Review of ‘Peak Light’, by David Butcher

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

by David Butcher
Published by Dave Butcher Photography
ISBN 978-0-9555627-0-9 (2007)

Peak Light is the second book published by internationally acclaimed landscape photographer Dave Butcher. Dave, who lives in the High Peak, has been producing black and white images since the 1970s. Using film cameras, he now works exclusively in monochrome, explaining that he chooses to do so because it is such a powerful medium for conveying drama and atmosphere. His images have appeared in many books and magazines and have been exhibited widely.

Peak Light is a large format 80-page softback featuring 90 quite stunning scenes as we could never hope to see them for ourselves. The images range from the peat bogs of Bleaklow down to Thorpe Cloud in the south Peak and from the aptly-named Windgather Rocks across to Froggatt Edge in the eastern Peak. Because he concentrates on landscapes rather than towns and villages, Dave presents us with inspirational views and dramatically lit scenes illuminated by weather conditions from bright sunshine to reflective, brilliant snow.

The effect can be almost three-dimensional, capturing long shadows across the land, darkly lowering skies, billowing torrents and cascades, and clouds rolling so low along the valleys that only the hilltops poke out. Each image is truly a 'once in a liftime' view.

Dave provides technical data for each image and he also offers the reader extensive advice based on his professional experience of photographic and traditional darkroom techniques.

Review by Julie Bunting

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