Sharing the skills and the passion
My name is Hank Webber and, together with my wife Marie, we own and operate Webbers Photography
Within my family, I’m a third generation photographer. It all started with my Grandfather in the 1920’s who then passed the skills and passion to my Dad and his brother, my Uncle Joe. They, in turn, blessed me with the same passion; skills are ever evolving. Each of them believed that as they triggered their camera shutters, they were capturing a moment in time that would never be duplicated.
I believe that traditional, classic Black & White Film Photography is the truest form of the art. Nonetheless, I have a high regard for color work and digital imaging for I own a Canon digital camera. It’s just that my passion is for the entire process of Black & White Film Photography, start to finish. Many of my contemporary digital photographers ask, “Why do you bother with all that mess?” The answer is quite simple; I truly enjoy it! Dad “introduced” me to his darkroom in September 1960. I remember the fascination of that day, still fascinated today, still more to learn. There’s a certain pride and privilege in creating hand-crafted images, one at a time. It’s my purpose as an artist to produce the finest images in keeping with the family tradition of Black & White Film Photography.
Hub of the business
Our darkroom is the hub of our business which is constantly active with a supply of negatives from both medium format and 35mm cameras. I still occasionally use my Dad’s 6 x 9 folding camera which my Grandfather gave to him as a birthday present in 1938. It will yield negatives about the size of baseball cards; ideal for contact printing back in the day. The darkroom is fully furnished and a pleasure to work in as often as my schedule allows. The other half of the pleasure is creating negatives to begin with. My three mentors are gone now but I continue in the tradition they taught me back in my early days.
My Grandfather’s choice of subjects were landscapes and still lives. Dad and Uncle Joe were more interested in the most fascinating machine of the 1930’s, the railroad steam locomotive. Both were self-taught, along with help from my Grandfather, and well versed in their pursuit of photography, using their skills to capture the machines that were soon to disappear. I’m pleased that after all these years I have an extensive negative collection which includes the work of all four of us family photographers.
Dad had the opportunity to volunteer at the 1939 New York World’s Fair and took advantage of that situation to create “Nite Sites”. A collection of images he composed at night capturing many of the various pavilions on site. Ironically, he photographed them on September 11, 1940. One of those images “Nite Lab” (DuPont Pavilion) has just been licensed to a major Hollywood film company for use in a documentary slated to be aired later in 2019. A number of Dad’s prints are in the permanent collection of the Queens Museum in New York City, the only surviving building of the 1939 New York World’s Fair.
My wife and I have gone from color portraits and weddings back to my first love, Black & White Film exclusively. Gone are my Hasselblad 6 x 6 cameras and now I prefer my Mamiya 645 and a Canon A2E for all my film work along with a Manfrotto tripod. I use Ilford film, film developer, paper developer, stop bath, fixer, and wash aid. My print paper is Ilford Multigrade IV RC with a pearl finish. Since this paper tends to be a bit on the warm tone side for me, I almost always use a #3 or #3 ½ contrast filter in my Beseler 23C enlarger. The darker blacks and brilliant whites appeal to me. I’m happy with the availability, consistency, and results of using Ilford products. Crescent acid free mats complete my presentations.
The beauty of Infared
Black & White Infrared Film has always fascinated me and has been my all-time favorite. Kodak’s HIE was absolutely the best but very tricky to work with and now, unfortunately, discontinued. However, ILFORD’s SFX200 is a fabulous replacement and much more forgiving than HIE. My concern now is for me to greatly improve my use of SFX so as to achieve that mystical infrared effect that makes these types of images so attractive. Additionally, Ilford’s technical department tells me that using SFX200 without an R72 infrared filter should print much the same as their HP5 which I use for general photography needs. Could be a very convenient dual purpose film for me since infrared is my favorite medium. I also enjoy using ILFORD’s Delta 3200 for night photographs because the film has such wide latitude.
In closing, my choice of subjects is more varied than my ancestors. Therefore my website has four different galleries of images I enjoy plus a section for greeting cards. More galleries will be added in the future. Please visit at www.webbersphotography.com. I’d love to hear your comments about it.
About The Author
My name is Hank Webber and, together with my wife Marie, we own and operate Webbers Photography. It’s our privilege to create and produce Fine Art Black & White Silver Gelatin Photographs, exclusively, which are presented as Quality Wall Art.
As a passionate third generation film photographer I enjoy the creativity behind each aspect of film photography and darkroom printing. My choice of subjects is more varied than my ancestors. Therefore my website has four different galleries of images I enjoy plus a section for greeting cards. More galleries will be added in the future. Please visit at www.webbersphotography.com. I’d love to hear your comments about it.