The Lure of the Landscape


Sand Dune 19, 2007

Death Valley National Park, California

digital print

36 x 46 inches

It would be easy for an untrained eye to mistake the work of Clyde Butcher for that of Ansel Adams. Indeed, the Sierra Club gave Butcher the “Ansel Adams Conservation Award” for both his excellence in photography and his contributions to the public’s awareness of the environment. His work is dedicated to capturing the unsullied pieces of America’s natural beauty, especially those found in the swamps near his Floridian home. On his website he writes:

“Wilderness, to me, is a spiritual necessity. When my son was killed by a drunk driver it was to the wilderness that I fled in hopes of regaining my serenity and equilibrium. The mysterious spiritual experience of being close to nature helped restore my soul. It was during that time, I discovered the intimate beauty of the environment.

My experience reinforced my sense of dedication to use my art form of photography as an inspiration for others to work together to save nature’s places of spiritual sanctuary for future generations.”

Butcher did for some time early on in his career shoot in color, selling his photography as wall decor in JC Penny’s, Montgomery Wards, and Sears. But now he’s quoted as saying “Color is duplication, black and white is interpretation.”


Mariposa Grove 171, 2000

Yosemite National Park, California

digital print

40 x 60 inches

Starting next Wednesday Thursday, 50 of Butcher’s dramatic landscapes will be on display at the James J Hill Reference Library and St. Paul Public Library. As part of the opening celebration, Butcher will be in town to give a free talk about exhibition, which ranges from images of the Badlands to the beaches of Hawaii.


Shell Key, 2001

Florida Bay

silver gelatin print 7/50

46 x 60 inches