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Friday, February 24, 2017

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. 
~Robeert Glenn Ketchum




Friday, February 24, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #34:
Daze, #34:  Brooks Institute of Photography was run as a professional school, as opposed to a creative arts program. Brooks students were technically groomed to be commercial photographers and the assignments were often very studio-like, involving the shoot of portraits and products. We were also encouraged to present ourselves “professionally” on days when our work was critiqued, “as though we were meeting with an art director or a corporate client.” Of course, this suggested we should wear a coat and tie and have “manageable” hair. Mine did not qualify, but they tolerated it because I was a good student. We were also encouraged to do “independent” work beyond our assignments, and most of the teachers saw that as an excellent chance to develop a more personal commercial style for our individual portfolios. Spending more time in the studio and darkroom than I already had to, was of NO interest to me, so when I pursued my independent work, I dragged my new 4x5 camera, tripod, and lenses to the beach, where I could also get in a bit of surfing. While I appreciated the technology Brooks was teaching me, I saw myself wanting to be much more like Brett Weston than Richard Avedon. The above image is one of my first B&W’s released as an edition and sold by galleries. It was shot with a 4x5, printed 16”x 20” on DuPont Velour Black with selenium toning, and is entitled, “Return to the Sea."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, February 17, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #33:
Daze, #33:  Sam Scranton (climbing over the sea wall) and I had been friends since high school, and we spent much time surfing together both on the west coast and in Hawaii. If you have followed this blog, he is shown in post #7 “on-the-nose” with a “cheater-5,” and he reappears in post #12 as the lead guitarist in the band, “Silver Chief, Wild Dog of the North.” He went to UCSB when I went to UCLA, and as many students do, he took a “job” that also provided housing. He became the house manager for Elisabeth Mann Borgese (on right), a most unusual woman, and daughter of the German author, Thomas Mann. Elisabeth was Director of the International Oceans Institute in Malta, and also a Fellow at the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara. She leased a beautiful beachfront home in Montecito where she kept her “pack” of “brilliant” dogs (they could play a piano she had specially built for them), and because she traveled as often as she did, Sam managed the house and cared for the dogs. My new apartment was less than 1-mile away, and although I did not know it at the time, Elisabeth would become one of the GREAT influences of my life, AND would offer me a unique opportunity as a photographer that would change my life! (Note the very ’70’s hair styles - at this point mine is looking much like the wet dogs and is NOT appreciated at Brooks as it is considered “unprofessional.”)
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, February 10, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #32:
Daze, #32:  Excuse my technical digression here, but bare with me (a little pun there as this image has been dubbed “Snow Cheeks”- LOL). When you shoot 35mm film, there are 36 exposures to the roll, and they may all be made in differing light conditions, but they will ALL get processed in the same way, which is perfect for some shots, but not others. When you shoot a 4x5 view camera or larger, each sheet of film is processed INDIVIDUALLY allowing very subtle adjustments in developing that will maximize the tonal qualities of that particular negative, and make a much better print. I felt that the Brooks Institute of Photography would offer me a crash course in this kind of technical control, and I wanted to learn to print my own color as well. Brooks was in Santa Barbara, also attractive to me because of its proximity to great surf spots. At one point in my undergraduate years at UCLA, I actually transferred to UCSB, but then thought better of the distractions and stayed at UCLA to get my B.A. However, my high school friend and surfing colleague, Sam Scranton, did go to UCSB and now lived in the area, so I looked forward to maintaining my relationship with him while I studied at Brooks.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, February 3, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #31:
Daze, #31:  Having now graduated UCLA and moved to Ketchum-Sun Valley, ID, I was trying to establish myself as a working photographer AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, find a unique POV within my work that would make it different than what I saw around me. Given my location, I was surrounded by good ski photographers, and occasionally did shoots like that myself. More and more, however, I found myself cross-country skiing in the backcountry with my friends in the Decker Flats Climbing & Frisbee Club. I was was working in both color and B&W film, and I had a few images that were being put up in galleries and sold. In particular, I was struck by the look of some of my B&W images taken in the worst of conditions. They had a kind of ragged minimalism about them that I found both beautiful AND not part of the current language of landscape photography. The best of these images were made with my 35mm camera, and I knew the small negative, and the limited tones flew in the face of “serious” landscape photographers like Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter, BUT I ALSO KNEW, none of them had ever dragged their cameras into environments like this and tried to create images. My biggest problem was consistency in the quality of my printmaking. I did my own B&W darkroom work crudely, and labs did my color (also crudely), and I wanted more control. I was also considering larger camera formats for other subjects, and so, instead of going from a BA to an MFA directly, I detoured for 1yr. and went to the technical school, the Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. In doing so, my life after graduation became quite a road trip as I circulated between school on the CA coast (think surfing), a strange location in the desert I had begun to photograph, and Ketchum-Sun Valley where I was beginning to establish a reputation. Anybody remember fold-over business cards? Above is the cover of mine, and you can see the wilder, winter subjects are becoming part of my “look,” but if you were hiring me for a more commercial job, you might wonder what it is that I take pictures of.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, January 27, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #30:
