Dave Butcher Black and White Photography and Darkroom Printing Courses
Dave has also been giving lectures on his black and white photography since 1993 all over the UK. He now also runs one-day courses in black and white landscape photography and black and white darkroom printing techniques from his base in the Peak District.

If you would like Dave to lecture at your club or educational establishment, or if you would like to learn the basics or improve your black and white printing or photographic techniques, why not share Dave's expertise?

 

Web site changes

You will be able to book courses here directly from about June 2009. A shopping cart system is being added to this site. In the meantime please use www.davebutcher.net to order or contact me for telephone bookings, more information, etc.

Darkroom Workshops

"I learnt my black and white printing techniques whilst working for Ilford Photo and still do ad hoc work for them as an Ilford Master Printer in their Ilford Darkroom Masterclass scheme (see below) and exhibitions, etc..I can tailor courses to the needs of each individual. For example, split grade printing will usually be covered in some detail because it is such a powerful but easy to use technique. Pre-flash, toning, part-toning, use of masks and print spotting are just a few of the other techniques that can be included. But if you have never been in a darkroom before I will concentrate on giving you a good grounding in the basics. So far the youngest particpant was 16 years old and the oldest 81, so they are pretty much for any age individual!."

 

Black and white printing courses last one day and the maximum number on any course is 3 which allows a high level of individual attention. These are not group sessions where everyone has to do the same thing! If you would like to learn the basics or improve your black and white printing techniques with an Ilford Master Printer a 1 day Black and White Darkroom Workshop could be just what you are looking for!

Each session starts by showing example black and white prints of what can be achieved in the darkroom, then a short demo of split grade printing and, apart from short breaks for food and refreshments, the rest of the day will be spent hands-on in the darkroom with you printing your negatives.

So far the youngest particpant was 16 years old and the oldest 81, so they are pretty much for any age individual!

The darkroom itelf is well equipped with 4 enlargers capable of taking 35mm and 120 negatives up to 6 x 7 cm; sheet film up to 5 x 4 inches can also be used in an enlarger with an Ilford MG500H Multigrade head. There is also a large processing area with archival print washers, dryers for RC and FB papers and associated equipment.

We use Ilford Multigrade resin coated paper, usually 16 x 12 inch in size, and you will go home with several dry prints from your day with me.

Usual number of places available: 3

Cost: £150 each, including buffet lunch

All materials are included (Ilford Multigrade RC paper and chemicals).

Times: 9:30 am start, 5:00 pm finish

Venue: Briarwood, Tunstead Milton, Whaley Bridge, High Peak, SK23 7ER

See below and the Events Calendar for course dates.

 

 

Dates 2009

Thursday 12th February 2009 - fully booked
Thursday 12th March 2009 - fully booked
Sunday 19th April 2009 - fully booked
Sunday 14th June 2009 - fully booked
Sunday 13th September 2009 - 1 place left
Sunday 11th October 2009- 1 place left
Saturday 7th November 2009- 2 places left

 

Booking a Course

From May you will be able to book directly through this web site. In the meantime either book through my current secure web ordering system, www.davebutcher.net/x621.html, send me an email with your details or call me to book over the telephone or for more information.
Telephone: 01663 733771

Email: mono@davebutcher.net

Contact Dave for more details or to book.

 

Some Comments Received After Courses

  • Thank you for a brilliant day and your hospitality - I can see you two work as a team and the whole day was very enjoyable. I've dusted my darkroom down and I'm raring to go! BS, Feb 2009

  • Many thanks to you for an excellent day on Thursday. Old paper now consigned to recycling - I found a date stamp: 1990 - so it was well past it's use by date! Restocked, and spent this afternoon practicing my newly acquired skills - result: four very satisfying prints. Thanks again. RG, Feb 2009

  • Many thanks for a super day yesterday. It was fantastic (as was lunch), LM Nov 2008

Private Bookings

Alternatively, if you would like to make a private booking for 1 to 1 tuition then call me to discuss dates and content. The cost is £500 for one day, including materials (including FB paper if required) and buffet lunch. Multi-day rates available; please enquire. A solo day or two in the darkroom can be very beneficial in progressing your darkroom skills faster than in a group session.


Darkroom Photographs

Here are some photographs to give you an idea of the darkroom used for courses.

