Established in 1878, West Bromwich Albion Football Club has a long and varied heritage, and this week its renowned players are celebrated in an ambitious new photography exhibition at the Custard Factory gallery in Birmingham. Entitled Real Heroes (of the Highest Ground)
, the exhibition consists of bold, life size black and white portraits of West Brom icons and the collection’s heritage is complimented by the involvement of Ilford Photo, a photographic company formed just one year after the club itself.
Dave Waldron, the photographer behind the exhibition commented: “I live and work in West Bromwich and wanted to take my inspiration from within a three mile radius of my home – an area that happened to include The Hawthorns. I managed to connect with the West Bromwich Albion Former Players Association and the project was born.
“As all of the images are black and white, I naturally contacted Ilford Photo when it came to producing prints for the exhibition and they have printed the photographs in the highest possible quality.
Waldron interviewed all of the players when composing the portraits, which include midlands heroes such as Cyrille Regis, Tony Brown and Brendan Batson, and the black and white prints from the Ilford Lab Direct service are accompanied with video footage of the stars.
Neil Hibbs, Technical and Lab Services Manager at Ilford Photo commented: “Printing the black and white portraits using traditional photographic media not only provides a superior image quality – but a vitality and authenticity that really helps to capture the passion and emotions of the players as they sat for their portraits. It has been a real pleasure helping Dave bring these remarkable images to life and I’m confident the public will be equally impressed.
The exhibition can be seen at The Custard Factory gallery in Birmingham from December 11 until December 19 and has been produced in conjunction with De Montford University as part of its MA course in photography.
The Ilford Lab Direct service allows photographers of all talents to obtain the highest quality traditional black and white prints from film or digital files from 6 inches to 50 inches wide. Visit the Ilford Lab
website for more details.