High Light, Peak Light and Lake Light books by Dave Butcher

About David Butcher

  • About Me
  • General
  • ARPS

This is the artist bio for Dave Butcher and the information here tells you all you could possibly want to know about Dave Butcher, photographer working exclusively in black and white! Just click on the links here in the text, or in the menu bar above, to be taken to the various pages.

There is more information on the Frequently Asked Questions page where I have replied to specific questions and posted them on this web site in case they are of interest to others.

If this still isn't enough there is even more information on Wikipedia.

Dave Butcher
Dave Butcher

A Technical section is included that covers some equipment and techniques but most of this has now been moved to a dedicated site for my technical information, DarkroomDave.com.

Dave Butcher on Frozen Alberta Falls, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Dave on snowshoes on top of Alberta Falls

The ARPS page (click tab above) shows the panel of prints that I submitted, and had accepted, for the Associateship distinction of the Royal Photographic Society in 1987.

Dave Butcher at Monarch Ski Area, Colorado
Dave at Monarch ski area

The Comments and Testimonials page will give you an idea of how customers and others have viewed my work. There are more on the Courses page.

Dave Butcher on frozen Mills Lake, Colorado
Dave snowshoeing on Mills Lake, Colorado

For more information about my photographic prints, presentation, print lifetimes, how I supply them and mounting and framing, see the Print Information page.

Dave Butcher skiing with camera kit at Copper Mountain Colorado
Dave skiing at Crested Butte, Colorado

Artist Statement

I take photographs on film and print on traditional silver gelatin paper to achieve the highest quality prints currently possible.

Another strong motivation for staying with black and white film, rather than going the popular route of using digital, is the known long lifetime of processed negatives and prints. Film cameras also work at -30C in the mountains in winter, I'm not sure digital cameras would fare so well because of their reliance on batteries..

Over the years this has built an approach to my photography where I believe every picture I take is part of the historical record for wherever I am taking photographs. They are a blend of record and artistry. Some more record, some more artistry depending on the subject and conditions, especially light and weather. All of them are a part of me.

Who knows, one day my negatives could be as important as those of Francis Frith, a Victorian photographer who comprehensively recorded English towns, villages and life in England.

Awards

Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society 1987

Chapel Camera Club 25th Anniversary Exhibition 2010, Best Monochrome Print in Exhibition, Best Print in Exhibition.

Sheffield Art in the Gardens Gold Award 2007

Bakewell Show Open for Business Exhibition First Prize for Best Presented Stand 2006

Ilford Photo First Prize Monochrome Prints International Staff Competition 1995

Practical Photography 'Photographer of the Year' Competition, Winner Landscapes Round 1995

Chapel Camera Club Black & White Photographer of the year, 10 consecutive years from 1992.

Walking the fields outside Harpenden in Hertfordshire
Dave crossing a field near Harpenden

Photographic Background

Set up fine art photography business in February 2005. I have been a full-time professional photographer, darkroom printer and author since this time. Before 2005 I was selling my work in an ad-hoc way from 1988.

Author of 4 books:

'City Light - Cities of the World...and Buxton' published 2013,

'Lake Light - The Lake District Photography of Dave Butcher' published 2010,

'Peak Light - The Peak District Photography of Dave Butcher' published 2007,

'High Light - The Landscape Photography of Dave Butcher' published 2005.

Supported by Ilford Photo and the parent company Harman Technology.

Member of High Peak Artists and Craft Workers Association.

I am an Ilford Master Darkroom Printer and give Ilford Darkroom Masterclasses and lectures to Colleges and clubs in the UK.

I run a full programme of courses on Black & White Landscape Photography (for film and digital camera users) and Darkroom Workshops throughout the year.

Image licensing since 1999, including International Graphics Walmsley GmbH for posters, Hallmark for greetings cards and Trends International for calendars.