Dave Butcher Darkroom

Dave Butcher Darkroom

Dave BUtcher Darkroom

Photographic Courses

Dave, and his wife, Jan run 1 day Courses in Black and White Landscape Photography, in the Peak District for film or digital camera users of any standard.

Go "on location" in some of the best areas in the Peak District National Park for photography. We often use locations not in the guide books which are a lot quieter to let us get on with the photography.

They are practical courses that concentrate on seeing and capturing pictures in black and white. The basics of composition, depth of field (what is in focus), and exposure, as they apply to black and white, as well as where to point the meter (built-in or separate) and how to take a meter reading for both film and digital, are always covered.

Film users: The use of filters is also included. I have a few filters to sell or lend you if you have none of your own. I can advise on processing and other aspects of using film. If you have no darkroom then there are 2 ways to use film but still make prints. Use Ilford XP2 film which can be processed through any High Street processing machine for colour print film (for example, the "1 hour" C41 process). This produces a black and white film but the prints will usually have a colour cast since the printers are not set up to make black and white prints, but at least you have a processed film and some prints for guidance. Once you have your negatives you can either scan them or have them scanned. Alternatively, use Ilford FP4 or HP5 and send the films to Ilford Photo for traditional high quality processing and printing. They can also scan the negatives and provide a CD so that you can tweak the images and print from your own PC.

Digital users: The use of the histogram and clipping functions, and adjustment of curves in Photoshop instead of the use of coloured filters on the lens, are always covered, as well as techniques such as underexposure and multiple exposure (you need a tripod for this) to keep details in the highlights and shadows. Polarising and grey graduated lens filters to compensate for very bright skies can be very useful for digital slr users. If your camera has a RAW file format then this should be used. Always record in colour mode to make sure you keep all the colour information so that you can apply filtration in Photoshop or whatever image manipulation program that you use. Some top end cameras let you record in colour RAW and view 'on-camera' in black and white; this is the best system of all. Don't worry if your camera only records in jpeg you will still get some good results but as soon as you transfer to your PC convert it to tiff format to avoid losing quality (every time you resave a jpeg quality is lost).

The use of a tripod will give you extra possibilites for photographs; slow shutter speed shots that cannot be hand-held are often very effective with water and in low light situations. The multiple exposure techniques to compensate for the deficiencies of digital camera sensors, in situations of wide brightness ranges such as sunlit water to deep shadows, really needs the use of a tripod or the acceptance of lost detail in highlights or shadows.

IMPORTANT: Make sure that you fully charge rechargeable batteries and wherever possible bring spares. If your camera fails on a course there is very little that we can do about it. Also, bring enough storage space for lots of image files. In a typical day 150 to 200 colour RAW images is not unusual.

You will need to be fit enough to walk 3 miles or so on rough paths and have warm clothes and waterproofs. Other than that these are photography courses so we want to spend as much time taking pictures. if you want something with more hill walking then talk to me separately and I'll see what I can do.

If you have been on a Peak District Photography course with us before we will try and make sure that we visit some new locations.

Usual number of places available: 6

Cost for 1 day course: £150 each

Times: 9:00 am start, 5:00 pm finish (approximately)

Meeting point: Briarwood, Tunstead Milton, Whaley Bridge, High Peak, SK23 7ER

See the Events Calendar for course dates.

Contact Dave for more details or to book.


Dates 2009

Friday 17th April
Saturday 18th April
Friday 8th May
Saturday 9th May
Friday 12th June
Saturday 13th June
Friday 10th July
Saturday 11th July - 2 places left
Friday 14th August- 4 places left
Saturday 15th August
Friday 11th September - 3 places left
Saturday 12th September- 5 places left
Friday 9th October- 5 places left
Saturday 10th October- 3 places left

Bookings correct as of 21st June 2009

Booking a Course

From May you will be able to book directly through this web site. In the meantime either book through my current secure web ordering system, www.davebutcher.net/x621.html, send me an email with your details or call me to book over the telephone or for more information.
Telephone: 01663 733771

Email: mono@davebutcher.net

Contact Dave for more details or to book.

