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Friday, December 14, 2018

Weekly Post: The Daze of My Life: Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography


Biographies are studies of someone's life based on cumulative research. Good ones may reveal something, but probably barely scratch the surface of what actually went on. The internet is allowing me to do something VERY different. 
~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Friday, December 14, 2018

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #126: Daze, #126:  Carey and I have chosen the perfect time to enjoy ourselves in the late fall of the New England states. It is increasingly colder as the days go by, and there are plenty of bouts of bad weather, but during those we drive backroads listening to good music, and I get out upon occasion to work in the rain. On good days, we hike. Vermont is very kind to me and offers up several images important to my career. Carey and I get along well, considering we are living out of a van as winter approaches. The other bonus is that we are the only ones out here! The campgrounds are empty. The trails are people-less, and the summits are our own little private dining areas. Just before Halloween, we venture out onto Cape Cod. One evening we spend overlooking a beautiful bird marsh in Martha’s Vineyard, then we go on to Cape Cod National Seashore and camp in the campground. We are the only ones there. It is a clear, sunny, pleasantly warm day, and the park has a lengthy bike-path, so Carey and I don our roller skates, and spend the entire day doing some of the most scenic and varied terrain skating of my life. Then, smitten with our skating skills, we decided to partake in celebrating Halloween in nearby Provincetown wearing our skates. That could be a whole other blog!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018 
@RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post, FISHFARMS: Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977 by Robert Glenn Ketchum

FISHFARMS:  Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1977, I was commissioned by Elisabeth Mann Borgese to help do research, interviews, and take photographs for a book she was writing about worldwide aquaculture. It would be published by Harry N. Abrams, one of the world’s premier publishing houses, famous for their beautiful books. It would also involve around-the-world travel to 8 countries, and some of the most remarkable places I would ever visit. SEAFARM: The Story of Aquaculture was a very successful publication featuring over 100 of my images, and an exhibit I assembled with support from Nikon, became a Smithsonian traveling exhibition for 6-yrs., viewed by over 6-million people.  ~Robert Glenn Ketchum





Friday, December 14, 2018

FISHFARMS:  Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977, #34:
Fish Farms #34:   Our dinner boat ride reveals what Elisabeth has been promising, a literal “landscape of aquaculture.” As I will learn, this is just a beginning. The restaurant in which we dine is located adjacent a multi-pond “farm” that is raising several species of fish and shrimp. Talk about "farm-to-table!” We order by selecting our primary fish, and various fruit and spice ingredients. That fish is then captured from a pond, cooked immediately, and served to us with our preferred additional choices, in a “house-style” combination that changes every night. The meal is zesty, but delicious, and I sense a new spice creeping into our palate as we move south. It is making me sweat more. When I ask why we eat such hot food, in a place that is so hot, our host asks me if I am sweating, and then assures me, I will be greatly cooled off by the boat ride home. And so I am. It is a BEAUTIFUL tropical night, and tomorrow Elisabeth says we will enter the landscape that is the heart of India’s aquaculture, southern Kerala and the city of Cochin.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Weekly Post, "My NEA Funded Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

My NEA Funded Artist-in-Residence at the University of Wisconsin
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1988, I was awarded an Artist-in-Residency at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Wisconsin Arts Board. This was a small body of work created over three years, and eventually exhibited once at the university. Some images have been printed, but most have never been seen. I hope you enjoy these photographs. I think they are among some of the most beautiful I have ever taken.  ~Robert Glenn Ketchum






Thursday, December 13, 2018

University of Wisconsin: Artist In Residence, #7:
Wisconsin #7:  The location of this field station puts us in a topographical feature know as the Kettle Moraine. The Kettle Moraine covers a good deal of the state of Wisconsin, and was created by the last glacial retreat. As the glaciers melted back, glacial rock debris was left, covering unmelted ice beneath. That ice eventually melted as well, but more slowly, and at different rates in different areas, creating a “pothole” landscape. Those potholes can be as small as ponds or lake-sized, and most connect to one another through a myriad of streams. Near the field station, where I am “in-residence” as an artist, there is a large kettle lake that attracts a lot of wildfowl. It is not on the property of the field station, but streams feeding into it, do cross our acreage, representing one more distinct feature of this habitat. Least used and visited, this part of the property is “running wild,” and I find it riotously beautiful.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post, SUNDANCE: Artist-In-Residence by Robert Glenn Ketchum

SUNDANCE:  Artist In Residence
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