DB at the foot of the Flatirons near Boulder Colorado
Dave checking his Sekonic spot meter

Work published in books, magazines and used for advertising. Including:

  • Amateur Photographer
  • Artsbeat
  • B&W Photo Lab - Processing and Printing' by Julien Busselle (published by Rotovision)
  • 'Best of Friends' monochrome yearbooks (numbers. 5, 7, 8, 9 and 12) published by Arem Publishing
  • Black & White Photography
  • British Journal of Photography
  • Buxton Advertiser
  • Cheshire Life
  • Derby Evening Telegraph
  • Derbyshire magazine
  • Local Life, Cheshire and Staffordshire editions
  • Mono
  • Montage magazine
  • Peak Advertiser
  • Peak District Life
  • Photo Art International
  • Practical Photography
  • Profile magazine, Sheffield/Derby
  • Pure Buxton
  • The Handmade Photograph

Dave Butcher at Combs Reservoir, Tunstead Milton, in the Derbyshire Peak District
Dave at Combs Reservoir

Worked for leading manufacturer of black and white photographic films and papers, Ilford Photo Ltd., for 21 years. This included photographic research scientist, technical service management, regulatory affairs manager and project management). Set up and edited Ilford Black and White News and Ilford Photo News, wrote well over 100 technical articles for the two publications. Left Ilford in 2002, due to back injury.

Managed the Ilford photographic printing department 1993 - 2000 (Head printers Mike Walden FBIPP, Hon FRPS and Terry Offord FBIPP).

First web site for my photographic portfolio set up December 2003. Shopping cart web site launched February 2006. Photo Blog started 2008. New shopping cart web site for larger picture library July 2009.

Ran photography and darkroom service at Unilever Research Ltd. in 1970's.

Influences:

Ansel Adams, the master of creative black and white landscapes of Western America

Walter Poucher, photographer of UK hills and mountains

Peter Birtwistle, an excellent photographer and printer at Ilford Photo

Ilford Photo head printers Mike Walden and Terry Offord, taught me split grade darkroom printing. The only way to print creatively with Ilford Multigrade papers!

Bradford Washburn, an American photographer of creative mountain landscapes from the air, especially patterns in nature. He also took some spectacular mountain top photographs.

  • Associate of Royal Photographic Society (ARPS), 1987.
  • Chairman UK Photo Imaging Council, Health, Safety and Environment Committee 1995 - 1998. Member of committee between 1987 and 2002.
  • Member of European Photographic Chemical Industry Group 1987 - 2002 (based in Brussels, affiliated with CEFIC - European Chemical Industries Association).
  • Chairman Ilford Ltd. Photographic Club 1985 - 1987.
  • Chairman Chapel-en-le-Frith Camera Club 2002-2003 and 2005-2006.
  • Lectures on my photography to camera clubs, and other organisations, from 1993.
  • Given my first camera when I was about 5 years old (from my Grandmother); a Box Brownie
  • First 35mm SLR camera: 1969 - Praktica Super TL, followed by Nikkormat FTn in 1973 and Nikon FE in 1982. 
  • First black & white film taken in 1970 and processed using solutions made from published formula and raw chemicals (working in a chemical lab at the time).
  • First medium format camera: 1986 - Mamiya 645 Super. Switched to more portable Mamiya 6 cameras 1993 and Mamiya 7 cameras in 2006 for larger negative and extra-wide angle lens.

Dave Butcher photographing trees at Monarch in Colorado
Dave at Monarch, Colorado

General

This is the artist bio for Dave Butcher and the information here tells you all you could possibly want to know about Dave Butcher and his photography! Just click on the links here in the text, or in the menu bar above, to be taken to the various pages.

There is more information on the Frequently Asked Questions page where I have replied to specific questions and posted them on this web site in case they are of interest to others.

Since 1988 I have lived in the Derbyshire Peak District village of Tunstead Milton, near Whaley Bridge.

Married to Janice since 1976.

Born & brought up in Welwyn, Hertfordshire (25 miles north of London).

Played football in local leagues, until 1984, for the Frythe (Unilever), Colworth House (Unilever), Steeple Claydon, Biggleswade Town, Churchill College Cambridge, St Andrews (Cambridge), Toft Red Lion (Cambridge), University of Cambridge Chemical Labs and Ilford Ltd.

