essay by David Litchfield
As digital photography has become increasingly popular and dominant, the more traditional film-based black and white photography and the chemically produced photographic print have become uniquely repositioned in art, craft and culture. The art of photographic printing is now recognised as a serious craft, a rare skill that is much admired and respected.
For Robin Bell this recognition as a craftsman of extraordinary ability has been earned over a career that stretches back some 35 years. He has worked with the biggest names in international photography including Bill Brandt, Eve Arnold, Don McCullin, Lee Miller, Ernst Haas, Terence Donovan, John Swannell, Ian Berry, Patrick Lichfield, Kevin Cummins, Tom Stoddart, Linda McCartney, Terry O’Neill, Norman Parkinson and Snowdon. Bell’s position as Britain’s leading black and white photographic printer is unassailable.
This book brings together 126 photographs by these and other leading photographers whose work Bell has printed over the years. In his introduction David Litchfield, a central figure in photographic London in the 1980s and editor of Ritz newspaper and Image magazine, contextualises Bell’s career. Robin Bell himself provides the captions, describing both some of his favourite images and the most memorable photographs that he has printed over the years.
Robin Bell’s printing and processing techniques are still as much sought-after as ever by a wide range of photographers and their estates. His expertise and his collaborative approach make him a popular choice for many photographers and this retrospective survey of his work portrays both his passion for images and for the Silver Gelatin print.
Hardback, 144 pages
126 photos, 270mm x 270mm