 

Some Comments Received After Courses

  • I found last Saturday's field photography day most enjoyable and instructive. Thanks for a great day. RW, Oct 2008

  • Just a note to say that I really enjoyed the day yesterday. I would like to come again either in autumn or winter, depending on dates. Can you let me have latter sometime please? FO, Aug 2008

  • I really enjoyed the course on Saturday despite my dunking (duh!) but at least once wet I just went and set up the tripod in the river. Have just started with manipulating the images, very pleased with them although a couple lost to water droplets on the lens - it was that sort of day I guess. Can't believe the second person there was my old colleague Geoff with whom I had lost touch for a few years! I'm very interested in attending a summer course, please add me to your newsletter list. SB, April 2008

  • Thanks once again for a brilliant day out yesterday - it's really fired my enthusiasm for getting out and about more with my camera. Thanks Dave and please thank Jan again - it was really great to be ferried around and you were both very encouraging and motivating. PW, March 2008

  • Very many thanks to you both for making yesterday such an excellent introduction to the Peak District for me. I now see what a wealth of opportunities there are in all seasons and will be back for more. I also enjoying looking at your gallery - a real inspiration in the art of print making. MW, July 2008

Private Bookings

If you would like to make a private booking then call me to discuss dates and content; the cost is usually £500 per day, plus expenses. If you can arrange a group of 4 or more for a photography day it can be a very cost effective way of booking a course. Multi-day rates also available.

Further Courses Information

Here is some further reading that you may find useful in helping you decide to come on a course with Dave Butcher.

Ilford Darkroom Masterclasses

Ilford Darkroom Masterclasses, given on behalf of Ilford Photo (Harman Technology Ltd):

These are one-day courses for colleges and universities across the UK, arranged and fully supported by Ilford Photo. All materials needed are provided free of charge by Ilford Photo. My lecturing fee and all travel expenses are also fully paid by Ilford Photo. Apart from the odd cup of tea and a sandwich there really is no cost to the college!

They usually comprise a short lecture to show prints made using various techniques, then a demonstration of split grade printing (or another technique that is appropriate for the students) followed by students printing and processing their own negatives with guidance from me.

Awaiting 2008 dates from Ilford.


If your photography courses include black and white darkroom printing modules and you have 15 or more students who would attaned, then contact Harman Technology and book a Masterclass for your students. There is strong demand and limited places so book early to avoid disappointment.

If you are in the Midlands (Manchester, Sheffield down to Birmingham, Northampton, etc.) there is a strong chance it will given by me.

Contact Harman Technology for more information: 01565 650000 or visit www.ilfordphoto.com

 

Darkroom Masterclasses to Colleges and Universities with Dave Butcher

I also do similar Darkroom Masterclasses as private bookings, for example when the Ilford scheme is fully subscribed to.
These are 1 or 2 day courses for colleges and universities across the UK.

If you would like me to come and give a Darkroom Masterclass, either with similar content to an Ilford Darkroom Masterclass, or something completely different to fit in with your syllabus, then I accept private bookings.

The cost is £500 for 1 day plus expenses (I live in the Peak District near Buxton).

I would usually start with a short lecture illustrated with prints made using various techniques and show what can be done in the darkroom, then into the darkroom for a demonstration of split grade printing, which is the easiest way to make good prints fast, then the rest of the time is spent with me helping the students to print their own negatives.

You will need to provide materials for my demonstration - Multigrade RC paper (glossy or pearl) preferably 16 x 12 inch so that the group can clearly see what I am doing, developer, stop bath and fixer. I can also run groups using FB paper but this requires good print washing facilities and an FB print dryer. The students will also need paper which either they provide or the College/University does.

If time allows I can also talk about my photography, equipment for landscape and city photography, setting up a business, exhibiting, having work published, etc.

If your photography courses include black and white darkroom printing modules and you would like me to come in for a day or two to help the students with their darkroom printing then contact me directly.Contact me directly to discuss your requirements: Tel. 01663 733771 or Mobile 07976 872 679 or email mono@davebutcher.net

 

 

What's On?
Dave's courses, shows and exhibitions.
Event
Calendar...>

Photographic Lectures

Dave has been giving lectures on his black and white photography since 1993, mainly to UK camera clubs. Since 2006 he has been an Ilford Master Printer and given Ilford Darkroom Masterclasses to colleges and universities across the Midlands.

For information, all of the lectures show original prints, unless specifically agreed otherwise (for example because of a large audience). They are all made from film negatives printed in the darkroom using traditional darkroom materials and techniques.

