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Monday, August 19, 2019

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, August 19, 2019

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #104:
Wind River, #104:  Following a cold, blustery day of on-and-off rain, Vicki Golden, Belle Star, and I awake to a dark overcast on the morning we plan to walk out to Elkhart Park, about 12-miles away. At the moment, it is not raining, so we have a “final” backpacker's breakfast for this season, and then break down camp. Although the skies ares ominous, it does not storm, and actually, the cool day makes the hike more pleasant. The Pole Creek Trail is well worn by both hikers, and horses, and with the recent rains, there are many places that are a flooded, muddy slog to get around. Since the weather is civil, we are not in a hurry to get to the trailhead, and so we take our time, stopping regularly for whatever snacks remain, and to take in our late summer presence in this astounding range of granite and high peaks. Vicki and I have already decided to return for a full summer next year, so we can explore other trailheads and basins, and at the moment we are just relishing these last few miles for this year. Especially, because we are so late in the season, there are few others still out here, and we have not seen a single other person all day. Not far from the start of the trailhead and parking lot, there is an expanse of meadows called Millers Park, and it offers a dramatic view of the numerous summits that comprise the Titcomb Lakes Basin, where we started this backpack ten days ago. It is late afternoon now, and although the skies above remain stormy, to the west it is clearing and the sun gets under the cloud deck to send warm, low angled light across the landscape. It lights up the entire peaks section which is now more raggedly defined because it is beginning to accumulate snow. There is much more there now, than there was 5 days ago when we camped there. Winter is coming! For Vicki and I, however, this is an inspiring “last look,” and we both agree we cannot wait to return in nine months for new adventures in other sections of this very long mountain range.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post: The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get by Robert Glenn Ketchum

by Robert Glenn Ketchum


Growing up my parents had a home near Sun Valley, Idaho. It was there that I learned to ski. Over many years I befriended members of the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club, with whom I had both life, and art-forming outdoor experiences. I had my camera, and these are my adventures.  Enjoy!!  ~Robert Glenn Ketchum



Monday, August 192019

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #172: DFCFC, #172:  I suppose it is inevitable that my product-sponsor photoshoot of Mila doing yoga poses in a Pure & Simple organic foods t-shirt, would set off the photographer in everybody, especially her boyfriend, Chris DuPont. As I finish my effort for the day, Chris scrambles back to his snow cave to retrieve his camera. Most of our group have already begun a morning ski-about, so I start prepping my gear to go out as well. When Chris emerges from his cave, camera in hand, I hear him say to Mila, “It is so warm you ought to do some poses with your shirt off,” to which Mila is only too happy to comply. Sensing this might get increasingly awkward, I take this “documentary” shot as proof this really happened, and then I step into my skis and glide away. Some yards of warm-up strides away, I turn to look back at the activity in camp, and there is no one to be seen. It appears that Chris and Mila have decided NOT to go skiing this morning.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, August 16, 2019

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

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, August 16, 2019

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #161: Daze, #161: 1985 proves to be a remarkably important year in my career. Aperture Foundation publishes my first book, The Hudson River and The Highlands. Through the work on that commission I meet Barney McHenry and Michael McIntosh, and they have now offered me a new commission to explore the Tongass rainforest of Alaska, and the impact industrial logging is having on that rare habitat. Then, the wildest of wild cards drops! Having always been inspired by Edmund Teske and Robert Heinecken, my VERY non-traditional photography instructors at UCLA, even though I am making a reputation for myself with “straight” photography, I continue to explore photographic imagery in other ways, as well. Heinecken, in particular, used a lot of “alternative” presentations of the photographic image, often employing crafted objects, imagery on canvas, and much hand colored and painted details. Besides my interest in color, I love textural detail, and I find myself exploring ways to dimensionalize that as a form of photography - a photo-realisitic tapestry, so to speak. Working through that idea, I do some loom-weaving in Mexico, work with a rug maker in Germany, and print on canvas using a newly introduced Japanese scanning computer printer. I also discover some very detailed embroidery created in Suzhou, China. As fate would have it, Nixon and Chinese Premier, Deng XiaoPing, have just made friends, so China is slowly opening up to the west. My alma mater, UCLA is one of the first three American universities to enter an exchange program with China, and I take a wild chance at participating in it, by asking if I might go to Suzhou to attempt a textile collaboration. There are no other artists in the program, and UCLA likes the possibilities of this unusual proposal, so they accept. After two years of letter-writing, and aligning a sponsor, I am notified that the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute (SERI) awaits my arrival. Above is Zhang Meifang. She is my same age. At the time of my arrival, she is ascending as the Director of SERI, and she finds my ideas interesting enough to make a first embroidery, in order to see what the results will be.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019 
@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, August 16, 2019

