View Full Version : Southwest Florida / Everglades

10-May-2018, 12:41
Last thread here on the forum about the Everglades was in 2010, so let's talk about it again :).

I just booked 3 days in the Everglades later this month. I'm staying just outside Everglades City. My list of things to do include:

- Big Cypress Gallery and meet Clyde Butcher if I can
- Fakahatchee Strand State Preserve looks amazing
- Corkscrew Swamp possibly if I can make it work coming or going since it's further north (I'm driving in from Orlando)

The Everglades are a huge section of Florida and so I'm not sure where else to go for good access to the Everglades area. Up in the northern part of Florida, there's a lot of places I found or heard about that were not really "known" or easily found, so I'm hoping to find more of that in the Everglades. I'm not interested in the tourist trap stuff or "swamp tours." More like good hiking, deep woods, even wading maybe (though apparently it's gator season so maybe not). I'm going to be with a good friend and he may bring a canoe, so suggestions on boat launch places would be cool too.

Some previous suggestions on that older thread included "Big Cypress Preserve," but that covers thousands of acres, so specifically where would be helpful for suggestions.

Last time I went to the Everglades I was on the east side and I was underwhelmed. I'm hoping to have better luck this time.

10-May-2018, 13:00
Looking on the map, I just found the Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge Marsh Trail, which looks pretty good and is 10 minutes from where I'm staying.

Alan Klein
10-May-2018, 19:36
I saw Clyde's gallery up in Venice, Florida. Pretty nice stuff. IF you check his pictures, you see that he uses majestic clouds a lot. He calls them the mountains of Florida and is what gives his pictures that great dimension as the Everglades can get boring. Look to the clouds for better shots. Good luck.

PS: I wouldn't go wading in the Everglades.

11-May-2018, 02:34
I met Clyde Butcher in his Big Cypress Gallery. He was very kind, interesting and encouraged me in my view camera work. Visit if you can!


11-May-2018, 03:35
At the time I met him, Clyde was using an orange filter to bring out those clouds. I always found google earth useful for finding potential shooting spots.

Doug Howk
11-May-2018, 04:33
Last info I saw, Clyde was still recuperating from a stroke.

11-May-2018, 07:14
You may check Clyde Butcher’s website and follow where he shot.

William Whitaker
11-May-2018, 07:35
PS: I wouldn't go wading in the Everglades.

Yeah, not even with a cast iron codpiece!

Chauncey Walden
11-May-2018, 10:15
Words of advice - in the Everglades, if it is wet there are water moccasins and if it is dry there are rattlesnakes (being from Georgia you know about those) and if you are wading in shallow water and step in a gator den you can't see, well....
Also, water moccasins love to try and climb in a boat. If one is swimming towards you, get the paddle ready to beat it off. If you see a Burmese python kill it. They are destroying the ecosystem. Unless maybe it is one of these "A snake hunter caught a 17-foot-1-inch-long (5 meters) Burmese python near the Big Cypress National Preserve in the Everglades" in which case you might want to look for photo ops in a different direction - but do report it.

11-May-2018, 11:31
Regarding Clyde, I believe he is recovering well and he is giving a gallery talk at his St. Armands location just a couple days before I get to Florida. So I'm hoping he'll be back at the BC Gallery when I'm down there. I am going to email him a little closer to the dates.

I have also been looking at locations based on photographs of his and others for sure...that's something I try to do no matter where I go. One of the good things about GPS tagging, Instagram, etc., is "virtual" scouting of locations.

Yes, being spring I guess it's best to stay out of the water :).

11-May-2018, 13:29
Clyde no longer lives in Big Cypress, but you can visit his gallery there. Regarding "wading" in the Everglades, He and his wife used to lead Swamp Walks every Sept. where you waded waist deep through the water. I participated once a few years ago. To my knowledge no one was ever bit by a water moccasin, rattlesnake, or an alligator. Of course, there's always a first time...

As mentioned, the real problem and possibly a bigger danger are the Pythons. They are destroying the Everglades wildlife. It's only a matter of time before some unfortunate hiker is taken. I was fortunate enough to arrive at a local wetlands preserve just as an alligator caught a python. We watched for about 90 min. as he devoured it.

Alan Klein
11-May-2018, 18:21
At the time I met him, Clyde was using an orange filter to bring out those clouds. I always found google earth useful for finding potential shooting spots.

What film did he shoot?

Dan Fromm
11-May-2018, 18:44
Bryan, the road through the Fakahatchee Strand starts from SR 29 at Copeland. We used to go there fairly regularly. I was last there in '09, the road was then in poor condition. Deep potholes with sharp edges filled with water. I was rarely able to use a lens much longer than normal there. Once shot some Ibis with a 480 on my tandem Graphic, but usually I used lenses shorter than normal. The horizon is almost always very close ... AFAIK, there's no way out from the far end of the road. Turn around and retrace y'r steps.

There's also a boardwalk into the Strand, off of US 41 about 7 miles west of the 41-29 intersection.

You might want to go into the Big Cypress loop road. I used to enter it from Monroe Station before dawn, drive in ~ 5 miles to the Clearwater Strand and wait for everything to wake up.

11-May-2018, 20:05
Thanks Dan, that's very helpful!

12-May-2018, 14:43
What film did he shoot?

I asked a friend who shot with CB and did his printing. According to him "his favorite was Ilford Delta 100 that was readily available in 5x7, 8x10, and 11x14.

He also used Fuji Neopan 100 and Kodak tmax 100".