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Ilford Photo announce plans to celebrate progress since going into receivership - It has been a year since Ilford was rescued from receivership by a management buy out. Ilford Photo plan to mark this anniversary by celebrating their progress over the past year at the Focus on Imaging show this February.
The upcoming Focus on Imaging exhibition will represent an important milestone for Ilford Photo, while also providing the first opportunity for photographers, printers, labs, students and everyone interested in the pure artistry of black-and-white photography to see how the company has progressed over the last year since Ilford was reconstructed into its present form.
It was last years' staging of Focus which saw the announcement by chairman and managing director Phil Harris and his team that they had effected a management buy-out to rescue Ilford from the receivership into which the Ilford Imaging Group had been driven. A new company was formed, Harman technology Ltd, which took over the Ilford name and all the photographic plant and assets in the UK, and began trading as Ilford Photo.
Since that time, a great deal has been achieved in restoring the Ilford name and reputation for high quality black-and-white photographic products throughout the world. Ilford Photo concentrates on manufacturing and supplying purely analogue photographic black-and-white film, paper, photochemistry and related products (now the only manufacturer in the world to offer a full range). The digital imaging and inkjet paper side of the erstwhile business was left with the Switzerland-based division of the group which has since been acquired by Oji Paper of Japan.
Over these 12 months, Ilford Photo has restored its distribution channels around the globe, with many previous subsidiaries themselves going through MBOs, takeovers, reorganisations and consolidations to ensure smooth continuity of supply.
Meanwhile, the range of products and services has come back in force with many established favourites revived, and numerous new items introduced to bring the company's portfolio right up to date for today's market. Other areas are being continuously considered, with a variety of launches planned for 2006, some of which will be detailed on the Ilford Photo/Harman technology stand at Focus.
In addition to new products, a number of Ilford's famous events are being reintroduced - some after long absences - such as photo competitions, student awards, conferences, and the like. Some of the world's best photographers have shown their allegiance to the company and have been associating themselves with the brand and the quality of work which it enables them to produce.
For example, Dave Butcher, one of Britain's - and the world's - leading black-and white photographers and an Ilford processing materials devotee (see www.davebutcher.net), and Les McLean, the celebrated photographer, writer and master printer, will be on the Focus stand, while work using Ilford materials taken by Kathy Harcom, Philip Pankov and Andrew Sanderson will be displayed. Then, the Silver conference in California in March, which Ilford Photo is sponsoring with Calumet, sees the cream of the US photographic arena participating in a major event which includes a seminar, photo competition, dedicated book, workshops and social gatherings.
Those taking part in Silver include the likes of 'fine art' and portraiture photographers Mona Kuhn and Keith Carter, landscapes artists Alan Ross and John Sexton, people and lifestyle specialists Jeff Dunas and Michelle Dunn Marsh, photojournalist Marisa Roth, educators George DeWolfe and Mary Virginia Swanson, and British darkroom maestro Les McLean, who will all be speaking and sharing their passion for black-and-white photography. It is planned for UK and European versions of this seminar to be held in due course.
These events, along with Ilford Photo's 'Image on a Box' photo competition (separate details) and the 2006 Student Awards, are geared to expanding the joy and beauty of black-and-white photography to as wide an audience as possible. They enable everyone who appreciates form and line, shade and tone, depth and detail, in visual art to participate in some way - if only in spirit - with like-minded enthusiasts in this, the purest form of photographic imagery.
In the meantime, the theme of Ilford Photo/Harman technology's stand at Focus on Imaging is 'Passionate about Black-and-White' which the company intends sharing with all visitors to the exhibition.
Anyone with any interest in imaging artistry should make a point of visiting the regular demonstrations and technical 'question and answer' sessions which Ilford Photo experts and representatives will be organising, and in joining the movement back to real photography.
Further details on Ilford Photo products and services can be found at www.ilfordphoto.com