Colleges and Schools:

  • University of Cambridge (Churchill College and University Chemical Laboratories)  - PhD
  • Hatfield Polytechnic (now University of Hertfordshire)  - HNC and Degree by day-release while working for Unilver Research
  • Mid-Herts College of Further Education, Welwyn Garden City - General Science course and ONC by day-release while working for Building Research Establishment and Unilver Research
  • Welwyn Garden City High School (now called Sir Frederic Osborn School)  - O levels (GCSE's)
  • St Mary's Primary School, Welwyn - 11 Plus
  • Sherrardswood School, Welwyn

Employment:

  • Fine art black and white landscape photographer, self-employed, from 2004. 
  • Ilford Photo, Brentwood (Essex) and Mobberley (Cheshire), 21 years. 
  • Unilever Research (food research); The Frythe (Welwyn, Herts) and Colworth House (Bedfordshire). 7 years.
  • Building Research Establishment, Garston near Watford. 1.5 years.
  • W.J. Butcher & Son, family bicycle business, Welwyn. 2 years.

Qualifications:

  • PhD in antibiotic binding site chemistry, 1981, University of Cambridge Department of Organic Chemistry, University Chemical Labs, supervisor the late Professor Dudley Williams, Churchill College.
  • Honours degree in chemistry, 1978, Hatfield Polytechnic (now called University of Hertfordshire).
  • Fellow Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), 2002.
  • Chartered Chemist (CChem), Royal Society of Chemistry, 1982.

Dave Butcher on snowshoes at Alberta Falls, Colorado
Dave on snowshoes at Alberta Falls, Colorado

Scientific Publications:

  • PhD thesis, University of Cambridge, 1981 - Structural studies on the antibiotics Vancomycin, Ristocetin A and Triostin A.
  • J. American Chemical Society, vol 105, 1983, 1332-1339, D.H. Williams, M.P. Williamson, D.W. Butcher, S.J. Hammond, Detailed binding sites of the antibiotics Vancomycin and Ristocetin A: Determination of intermolecular distances in antibiotic/substrate complexes by use of the time-dependent Nuclear Overhauser Effect (NOE).
  • J. American Chemical Society, vol 103, 1981, 5697-5700, D.H. Williams & D.W. Butcher, Binding site of the antibiotic Vancomycin for a cell-wall peptide analogue.
  • J. Dairy Research, Vol 45, 1978, 197-208, D.F. Darling & D.W. Butcher, Milk-fat globule membrane in homogenized cream.
  • J Dairy Science, Vol 59, 1976, 863-867, D.F. Darling & D.W. Butcher, Quantification of polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis for analysis of whey proteins.

European Patents:

  • EP207001, 1986, J.A. Clark, A. Adshead, D.W. Butcher, Methods of preparing a hologram.
  • EP 207895, 1986, J.A. Clark, A. Adshead, D.W. Butcher, Methods of preparing a hologram.
  • EP225852, 1986, W.E. Long, D.W. Butcher, Processing holograms
  • EP225853, 1986, J. Doyle, D.W. Butcher, J.A. Clark, Holograms
  • EP230208, 1986, D.W. Butcher, Processing holograms
  • EP272219, 1987, T. Groves, D.W. Butcher, Method of preparing a hologram

USA Patents:

  • USP4720441, 1988, J.A. Clark, A. Adshead, D.W. Butcher, Method of preparing a hologram.
  • USP4748097, 1988, J.A. Clark, A. Adshead, D.W. Butcher, Method of preparing a hologram.
  • USP4769300, 1988, D.W. Butcher, A method of preparing a hologram having an increased replay wavelength and resulting hologram
  • USP4769301, 1988, D.W. Butcher, J.L. Cawse, Method of preparing holograms and the holograms prepared thereby
  • USP4788115, 1988, W.E. Long, D.W. Butcher, Processing holograms
  • USP4816360, 1989, J. Doyle, D.W. Butcher, J.A. Clarke, Multicolor holograms using gelatin as the binder and method for producing the same
  • USP4826745, 1989, T. Groves, D.W. Butcher, Method of preparing a hologram

Dave Butcher on frozen Red Rocks Lake, Colorado
Dave on snowshoes

Inspiration for the Outdoors:

'The Open Air is my Hobby' by Eric Leyland, a book received as a gift in 1966 on hiking, camping, map making and adventures in the hills. Being born and brought up in Welwyn in Hertfordshire just 25 miles north of London, hills and mountains seemed a world away from my local countryside. Read from cover to cover dozens of times.

