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THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS by Robert Glenn Ketchum

by Robert Glenn Ketchum


This is the story of my first major commission and book, THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS (Aperture, 1985). In 1984, #StephenShore, #WilliamClift, and I received a 2-year commission from the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund to photograph the #HudsonRiverValley. This blog tells the tale of the book, with many photos not seen before. Enjoy!




Monday, May 2, 2016


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #187:
HUDSON RIVER #187:   I thought I would end this blog with this image because most of what you have seen in my posts of the #HudsonRiver have been the "lower" river, a much bigger, broader body of water than these two small streams. However, from small streams, greater rivers grow. The Hudson is born from a small, somewhat swampy pond in the higher elevations of #Mt.Marcy, at 5,344ft, the tallest peak in #NewYorkState. #LakeTearOfTheClouds spawns a rivulet that is debatably acknowledged as the source of the Hudson, but others argue the #OpalescentRiver is the source. Regardless, before you lies their juncture. The Hudson comes in from the left, and the Opalescent from the right. A definitive view point, a beautiful fall day, the ruins of some old stone architecture, and not a #HudsonRiverSchool painter in sight. I hope you have enjoyed this body of my work. Although my Hudson River blog is ending, I am using my blogs as my autobiography, so we are starting a new post which I hope you will follow: THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the Decker Flat Climbing and Frisbee Club.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, April 25, 2016


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #186:
HUDSON RIVER #186:   I covered the #Adirondacks at length earlier in this blog (post #41-68) so now we are just "passing through." While I worked on the #HudsonRiver commission from the #LilaAchesonWallaceFund, I spent time with friends that had houses on #LakeGeorge, and other smaller lakes higher in the Adirondacks. There is a unique culture around these lakes established in boating, and I spent many lovely afternoons enjoying some form of watercraft (sail, motor, canoe, kayak, rowing sculls), OR sitting on some dock such as this on a warm summer evening enjoying libations with friends. Really look at this picture - boats, docks, and BEAUTIFUL boat houses everywhere. Some of the boat houses are nicer than the homes. Seriously! Just beyond the lakeshore the Adirondacks rise abruptly and further to the north the Hudson is winding its way through this forest and these mountains, having formed flowing from a pond on the side of the tallest summit in the range.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, April 18, 2016


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #185:
HUDSON RIVER #185:   When the #HudsonRiver turns west at #HudsonFalls, it flows through #GlensFalls and that is the last sizable town the river will pass. Further west at #Corinth, the river will turn north and begin a climb in elevation passing by #LakeLuzerne, and #Warrensburg. Occasionally paralleling #Route28, the river winds through heavily forested mountainous terrain and is fed by many side streams. In various places the river is also surrounded by numerous lakes, some of which are "wild." Other lakes are "domesticated" and support residents or camps, for those who enjoy the surrounding wildness and want to play in the lake.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, April 11, 2016


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #184:
HUDSON RIVER #184:   #LakeChamplain is actually "shared" by the states of #NewYork and #Vermont and physically separates the two states all the way to the Canadian border. In this view you are looking towards #Burlington (VT) and those are the #GreenMountains in the distance. The farms in the foreground are rural #NewYork. Although NOT the source of the #HudsonRiver, this water system feeds into the Hudson through a canal. The actual river has turned west and begun to climb into the #Adirondacks. We will close this blog by following it near to its source, #MtMarcy.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, April 4, 2016


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #183:
HUDSON RIVER #183:   The actual #HudsonRiver begins a large turn to the west winding into the #Adirondacks at #HudsonFalls. South of there, in #FortEdward, the river is fed by a sizable influx of water from #LakeChamplain and were you to follow that arm of water flow you would find your self leaving a mountainous terrain and entering one of rolling hills, pastures, and open farm land. At this point there are very few towns and those that exist are small. This is a rural, agricultural landscape that has been carved out of the dense north woods in "patches" that have since been domesticated for many generations.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, March 28, 2016


