Simon Butterworth’s Blue Fields Landscapes Will Make You Think You’re Looking at Paintings


This is one of those collections that, when you see it, you have to share it!

Simon Butterworth is a photographer from Western Australia whose photographs of a salt mining area just stopped us in our tracks. In fact, at first glance we thought they were actually paintings!

Simon's “Blue Fields” project was shot at the Useless Loop solar salt operation in Shark Bay, the westernmost point of Australia. According to Simon, the series is part of a larger, long term project, “Aesthetics of the Unexpected,” which explores the relationship between perception, expectation and reality.

The crystallizers – shallow ponds in which the concentrated brine slowly evaporates, leaving a ‘crop' of salt crystals – take on the appearance of an abstract watercolour. The crystallizers appear blue because they are reflecting the sky while the brushstroke patterns are the tracks left by the salt harvesting machine.

The images were shot from a light aircraft flying at between 4,000 and 5,000ft. The height was vital in order to flatten perspective by using long focal lengths. Time and cloud cover were also critical, the abstract effect being heightened by complete lack of signifying shadow.

This series of nine photographs was a finalist in the 2015 Sony World Photographic Awards. It was picked from over 173,000 entries from 171 countries.

You can find more of Simon here (trust us, the look is worth it).


Photo by Simon Butterworth.


Photo by Simon Butterworth.


Photo by Simon Butterworth.


Photo by Simon Butterworth.


Photo by Simon Butterworth.


Photo by Simon Butterworth.


Photo by Simon Butterworth.


Photo by Simon Butterworth.


Photo by Simon Butterworth.

Be sure to check out Simon's entire portfolio at Simon Butterworth Photography.

About Author

is a freelance writer and manages Light Stalking's Photographer Spotlight section.

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