From 1987-1989, Robert Redford invited me to become the first visual Artist-In-Residence at his newly established Sundance Institute, part of the community he was building around his recently purchased ski resort in Utah. The residency provided me with subject matter that produced some of the most significant images of my career, but importantly, it also afforded me my first aerial work, a platform that would become increasingly important throughout my life. A limited amount of these images were ever published, and NONE of the aerials ever were. The best will now appear, please enjoy!  ~Robert Glenn Ketchum






Thursday, December 13, 2018

SUNDANCE: Artist In Residence, #22:
Sundance #22:  In my earliest portfolios, “WINTERS: 1970-1980” and ORDER FROM CHAOS, my concerns were exclusively visual and painterly. The images in those two portfolios are about how the frame of the picture fills with shape, color, and texture. The location of the landscape is inconsequential, and titles tell you nothing about “place.” In subsequent projects, all of which became books, The Hudson River and the HighlandsThe Tongass: Alaska’s Vanishing Rainforest, and Overlooked in America: The Success and Failure of Federal Land Management, the pictures were very much ABOUT “place.” The photographs in those publications were intentionally created to be broadly descriptive, and to make purposeful statements to the public through them. Now, working here in Sundance, Redford has indicated to me that this is a chance to be creative, be free of those concerns, and just enjoy this unique location. As with all landscapes you first experience, you inevitably see and make “beauty” shots, but if you keep working over time with the same subjects at different moments, your insight to them is refined. Certainly this “brushyness” I am experiencing in the high desert, Utah winter (last 3 posts) becomes one of those visual explorations.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Weekly Post: STONED IMMACULATE: A Trip in the Desert by Robert Glenn Ketchum

STONED IMMACULATE:  A Trip in the Desert
by Robert Glenn Ketchum


As a young photographer, two places I “discovered” by chance greatly influenced both my photographic vision and my personal relationship with the greater planet. A previous blog, LIMEKILN, is the story of the first location. THIS is the second location which I discovered because my car broke down. As Jim Morrison/The Doors wrote, “Out here we is Stoned Immaculate!"



Wednesday, December 12, 2018
“Navajo White Flux"
circa 1985-1995

Stoned Immaculate, #109:
Immaculate, #109:  from the portfolio, STONED IMMACULATE

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd


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Weekly Post, ARCTIC: At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1993, I began traveling to the Arctic. I have been across The Northwest Passage by yacht; to the North Pole twice; to little-visited Russian islands; and aboard research vessels in Greenland, Labrador, Newfoundland, and Baffin Island, taking the opportunity to visit Iqualuit, the capital of Nunavut, the recently created Inuit nation and territories.







Wednesday, December 12, 2018

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #122:
ARCTIC, #122:  Having John Bockstoce aboard our trip is a great asset, not only because he is very funny and fun to be around, but also because he has great knowledge of the Arctic, expressed through his many books. Most of us may not see much here, but John says archeologists have identified this, and many other sites like this, as remnant middens and walls of Thule people. The Arctic has had human inhabitants for a very long time. Dorset culture were what are known to be the earliest, then they were followed by Thule. Today, it is the world of the Inuit. As I have mentioned previously, the Arctic is a desert, generally receiving less than 6-inches of rainfall a year. It is also a very cold desert. As such there is little deterioration of anything and these ancient campsites can still be found and researched.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Weekly Post: NO PEBBLE MINE: Pictures from Ground Zero by Robert Glenn Ketchum

NO PEBBLE MINE Pictures from Ground Zero
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



Since 1998, I have been working to protect the spectacular resources of southwest Alaska and the fishery of Bristol Bay. Two Aperture books, a national traveling exhibition, a massive coalition of concerned users, and a lot of personal lobbying, had it looking like we were almost there. Then Donald Trump took office claiming he would always put America, and American jobs first. SO WHY destroy a BILLION-dollar-a-year, RENEWABLE salmon fishery and over 100,000 jobs for a group of international mineral speculators that will leave us with a Superfund site to clean up, and NO fishery left edible? And yet, he did,..so please, keep saying NO TO THE PEBBLE MINE!
~Robert Glenn Ketchum






Tuesday, December 11, 2018 

NO PEBBLE MINE #326, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #326:  Over 4-MILLION acres in size, the backcountry of the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge is an endless expanse of mountains and valleys, rivers, lakes, and wetlands. Rivers are EVERYWHERE! Rivers that appear sizable beneath the wing, flow into bigger rivers that are more impressive,..and then the “big” river flows into one that is even larger. So much flowing water. Even the large rivers are numerous. The Kanektok, Goodnews, Kanik, Kulukak, Negukthlik, Togiak, Kinegnak, and Snake (there is always a Snake) are so large they have huge tidal deltas and complexes of wetlands where they meet the coast. They exist, however, because THOUSANDS of streams and tributaries feed their headwaters.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post: THE TONGASS: Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees by Robert Glenn Ketchum