The lectures are mostly about the black and white pictures and the background to each photograph. This means they are just as appropriate to a digital worker as to a traditional one. If your club members enjoy seeing stunning black and white prints of landscapes, cities, coasts, trees, waterfalls, skiing, mountaineering, etc. then Dave would hope to have something to suit them!

There are currently 5 lectures. The first 3 have 20 x 16 inch prints with roughly 16 x 12 inch image areas. Travels in Monochrome is entirely 20 x 16 inch images/borderless prints. Peak Light is a mixture of 20 x 16 inch prints as well as a few 20 x 24 inch images/borderless prints. You may want to bear this in mind when booking a particular lecture; print stand dimensions are sometimes tight even for a single 20 x 16 inch print.

Landscapes in Black and White (1996)

Stunning hill and mountain landscapes with skiing and ski mountaineering (including showing how to use people to give images scale).

My ARPS Pictorial panel from 1987, striking city views, toned, part-toned and infra-red. Areas covered include the Scottish Highlands, England, Wales, Switzerland, France, Austria, Italy and the Colorado Rockies.

Discussion of the darkroom techniques used and demonstrations of different ways to print the same image.

A brief talk about the Mamiya camera equipment I use and cover some of the problems encountered taking photographs in the high mountains.

68 images.

All monochrome darkroom prints.

Completed in 1996 but with added modified versions, for comparison, of some of the original prints.

Magnificent Monochrome (2000)

Yet more stunning hill and mountain landscapes with skiing and ski mountaineering.

This talk has more darkroom work than either of the other two. Mostly though it shows lots of good prints which can be appreciated by both darkroom and digital workers and give ideas for print making to both.

More striking city views, many part-toned for added impact.

Quite a bit of chemical toning and part-toning throughout.

Prints that didn't quite make it are included to show the difference between this and the final exhibition print, as well as tips on technique.

A brief talk about the Mamiya camera equipment I use and cover some of the problems encountered taking photographs in the high mountains.

72 images.

All monochrome darkroom prints.

Completed 2000.

Mad About Monochrome (2004)

This is more of a travelogue, illustrated in glorious black and white! Lots of hill and mountain landscapes grouped by region to give a better feel of what is possible in various areas of the UK and the Alps.

Snowshoeing and ski mountaineering in the Alps.

Some city and infra-red shots but few chemically toned images; the emphasis being on 'pure' black and white photography and printing.

74 images.

All Ilford Multigrade monochrome darkroom prints.

Completed November 2004.

Travels in Monochrome (2007)

A travelogue in black and white covering all 4 corners of Colorado and many points in between, a trek from Glasgow to Cape Wrath in Scotland (330 miles, 25 mountains) and the spectacular Tour of Mont Blanc (TMB) long distance walk. You won't see black and white photographs like this anywhere else!

All Ilford Multigrade monochrome darkroom prints.

The images are mostly 20 x 16 inches.

78 images.

Completed April 2007.

Peak Light (2009)

This starts in Bavaria with the fairy tale castle that Walt Disney based his logo on, then the Italian Dolomites (the areas between Cortina and Corvara), followed by a large section of photographs from my second book Peak Light on the Peak District National Park. After the break (if your club has a break!) we start in San Francisco and New York, finishing with a large selection from Yosemite National Park in California (waterfalls, huge trees and big views, including infra-red).

All taken with Mamiya 7 cameras and Gitzo tripods using Ilford FP4+ or Ilford SFX film to give 7 x 6 cm negatives.

80 prints, mostly 20 x 16 inch (image size), some larger, all borderless prints

All monochrome split-grade darkroom prints on Ilford Multigrade fibre based paper.

Completed January 2009.

 

How much will it cost?

For photo club lectures on a weekday evening PAGB rates are charged for expenses, and a fee where appropriate for the event. Lectures at other times incur a fee and expenses.

For other clubs the fee is by negotiation, plus expenses and travel at 40p per mile.

Contact Dave for more details on price and availability. Expenses are calculated for travelling from Dave's base in Tunstead Milton, in the Peak District plus refreshments and accommodation as appropriate. As a guide, if the travel time is much over 3 hours an overnight stay in the local area is usually preferred.

See the Events Calendar for confirmed bookings.

For an alphabetical list of clubs and organisations previously visited to give lectures click here >

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