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #182:
HUDSON RIVER #182:   If you have been following this blog, you know that I have posted numerous references and paintings done by the #HudsonRiverSchool. As we near the end of this visual/verbal rambling of mine, I will leave you with one more Hudson River School painter, #JasperFrancisCropsey, AND one of my favorite images of his, "The Foundry," 1879. When most people think of the work done by the Hudson River school, they think of pastoral river landscapes, dramatic mountain views, and sweeping scenic vistas that might often include man's presence in nature, but never dominating it. My #ApertureFoundation book, The Hudson River and the Highlands, was considered "groundbreaking" publishing because it included many of the industrial shots you have seen in this blog as well as the more predictable images of beauty. For me, however much I appreciate such acknowledgment, I think the industrials were only effective in CONTRAST to the beauty images expected in such a publication and it made people take note of the book. I certainly AM NOT the first artist to consider EVERYTHING I look at - even the most ordinary and unpleasant things - as subject matter, and I would like to acknowledge #StephenShore, #WilliamEggleston, and #WilliamChristenberry, peers of mine from whom I have learned much. In turn, we all should pay some homage to Cropsey.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, March 21, 2016


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #181:
HUDSON RIVER #181:  We are nearing the end of this blog, so I am blatantly indulging myself here. The abandoned industrial site in my last post was just too interesting to not have made a number of other images and I especially like this one. There are a lot of strange layers in this. It was also pretty strange wandering around this entire site. However, at #GlensFalls the #HudsonRiver does a very significant turn to the west as it begins its climb into the #AdirondackMountains and its headwaters near #Tahawus. Most of the large scale industrial development will disappear at this point as the river flows past rural towns and wends its way through this amazing complex of mountains and lakes.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, March 14, 2016


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #180:
HUDSON RIVER #180:  #Albany, and #Troy in particular were industrial hubs for many businesses that capitalized on forests and water resources. Just north of Troy, at #Cohoes, the large #MohawkRiver joins the Hudson from the east, all of that water draining from the #Adirondacks and effectively doubling the size of the Hudson at the juncture. After Albany, the #AdirondackNorthway moves away from the river and passes through the thriving cities of #SaratogaSprings and #GlensFalls as it rises into the mountains. Following the Hudson north, however, is a different story. #Route4N is very rural, but it does hug the river closely passing through the small towns of #Mechanicville, #Schylerville, #FortEdward, and #HudsonFalls, before also arriving at Glens Falls.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, March 7, 2016


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #179:
HUDSON RIVER #179:  The further you get away from large cities and townships along the northern stretches of the #HudsonRiver, the more rural it becomes. The fancy homes and lawns of the last post fade into a more hardscrabble lifestyle. The houses here might not have yards and gardens, BUT they are definitely "on-the-river " and many have boats and docks. Considering summer heat, this is a great place to be because it is cooler and there is often a breeze. In the winter, however, freezing and thawing cycles can create ice-jams on the river (see previous post #108), which could threaten house foundations and spill over banks onto property - with dangerous force.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, February 29, 2016


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #178:
HUDSON RIVER #178:  Previously in this blog in posts #38-43, I showed areas around #Albany and #Troy, so I won't add much more here. If you review those posts you will certainly see the influence of industry on the area, but there were always nice neighborhoods as well and many historic homes. Notable to me, we are now 70-miles-or-so upriver AND THERE IS STILL TIDAL INFLUENCE, although it does dissipate after Albany. Although we are farther north and the weather and river are colder, that unusual mixing of the "warmer" tidal currents affects all the river habitat to this point - QUITE AMAZING!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, February 22, 2016


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #177:
HUDSON RIVER #177:  Going north, up the #HudsonRiverValley past #Olana and the #RipVanWinkle bridge, involves very different routes at this point, especially if there are winter conditions. On the west side of the river is the high-speed #Interstate#87, clearly the most direct and well plowed, and it runs between the #Catskills and the river all the way to #Albany. #Route9W also winds around "parallel" to the river, and often runs closer to it, BUT it is a more rural road. Between here and Albany the towns along the river are relatively small - on the west side: #Athens; #Coxsackie; #OtterHook; #NewBaltimore; #Coeymans; #CedarHill; and #Glenmont. On the east side of the river is the remnant of #Route9G, now regularly merging with other routes and helping to connect #Hudson, #NewtonHook, #Stuyvesant; #Poolsburg, #ShodackLanding, #CastletononHudson, and Rensselaer. My advice to those that would explore, venture cautiously on these roads in the winter. Except in the townships, there is minimal maintenance and black ice abounds.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, February 15, 2016

"View from Olana in the Snow" by Frederic Edwin Church, 1870-1875. Oil on academy board mounted on Masonite, 13-1/4" x 21".  The Lunder Collection, Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine.

