Developing His Own Technique
Beyond the aesthetic qualities of Clyde Butcher’s work, what distinguishes his landscape photography from that of other well-known photographers are the incredibly detailed mural-sized prints he produces on fiber-based silver gelatin paper. By carefully matching view camera format size to the subject matter photographed, Butcher can make prints measuring up to 5×9′ feet that allow the viewer to more fully embrace the breadth and scope of the landscape as Butcher experienced it in the field.
“I try to use the largest film possible for the particular subject I’m planning to photograph. So, if I have a huge, broad landscape, I use the 12×20″ view camera. If I am photographing something like the Ghost Orchid I use a 4×5″ view camera,” explains Butcher, who most often works with an 8×10″ view camera, but has a host of smaller and larger format view cameras. Butcher began making large prints as early as 1968. It has been in the last 20 or more years that he refined and perfected his technique of producing mural-sized prints.