Jeff Klinkenberg of the St. Petersburg Times has written a great profile of Florida legend Clyde Butcher, a photographer who might be considered an oddity in 2009 because of his aversion to digital cameras and motor drives. Clyde takes pictures the old-fashioned way.
In Florida environmental circles, all you need to say is "Clyde'' and everyone knows about whom you are talking. Clyde is the bearish man who takes giant black and white landscapes that harken back to the time before paved roads and mosquito repellent. With his scraggly gray beard and weathered hat, he could be Walt Whitman's long lost cousin.If you've never visited Clyde's galleries, then I highly recommend a weekend day trip to see this master's work.
Even his camera, a huge box on a tripod, looks as if it last saw service on a Civil War battlefield. Actually, his trusty Deardorff was manufactured in 1942 — older than he is by a year.
The camera takes black and white photographs, one sheet of film at a time, each sheet about the size of a book. The digital photography revolution passed him by. He often has to build his own equipment.