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #176:
HUDSON RIVER #176:  #HudsonRiverSchool painter, #FredericEdwinChurch, who painted the remarkable sunset in my last post, had an estate on the eastern shore of the river, overlooking both the #Hudson and the distant #Catskills. Called #Olana, the home is now an historical monument that the public can visit. In this painting, “View from Olana in the Snow,” Church is quite literally painting the view out of his window looking downriver. The frozen-over Hudson is the wide swath of white in the middle of the picture.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, February 8, 2016
'Twilight in the Wilderness', 1860. Frederic Edwin Church (American, 1826-1900). The Cleveland Museum of Art. Oil on canvas, Framed: 124.00 x 185.00 x 13.00 cm (48 13/16 x 72 13/16 x 5 1/16 inches); Unframed: 101.60 x 162.60 cm (40 x 64 inches). Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1965.233

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #175:
HUDSON RIVER #175:  Like most mountain ranges, the #Catskills support a diverse lake system. As a last tribute to this interesting part of the #HudsonRiverValley before continuing our journey upriver, I thought I would leave you with the ultimate rendering of a Catskill lake. Along with #ThomasCole, #FredericEdwinChurch is considered one of the most important painters in the #HudsonRiverSchool. In the post next week I will show you a winter view from his home #Olana, which sits across the river and has a view of the range. Here, however, is a very different perspective, Church’s stunning, “Twilight in the Wilderness.” HEY, PHOTOGRAPHERS! Did he get this right ?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, February 1, 2016

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #174:
HUDSON RIVER #174:  Many times over the years I have had the pleasure and privilege of teaching at The Center for Photography at Woodstock (@C_P_W). One of my field trips was always into one of the deepest cloves because it was clearly beautiful, BUT not easy to shoot. It forced my students to deal with low light, tripods, motion, and very tricky POV locations. Of MY many attempts to “capture” the vertical drama, I never even came close, BUT I did get this one shot that seems to me to evoke the “mystery” of the #Catskills and their numerous cloves. I am in a VERY slippery creek, and above is a NARROW one-lane road/bridge. I have reached the end of my "creek-crawl" because beyond the arch of the bridge the stream cascades straight down for several hundred feet through a rugged, rock clove.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, January 25, 2016
View of the Round-Top in the Catskill Mountains (Sunny Morning on the Hudson). Thomas Cole. Oil on canvas, 1827, 39 ¾ x 54 ½ in. Museum of Fine Arts (Boston). Gift of Martha C. Karolik for the M. and M. Karolik Collection of American Paintings, 1815-1865, 47.12.
THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #173:
HUDSON RIVER #173:  The #HudsonRiverSchool painter, #ThomasCole, captured the dramatic verticality of the #Catskills quite well in this painting, “Sunny Morning on the Hudson.” From the painters’ vantage point you can see a rugged rock outcrop, and the adjacent steep terrain with the #HudsonRiver in the distance. The forested rolling hills leading down to the Hudson appear almost flat from this elevation. However, directly in front of the outcrop, and to the right following the wispy clouds, the landscape PLUNGES into a steep and narrow gorge, very likely replete with dramatic waterfalls and swimmable pools.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, January 18, 2016

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #172:
HUDSON RIVER #172:  As you approach the #CatskillMountains you are enveloped in a dense forest cover, broken occasionally by hamlets and farm fields. Water and streams flow everywhere, and the hard rock riverbeds make for some very beautiful and dramatic tiered waterfalls. While the range is not massive, the heart of the tallest peaks rise quite abruptly. Canyons cut by the water are steep and narrow, and locally referred to as a “clove.” While not “western” in scale, I was struck by how rugged these mountains were and how unmarked (and marginal) many of the roads were on available maps.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, January 11, 2016
Thomas Cole (1801–1848), The Catskills and Lake George, Catskill Creek, N.Y., 1845. Oil on canvas, 26 1/2 x 36 in. (67.3 x 91.4 cm). New York Historical Society, The Robert L. Stuart Collection S-157
THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #171:
HUDSON RIVER #171:  Shortly after crossing the #RipVanWinkleBridge, the town of #Catskill and #CatskillCreek appear. Similar to my last post with the Catskill range in the distance, the view of the mountains from the creek was an often-painted perspective of the #HudsonRiverSchool. #ThomasCole is considered one of the most significant painters in that school, and here is his version of that view, entitled “The Catskills and Lake George.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, January 4, 2016