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees
by Robert Glenn Ketchum
In 1985, I began a 2-year commission to explore the Tongass rainforest, the largest forest in the United States Forest Service (USFS) system AND the largest temperate rainforest in the world. It was a unique, old-growth environment under siege from industrial logging. The resulting investigative book I published helped to pass the Tongass Timber Reform Bill, protect 1,000,000 acres of old-growth, and create 11 new wilderness areas. This is the story of how that was achieved.




Tuesday, December 11, 2018

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #120:
THE TONGASS, #120:  As Philip Slagter and I slowly paddle down-fjord in Rudyerd Bay, we are paddling against an outgoing tide that will drop 18ft. You can clearly see how much is slowly being exposed. At the top of the dark rock band, the sheer walls are covered with lush mosses that cannot survive exposure to saltwater - that is the high tide mark. At the bottom of the dark rock band, seaweed is growing profusely, and soon a myriad of other plants, and some sea creatures will appear as the waterline continues to lower. We are almost to a point where Rudyerd Bay divides in to two arms. The shorter of those two arms is around this wall to the right. We are scouting every crevice of shoreline, hoping to find a campsite, and there certainly has not been one offered as yet, so we are hopeful things will change when we round the bend.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Weekly Post, High and Wild: Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers

High and Wild: Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



After receiving my MFA from CalArts, I was invited by Bill Lund, Sharon Disney’s husband, to come stay at the families' Diamond-D Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming. Bill thought I might like to photograph in the nearby Wind River Mountains, which I did, backpacking through them extensively over the next three summers. Welcome to a world of big granite walls and huge alpine lakes!




Monday, December 10, 2018

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #68:
Wind River, #68:  Mistake Lake is long, skinny, and completely hidden from any view were you below it in the Titcomb Lakes Basin. We would not know it was here if I had not seen it this morning when studying the topo map on our hike in. The lake is ice-cold, a completely different color of blue from Titcomb, and bordered by snow patches along a good part of its shoreline. Because we are now well above 11,000ft., the crazy gusting wind that has been with us all day, is even crazier. Belle’s ears are in their “pin-backed” mode. We all have on our hooded rain panchos to to give us some protection from the chill, and when we stop to ponder, we shield behind rocks. This is a nice one! At the end of our shoreline traverse, we rise up the dome that divides us from the Titcomb Basin, and pick a steep, but unchallenging decent through boulders and meadows, back down to the Titcomb Basin. From there, a well established trail takes us back to Island Lake, still several miles away, where we will arrive at Chris and Cathy’s camp.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Weekly Post: Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

The Yakutat Forelands are where the Tongass rainforest and the Chugach forest to the north meet. It is also home to many large glaciers, a stunning coastline, the huge Alsek-Tatshenshini river, and Icy Bay, which sits at the foot of Mount St. Elias, the greatest vertical rise from sea level in the world. There is a lot of powerful energy out here.



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias, #94:
The Yakutat Forelands, #94:  The spectacle of the exaggerated, and very visible, changes in the parts of Icy Bay we actually explored, is quite sobering to all of us. As the plane climbs and heads for the coast, we fall silent as each of us ponders the numerous times we have encountered life-threatening circumstances in just these past 10-days. This was NOT a casual Alaskan kayaking adventure. Our pilot suggests we have been in the middle “of an epic weather event,” and he acknowledges that he wondered what he would find in flying in to pick us up. He also notes that all flights in and out of Yakutat have been grounded for the better part of the last week, so he was not even sure if he would be allowed to come for us. As our flight path hits the coast, where we will turn south, the large river pouring out of the bay has flushed so much mud and silt into the Pacific, that it is actually changing the color of the ocean water for many square miles. Well, it IS Alaska! Go big, or go home. We have done one, and now we are going to do the other. I want to sleep on a mattress. We have all come to bow before St. Elias, and now suitably humbled, we retreat to play another day.

photograph(s) © copyright, Robert Glenn Ketchum, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum, @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Monday, August 20, 2018

TERRA FIRMA Exhibit at the Manhattan Beach Art Center featuring Robert Glenn Ketchum


When at UCLA, Ketchum studied with two very non-traditional photography practitioners, Edmund Teske and Robert Heinecken. Ketchum was especially influenced by Heinecken's use of many different materials in presenting his photographic imagery, some of which involved cloth and fabric. Working with UCLA, in 1985, Ketchum became the first American artist to enter their China exchange program. This began a 30-year collaboration with a nationally prestigious Chinese embroidery guild, to translate his photographs of the natural world into embroideries and loom weavings, of which two of the most recent are displayed here.


