tea).
    Anyway, what intrigues me is why certain photographers move into urban/decay types of shots? Is it that pretty pictures just loose there resonance? There is more need for depth? Do they have cultural relevance? Or the fine art market gives them more recognition? I personally love some of the textures in such shots, (and not just yours) but there always seems to be a rejection of colour… do you think the more melancholy subject resonates with gentlemen of a certain age? Or is about development of the photographic way of seeing over time? Reflection on one’s childhood? Am I getting close?

  • Jason Theaker


    • No correction necessary. At least on this side of ‘The Pond’. :)

  • Tim

    Just to make one correction ……….the Lab that prints the exhibits is BAYEUX just in case anyone wishes to make use of their services!


  • Sue Berry

    A worthy winner and a very thought provoking image. I would have loved to spend time exploring those old houses – what tales they could tell. Hoy sounds like a fascinating place and one I will add to my hitlist!

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