Darkroom Dave is my alter-ego. I’m really the photographer and Ilford Master Darkroom Printer Dave Butcher.
Since 1988 I have lived in the Derbyshire Peak District village of Tunstead Milton, near Whaley Bridge.
I trained and worked as a chemist, with a PhD from the University of Cambridge, until 2005 when I decided to turn my love of black and white photography into a full-time career. Working for Ilford Photo for 21 years, including running the photographic printing department for many years, helped this quite a bit. I still keep close ties with them after they made me one of only six Ilford Master Darkroom Printers in the country. In fact all the materials used in our courses and workshops are from them. A lot of my work has been used on their packaging and marketing material.
I develop and print my own work using Ilford Multigrade fibre based papers, sell framed prints from my studio in the UK’s Peak District as well as at fairs and exhibitions and sell unframed prints, courses and books through my website www.davebutcher.co.uk. As well as running photography and darkroom courses I have a busy schedule of lectures and exhibitions up and down the country.
Walks, treks, skiing and peaks
Lots of my work involves mountain treks and skiing to reach the most dramatic landscapes. I have walked, skied and snowshoed extensively in Britain, including all 284 Munro’s (Scotland’s highest mountains), walked 330 miles over 26 mountains from Glasgow to Cape Wrath using my own unique route, the 300 miles Pennine Way, Wainwright’s Coast to Coast twice, as well as the Tour of Mont Blanc twice, the Alpine Pass Route across Switzerland, the skiers Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, and many more in France, Austria, Italy and Germany (including 5 Alpine 4000m peaks and dozens of lower peaks), as well as places like California, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Canadian Rockies and New Zealand.
Most of my work comes from my trips abroad and round the UK. I have also published six books, 5 of landscapes and one of cities.
I run landscape photography courses for small groups of up to 4 people and darkroom workshops for 1 or 2 clients. I also run darkroom workshops for universities and colleges as well as giving print lectures to clubs in the UK and at events like PhotoLive in London. Private courses are a speciality, on dates to suit you and with flexibility to rearrange at short notice.