Graceful Branch Movement_ 2010
Graceful Branch Movement, 2010

One of the largest 2-sided embroidery panels ever created, featuring the untraditional use of two stitches that were never previously combined. The detailed leaves are done in the most laborious "Suzhou fine style," and all the other background work is done in the "random" stitch. There more than 40 dye colors used, and the work took several embroiderers 3-years.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Cont.: THE TONGASS: Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees by Robert Glenn Ketchum

continued. . .

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees
by Robert Glenn Ketchum
In 1985, I began a 2-year commission to explore the Tongass rainforest, the largest forest in the United States Forest Service (USFS) system AND the largest temperate rainforest in the world. It was a unique, old-growth environment under siege from industrial logging. The resulting investigative book I published helped to pass the Tongass Timber Reform Bill, protect 1,000,000 acres of old-growth, and create 11 new wilderness areas. This is the story of how that was achieved.




Tuesday, July 17, 2018

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #99:
THE TONGASS, #99:  Although the day that Philip Slagter and I fly into Walker Lake and cabin, the weather is terrible, I want to give everyone a sense of HOW BIG the walls around us are, so I am inserting this image of our plane, which in this shot, is actually coming back to pick us up on a beautiful sunny day. That is a big floatplane that seats four people and a lot of gear. It is a small speck in the airspace of this fjord, and we can hear it long before we can actually see it. Even though the day of our arrival it is raining and cloudy, low elevation visibility is excellent, and we land on Walker Lake effortlessly. Our pilot taxis us across the lake to a firm tundra bank on the far shore, where we disembark with all our gear. With a quick swing-around for the plane, he then launches off, back down-valley, returning to Ketchikan. After the noise of his engines fades, all Philip and I can hear is the patter of rain, the echoes of falling water, and the high-pitched whine of millions of mosquitoes.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Weekly Post: Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - 
Expanding My Winter Consciousness
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

In the early '70’s, I was doing a lot of winter adventuring with my friends in the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club, and a client invited me to take pictures at Big Mountain, a ski resort in Montana. Glacier National Park was not far away, so I thought that might be an interesting place to explore in the winter, as well. These two locations added important work to my exhibits and portfolios, and definitely expanded/sobered my winter consciousness.




Thursday, July 12, 2018

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness, #50:
Big Mountain, #50:  Bob Tchirkow and I finally arrive at Avalanche Lake which is frozen over, and we are certainly in a BASIN. Except for the direction from which we have come, the sheer walls rise straight up all around us, and disappear into the snowfall that is not only heavy, but the flakes have become gigantic as well. The open expanse of the lake runs right up to the walls, and there is no gorge now between us and an avalanche. Still boggled by the one we witnessed as we came in, neither he nor I want to get any nearer to the walls than where we already are. We choose a huge tree on our side that has a wind hollow beneath it, and we crawl in there, out of the weather, to drink, snack, and occasionally poke my camera out and take a shot. The above image, “Avalanche Lake Basin (Headwalls in a Blizzard)” becomes another from this trip to be included in my future portfolio, “Winters: 1970-1980,” and a larger print of this will also be included in “Silver See,” a portfolio, published by the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies. Once again, unfortunately, Bob and I misjudge the short winter day. Our journey back down the trail is more dangerous than we expect. Going downslope with so many trees is pretty ragged, there is a lot of falling,..and then it starts to get dark. When we fall in the heavy, wet snow, it clings, making our clothes wet as well,..and we are tiring. Then, rather abruptly in the growing darkness, the roar of the creek is close once again, and the bridge appears before us. We are back! Crossing the bridge to head for camp, we encounter a BIG, shaggy, snow-covered mountain goat, that just stands and stares at us, then disappears into the trees. I am sure we surprised him. Camp is a mess, as the heavy snow has squashed the tent and covered equipment. One of our two stoves will no longer light, and almost everything is wet. We survive the night, ski out in the early morning hours, and have a GREAT breakfast in a cafe. One feature story in POWDER magazine, and three new images for my portfolio are part of my expanding winter consciousness, and I hope you have enjoyed these “visits” to Montana that helped to shape my career.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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