TURNER RIVER 5 © 1995The Western Everglades
For several years I wanted to photograph the Turner River at low tide. I felt compelled to capture an image of the mangrove legs arching down into the shallow water with the branches of mangroves overhead and bromeliads hanging from the trees, creating a tunnel filled with mystery and beauty. Mangrove Tunnels If there are any landscapes in Florida that seem untouched by the hand of man, the mangrove tunnels of the Turner River would rank among the highest. With water levels influenced by the changing tides of the Gulf of Mexico and the flush of fresh water from the rains of spring and summer that drain from the wetlands of the Big Cypress National Preserve, this mostly gentle flowing river is a visual delight. Within the narrow channels of the tightly growing mangrove trees, the clear shallow waters are stained translucent vermillion. Rare and endangered bromeliads such as the soft-leaved wild pine, tillandsia variables, and the giant air plant (tillandsia utriculata) find refuge among the sturdy arching and densely growing branches of the red mangrove. The light that makes its way through this living organic tunnel illuminates this sacred space and cause many small, fragile plants to faintly glow with soft shades of light pink, purple, and green. These unique waterways of the Greater Everglades ecosystem have long sheltered man, birds, reptiles, fish, and epiphytes from the harsh effects of the sun and the lashing of stormy winds. Turner River 5 was taken with a Clyde-O-Wide 4×5 (hand-built by Clyde) on T-Max 100 film. This photograph is hand-printed in Clyde’s darkroom on fiber-based paper, selenium toned, then mounted and matted to current archival standards. The photograph is a limited edition and signed by Clyde. Camera settings: f/22 | 47mm Schneider Super-Angulon XL lens | 30 seconds Disclaimer – Cropping, contrast, and image density may vary. To learn more about the darkroom printing process, click here.