'The Big Walks' by Ken Wilson and Richard Gilbert, a book received as a gift in 1981 on mountain adventures in the big mountains of Scotland in particular. Indirectly led to climbing all 284 Munro's of Scotland (the highest mountains in Scotland) and then to mountains further afield around the world. Now I plan my own big walks!

Walks, treks, skiing and peaks:

Walked, skied and snowshoed in Britain, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Germany (including 5 alpine 4000 m peaks and dozens of lower peaks), as well as places like Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Yosemite and New Zealand.

Completed all 284 Scottish mountains over 3000 feet, the Munro's, in 1996, to become the 1570'th compleatist, walked 281, skied 3.

Walks

Pennine Way 1974 (about 300 miles in 15 days - pub detours added a few miles to the published distance). Only managed 38 miles per gallon (beer), long days and not many pubs en route.

Wainwright Coast-to-Coast (190 miles), started 1979 St Bees Head, finished 2003 Robin Hood's Bay. Just 24 years, 2 months, 2 weeks and 3 days to complete! Overall, managed a very creditable 18 miles per gallon (beer). Repeated 2011 to 2013.

Tour of Mont Blanc (about 110 miles) once in each direction: 1987 - 6.5 days, anti-clockwise and 2004 - 8 days, clockwise.

Zermatt Glacier Trek 1994 - 6 days, including 4000m peaks Breithorn and Signalkuppe on Monte Rosa.

Alpine Pass Route from Sargans to Grindelwald, 96 miles, 8 days, 2013, and Grindelwald to Montreux, 98 miles, 8 days, 2006.

Glasgow to Cape Wrath (about 335 miles in 24 days), spread over 3 trips in successive years:
2003 Milngavie (Glasgow) to Fort William: 108 miles and 8 mountains (including Ben Lomond, Ben Lui and part of the Mamores ridge), 2004 Fort William to Ullapool: 129 miles and 13 mountains (including part of the South Glen Shiel ridge, the 5 Sisters of Kintail and Beinn Eighe), 2005 Ullapool to Cape Wrath: 98 miles and 4 mountains (Cul Beag, Suilven, Quinag and Foinaven - what a way to finish!)
A total of 24 days walking and 25 mountains, including 19 Munro's. I will add details and pics to the trip logs at some stage. The weather was mostly bad for the first 2 trips but we ended with some much better weather in 2005 so the photos were much improved. In total, we managed just under 20 miles per gallon (of beer), mostly real ale from the new breweries in the Highlands and Islands.

Tongariro Alpine Crossing in North Island New Zealand, between the volcanoes of Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro. Also climbed Mount Tongariro on a separate occasion, 2010.

3000 foot mountains of England, all in the Lake District. 8 days and 85 miles over Scafell, Scafell Pike, Great Gable, Green Gable, High Spy, Maiden Moor, Cat Bells, Skiddaw, Lower Man, High Rigg, Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Dollywagon Pike, Old Man of Coniston, Harter Fell, 2014. Lots of good real ale en route so we managed 14 miles per gallon of beeer.

Dave Butcher moving into position for a photograph at Monarch in Colorado
Dave at Monarch, Colorado


Ski Tours:

Argentiere to Trient via the Col du Chardonnet, Fenetre de Saleina and Col du Pissoir, 1992 (3 days).

Haute Route from Chamonix (Argentiere) in France to Zermatt in Switzerland, including ascents of Rosablanche and Pigne d'Arolla, 1993 (7 days).

Otztal Alps near Solden in Austria, including  peaks Linker Fernkogel, Wild Spitz, Hoch Vernagt Spitz, Fluchtkogel and Fineil Spitz, 1994 (6 days).

