A Lesson in Patience from Photographer Clyde Butcher

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Photographers Clyde & Niki Butcher

Last week, I had the privilege of meeting Clyde Butcher, whose large-format, black and white landscape photography is truly breathtaking. He is known as the “foremost landscape photographic artist working in America today,” and the title is well-deserved. (I hope you will check out his website to see what I’m talking about:

Photographers Clyde & Niki Butcher

Clyde & Niki Butcher photographing along the Silver River, Ocala, Florida

Jack Frost (another Silver River Museum captain) and I took Clyde and his wife Niki–an extremely talented photographer in her own right–out on the Silver River early two mornings. Clyde uses a large-format camera that looks like it’s left over from the 1800s and he does all the developing himself, by hand.

His work requires a great deal of patience, huge attention to detail and an ability to trust both his instincts and the process itself.

Where we merely saw trees, Clyde and Niki saw contrasts and shapes, light and shadow, textures and individual leaves. It took considerably more time and effort to choose a location, get to the spot and set up the equipment and the shot than I ever realized.

He took 3 pictures one day; two the next and considered those very successful shooting days.

One of the pictures he took required a TEN MINUTE exposure.

When I am tempted to rush full-steam ahead in my latest project, I’ll remember Clyde’s meticulous preparation and attention to detail and the payoff that nets in his incredible photos.

Niki put together a wonderful photographic journal of their time at Silver Springs State Park and our trips out on the River. Come along for a behind-the-scenes look into Clyde’s work…it’s quite an adventure!

Thank you Clyde and Niki for the opportunity to get to know you and get a peek into your world!

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    The Conversation

  1. Thanks for the reminder that master works requires years of study and practice.

  2. Jan Jackson says:

    Patience is not one of my virtues. Especially when it comes to waiting on responses to submissions. This is a good reminder that some things are worth waiting for. Thanks, Connie. Really great seeing you yesterday.

    • Connie says:

      I hear you, Jan. I keep hoping I can get patience in pill form, but so far…nada. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post. And yesterday was fabulous–I had such a great time! Great seeing you, too.