26 November 2012
Last updated at 10:14
Taken two years ago in the Cairngorm mountains, this tree is only 500 yards from the road, but the snow was so deep - in some cases thigh high - that amateur photographer Simon Butterworth didn't think he would reach the tree. 'I was so exhausted when I got to that spot. I was almost in tears.' He never carries too much equipment - just a DSLR, two very good lenses and a tripod.
Port Glasgow won the Take a View UK landscape photographer of the year prize (£10,000). The picture of tenement buildings is currently exhibited at the National Theatre until mid-December. 'It's a completely different experience when you see it big,' says Simon. He believes this kind of landscape photography will usher in a new era which is less focused on nature scenes.
This is a building site in Guangzhou, China. The striking globe in the foreground is a library. Simon, who didn't even own a camera until 2003, saw this view from a dressing room window when he was on tour with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and walked outside to get this shot. It took the clarinet player a little while to find his way to this spot.
This picture of Loch Dochard is the only one to be taken on film five years ago. It won the judges' prize at the Take a View competition in 2007. Simon is a keen hill walker, which partly motivated his move to the BBCSO from the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in Manchester in 2003. 'I still come up to the mountains,' he says, 'but it's always with the aim of taking pictures instead of getting to the top.'
The photographer used a 15-minute exposure in the dark to get this picture of Loch Lomond in February. The lights in the distance are from the city of Glasgow, about 15 miles away. It has not been altered with Photoshop. After taking the picture he dropped one his camera accessories in the loch. 'I'll tell you honestly, the water was so cold. I thought I was going to lose my hands.'
Simon took this shot of Loch Lomond about two months ago after a rehearsal with the BBCSSO in Glasgow. He's been with the BBC's orchestras for nearly 25 years. 'I just walked out the door and thought, What a great evening, I'm off to take some pictures. This is the result.'
The musician does a lot of industrial photography and took this picture of a polyethylene plant in Scotland with a three-minute exposure, creating the smokestacks. Not everyone would see the beauty in something so industrial, but Simon believes it looks 'absolutely staggering' at night.
With its burnt orange colour, many people believe this is taken in Australia. It's actually a slag heap in east Scotland. It's part of a series for which Simon won bronze in the Prix De La Photography in Paris. The photographer says he was 'knocked out' that he could win with these photographs of Scotland when some of the other entries were of exotic places such as the Himalayas and Antarctica.
Simon is a self-taught photographer who says there is a vast amount of information on the web, in books and magazines. He advises enthusiasts to invest in good lenses, take pictures of things you are interested in and to look at as many photographs as you can. He keeps his equipment to a minimum because of his knees, which could have trouble coming down from a place such as this one, taken of Sutherland.
Bad weather doesn't generally deter the photographer - he took this of Wester Ross in North West Scotland on a dull and cold day in March. 'It's the kind of day when people normally don't get the cameras out, but if you can withstand the cold, you can get amazing photographs.'