Daze, #30:  One of my last small bodies of work at UCLA was a series of hand-colored landscapes. I began this work after discovering Limekiln Creek, which I featured in this blog. As my use of the camera, paint, pencils, and airbrush became more sophisticated, I continued to experiment with my newfound rock & tree subject matter. This image was begun several years before as I showed in post #17, and it morphed many times before “arriving” here. Most of the images in this series seemed to have hallucinatory “animals” evolving out of the organic subject, and during his critique, Heinecken suggested maybe I should “adjust my meds.” Little did he or I know that it had already been done - I had found winter and the wild lands of central Idaho and some truly strange place in the desert that was far more surreal and hallucinatory than anything I had ever dreamed up in the darkroom.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, January 20, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #29:
Daze, #29:  As the 1971 yearbook covers clearly illustrate, although I had graduated from UCLA, I still continued to experiment in the darkroom and play with my images even though I had stopped shooting in the night clubs of LA and had turned my attention to the natural world. Another of my photography instructors at UCLA was Edmund Teske, who did a lot of work with a technique called solarization. Basically, you turned the darkroom light on and off quickly while still processing the print, and a lot of weird things occurred. It was VERY random and NOT repeatable, but when it worked it was a dramatic, graphic effect. Since I was no longer shooting pics of rock stars, this is my good friend and upstreet neighbor, Robert Fishman. He has not died, nor is he decomposing. Social media has not made zombies a phenomenon yet. This is just what solarization does, and Heinecken liked it enough to put it in a national show of emerging photographers that he curated. Eventually I would cease working in this way, but before doing so I produced a few other hand-colored and manipulated images that were important to my evolution, as you will see in future posts.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, January 13, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #28:
Daze, #28:  In the previous post you saw the outside jacket covers for the 1971 UCLA Yearbook. That jacket housed two volumes of pictures and notes. The front and back cover of the first book is above, the second, below. The intent of these six images reflected the yearbook’s symbolic design. As I mentioned, from 1966 to this point there was increasing political turbulence in American life, and the sometimes very confrontational streets of LA made the quietude of the UCLA campus seem like another world. The outer jacket is intended to reflect the future LA - lots of tall buildings and a complex supporting infrastructure. Interestingly at the time, I used the then-under-construction, Century City as my “location.” Since those were the first tall buildings on the westside of LA, the skyscraper-concrete environment felt like “Bladerunner” to me. By contrast, the campus had open skies, lots of trees, flowing water, and in the midst of the “real” world, seemed rather dreamlike. When I consider this design now, I am struck by elements that continued to reappear in my work throughout my career: the black background to offset bright color; layers of bright color, sometimes using them to distort spacial relations; and, the circular motif.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, January 6, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #27:
Daze, #27:   For a time in the late 60’s, I lived on Ogden Drive, just off Santa Monica Blvd. near the intersection with Fairfax Blvd. This positioned me close to the Sunset Strip and the clubs in which I was photographing, and it was also convenient to second job I held in nearby Beverly Hills. As my fascination with the club scene began to shift - my friends say I went from rock-and-roll to rocks-and-trees - I moved back to the home of my parents which was within walking distance of UCLA. It did not exactly divorce me from music, however, as one of my best friends, Robert Fishman, lived up the street, and Lou Adler occupied a home between us. One evening walking to Robert’s, I encountered Lou saying goodnight to Pete Townshend of the Who, before he walked home, and John & Michelle Phillips were on Lou's balcony waving goodbye. I graduated UCLA in 1970, and moved again, this time to Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho to begin my career as a professional photographer. My early experiences there can be found at ( INSERT DFCFC BLOG LINK). My friend, Robert, remained at UCLA, as did a number of other friends that were a year behind me, so I visited often and I also plied my emerging business in LA as best I could. In 1971, the editor of the UCLA Yearbook, Deborah Ackema, adopted a very unusual design approach to the publication: there was little typeset, everything was handwritten; 2-volumes were presented inside a sleeve, all related to the symbolic organization of the yearbook design; and startling picture juxtapositions marked page layouts, for instance, a Charles Manson portrait was placed between fraternity/sorority group shots. Deborah needed 6-covers (2 for sleeve; 2 for each inner volume) and she wanted the visual compliment to the symbolic design. She had seen my work on campus and published in The Daily Bruin newspaper, and she liked it, so she asked me to suggest an approach AND I had an idea that appealed to her. Above is the front/back sleeve for the 1971 UCLA Yearbook. Is the “circular” motif starting to look familiar (last post, LOL)?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, December 30, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #26:
Daze, #26:   The few nights of protests and the ensuing weeks of arrests on The Sunset Strip in 1966 were just the beginning of a very turbulent time. Ultimately it would be protests against the war in Vietnam that really brought things to a boil, especially on college campuses. There were protests about NROTC being on campus. There were protests about the draft. Although there is no doubt everyone was also having fun, music and the arts were vibrant, and being in LA was exciting, things could also go wrong very quickly. During one such moment, the UCLA campus was “closed” by martial law. My friend and fraternity brother, Julian Bailey, left the fraternity house to go and study at the central library. As he walked up Janss Steps leading to the library, he was greeted by LAPD, arrested, handcuffed, and taken to jail. Julian was on the way to study for his law degree, which he achieved. In fact, “Jack” went on to be a Superior Court Judge for the County of Orange.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, December 23, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #25:
Daze, #25:  While I was at UCLA, I had classes to fulfill within my major, and one of the art mandates involved painting, drawing, and printmaking. If you have been following this blog, you will recall that among the many things I am doing to pay my bills is running a light show company. Part of our success is due to an invention called the Phantasmagorion that is a kaleidoscope projector whose imagery relies on circular disks with designs that rotate within the machine. I was given some of these machines to design disks for them and I used them for my shows to test my design ideas. Basically the disk and whatever was on it had to be transparent so the light could shine through it. It was basically a circular slide. I glued film strips on disks; I etched the plastic and the colored the scratches; AND I also painted the disks with brilliant dyes. These disk design ideas carried over into my painting class where I did a series of paintings on plexiglass that were put in frames built to light them from behind. This is one of those paintings I have kept. It not only lights from behind but I painted it with the brilliant dyes I was using for my light shows, AND I framed this out in a circular format.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, December 16, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #24:
Daze, #24:  So there is a lot on my plate! I am trying to get through college and earn a degree; I am photographing rock bands playing at the clubs along the Sunset Strip; I have had a personal and artistic epiphany camping and photographing in a small canyon on the Big Sur coast called LIMEKILN BLOG; furthering my expanding visual, physical, and mental explorations my parents lease a residence near Sun Valley, Idaho and I am introduced to snow, skiing, and a group of friends, THE DFCFC, who open up new worlds for me; traveling to Idaho, during a car breakdown in the desert, I discovery an unusual maze of domes and slot canyons that fuels my maturing photography and turns into a project I pursue for 30years, STONED IMMACULATE. Then, back in the real world there is a small thing going on called the Vietnam War, and President Richard Nixon has cranked up the draft to feed the constant demand for more combat troops on the ground. My father wanted me in a safer place and told me to join the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp (NROTC) at UCLA, which I did, as you can see - dress blues. (Amazing for me to find this picture!) As it turned out, my hearing and my kidneys were eventually deemed a “medical risk", and I left NROTC to be graced with a very rare 4F draft card making me ineligible for combat (Nixon declared NO more 4F’s were to be issued, so I got lucky, TY).
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, December 9, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #23:
Daze, #22:  One last element that was part of my series of photographic epiphanies was not a place, but rather the work of another photographer. The above image is Paul Caponigro's "Apple, New York" 1964, or so it was titled when first published in Aperture magazine. At UCLA, a Robert Heinecken assignment had each of us choose a photographer "outside" of "our genre" and prepare a report/lecture with slides for a class presentation. Although I was "leaning" toward an interest in landscape, I still thought it less exciting than my experimental, hand-colored work, and Caponigro's imagery, which lacked the drama of Ansel Adams, seemed especially "quiet." I chose him because I viewed him boring and thought I would make that my lecture point, BUT the more I studied his photographs, the more I grew to understand the magic in the way he saw things. Then there was this, the final image, the endpiece of the publication. When presenting to the class, I said this photograph was a great closer because it suggested he was doing "newer, more experimental work." Heinecken asked, "How's that?” To which I responded that most of his other images were landscapes, but this one of the night sky seemed more adventurous. Uniformly the class mumbled oddly, and then my friend, Bob Jenkins, spoke up and said, "What are you smoking, man? THAT is an apple." Having NOT read the image title, I missed that detail, but once he said it, I could see it. In fact, I could still see BOTH. This duality of being a "straight" photograph AND ALSO of "another world entirely" would become a subtext of my work for the rest of my life. In telling this story to workshop students once, I did not notice that Caponigro had come into the back of the classroom. After speaking, I took questions, and the last hand up was his. When he rose, I recognized him, so I introduced him to the class. Paul said he was glad to hear that story and know the image affected me in that way, AND then he said I should tell Heinecken that "it WAS the night sky." He has since changed the title of this image to "Galaxy Apple."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, December 2, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #22:
Daze, #22:  Driving from LA through the desert to spend Christmas vacation with my parents in Idaho, my car broke down and I was rescued by a small town garage service. The repair would take several days, and to keep me from driving him crazy, the garage owner gave me the keys to his jeep and sent me off to camp in the desert in a place he thought I would find interesting as a photographer. Not far away, a dirt road led into a maze of highly mineralized fins and domes rising up from the desert floor. Although he thought I would find them interesting enough, he further suggested I spend the ensuing days hiking in the washes and slot canyons that crossed the road, paying greater attention to the caves and overhangs being created by the erosion of wind and water. Following his advice, I found a remarkable world that became a large and obsessive body of work over the next ten years. A small portion of these images have been published, and a select number of prints were made, but for the most part, little of this portfolio has been seen, so I am now publishing it as a blog: STONED IMMACULATE, which I hope you will follow.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, November 25, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #21:
Daze, #21:  During my years in college, and for the decade thereafter, three very different locations influenced my photography and distilled in me a profound appreciation and connection to the natural world. As I said in the last post, Limekiln Creek in Big Sur was one of those locations. Just as I started college, my parents began leasing a “winter” home in the Wood River Valley not far from the ski resort of Sun Valley and I would join them over my Christmas vacation. This presented me with an unfamiliar landscape I grew to love. I learned to ski, and most importantly I met locals my age who not only skied, but skied in the backcountry. From them I learned to backpack and winter tour, and those experiences shaped my career. If you are interested in those experiences, please follow my blog. The third location that played an important role in my “development” was discovered like Limekiln, somewhat by accident. In the case of this third landscape, literally by accident, as my car broke down in the desert enroute to Idaho, and while it was being repaired, I camped and hiked in a place unlike ANY OTHER I have ever seen, as you will see next week.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, November 18, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #20:
The Daze of My Life, #20:  During my four years of college, I experienced a confluence of events that changed my life and redirected it. The first was, as a pre-law major at UCLA, I took a breadth requirement class in the arts and discovered photography. This was not just any photography department, but one that offered me both Edmund Teske and Robert Heinecken as very “non-traditional” teachers who encouraged our experimentation. Secondly, I found The Sunset Strip, the emerging rock & roll scene on the West Coast, and my camera opened club doors for me and gave me band access. Third, on the drive back through Big Sur from the Monterey Pop Festival, I discovered Limekiln Creek, a place that affected me enough to change the direction of my work, the experience of which I describe in this blog: LIMEKILN CREEK. Limekiln would become one of THREE destinations in the landscape that I would return to repeatedly over the next 10-years, and they would shape my vision and refine my concepts about how I should use my work in the real world.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, November 11, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #19:
The Daze of My Life, #19:  As you can see from the last post, I was VERY close to Hendrix, and more to one side or the other, than standing down in front looking up at him. With each song, he seemed to loosen up and get wilder, and as is clear from the other pictures, he was VERY AWARE that I was there on stage with him and he constantly looked right at me for the “photo-op.” At one point he was “prowling” during a raging guitar solo and to stay out of his way I backed up against the wall of amplifiers. I could feel the vibration of his feedback notes literally striking my spine. At that moment he turned his back on the audience, walked directly toward me (and the speaker), and in a crescendo of electronic noise, waved the neck of his guitar in front of my lens nearly touching it as he finished off the feedback note. “Have you ever been experienced? Well, I have.” Steve Winwood ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Winwood ) was another musician and his bands that I was fortunate to enjoy, first as the Spencer Davis Group, then as Traffic, and finally with Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker in Blind Faith. ALL these venues were at The Wisky and my pictures suck, but there was some wicked partying in the small rooms back stage. When all is said and done, however, I am LA born and bred, and my favorite band to “experience” was The Doors. The last time I saw them was at the finally established Kaleidoscope theater. I brought a “curious” date with me. She introduced herself to me on campus at UCLA as part of the Campus Crusade for Christ and she hoped she could turn me from my “evil” ways. I asked if she knew who The Doors were, and suggested she should see them “for fun.” After the concert we took a little “Moonlight Drive” to the parking lot at State beach, where she clearly changed her mind about my evil ways.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, November 4, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #18:
The Daze of My Life, #18:  I had seen/heard Eric Clapton when he was part of The Yardbirds, and when he played with the Blues Breakers, but when he returned to America with Cream, a new dynamic emerged in rock-and-roll. Playing off each other like jazz musicians, Cream live was a show not to be missed. In Los Angeles for the first time, the engagement of choice was The Whisky, but Cream’s sound was “arena” in scale, and Clapton had SO many Fender amps ( fender amps for sale ) that there was barely room for the band on the small stage. Their next time around they played a double bill with Deep Purple at The Forum and my date began crying when Ritchie Blackmore started bouncing his guitar, neck-down on the stage, generating a sound that convinced her we were all being kidnapped inside an alien spaceship. Thankfully she recovered in time to enjoy the stunning 18-minute, “Spoonful” - one of the best guitar performances I ever saw live. Another of those performances that was unique for me, was the return of Jimi Hendrix. I had seen The Jimi Hendrix Experience play at The Whisky when they were VERY British fashionable, but on the next pass, the band was MUCH larger, and everyone wore dark clothes. To promote their new look and sound in a different way, they booked the Grand Ballroom of the Ackerman Student Union at UCLA for a “lunchtime” concert (at noon). As I knew the band previously, was working on the UCLA yearbook, AND taking pictures for The Daily Bruin, I had UNUSUAL ACCESS. Instead of being squashed in “the pit” of students and other photographers, I was invited to be “on-stage” as long as I could keep out of Jimi’s way. Talk about up-close-and-personal, wait until next week!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, October 28, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #17:
The Daze of My Life, #17:  As a young, aspiring photographer/artist, I was leading a schizophrenic existence. By day, I was a serious student at UCLA and particularly inspired by my photography instructors that encouraged us to experiment. The above is an "unfinished" print that during those years evolved from my first pictures of landscape, the story of which I offered in this blog: LIMEKILN CREEK. My camera also opened other doors and another life for me in the clubs and events that were emerging as part of the new music scene blossoming in LA, especially along the Sunset Strip and in the hillside homes of Laurel Canyon. Working for Kaleidoscope gave me photographic access to the bands this blog previously mentioned - The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, The Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat, and The Grateful Dead, but my visibility and associations among bands and club owners then broadened, offering me much more, AND it was an exciting time just to be hearing all of this new music. Kaleidoscope found a home for awhile at the former Earl Carroll Theatre, which in previous manifestations had hosted the TV show, "Queen for a Day," then the club, Moulin Rouge, and prior to Kaleidoscope, it was The Hullabaloo BE SURE TO FOLLOW THIS LINK, an industry showcase for bands where I once saw The Zombies. However, music performances were being staged in a surprising variety of places:  The Byrds played Ciro's and were featured on The Hullabaloo show; there were all-day "love-ins" featuring numerous bands in Griffith Park; another remarkable "love-in" began at sunrise in Elysian Park (next to the Los Angeles Police Academy) and the Iron Butterfly featuring vocals and dancing by Darryl DeLoach, leveled the crowd with a stunning version of their "Theme from Iron Butterfly;" The Blues ProjectJohn Mayall and the Blues Breakers (in various manifestations featuring Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck on guitar), LoveSky Saxon and the Seeds, and The Yellow Payges were all playing somewhere on some night; driving a little further afield, The Leaves startled the surfer-date crowd at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Newport Beach; and in one of the best weekends of music in my life, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band tore up The Golden Bear in Huntington Beach for several nights.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, October 21, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #16:
The Daze of My Life, #16:  Besides working at Kaleidoscope and photographing bands in clubs on the Sunset Strip, I was also fully engaged as a student at UCLA. The reason I even picked up a camera in the first place involved trying to satisfy breadth requirements in the arts in my freshman year, and thus I found myself in a "beginning" photography class that was taught by Edmund Teske. Teske was an unusual character to say the least, but he was brilliant at stimulating our ideas and making us think about what a photograph was and how you made one. On the FIRST day of class, he said because he was old and shot with a view camera, he wanted us to put all of our much newer cameras on his desk, so he could see what we were shooting with. After we all obliged, he left class to get a cardboard box from the darkroom, and then ceremoniously put all of our cameras in the box, taking it back to the darkroom area and locking in an equipment locker. When he returned to class he announced, "Now we are going to learn to make photographs." He was right. The above is a 20"x 24" print made by putting flowers and puffy seeds between glass and making a "contact" print in the sunlight. The color is my additional touch.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, October 14, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #15:
The Daze of My Life, #15:  After the "event" at the Ambassador Hotel, Kaleidoscope had GREAT buzz, and they needed it because the injunction was still in place on the Vine street location they had hoped to occupy. Quick on their feet, management contracted with Ciro's nightclub to host the next several venues, the first of which was to be The Doors the weekend following the blowout at the Ambassador. We had a lot of posters to spread around as we had to get the word out about a new location, and this poster (which I think is the best of the entire series) got everyone's attention. What you cannot fully appreciate here, is that The Doors faces are printed in an ink responsive to black light, so when lit with black light, the faces separate from the surface of the poster and seem to float in front of the print. Discovering this always brought oohs and aahs from the viewers. The two nights of the concert, we had numerous posters lit around the club and EVERYONE wanted to take one home afterword. Ciro's is relatively small by the standard of rock venues these days, and The Doors blew the roof off, VERY up close and personal (one of my friends got on the stage and "danced" with Jim Morrison.) If you want to see the entire poster series, please be sure to click The Kaleidoscope link above, they are all there along with some great history.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, October 7, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #14:
The Daze of My Life, #14:  Because of limited large venues on The Sunset Strip, many small clubs opened in the surrounding area, and just off Hollywood Blvd. as well. I fished jobs at many of them because they already knew me from nights when I visited to shoot pictures of the bands. Nonetheless, no one had any work to offer until I met this beautiful girl handing out the above poster. She explained Kaleidoscope was a new club about to open on Vine Street and that they would bring in the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead to LA for the fist time. As the Airplane's "Surrealistic Pillow" was AMAZING and blowing up, I knew this would be a 3-night event not to miss AND I wanted to work for this organization. The girl told me if I helped GIVE AWAY the posters, she could get me a job working there, and so we were off. She did get me in-the-door, but than an injunction blocked the club opening. This is when things get REALLY INTERESTING and I endeared myself to management by helping to redirect concert goers to the new venue. Not to be stopped, Kaleidoscope negotiated a deal with the Ambassador Hotel. The hotel was home to the famous Coconut Grove and as a child, I learned to swim by taking lessons from the Esther Williams swim school, held in their epic swimming pool. Of particular note, the lobby supported a huge, luxurious carpet of exotic design and PLEASE look at the link to the Coconut Grove to fully understand the setting of this evening. My parents came to the Ambassador in tux and formal dress to dance to big bands. Now I was going there to dance as well, and you might say we were also "formally" attired. Can you imagine Deadheads wandering around this cavernous, "trippy" hotel? It was hard to get through the lobby to the actual venue because it was so crowded with startled adults, lost flower children, and Deadheads that had now gone down on hands-and-knees to examine the carpet more closely and roll around on it. Then the first chords of "She Has Funny Cars" echoed from the ballroom, and I don't remember much else. "The Kaleidoscope Is Turning On."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, September 30, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #13:
