Clyde Butcher

Clyde Butcher is an American large format camera photographer known for wilderness photography of the Florida landscape. He began his career doing color photography before switching to large scale black-and-white landscape photography after the death of his son. Butcher is a strong advocate of conservation efforts and uses his work to promote awareness of the beauty of natural places.

In 1992, PBS aired a documentary about him, Visions of Florida, which won a Wolfson Award.

Butcher and his work has also inspired other artist-conservationists, such as film producer Elam Stoltzfus, who was struck by Clyde's art. The pair have formed a friendship over the years and have collaborated on several multimedia projects together as a result. Butcher hosted the documentaries "Big Cypress Swamp: The Western Everglades" and "Kissimmee Basin: The Northern Everglades," sister films that highlighted the importance of conservation and art in the state of Florida.

His photographs have been exhibited in many museums across the world. He received in 1998 the Florida Artist Hall of Fame Award, the Ansel Adams Award from the Sierra Club in 2000, the Wolfson Telly Award in 2004, the North American Nature Photography Association Lifetime Achievement Award in Nature Photography and the Florida International University Humanitarian of the Year Award in 2005, the Distinguished Artist Award from Florida House Embassy Washington, DC in 2012, the Biff Lampton Conservation Communicator of the Year Award - Florida Wildlife Federation in 2013, and the Voice of the Arts Award - Naples International Film Festival in 2016. In  2004, Clyde was named Top 100 Most Influential People in Florida.

3 words to describe Nature? 

Primeval. Beautiful. Healthy

3 things Nature taught you? 




3 most treasured Nature spots? 

Big Cypress National Preserve



When you look at the ocean, it makes you feel...? 

As Capt’n Jack says, “Give me the horizon.” I get a sense of the possibilities of adventures that lay beyond, and the need to sail away fills my soul. (We raised our kids on a sail boat, so I did sail away for a while, but still the freedom of it lingers in my heart)

When you see a forest, it makes you feel...? 

An ancient forest humbles me and makes me feel one with the world.

When you see a volcano, it makes you feel...? 

The only live volcano I’ve seen is Mt. Reiner. I was not ready for the power and energy vibrating off that mountain. It was both humbling and amazing.

When you see a sunrise or sunset, it makes you feel...? 

When they are the pastel sunsets of a tropical summer, I feel at peace…rested and satisfied. When they are the bright red sunsets of winter there is a feeling of expectation in the air.

When you hear thunder, it makes you feel...? 

I feel the power of nature and wonder at the hubris of humans to think they can control anything.

When you hear the wind howling, it makes you feel...? 

Mostly, I want it to stop so I can take a photograph. But when you ask about HOWLING wind, I immediately think hurricane, and then, of course, I just want it to be over.

Are you an Ocean, Mountain, Forest, or Desert person? 

I love both the ocean and the forests. If I could think of a perfect place to live it would be on a beach with the ocean in front of me, and a forest of palms and tropical trees behind me.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is Nature to your well-being? 


Share with us a childhood nature memory? 

The first time I saw a redwood tree and came to realize it was alive before Christ was born, I was humbled. There really weren’t words to describe how I felt. All I could think was, “How much did this tree see? What all has it gone through?”