Steven Cavanah

Large Format Photography Darkroom


As a second generation Conch born and raised in the Florida Keys, I’ve always had a passion for South Florida’s natural wonders. From the ankle deep River of Grass to the depths of the Florida Straits I have grown up with an appreciation for our unique ecosystem.

My start in photography was as a child with disposable film cameras and eventually I worked my way up to a DSLR camera. Although happy with the results, it just didn’t feel sportsmanlike to take hundreds of pictures in a day and pick out the few good shots. I sought more of a challenge.

One day as I walked into my physics professor’s office at the University of Miami I found myself standing in a swamp. Actually I was looking at a massive black and white mural of a swamp hanging on the wall. The professor told me about a photographer named Clyde Butcher who lives out on Tamiami Trail in the Big Cypress Swamp. I learned more about Clyde Butcher and Ansel Adams and how they combined their technical and creative abilities through the film view camera and the darkroom.

This was the challenge I’d been looking for. A large format camera. A single sheet of film. One chance to capture an image. The combination of technical knowledge and artistic patience in the darkroom. A more deliberate approach to photography.

After relocating to the Tampa Bay area in 2015 I now have opportunities to explore the habitats surrounding the busy cities of Central Florida. Rivers and creeks, prairies and pastures; these are all like foreign territories to a kid raised on a island.

It is my pleasure to share my work with you. I hope you enjoy a glimpse into the beauty of Florida and the art of large format photography.

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