The Daze of My Life, #13:   Just before my 18th birthday, a handout flier circulating on The Strip warned that the sheriff's department was going to enforce a 10pm curfew to cut down on the number of young people hanging out late, and it suggested rallying to protest at the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Crescent Heights Blvd., exactly the location of Pandora's Box. I knew the crowd would be a mix of everyone, hippies, bikers, and Hollywood stars, and I thought it would be great to be part of it, so I found myself with a few friends, standing by an open window at "the box" watching, and taking in what was an increasingly wild and unruly scene. Police say there were over 1,000 people and among them Jack Nicholoson, Peter Fonda, Frank Zappa, and Sonny and Cher - but there were MANY more rock stars that wandered through the crowd. I caught an occasional glimpse of one or another of them, but more importantly, I saw the beer bottle that arced out of the yard at Pandora's Box and broke the window on a passing car as police began to enforce curfew laws. Then all hell broke loose in an event now known as The Sunset Strip Riots. One of my favorite songs (and bands) of this era by the Buffalo Springfield, entitled, "For What It's Worth" is about the several days of riots that followed. I slipped away that night, but got arrested several nights later. Even after I turned 18, I felt vulnerable out on the street, but I wanted to remain part of the amazing energy and music that was blossoming everywhere, so I decided to try and get work in a club. Above is "Self Portrait in a Rainbow Shirt/Self Portrait as Jimi Hendrix" clearly suggestive of the changes in me during the fall of 1966.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, September 23, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #12:
The Daze of My Life, #12:   As school started, Sam Scranton went back to Webb and I went to UCLA. I hung out on The Sunset Strip on weekends photographing bands in the clubs, and wanting to get more into the club environment, I formed Glendor and his Magic People, a light show company. Most of the clubs had their own staff doing shows, but fraternities, sororities, and high schools I knew from my Webb years such as MarlboroughWestlake, and Girl's Collegiate, all hosted dances and they had never seen anything like us. A VERY INTERESTING Webb school teacher, "Bobbie" Hall came to know the inventor of a machine he named the Phantasmagorion. Basically, it was a kaleidoscope projector that used insertable revolving plexi disks for its source of imagery. The inventor had some disks with water and oil sealed in, which were VERY much like a liquid light show, but Bobbie thought more could be done so he offered to give me a couple of machines to experiment with. Not only did I create some interesting disks to project - dyes, film, and actual plant and insect specimens - but when the projections were combined with massive strobe lights that I was able to rent from Hollywood studio rental companies, we blew small unsuspecting venues away. This is Sam Scranton with his band, Silver Chief - Wild Dog of the North at a Webb exchange dance that featured our light show. We did another for the Marlborough prom that is indelibly etched in their brains, and a couple of Catholic schools on the westside told us we would never be invited back even though I had spent my grade school years in the distinguished Good Shepherd Parrish of Beverly Hills
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, September 16, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #11:
The Daze of My Life, #11:   Besides clubs that featured live music, there were preferred places to hang out such as Ben Frank's Cafe and Pandora's Box. These two locations also characterized the diverse energy of the Sunset Strip as they attracted very different crowds. Ben Frank's was more fashion-centric and influenced by rockers that would come-in to dine from nearby studios. The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield fostered a western, cowboyish look; the British groups and Hendrix were more flamboyant and formal; and then there were the "flower children" and hippies. The flower children were beautiful, scantily clad girls that hitch-hiked over Laurel Canyon to "get-into-trouble" with boys on The Strip. Pandora's Box was specifically the place to get into trouble as it hosted a lot of bikers wearing their colors and was often VERY rowdy. Then there were the tourist. They seldom got out of their cars. They would just cruise back and forth looking at all the “action” going on around the clubs and on the sidewalks. More often than not these were very preppy, clean-cut college students from UCLA and USC out on dates, and they had come to The Strip to ogle the “weirdos.” Clothiers began to cater to the styles, and above you have some of my clothes that I wore "back-in-the-day." Left to right: a hand-made Elvenworks leather shirt with a high collar and most unusual buttons; that is a dog-leash belt on top the shirt; next a Hendrix-style shirt from either the original Maxfield Blue near the Troubadour or the just-opened Fred Segal's, a REALLY tiny store in a mini-mall at the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Fairfax Avenue; lastly, another handmade leather jacket with special stitches and tooling by North Beach Leathers.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, September 9, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #10:
The Daze of My Life, #10:   After our summer of surfing the South Shore of Oahu with our new Wardy surfboards, my friends, Sam Scranton, Andy Mills, Peter Clark and I, returned to the mainland for school. It was the fall of 1966, Sam had one more year at Webb, the rest of us were off to college. I would be a freshman at UCLA. Peter Clark's mother was a known actress and she had a home in the Hollywood Hills just above the Sunset Strip. When we got back from Hawaii, we found the Strip infused with a new vibrancy that was replacing the bars, clubs, and lounges of my parent's generation. The Strip had blown-up into a nightly destination for thousands of teenagers that were just hanging-out, or cruising the boulevard in their cars. A few clubs catered to the "new" music like Gazzari's and Whisky A Go Go. Did you know The Doors were the "house" band at Gazarri's until they were discovered, THEN they were asked to play at Whisky A Go Go. Besides those venues there were many other smaller ones, as well, like Brave New World showcasing "unknown" LA bands like Love, so it was a very exciting time. My father had planned that I would enter UCLA as a pre-law student, but in my freshman year I discovered photography, some very unusual photography teachers, and The Strip. Nothing was ever the same. Above on the left is a picture of me in the fall of 1966, when I entered UCLA. On the right is a self-portrait done for Robert Heinecken's class in the spring of 1967. So much for courtroom attire!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, September 2, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #9:
