Christmas in black and white.Press release:
There are those who take good photographs, and there are those who are
masters of their art - those who can get inside the feel of a subject,
be it a person, landscape or building. Ilford Photo caters for them
all, and is committed to sharing the insights of great photographers
with those who aspire to such heights. A case in point is Ilford
Photo's bringing together at last month's Focus on Imaging exhibition
four of the world's outstanding photographic talents.
Many of the world's most famous professional photographers built their
reputations, not to mention their talent and outstanding artistic
abilities, by working in the black-and-white genre - from Karsh, Adams
and Avedon, to Bailey, Donovan, Parkinson, McCullin and the rest.
With the demand by such visual geniuses for the best possible
renditions of their work, it is hardly surprising that the material of
choice for most of them has been that produced by Ilford Photo.
Following this theme in the 21st century, four of the leading
proponents of modern black-and-white photography who have aligned their
own destinies to a belief in the purity of Ilford Photo film, paper and
photochemistry - Dave Butcher, Philip Pankov, Tim Rudman and Andrew
Sanderson - came together on the Ilford Photo stand at the Focus on
Imaging 2007 exhibition to share their insights into the creation of
monochrome masterpieces with visitors
Dave Butcher, or Dr David W Butcher, PhD, ARPS, FRSC, Cchem, to give
him his more formal address, has a remarkable background in photography
and imaging, including working for Ilford Photo for 21 years in such
positions as photographic research scientist, technical service
manager, regulatory affairs manager and project manager. He retired
early from IlfordD Photo in 2002 due to back injury and to follow full
time the photography he had been progressing for the previous 25 years.
While Butcher's subjects at Cambridge University were medicine and
chemistry, he holds various European and US patents on the development
of holography, so his understanding of utilising light for creating
images is extensive. With his lifelong interest in walking, climbing
and skiing, much of his photography has centred on these and directly
His love of black-and-white work, which Butcher has followed since
1980, shines through everything he does, and is a big feature of his
photographic Fine Art business which began in 2005, and his Gallery
which went online last year. It is also seen in the many books,
magazines and advertising campaigns to which he has supplied images and
An aspect of Butcher's work which has occupied him for some time is
that of using Ilford SFX 200, the film with extended red sensitivity
which is just being reintroduced by Ilford Photo after a two-year
absence. “Most of my landscape photography is with Ilford
FP4+ 120 film and Mamiya-7 cameras,” he says,
“however, I use SFX 200 for the striking effects it produces
when foliage is producing infrared (in the spring and the summer when
the sun shines!)."
The best effects are produced with a special filter
(Ilford Cokin 'P'
) which cuts off virtually all of the visible light, and so makes
the exposure with just infrared light.
Without the filter
, the film behaves much as HP5+ would if you rated it
at ISO200. With the filter
, it gives effects similar to using two
filters at the same time: a deep red to darken skies and increase
contrast with clouds etc, and a green to lighten any foliage giving off
Philip Pankov is another master of his craft who, via his
black-and-white photography and printing, has achieved that stroke of
genius beloved of the greatest artists in combining the total depth and
vibrancy naturally present in his subject while highlighting aspects
and details which are usually missed by the casual observer.
Although only moving to Ireland from his native Russia ten years ago,
Pankov's work immediately established him as a son of the soil
- someone who sees, understands and relates completely to the smallest
detail of his surroundings: an ability which usually requires a
lifetime's experience of an environment, while his genius brings out
the living texture of his subject and vividly communicates it to the
Pankov earned degrees from Trinity College Dublin and University
College Dublin. He also studied photography at the Dun Laoghaire
Institute of Art and Design. Despite his academic background, Pankov is
very down-to-earth, both as a person and in his work. “My
approach to photography is straightforward,” he says.
“I see something beautiful and I try to capture that beauty
with my camera in order to share it.”
Pankov exclusively uses Ilford Photo films, with most of his night
images taken on Delta 100, and landscapes shot on Pan F+. He
hand-processes his films using Ilford DDX developer. "The Delta 100 in
DDX developer is a modern technology, ultra high resolution combination
which gives great results with high contrast subjects, such as night
scenes,” he says.
All prints go through double fixing baths, and fibre prints receive
Ilford Wash Aid bath treatment, followed by at least one hour washing.