FISHFARMS:  Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977, #69:
Fish Farms #69:  Our host family, our guides, Elisabeth, and I, all arise early for a communal breakfast, and then we depart, continuing up the Chao Phraya River, north of Bangkok. We stop at a large village for our mid-morning break, and on our walk around, Elisabeth starts giggling, and specifically asks me to make this picture. Elisabeth is in her 60’s, and has been a world traveler most of her life. Because of her experiences, she has an interesting take on some things that often surprise me, given her progressive political and environmental views. Everywhere we went in India, we were beset by street beggars, to whom she refused contributions, and aggressively drove away, explaining that many had become “professional,” going so far as the maim and disfigure their children in order to create more sympathy. Now she introduces me to a new concept - the monk mafia! Although she does not hold it to be true for all monks, apparently, as we get farther from Bangkok, and closer to Myanmar and Laos, these particular monks “control” much of village life, and for their personal benefit. They often have entourages, dress in more “flamboyant” robes, and in this case, sport a pair of cool shades. As I have said, she is a curious person, as a traveling companion.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Thursday, August 15, 2019

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, August 15, 2019

University of Wisconsin: Artist In Residence, #42:
Wisconsin #42:  For the last two images of this blog, I give you a place much visited, and a moment of seeing it as never before. During my NEA-funded Artist-in-Residence at the UWisconsin biological field station in the Kettle Moraine, the property I have been photographing has an array of micro-niche habitats, each of which I visit and re-visit over the course of my stays. At the “high” end of the terrain are the tallgrass-oak savanna and surrounding forests, the latter of which are at the edge of this property. At the “low” end of this landscape a stream flows through in passage to the nearby lake. It is down in the lower part of the property where the presence of the water has made it more diverse, jungle-like, and hard to get around and through. For me it is that complex diversity that adds to the visual beauty, and offers layers of both color AND texture (posts #7, #10, #23, #24). For reasons of alignment, in the fall season, the trees and meadows around creekside are often bathed in the last light of the day, which provides for further visual theatrics, so I always make it a point to check in as the sun sets. Throughout all of my blogs, I repeatedly mention how the Point-of-View (POV) can dynamically, and dramatically, change a photograph, so never assume to have the shot without looking around a bit, and taking a few more images from other positions.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @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, August 15, 2019

SUNDANCE: Artist In Residence, #57:
Sundance #57:  When fall comes to Sundance Resort in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, the seasonal color change of the vegetation begins at ground level, in the grasses, brush, and vine maple. The green slopes of the summer months that seemed relatively homogenous in their coloration, now slowly begin to differentiate in some dazzling displays. As it rains more often and temperatures drop, the colors of the forest floor, spread through the diverse groundcover, and climb the steep walls around, right up to the summit meadows. In a bright overcast sky after a good rain, the vibrancy of the varied hues and shades is just stunning, and the display might cover a sheer wall, or a lengthy vertical valley, like an elaborate, textural tapestry. Not having a “mission” connected to my Artist-in-Residency at Sundance is Redford’s point. He wants me to enjoy this place as much as he does, and to use this “break” he is offering me, to pursue “personal” work, rather than project-driven work. Fall in the Wasatch, and my love of color and light, come together in these images like none, other in my career. I was lucky enough to enjoy 3 fall seasons during my tenure, and now I am excited to post, the many remarkable pictures created.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Wednesday, August 14, 2019

