Dave Butcher

Dave Butcher

Doctor David Butcher (born in 1952 in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom) is a black and white photographer who uses traditional film and darkroom techniques to produce his photographs.

A chemist by profession, Butcher trained as a scientist with Unilever Research before leaving to do a PhD. He then worked for Ilford Imaging for 21 years as Research Scientist, Technical Manager for Chemicals and Chemical Regulatory Affairs manager, his expertise for which was recognised by the award of Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. During this time he also conducted research into, and registered several patents on, the making and processing of holograms. He also edited their in-house technical magazine and ran the photographic printing department.

He became a full-time photographer in 2005 and one of the seven Ilford Master Printers in 2006.[1]

He lives and works from his studio in the Derbyshire Peak District of the United Kingdom where he produces his hand-made original prints using only traditional darkroom techniques and equipment.

Butcher’s portfolio includes landscapes, cityscapes and coastal shots taken at locations worldwide, but he is particularly well known for his mountain and skiing shots in the U.K., Europe and the USA. He uses medium format film cameras to ensure high quality even though many of his chosen locations and shooting conditions may not always seem ideal environments to use this equipment in. His keen interest and experience in mountain walking, mountaineering and skiing allows him to discover views and locations not always obvious to the casual tourist.

His images are used for advertising and P.R. (including being used in the promotion and on the packaging of Ilford photographic products) and are widely licensed for use on greetings cards by manufacturers such as Hallmark, and on posters (mainly from International Graphics Walmsley GmbH). His original prints are displayed in homes, businesses and numerous private collections worldwide.

Butcher was awarded his Associateship of the Royal Photographic Society in 1987 and, between his photography expeditions, runs landscape photography courses and darkroom printing workshops as well as participating in a busy programme of lectures to schools, colleges and camera clubs.

Butcher has authored several books of his images ('Lake Light', 'Peak Light' and 'High Light') and has had work (both photographic and written) and published in books and magazines. He has also been the subject of numerous articles and reviews. Examples of both include:

  • Amateur Photographer[2][3]
  • '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)[4]
  • Black & White Photography [5][6]
  • British Journal of Photography [7]
  • Mono Magazine[8][9]
  • Montage magazine [10]
  • Photo Art International
  • Practical Photography
  • Kamera magazine [11]
  • Cheshire Life Magazine [12]
  • BSB TV [13]



Dave Butcher's preferred equipment is the medium format Mamiya 7 camera using Ilford FP4 120 film. Printing and archival processing is done in his own darkroom by hand using Ilford Multigrade FB papers.


Butcher states his influences as:

  • Ansel Adams
  • Walter Poucher
  • Peter Birtwistle
  • Ilford Photo head printers Mike Walden and Terry Offord


  • Lake Light - The Lake District Photography of Dave Butcher [14]
  • Peak Light - The Peak District Photography of Dave Butcher [15]
  • High Light - The Landscape Photography of Dave Butcher [16]
  • 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.


Butcher holds several European and USA patents covering the creation of holograms.

  • 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 ofpreparing 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
More information on Google Patents


  • University of Cambridge (Churchill College and University Chemical Laboratories): PhD Chemistry 1978-1981
  • Hatfield Polytechnic (now University of Hertfordshire): GRSC Chemistry 1975-1978


  • Fine art black and white landscape photographer, self-employed
  • Ilford Photo, Brentwood (Essex) and Mobberley (Cheshire)
  • Unilever Research (food research), The Frythe (Welwyn, Herts) and
  • Colworth House (Bedfordshire)


  • Associate of the Royal Photographic Society 1987
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) 2002
  • Chartered Chemist (CChem)1982
  • Doctor of Philosophy, 1981, University of Cambridge (Organic Chemistry Department, University Chemical Labs, Dr Dudley Williams, Churchill College).
  • Honours degree in chemistry, 1978, Hatfield Polytechnic (now called University of Hertfordshire).


  1. ^ http://www.ilfordphoto.com/pressroom/article.asp?n=108
  2. ^ Amateur Photographer Magazine, 2nd September 2006 (pages 52 - 56)
  3. ^ Amateur Photographer Magazine, May 14th 2005
  4. ^ Arem publishing, November 2005
  5. ^ Black & White Photography magazine, September 2009
  6. ^ Black 7 White Photography Issue 77, October 2007, page 18
  7. ^ British Journal of Photography, January 18th 2006.
  8. ^ Mono Magazine, January / February 2005 issue (cover photograph).
  9. ^ Mono Magazine, November / December 2004 issue (cover photograph).
  10. ^ Montage Magazine, Winter 2008
  11. ^ Kamera Magazine, 4-March-2009
  12. ^ Cheshire Life Magazine, October 2007 (pages 26-29: 4 page feature on Peak Light book)
  13. ^ British Satellite Broadcasting, November 18th 2005. Television interview on Battersea Contemporary Art Fair
  14. ^ published 2010 (foreword by Joe Cornish)
  15. ^ published 2007
  16. ^ published 2005

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