The Daze of My Life, #9:   There was another aspect of spending summers in Hawaii that I also found VERY attractive. It was the early 60's, The Beach Boys'  songs ruled the airwaves, and I surfed in Hawaii with locals. Meet Sherry Alberoni. If the name sounds familiar, you probably watched The Mickey Mouse Club on TV as a child and you might remember that Sherry and Cubby (the drummer) were the two youngest (and shortest), and they would introduce the show. Sherry was a year older than me when we met in Hawaii in the summer of my sophomore year in high school, but in reality, she was light years beyond any girl I had ever dated, and REALLY fun. None of my other high school sweetheart pictures look like this. Do any of yours? Needless to say, she created quite a buzz at the Webb School when she came as my date for the prom.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, August 26, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #8:
The Daze of My Life, #8:   Often classmates from Webb joined me in Hawaii, and we would take summer jobs at my father’s company, so we would all have some income. With cash in the bank, in the fall of ’65 I decided to sell the Jacob’s Concave and design my own board. Sam Scranton, my friend from Webb with whom I surfed, knew staff at Wardy surfboards in Laguna Beach. Sam was also joining me in Hawaii the next summer and he wanted a new board as well, so we worked together on design/style ideas, and he got Wardy to shape the boards. Many think the Wardy shop approached making boards as an artform, so the board shape was their work, but I also wanted to contribute to their artfulness and I created the deck, stringers, and tail design. My board was 10’2” in length, and as you see here, featured some specific details: the “stringer” down the middle is a laminate of a balsa wood surrounded by redwood strips of equal width; the tail block is similarly layers of redwood and balsa; the right side of the board is offset with an oak stringer, visually balanced by two paint pin-stripes and the Wardy logo decal on the left side. As you see it, this board currently decorates the chimney of my living room fireplace.

Wardy shipped the boards to their Hawaiian store for us, and when we went to pick them up, we found they had drawn an interested crowd. Some in that circle were notable locals, and they were definitely curious to know how the boards performed. A few were sure my oak stringer would unbalance the board, but about 45-minutes later, I dropped into a 5’ peak during a low-tide at Kaiser bowl. The frighteningly shallow reef made the wave steep and hollow, and my fancy new platform carved a nice fluid bottom turn, then popped me back up into the pocket, where I was covered for several seconds by the tube, before being blown on to the shoulder, accompanied by the whooping of my friends. It was the beginning of an amazing summer that saw some big days at #3's and even a summer swell at Pipeline. If the board was imbalanced, I never noticed!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, August 19, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #7:
The Daze of My Life, #7:   Another great part of my friendship with Frownie was that he had several boards, and he always offered me one. They were much better than the rentals available and a bit shorter, generally between 10'-11’. In the summer of ’64, surfing with him and this available quiver of boards, we began to expand the breaks we were riding to various spots all along the south shore of Oahu, including Kaiser's and Ala Moana ( kaisers surf ). That fall, my parents liked my enthusiasm for surfing and offered to buy me my own board for Christmas. The breaks I was riding were fast, and nose-riding was fashionable at the time, so I went to Hap Jacobs and asked him to shape a “Jacob’s Concave” (for speed) with a flat-bottomed nose (for nose-riding). He also added a V-tail instead of the more traditional squared-off tail-block I was used to, AND THE BOARD WAS 6’8”!

I rode that board at Rincon that winter during a big swell and found it seemed VERY small and low in the water, almost like a belly-board. It was also screamingly fast and I struggled to control the the pintail, and the concave induced speed. In the image above, my Webb classmate, San Scranton is imitating Paul Strauch, Jr's. classic "Cheater 5" at Fernald Point in Santa Barbara. (The red color of the water is due to a massive fire in the foothills and lots of ash on the water.)

I also took that board with me to Hawaii that summer and surfed it there. While I seemed to manage it decently at #3’s, at some of the new breaks I was surfing such as #Kaiser’s and #AlaMoana, I was still not adjusting to the design. Few others had boards even close to that short, and most of my friends thought I was just a crazy “haole.” While clearly it WAS a prototype for the short-boards of the future, it was more (or in this case, less) board than I could handle and feel comfortable with.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, August 12, 2016
The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #6:
The Daze of My Life, #6:  The pattern of my high school years when not boarding at the Webb school was to spend summer in Hawaii and Christmas in Sun Valley. Growing up at the beach in Los Angeles, and going to Hawaii from an early age made me very comfortable in the water and I started surfing long before I tried skiing. My parents leased an apartment near Waikiki, and I befriended someone my age (14) that also lived in the complex. Raymond Evans, who preferred to be called “Frownie,” was “local” and he surfed. This would prove of great benefit to me because the 60’s began to see the rise in turf wars over good wave sites, and because I began surfing with Frownie, I was “welcome” in more places.

I learned to surf at #WaikikiBeach in 1963 on a 12’ surfboard that today would be considered a stand-up paddleboard (#SUP). When I met Frownie, he laughed at Waikiki as a crowded tourist joke and offered to take me surfing at his favorite spot, down the shoreline a bit, and much further out onto the reef. It was a break simply called “#3’s.” It was a VERY different wave, a VERY different ride, AND it had some VERY DIFFERENT riders - among them notably, Paul Strauch, Jr., who did not just ride the wave but truly performed.

Click Here:  When this link opens, the 1st picture is Paul Strauch, Jr. doing his famous maneuver the "cheater five."

