About Dave

Darkroom Dave is my alter-ego. I’m the photographer and Ilford Master Darkroom Printer Dave Butcher.

Here’s the original Ilford poster with all 6 Ilford Master Darkroom Printers listed.

Ilford Master Darkroom Printer Poster 2006

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. I had been selling my hand-printed photographs at a low level since the mid-1980’s but in 2004 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.

My business

I develop and print my own work using Ilford Multigrade fibre based papers, sell framed and unframed prints from Gallery in the Gardens in Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens and from my studio in the UK’s Peak District and unframed prints through my gallery website www.davebutcher.co.uk. I also run darkroom printing workshops and landscape photography courses. I have published 6 books and have a busy schedule of lectures 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, Germany and Norway (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 many trips around the world and throughout the UK. I have also published six books, 5 of landscapes and one of cities. Current books are City Light, Land Light and Snow Light. Out-of-print books are High Light, Peak Light (Peak District) and Lake Light (Lake District).


I run landscape photography courses for small groups of up to 3 people and darkroom workshops for 1 or 2 clients. I also run darkroom workshops for both students and staff of universities and colleges. This can include CPD workshops for lecturers and technicians. All courses and workshops are private courses on dates to suit you and with flexibility to rearrange at short notice.

I give lectures to clubs in the UK and at events like PhotoLive in London, all illustrated with my hand-printed black and white darkroom prints.