As per Ilford Photo's official recommendation, I consider this process
to be the best method of processing fibre base papers for maximum
I print on a variety of Ilford photo papers, both resin coated and
fibre based. My personal favourite is Ilford Multigrade FB Warmtone
paper with glossy finish. It's a beautiful premium quality, variable
contrast black-and-white paper which has a warm black image tone on a
warm white double weight fibre base.
Tim Rudman is another highly qualified photographer who has applied his
in-depth understanding of photography to achieve breathtaking results.
Mostly working with Ilford FP4+ and Delta film, he is known
internationally as a Fine Art photographer, printer, author and
authority on darkroom techniques, and notably for his pioneering work
in the beautiful process of lith printing, of which he is an undisputed
Having qualified in medicine and surgery in the late 1960s, for many
years Rudman pursued his two loves of medicine and photography in
parallel, but now devotes his time to photography. His work has been
widely exhibited in over 25 countries; it has received numerous
international awards and is held in a number of permanent and private
Rudman is a quadruple Fellow in Photography and the Arts, a member and
past chairman of The London Salon of Photography and a member of the
Arena group of photographers. He sits on the Royal Photographic
Society's Distinctions Panel for Visual Arts, and was a founder member
and subsequent chairman of the Distinctions Panel for Photographic
He was awarded an Associateship by the India International Photographic
Council for services to photography, and holds the distinction of
Excellence of the Federation International de l'Art Photographique.
In addition to several hundred published articles on photography and
printing released in Europe, America and Australia, Rudman has
published books on photographic printing, toning, and lith printing on
which subject he is the only published author.
Andrew Sanderson has, over some 25 years as a photographer and printer,
concentrated on utilising the primary basics of photography, yet his
work has the appearance of contemporary art in its approach to
capturing more than simply the reproduction of a view; rather, he
endeavours to endow his work with the feel of the subject, creating his
own textures where appropriate.
Sanderson has undertaken a great deal of advertising/design work for a
diverse range of clients, including: Ciba/Geigy, Yorkshire Television,
Stormseal, Charles Barker Agency, Brahm Agency, MacDonald's, Whitley
Willows, Rowan Yarns, Hatfield's (Jaguar cars), and Huddersfield Choral
He also works in portraiture, press, sports and many other things
besides - for the past 10 years he has also been teaching photography,
and has written several books on photography and print technique.
Many magazines have featured Sanderson's work, and his posters have
sold around the world, while much of his work is featured in a gallery
he owns in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire. Since his earliest shows around
Britain in the mid '80s as part of Present Recollections - an
Arts Council touring Exhibition - Sanderson has shown regularly in the
North of England, London, and New York, and has photographs in picture
libraries in both Britain and the United States.
One of Sanderson's recent projects has been to photograph the
architecture of different cities around the United Kingdom - but with a
difference. “I wanted to get away from the usual way of
showing buildings in full colour, on large format, and in good
light,” he explains. “I therefore used the paper
negative technique which I had developed more than 20 years ago. Prints
done this way work better if fine detail is not important to the
strength of the image, leaving the pictures as areas of shape and tone.
The images were not taken with paper in the camera, but from paper copy
negatives, the originals being on 35mm Ilford HP5 rated at ISO400. This
allowed me to use longer lenses for the odd shot or two, something
which would have been much more problematic had I used paper in a 5x4
Lateral thinking is something Sanderson endeavours to teach his
students: “As often happens in many areas of creativity,
projects can take on a life of their own and dictate a different
direction,” he says. “I am a great believer in
being open to other possibilities in my work. I can 'nail it down' if
the project requires it and control every aspect of the process, but
for personal pictures this is not always desirable. It is in these
situations that the unconscious mind often takes a hand and produces
better work if allowed free rein.”
While many acclaimed photographers find that the unconscious mind
frequently takes over and releases their inner artistic abilities, for
that innate visuality to be interpreted into photographic masterpieces,
it is essential not only that the individuals have complete mastery
over their practical applications, but that they use the best possible
materials to give due quality to the depiction of their vision.
It is a theme which is well highlighted in the work of Dave Butcher,
Philip Pankov, Tim Rudman and Andrew Sanderson, all of whom recognise
that the best materials come from the same source - Ilford photo.