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, August 14, 2019
“Polychromatic Intrusions"
circa 1985-1995

Stoned Immaculate, #144:
Immaculate, #144:  from the portfolio, STONED IMMACULATE

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @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, August 14, 2019

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #157:
ARCTIC, #157:   In our helicopter, John Bockstoce and I circle above a large glacier in serious retreat to the east of Pond Inlet. We are in awe of the spectacle below. A massive, decaying glacial finger descending from a huge icecap is cracked and scarred by water and weather, and no new snow has covered the etched surface. Streams of mud and water pour out of every ice crevice, contributing to the beach of rubble. Then, while we are observing it all, something surprising happens. One of the gullies created in the tongue of the glacier is broader and flowing with more volume than the rest, but all of them are coursing with pale blue water. Abruptly, the larger stream begins to get noticeably milky, then quickly becomes chocolate in color. Apparently, we are witnessing a flash-flood of mud being carried suddenly into the icy stream. When it bursts onto the beach, it flows across it for a short while, but the force of water quickly cuts a deep channel down to the gravel, an continues out to the sea. When John and I relate this event upon our return to Pond Inlet, several of his local friends tell us these occurrences represent serious problems and dangers in their daily lives. The villagers believe these floes happen at the warmest part of the day, and are sometimes triggered by surface lakes collapsing farther up in the icefield. The torrent might remain as water, or it could collect rocks and/or mud in its descent. The flow will eventually abate as the temperature decreases, but fishermen and hunters have found themselves blocked from passage, and having to wait to cross back over such places, that were not there when they passed through earlier in the day.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

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, August 13, 2019 

NO PEBBLE MINE #361, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #361:  By the time we arrive back at the ADF&G cabin where my hosts are stationed, from our stormy trip upriver, the weather has shifted once again. While not really “clearing,” the skies are broken, and the rain squalls have stopped. Once ashore, dinner prep is underway in the cabin, and I am both packing for departure tomorrow, and watching the late evening light show. As it did last night, just before the sun sets, it gets under the cloud layer, and lights up the landscape with a golden illumination for a few quickly passing minutes. After this fades, I return to finish my packing, and then, dinner. My hosts have already communicated with my pilot-to-be tomorrow, regarding weather, and if the flight comes, what time I should expect it to arrive. The weather is going to be “broken”, so flying should be good, with excellent visibility, therefore it looks like I will get a chance to overview the entire Kanektok river basin from the air. My hosts know I have been hopeful this might happen, so they are glad for me as well, and then, the ranger from Quinhagak makes me a unusual offer. For three days now he has watched me work, and he appreciates what I am trying to do for the/their fishery. He also knows I would like to make some pictures of the village that are not surreptitious, in spite of the fact the village does not like being the subject matter of photographers. The offer, therefore, is that we will leave early in the morning, to arrive well before my scheduled afternoon flight, and he will take me to his house for a meal with his family. There, and in his company, I will be welcome to make some images that depict “the reality of village life."

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @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, August 13, 2019

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #155:
THE TONGASS, #155:   At the top of the stairs on our boardwalk trail (last post), we look out over this - a multi-layered, blackwater swamp. The "piling-up" of previously fallen trees is quite deep and visible here. A few old growth, and many younger trees sprout in profusion, nursed by a rotting log bed that goes down through several generations of forest. As the rain picks up, and we are getting closer to Lake Alexander to make camp, the rest of our troupe has gone ahead, as I linger with our guide, Jeff Sloss, taking pictures, and he helps me to understand what lies before my lens. There is an energy about this particular place that is primeval, and with the rest of the group out of earshot, the dripping of water is the only sound to be heard. It is a transcendent, timeless moment for both of us, and we hold our breath as though in suspended animation. The rain picks up, preventing our reverie from lasting much longer, so we turn our attention to the remainder of the hike. Fortunately, Lake Alexander supports a slightly drier, rise in the landscape at this end of the lake, and the USFS has built a large lean-to structure there, where we will cook and store gear. We will then attempt to find spots on the nearby forest floor that are not flooded, for our tents.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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