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

Technical Notes


I have a separate website for illustrated technical articles and videos for black and white film and darkroom photography. It includes a Tutorials section, Blog, FAQ's, Events and a Gallery of Photographs. That is where all of the new technical information for film and darkroom now lives. All available free of charge and free access, no sign in needed.

The information below is a trimmed down version of what is freely available on DarkroomDave.com


Dave Butcher regularly writes in-depth technical articles and tutorials on various aspects of black and white photography.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hill and Mountain Photography
This article discusses some tips and techniques for taking photos out in the field, as well as some general photography advice. read article...

My Equipment for Hill and Mountain Photography
The kit I take with me for hill and mountain shoots is described below as The List.

For more general advice I have written an article on equipment for digital and film camera users. It includes simple advice on what to look for if you want to buy a camera, the best lenses for landscapes, use of tripods, filters and light meters. It also covers clothing and other hill gear to keep you warm, dry and safe on the hills. read article...

Using Digital Cameras for Black and White Landscape Photography
This article discusses the use of digital cameras and includes tips for understanding all the different modes you have access to.read article...

Hints and Tips on Darkroom Printing Techniques
Some of these are the techniques that I cover on my black and white darkroom printing workshops so if you attended one of these, these notes may serve as reminders of what was covered and help you sort out that difficult negative! read article...

Processing your first black and white film
This covers the equipment, how to do it and the chemicals needed along with film development information to allow you to process your first black and white film.

This document was produced by Ilford Photo, manufacturers of the film, paper and chemicals that I use and is repeated here with their kind permission. read article...

Making your first black and white print
This covers setting up a darkroom and using Ilford Multigrade paper to make your first black and white print.

This document was produced by Ilford Photo, manufacturers of the film, paper and chemicals that I use and is repeated here with their kind permission. read article...

A5 sized double-sided crib sheet - Side 1 Useful camera settings and composition advice. Side 2 Adobe Photoshop simple editing tips.

Equipment Clearance

Black and white darkroom equipment available, free of charge, to a good home.  If you are setting up a darkroom it may be worth a look!  visit clearance page...

The List

Written especially for those who need to know...the kit list. More details on DarkroomDave.com

The list is split into two sections, "Out Shooting" which covers everything from my cameras, lenses and film right down to kit bags, and "In the Darkroom" which covers my black and white printing materials and equipment.



Out Shooting:

Cameras & Lenses

Mamiya 7 and Mamiya 7 II cameras (6 x 7 cm format); 10 exposures on 120 film, 43mm, 65mm, 80mm + 150mm lenses.

"I mostly use the 43mm (roughly equivalent to a 21mm on a 35mm camera) or the 65mm."


Heliopan and B+W filters:

  • Light Red, Orange, Dark Yellow, Yellow, Yellow/Green, Green, UV
  • Heliopan RG715 (infra-red)

"I use B+W filters where I can. They allegedly use the same glass as Heliopan but with brass mounts."

Light meter

Sekonic L-508 and L-758D light meters.

"I use these in spot metering mode. This is much more accurate than the camera meter. I use it to check the exposure for each series of shots at any location and as the light changes."


Ultra-lightweight for skiing, etc: Gitzo Mountaineer Mk2 G1028 4 section, 2 leg angles, carbon fibre; with Manfrotto 484RC2 quick release head.

"This weighs 1150 grams and is very versatile. I carry it all the time when out on strenuous trips or skiing with my cameras."

Main tripod: Gitzo Mountaineer GT1541, 4 section, 3 leg angles, carbon fibre; with Manfrotto 486RC2 quick release head.

"A more sturdy tripod that is higher and more versatile. Head and legs weigh 1554g."

Mountain camera case

LowePro Inverse 100AW + chest harness

"This is carried on the front on a shoulder harness. It takes a Mamiya 7 camera and lens with an extra lens inside the case, plus film and filters. It has a waterproof cover."

Travel camera case

Peli 1510 rigid wheelie case

This is a rigid practically indestructible wheelie case. It fits into airline overhead luggage racks. External dimensions 55.9 x 35.1 x 22.9cm.

"For travel it is used as my carry on case and the weight is 12kg with 3 Mamiya 7 bodies, 5 lenses, 2 spot meters and 4 filter packs with 24 filters."

Camera Materials

Ilford FP4 Plus 120 film.

A medium speed film with an ISO of 125.

"This is the main film that I use. It is very reliable and can cope with a vast range of lighting conditions."

Ilford SFX 120 film

Infra-red film that only gives the effect with the correct filter (Heliopan 715, Hoya R72, Ilford SFX gelatine filter).

"This film is HP5 with different sensitising dyes. Rated at 200 ISO on the box but the filter needs 4 stops. I rate it at 10 ISO. You need to stop the lens down to f16 to allow for the shift in focus point with infra red light."



In the Darkroom:


Durst 138S with Ilford Multigrade 500H head

"I used this for my black and white printing for 13 years. The chassis is 50 years old, the Ilford MG head is over 20 years old. It gives constant exposure times over the entire contrast range (other systems need twice the exposure time for grades 4 to 5)."

DeVere 504 with Ilford Multigrade 500H head

"Bought in 2013 so that I had 2 enlargers capable of printing 5 x 4 inch negatives. This has become my main enlarger."

Durst M670 BW enlarger

Durst M670 Color enlarger x 2

These are used by students on black and white darkroom printing workshops and take negatives up to 7 x 6 cm. All fitted with Ilford Multigrade under-the-lens filter drawers to make split grade printing much easier.

Enlarger lenses

A mixture of Rodenstock Rodagon and Schneider Componon lenses

"Mostly I use one of my Rodenstock Apochromatic Rodagon (Apo-) lenses for my work. These are free of most lens defects and are fantastic for large prints."

Nova Archival Print Washers

Able to wash up to 11 prints.





In the Lightroom:

Nikon Super Coolscan 9000ED film negative scanner which scans negatives up to 9 x 6cm at 4000ppi. Used with a special carrier with glass top and bottom or film curl is a problem. Scans from 7 x 6cm negatives produce prints almost 1 metre in size at 300dpi.

Nikon no longer support their scanners with software to run them so I use Vuescan, it's reliable and effective. I use the Kodak TMax 100 preset with 0.55 contrast setting. 

For editing I use Adobe Photoshop CS6 on an iMac with a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet.




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.