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Thursday, August 17, 2017

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, August 17, 2017

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness, #3:
Big Mountain, #3: Besides a glowing fall, Big Mountain, Whitefish Lake, and the Flathead Valley have water, water EVERYWHERE! Streams, lakes, big rivers, AND it comes out of the sky quite a lot, as well. The work I am doing for realtor/developer, Tom Curran, is going well and the terrain is navigable enough to allow me to drag my 4x5 view camera most places. The few times I actually shoot with my 35mm cameras on Big Mountain property, are when I need longer, telephoto views. I stay for two weeks to watch the end of the fall season and the first snows that signal the beginning of winter. I feel I am having a great shoot with most of what will appeal to Tom accomplished with the big camera. As my visit nears an end, I have one more objective while I am in the valley, and that is to visit Glacier National Park. Glacier is part of the Continental Divide and is also on the border with Canada. There is actually a Canadian “side” to the park that you reach by driving the Going-to-the-Sun Road through the center of the park. I want to do this before it closes for winter, so I can get some sense of the park because, besides returning in the winter to continue my work on the Big Mountain ski area, I am hoping I might discover some opportunities for good stories to contribute to the formative POWDER magazine with whom I have just started working. In the winter, the backside of Big Mountain turns into something called the “Fantasy Forest,” and a ski trip into Glacier might also be possible, so that is what I want scout.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness, #2:
Big Mountain, #2:  The fall on Big Mountain, and indeed, across the Flathead Valley, is spectacular. I drive my new, tricked-out, photo-van with platform on the roof, up from Sun Valley, fully loaded with film and cameras - two Nikon F’s, and 4x5 Super Cambo. ALL of the 4x5 film that I shoot at this time is Ektachrome, and ALL of those images have faded, so I have none to show you. Those now lost film images were most of what went into print and up onto the walls of the real estate offices and staged townhouses that clients were walked through, but I do have a few 35mm shots to give you some sense of the season. As you saw in the opening post, the fall is unexpectedly colorful with the addition of the larches to the already vibrant forest, and it rains a lot, which are conditions in which I like to work because the moisture saturates the colors, such as you see here. Big Mountain is just that... BIG! Not just tall, but broad around like Snowmass in Aspen. The ski area is quite a distance up a winding road, near the top of the mountain. Along the way private home lots, and condo groups are being proposed for development. The principle houses of the “community” are more in the “middle” of the mountain as there is less snow to contend with. As usual in my discovery process, I spend a good deal of time driving and hiking around.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness, #1:
Big Mountain, #1:  In the early '70’s, I am busy with MFA graduate work at CalArts, and I am commuting seasonally to Sun Valley, Idaho, where I am teaching seasonal photography workshops for the formative Sun Valley Creative Arts Center. I am also making pictures of the area during adventures with my friends in the Decker Flats Climbing & Frisbee Club. My pictures are regularly published in Sun Valley Magazine, and several locations exhibit my prints which attracts many local buyers. One, in particular, Tom Curran, is a principle of Sun Valley Realty, and he decorates his offices with my work. My increasing visibility generates a synchronous moment when David Moe approaches me in the Pioneer Saloon to ask if I would like to shoot for a new magazine that he and his brother Jake are starting called, POWDER. I tell David I do NOT want to shoot traditional downhill ski stories, but would rather trek to unexpected places and ski backcountry, to which he agrees. Then, nearly simultaneously, Tom Curran offers me a commission to take pictures of Big Mountain, Montana, a low-profile ski area above Whitefish Lake in the Flathead Valley, adjacent Glacier National Park, that he is helping to further develop. Thus the opportunity to photograph a new environment draws me north in a late fall to “scout” the territory, and to make pictures with my 4x5 camera. It is not likely I will be bringing it when I return for the “winter” shoot, as I expect much of that to be on skis. If you have never seen “pine” trees that turn yellow in the fall, these are larches. They do, and they are quite common to the valley and surrounding ranges. I hope you will follow and enjoy this new blog. WINTER IS COMING!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
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