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Landmark exhibition for Ilford Photo - Black and white photographers have got the chance to see examples of the new paper at an exhibation held in London.
Having caused a storm of interest at the Focus on Imaging and PMA shows where serious black-and-white photographers had the opportunity of seeing examples of the superb results which can be achieved by Ilford Photo's new digitally-enabled photographic paper Ilford Galerie FB Digital, what will be regarded as a major landmark exhibition will be staged at London's Host Gallery from 16 - 28 April 2007.
This exhibition, titled Ilford Photo, Pioneers of Photography, will show more than 50 examples of the magic which results when the superb artistry of some of the world's greatest photographers is combined with the pure quality of what is being heralded as the finest and most adaptable photographic paper ever produced.
One of the secrets of the superiority of Ilford Galerie FB Digital paper is its baryta base. Although the principle of applying a baryta base to photographic paper is not new, it has not been widely practiced by other manufacturers due to its exacting requirements for precise application and the additional costs involved.
Ilford Photo, the world's only supplier of the full range of black-and-white photographic consumables, has mastered the technique of baryta coating which creates a totally smooth pure white paper surface by filling all the natural textures of the basic material.
Examples of this extraordinary effect can already be seen in Ilford Photo's Ilfobrom Galerie FB and Multigrade IV FB papers which have set the world standard for black-and-white analogue printing.
The new Ilford Galerie FB Digital paper adds a further dimension in the form of an additional highly sensitive coating which enables the paper to print from digital files via laser printers such as the Durst Lambda and Océ Lightjet. The superb rendering which the use of this paper endows upon photographic masterpieces will be beautifully illustrated at the Ilford Photo - Pioneers of Photography exhibition at the Host Gallery, Honduras Street, London EC1.
Among the photographers whose work is featured in the exhibition are William England, Eadweard Muybridge, Maurice Broomfield, Cornel Lucas, Norman Parkinson, Terry Fincher, Harry Benson, Eugene Richards, James Nachtwey and Gary Knight.
The images on display chronicle the rise of black-and-white photography over the last 150 years, encompassing historic landscapes and panoramic cityscapes from the 19th Century, studies on post-war industrialisation, celebrity and film portraiture from the 1940s and 1950s, fashion photography from the 1950s and 1960s, newspaper photojournalism in the 1960s to date as well as contemporary documentary work from the 1980s to the present day.
Altogether, the exhibition presents not only an opportunity to appreciate the pure artistry and insight of the leading photographers of the day, but also an illustrated guide to the progress of photography itself and its relevance to the history of the developing world in which these iconic proponents of the genre worked.
Co-curator of the exhibition with gallery director Jon Levy is Steve Macleod, director of Argento Imaging, the specialist fine art offshoot of Metro Imaging, one of London's most successful professional photographic laboratories.
Macleod is also a leading light in Ilford Photo's Masterclasses which tour colleges and universities throughout the UK providing high levels of tuition in darkroom work for photographic students. “As this exhibition demonstrates, in terms of photographic post production and imaging, Ilford Galerie FB Digital is the holy grail of black-and-white digital printing,” he says.
Ilford Photo is staging the exhibition not only to officially launch Ilford Galerie FB Digital paper, but also to underline its commitment to, and support of, the world of black-and-white photography in all its forms.
“Whilst being able to produce the perfect print is an essential outcome of the work of professionals and enthusiast alike, the need to accommodate modern photography methods is crucial in maintaining the market for black-and-white photography,” says Ilford Photo marketing director Howard Hopwood.
Being at the forefront of black-and-white photographic development means we are fully aware of the needs and requirements of our customers, many of whom now utilise digital technology for the capture and preparation of their images. With Ilford Galerie FB Digital paper, fine art photographers can benefit from the best of both worlds.
This unique product brings together the added creative benefits offered by digital manipulation, with the long established aesthetic and archival properties of true baryta base black-and-white silver gelatine prints, the outstanding results of which are well demonstrated by the images included in the Ilford Photo, Pioneers of Photography exhibition.