Bernese Oberland traverse from Junfraujoch to Reckingen with ascents of 3000m peaks Kranzberg, Gross Wannenhorn, Wyssnollen and Vorder Galmihorn while staying in the Monchjoch, Konkordia and Finsteraarhorn huts, 1995 (6 days).

Gran Paradiso tour including ascents of 3000m peaks Pointe de Calabre and Becca Della Traversiere from the Benevolo hut followed by an ascent of the 4000 m peak Gran Paradiso from the Chabod hut, 1996 (5 days + 1 day heliskiing on Ruitor).

Vanoise traverse from Val d'Isere including ascents of Pelaou Blanc, Pointe de Mean Martin, Grande Aiguille Rousse, Roc des Fonds, 1997 (6 days).

Saas Fee including 4000 m peaks Allalinhorn and Strahlhorn as well as the Fluchthorn, 1998 (5 days).

Leukerbad and Lammeren hut, Daubenhorn peak, tore knee ligaments in crusted snow in a blizzard so finished trip on second day, 1999 (2 days).

Western Bernese Oberland Traverse from Diablerets to Aminona (near Crans Montana) with ascents of Wildhorn, Wildstrubel and Schwarzhorn, Also climbed the Aiguille du Tour (overlooking the Chamonix valley) on a heliski day, 2000 (5 days + 1 day heliskiing).

Tour of Monte Rosa (starting and finishing in Zermatt), no peaks just lots of skiing, with wine and dried donkey (a local variation of Parma Ham) at the Rifugio Giulielmina above Gressoney / Alagna in Italy, 2001 (6 days).

My back injury prevents me doing any more ski mountaineering - uphill kick turns are too painful for my lower back. Thankfully I can still ski downhill but use lifts to gain the height. I also use snowshoes where previously I would have skied off-piste over the mountains.

This is the artist bio for Dave Butcher and the information here tells you all you could possibly want to know about Dave Butcher and his photography! Just click on the links here in the text, or in the menu bar above, to be taken to the various pages.

There is more information on the Frequently Asked Questions page where I have replied to specific questions and posted them on this web site in case they are of interest to others.

I was awarded the Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society in 1987. My successful ARPS panel is shown below. They were submitted in the Pictorial category and, as you can see, are all black and white photographs.

Image no longer available as a print Click image to see image in shop Click image to see image in shop Click image to see image in shop Click image to see image in shop Click image to see image in shop

The Storm Breaks, Loch Leven, near Glencoe

Trient Glacier Skyscape, Switzerland

Loch Hourn Reflections, Knoydart, Scotland

Ben Nevis Reflections, Lochaber, Scotland

Glen Feshie Sunbeams, Cairngorms, Scotland

Winter Thaw, Raise Beck, near Grisedale, Lake District

Click image to see image in shop Click image to see image in shop Click image to see image in shop Click image to see image in shop Click image to see image in shop

Harrison Stickle, Langdales, Lake District

Llyn Ogwen Reflections, Snowdonia, Wales

Passing Shower, The Cobb, Lyme Regis, Dorset

The Cobb, Lyme Regis, Dorset

Loch Leven Reflections, near Glencoe, Scotland

Striding Edge, near Helvellyn, Lake District

The 12 pictures above are from the successful panel that I submitted to the Royal Photographic Society for the Associateship distinction.

There are 3 levels of distinctions awarded by the RPS and this is the middle one (between Fellowship at the top and Licentiateship). I applied directly for the ARPS and did not consider the LRPS level.

All 12 prints were viewed together in the order shown above. I used black window matts for all prints to keep the presentation consistent throughout.

My panel was considered in September 1987 and confirmation that it was successful quickly followed.

This ARPS panel was included in my lecture 'Landscapes in Black and White', no longer available.

The photographs were taken between February 1984 and July 1987.

They are from a mixture of 35 mm and 120 negatives. The prints from 120 film, using a Mamiya 645 Super, are: Trient Glacier, Loch Hourn, Glen Feshie, Winter Thaw and The Cobb.

The images displayed here are from digital photographs of the original prints. Original fine art photographs of most of these images are available for purchase through this web site.