High Light, Peak Light, Lake Light, City Light, Snow Light, Land Light books by Dave Butcher

About David Butcher

  • About Me
  • 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, 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.

Dave Butcher
Dave Butcher

The Technical section has 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, a frozen waterfall

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 landscape courses, darkroom workshops and lectures pages.

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 prints and prices 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.


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 September 2004. I have been a full-time professional photographer, darkroom printer and author since this time. Before this I was selling my work in an ad-hoc way from mid-1980's.

Author of 6 books:

'Snow Light - Snowscapes Around the World by Dave Butcher' published 2015

'Land Light - Landscapes Around the World by Dave Butcher' published 2015

'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 Association since 2005 with permanent exhibition space in our gallery: Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton.

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

I run a 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, Tunstead Milton

Worked for the 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 almost 150 technical articles for the two publications in 5 years. Left Ilford in 2002, due to a back injury.

Managed the Ilford photographic printing department 1991 - 2000 (Head printers Mike Walden FBIPP, Hon FRPS and Terry Offord FBIPP).

I built and set up my first web site for my photographic portfolio in December 2003. Shopping cart web site launched February 2006. Photo Blog started 2008. New shopping cart web site for larger picture library July 2009. New technical website for illustrated articles and videos: DarkroomDave.com 2014.

Set up and ran a photography and darkroom service, for both black and white and colour, at Unilever Research Ltd. Frythe Labs near Welwyn in Hertfordshire from 1973 to 1977.


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, representing Ilford Photo, between 1987 and 2002.
  • Member of European Photographic Chemical Industry Group representing UK photo industry 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 1988.
  • 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 formulae and raw chemicals (working as a technician 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


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.


  • 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

Photo Industry Employment:

  • Fine art black and white landscape photographer, self-employed, from 2004, partner with my wife from 2012. 
  • Ilford Photo, Brentwood (Essex) and Mobberley (Cheshire), 21 years. 


  • PhD in antibiotic binding site chemistry, 1981, University of Cambridge Department of Organic Chemistry, University Chemical Laboratory, 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 setting up a shot on a frozen lake 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. I still have it!

'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 California (including Yosemite), Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Canada and New Zealand.


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

Pennine Way 1974, about 300 miles in 15 days - pub detours added a few miles to the published distance. 

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 in 2 trips! 

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 (now mostly known as Via Alpina 1) 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.

For details and pics on the trip log. 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.

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.

Snowdonia 3000 foot mountains. We started in Conwy and walked to Llanfairfechan, Bethesda via the Carnedds, Pen y Gwyrd via Tryfan, Beddgelert via Snowdon, Tremadog via Moel Hebog, Blaenau Ffestniog via Cnicht in torrential rain, Capel Curig, Conwy. About 100 miles over 8 days including 7 of the 3000 foot mountains in Wales, in 2015; 7 days of rain so very few photos!

Cumbria Way, Lake District. Jan and I started in the city of Carlisle and finished 8 days and 82 miles later in the small town of Ulverston. Climbed 8 mountains en route so not exactly the official route which doesn't go over any! 2017

Cotswold Way. This was a bit over 100 miles and Jan and I split it over 2 years and 10 days of walking with good friend Al from Gloucester. The first  part was from Chipping Campden to Stroud in 2016, the second half was from Bath to Stroud in 2017. Not as hilly as we're used to but quite interesting and lots of good pubs.

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 (above Wengen) to Reckingen (near Brig) 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 4000m 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 4000m peaks Allalinhorn and Strahlhorn as well as the Fluchthorn, 1998 (5 days).

Leukerbad and Lammeren hut, just one peak in bad weather - Daubenhorn. Tore knee ligaments in crusted snow in a blizzard the following day which finished the trip early for me, 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.



All images are copyright © Dr Dave Butcher and may not be downloaded, copied or reproduced in any way without prior written permission. All rights are reserved.