ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.  – “I do these pictures large so you feel like you are there,” said Clyde Butcher, checking out the latest exhibition at the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art in St. Petersburg. 

Ansel Adams: The Masterworks & Clyde Butcher: America the Beautiful is open now at the James Museum through July 31, 2022.

It’s his work, coupled with another famed black and white landscape photographer – Ansel Adams. 

Adams is one of Clyde Butcher‘s inspirations.

“To me, black and white is an interpretation of nature,” said Butcher. “And color is a Xerox copy.”

For Ansel Adams, there are 32 black and white gelatin silver prints, spanning four decades of photography. 

Butcher ventures deep into the Everglades for his work. He’s burned through two walkers since his 2017 stroke.

“I keep spraying it with silicone,” he said of his walker. 

He has been on a mission to save these South Florida swamps since he arrived in 1980.

It’s in saving these wild places that Butcher says we save ourselves.

“Everything we do affects everything around the world. And everything China does, Europe, Africa, it all affects everybody, said Butcher. “There are people who are doing lots of good stuff, but there’s the other part too.”

Like butcher, Adams was also an environmentalist.

He spends time away from nature to keep his message going. 

“I really appreciate people come out of their way to see me,” said Butcher.

 But it’s in seeing Butcher and his work that fans have gained a special appreciation of our wild places.