Click Here

A good swell at #3's offered a LONG, exhilarating ride if you knew what you were doing, and it was some of the MOST fun I have ever had. I surfed every day that there were waves.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, August 5, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #5:
The Daze of My Life, #5:   My high school summers were spent “working” for my father’s company in Hawaii and trying to get in as much time surfing as was possible. My winter-Christmas vacation was spent with my parents in Sun Valley, hunting with my father, and learning to ski with my friends. In both cases these were extended visits AND I returned regularly, so it gave me a relationship with “locals” as well as the seasonal tourists. Those relationships that I developed in Sun Valley drew me off the resort mountain and into skiing cross-country in the backcountry. They also introduced me to backpacking when I began to visit in the summer. These friends and the adventures we shared together would shape the rest of my life, both as an artist and a person. SO, I have a new blog dedicated just to this evolutionary part of my life entitled:  THE HIGHER YOU GET THE HIGHER YOU GET”- Sun Valley and the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club. I hope you will follow that and share it with your friends. It was during a decade of adventuring with these friends of mine that I created the 24 photographs published in the portfolio, WINTERS: 1979-1980.”
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, July 29, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #4:
The Daze of My Life, #4:  After attending K-8th grade at Beverly Hills Catholic School, I entered The Webb School in 1962. At that time, Webb was an all-boys boarding school located above Claremont in the orange groves and foothills of the San Gabriel Mtns.. I played tennis, ran track, and in my senior year was a soccer and swimming team captain. Webb was pretty rural so hiking, biking, and mandatory conditioning runs to the "power line tower" on the fire road for soccer kept us "in nature." Importantly, for most of us, we all had a very unique biology instructor, Raymond Alf. He was always engaging in class, and some times hysterically funny, but it was his "Peccary Trips" that connected us to being out-of-doors. Dr. Alf was a noted paleontologist, and these trips were camping expeditions into the desert to search for fossils. I loved being out there, and for our senior "ditch," our class chose to walk to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back (Bright Angel Trail) because Dr. Alf had told us we would be walking through layers of time. It was quite a "walk." The picture above is the 1965 soccer team. Of course, for the yearbook we were in uniform and "organized," but we thought that sucked, so we made this one as a group effort. If you are trying to figure out which one is me - it is my senior year, the brits are coming on the radio, and I have discovered boots, vests, and ascots. LOL!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, July 22, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #3:
The Daze of My Life, #3:  My father also "followed" Hemingway to Sun Valley, Idaho because the writer had said he enjoyed the hunting and fishing in the local area. SO, along with frequent summers in Hawaii, I found myself "visiting" my parents at a home they leased in the Ketchum-Sun Valley area. Of course I hunted and fished with my dad, but because the season he chose to visit was late fall to winter, I came to Sun Valley for my Christmas vacation from high school and there was snow on the ground. It made for some very different hunting from what I experienced in Baja, but it also introduced me to skiing, and eventually friends that would lead me into the winter backcountry - one of the best things to every happen in my life. That is my dad above in his one-piece winter "sneak" suit about to take a shot at some geese somewhere in the plains below the Wood River Valley.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, July 15, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #2:
The Daze of My Life, #2:  My parents occasionally took me camping when I was in grade school (I recall my nephew nearly drowning while we inner-tubed the Merced in Yosemite but my greatest exposure to the out-of-doors came from my parent's lifestyle, particularly, my father. He saw him self as a "Hemingway" man, and he pursued hunting, fishing, women, liquor, and fine cigars all over the world. My mother was also adventurous, so she went along for the ride. I found myself in some amazing places because I went along as well. Although I was too young to hunt jaguar in South America, I hunted quail and dove by private plane in Baja during the 1960's (no hotels or development ANYWHERE) and since one-half of my father's business was in Hawaii, I spent summers there, eventually chasing black marlin off the Kona coast while fishing with him, and ultimately learning to surf. I am 5yrs old standing in the garden of the Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki in the above picture. Apparently a Hollywood cowboy star on vacation there at that time, was someone I played with everyday while he and my father drank together - his name was John Wayne
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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Friday, July 8, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #1:
The Daze of My Life, #1:   In my career, I have been a curator of some note, as well as a photographer, and I am very aware that most of what we know about those who have passed away and been “researched” is only a small portion of what was really going on in their lives. Since I am still here, and I am relatively clear, I am going to write and post about my life as an autobiography. No researcher or curators would ever dig up all of these people, places, and opportunities I have been privileged to encounter. So I will try to relate them here.

I also want to articulate what I believe inspired and informed my decisions to do with my life what I have done, and to do so from the earliest years I could recall. Certainly, my exchanges with the world of nature were important as a child given what I have done in my career, so take this journey with me and consider how different my life has been than most of the other artists of my generation. (This is worth your time to read:  Richard Louv's, "Last Child in the Woods".

I grew up in a home in a wooded canyon of the Santa Monica Mountains not far from the UCLA campus, and in the 1950’s you could reach “wild” land in a bicycle ride. My house was also located on an acre that ran up a hillside and was covered with substantial gardens. My friends and I scrambled, climbed, and rode around everyday after school having endless encounters with lizards, snakes, coyote, and deer AND ABSOLUTELY NO helicopter parents or other supervising adults.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
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