Friday, 27 February 2009

Darkroom Day

We finished Focus on Wednesday and were away pretty quickly - Jan managed to talk her way past the security gates to reach the doors nearest our stand before they let anyone else through!

Hope you managed to come by our stand for a chat, if not there are plenty of other opportunities through the year as we do shows from Edinburgh down to Sevenoaks and lectures down as far as Brighton.

Now I'm spending time in the darkroom working my way through processing 141 rolls of 120 FP4+ from our 4 week trip to the USA in January and early February. My film drying cabinet packed up yesterday which isn't going to help! Hope the local electrician can come by soon.

So far I have processed the Chicago and Keystone films and I'm sure I have some good ones. Loads of snow in Chicago to add something different to the shots. Today I'm doing Colorado National Monument, Goblin Valley and Bryce Canyon. First I have to post off my Gitzo tripod head and Lowepro camera case for repair and I sent off one of my Mamiya 7 cameras and the 43mm lens yesterday for the same. After years with no real problems I seemed to be jinxed on the recent trip. My plastic shell of my mountaineering boots also cracked and fell apart in the cold weather and the smooth plastic sole of my downhill ski boots disintegrated. I put these last 2 down to old age. What a trip!

Off to the Lakes in a week or so for some more pictures for my next book, weather permitting.

Dave Butcher

Monday, 16 February 2009

Preparing for Focus on Imaging

I have been back from the USA photo trip 10 days now. Ran my first course of the year on Thursday - a darkroom printing workshop. A very productive session for both Richard and Bob, 4 prints each and a good understanding of split grade printing by the end of the day. Had a nice email from Richard yesterday. It was a shame Nancy had to cancel at short notice - her boss was in hospital after a car crash and she had to run the office in his absence. Will have to rearrange for later in the year.

Just finished packing all of the pending orders, including one for Harman Technology (Ilford Photo). They have a set of 6 of my prints on 6 different papers on their stand at the Focus on Imaging exhibition at the NEC, Sunday 22nd to Wednesday 25th February.

I have exhibited at the last 4 Focus on Imaging shows but this is the first time I will have my own stand - stand C51a - between Nikon and the RPS. Busy preparing for it. I will have a mixture of framed and unframed photographs, a couple of fine art posters, Peak Light and High Light books and Landscape Photography and Darkroom courses. It's quite an expensive show so keeping fingers crossed it's going to be worth it!

One good thng, we're staying with good friends Peter and Sally Moore in Kenilworth so we will be close to the NEC and will have fun with good company in the evenings.

The USA trip was fantastic. I took 141 rolls in Bryce Canyon, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Dead Horse Point, Goblin Valley, Capitol Reef, Castle Rock Moab, Rocky Mountain National Park, Indian Peak Wilderness around Brainard Lake, Boulder, Mount Sanitas, the Flatiron Mountains with and without snow, as well as in Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone and Breckenridge ski areas. Lots of snow everywhere to add interest to the shots. We also stopped off in Chicago and Boston, both very snowy and cold, for some city photos. Overall, lots of blue sky days and just a few dull or snowy days. Our best friends Rob and Annie, from Boulder in Colorado, stayed with us for the entire Utah/Colorado trip, including doing all the driving. Can't think of anyone better we could share the trip with. Here's to the next one with them!

It was quite an eventful trip too - I dropped one of my 3 cameras down a steep gully in Bryce and damaged a tripod head, the shell of my vintage plastic mountaineering boots also broke in the cold (-20°C-ish), the sole of my ski boots disintegrated and my ski goggle lens cracked; other than that nothing happened!

I may not see daylight for the next few days preparing for the show and processing films.

If you come to Focus call by for a chat.
Dave Butcher