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #170:
HUDSON RIVER #170:  Just beyond #Rhinebeck, a bridge crosses the river connecting to #Kingston on the western shore. Kingston is a “gateway” into the #CatskillMountains and not far from the infamous Catskill town of #Woodstock. Further up the eastern shore brings you to #Olana and another bridge that serves as a gateway to the Catskills. The #RipVanWinkleBridge takes you over the river, through the town of #Catskill and directly into the mountains. Here the setting sun lights up the bridge beneath a clearing sky and the range looms in the distance. 
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, December 28, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #169:
HUDSON RIVER #169:  At this point the #HudsonRiver is running north, and relatively straight. After #Newburgh, the western shore becomes more sparsely populated and the towns become smaller, fewer, and further between. #Route9W is literally a rural road, and the major thoroughfare north, #Interstate87, skirts the base of the rising mountains, some miles from the river. On the eastern shore, as you see in this image, the land has flattened out completely and supports farms, fields, many cities, and towns such as #Fishkill, #WappingersFalls, #Poughkeepsie, #HydePark, and #Rhinebeck. This stretch of the river also hosts some famous and historic homes including the Roosevelt-Vanderbilt (#RooseveltVanderbilt) home in #HydePark; #Olana, the home of #HudsonRiverPainter, #FredericChurch; and the fanciful lodge known as the #MohonkMountainHouse (google this place, it is an amazing piece of rustic, log architecture). 
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, December 21, 2015

Storm King on the Hudson, 1866, by Samuel Colman. Oil on canvas. 32-1/8 x 59-7/8 in. (81.6 x 152.0 cm.) 

Smithsonian American Art Museum. Gift of John Gellatly.


THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #168:
HUDSON RIVER #168:  This is an historic image of #StormKingMountain painted by #SamuelColman in 1866. Photographically speaking, he got the look and proportion of the bay and mountains correct. Because of the on-the-water POV, I thought this painting a great compliment to my previous two posts giving you a 180-waterfront profile of this sentinel of the #HudsonHighlands. We are now looking downriver at Storm King and the Highlands, the town of #Newburg would be out-of-frame to the right. What this painting also shows is that upriver of Storm King, the banks flatten a bit allowing townscapes, and the mountains get taller, but step back from the river, ultimately rising to become the #Mohonks, the #Catskills, and the #Adirondacks.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, December 14, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #167:
HUDSON RIVER #167:  My second view of #StormKingMountain is from across the river. On a VERY cold morning, standing on the waterfront of the small town of #ColdSpring, I am watching the sun rise on the formidable face of Storm King. As the snow cover and light make clear, Storm King may not be exceptionally high, but it IS very vertical and rugged, and supports only a limited amount of vegetation. The visible line cutting through the lower third of the mountain is the #StormKingHighway, consider a “scenic” alternate to #Route9W if you are driving north to #Newburg or #NewWindsor. It is true that in the summer and the fall this elevated drive is quite beautiful, BUT in the winter I found it more like the “Wild Mouse” coaster ride (Do any of you remember those?) LOL!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, December 7, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #166:
HUDSON RIVER #166:  Now let’s continue upriver, starting with a different angle on the view from #WestPoint. I am looking north toward #Newburg, and that is the West Point campus chapel on the left. To the point of this image, however, the most prominent mountain on the skyline in the distance is #StormKing. Storm King is notable for many reasons: it is the northern boundary of the unique biodiversity of the #HudsonHighlands; it is one of the tallest summits directly on the river; it was an often-painted subject of the #HudsonRiverSchool of painters; AND, it was the controversial site of a proposed atomic power plant construction that was defeated. The rail tracks skirt a narrow “toe” between the cliff faces and the river, and the highway drive is narrow, offering breathtaking views of the river and some HORRIBLE winter conditions.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, November 30, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #165:
HUDSON RIVER #165:  When you visit the military academy at #WestPoint today, this monument overlooks the bluffs that guarded the cross-river chain. Those are actually the cannons used and they were forged at the #WestPointFoundry across the river. West Point is a school steeped in military tradition, and one of those is the ceremonial firing of a cannon when the flag is raised and lowered every morning and evening. On one late, clear day, people had gathered to view the ceremony as the flag was being lowered. Not realizing what was actually happening BEHIND him, a Japanese tourist photographer was busily photographing the assembled American FACES. When you fire a cannon, it makes A LOT of noise, at which point the photographer set a world record with his standing broad jump, landing flat on his face, arms above his head. Amazing he did not have a heart attack, but seeing it happen WAS very funny.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, November 23, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #164:
HUDSON RIVER #164:  From a land-based POV on the western shore of the river, we are standing on the bluffs of #WestPoint looking across at the rock island/marsh complex of the eastern shore that narrows and bends the river. #ColdSpring is hidden from view, behind the island, and upriver to the left beyond the immediate mountains, is #Newburg. The chain to block the British supply ships from coming up the river was stretched from shore-to-shore at this point, impeding the progress of any boat traffic. Remember, these were NOT powerboats, they sailed, and they were at the mercy of the river current, ocean tides, and wind/weather. Given that, it was problematic enough just to negotiate this section of the river, but doing it with a massive chain forestalling your upriver progress while under fire by cannons mounted on these bluffs, made passage impossible.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, November 16, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #163:
HUDSON RIVER #163:  Besides it’s biological richness, the #HudsonHighlands have also been a unique and very important part of American history. The military academy at #WestPoint is built upon a STRATEGIC point of the #HudsonRiver that played a pivotal role in the #AmericanRevolution. Above #ColdSpring, further north upriver lies the town of #Newburg. During the revolutionary war, #GeorgeWashington and his army were encamped there and some troops were also deployed in Cold Spring.They needed to stop the British supply ships from navigating up the Hudson and supplying British forces further north. The unique bend and narrowing of the river at West Point afforded them the opportunity. A gun embattlement was placed on the bluffs of the point, and the #WestPointFoundry near Cold Spring forged a massive chain that was stretched across the river to the "island" on the eastern side. Given the tides and winds, sailing through and around all of this was not possible and the ships were turned back.
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Monday, November 9, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #162:
HUDSON RIVER #162:  During my commission to photograph the #HudsonRiverValley, I did not yet know my next project would take me to Alaska, but I was learning unusual skills in the parks of the #HudsonHighlands that would later be much used and appreciated in Alaska. I am a “big picture” kind of guy, and seldom shoot close-ups or details of anything. Having said that, the amazing biodiversity of the highlands sometimes got me down on my knees to view it’s more subtle aspects – in this case, a bed of luxuriously soft, green, ferny things with little tiny white orchids sprouting through them – actually there is a ridiculous amount of “stuff” going on here. The to-be-applied skill being learned here in prep for my Alaska adventures is "tundra-crawling," which will be frequently put into practice in the coming years, not necessarily taking pictures.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, November 2, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #161:
HUDSON RIVER #161:  On the east side of the #HudsonHighlands, one particularly “extravagant” location was #ClarenceFahnestockMemorialStatePark. Not far from where I was living, I could almost always get to there regardless of the weather, and the park was always radiant, even in the worst conditions. This image of a wetland/forest “edge” sold very well when I released it as a print and it had escalated considerably in price when a good friend, Dr. Peter Raven, asked to buy one. Peter was Director of the #MissouriBotanicalGarden, and as a field biologist, he had discovered several new species to much acclaim. I suggested other prints less expensive to him but he specifically wanted this one because he said it DEFINED the kind of biodiversity that inspired his career.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, October 26, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #160:
HUDSON RIVER #160:  The term “extravagant” comes to mind when I think of the biological diversity of the #HudsonHighlands. When I first arrived and started to shoot, I am not sure I recognized this unique “character” of the area, but over the period of my commission I learned to understand what I was seeing, and I began to take notice when I was north or south of the highlands because there were elements of the landscape that seemed to be “missing.” I would immediately be struck with the realization that I was "outside" that remarkable habitat-niche where the river bends, the mountains rise, and the saltwater tide mixes into the freshwater river.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, October 19, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #159:
HUDSON RIVER #159:  Between the #HudsonRiver and all of the water in the surrounding lakes and streams, the humidity of the #HudsonRiverValley enhances the lush habitat that is home for so many diverse species. Often I would wake at dawn to photograph, and my van and campsite would appear as though it had been raining all night, just because of condensation. On this fall morning at #PineMeadowLake, I was clearly channeling a bit of the #HudsonRiverSchool of painters. Thomas Flexner, the historian who wrote the essay for my #Aperture book, thought this image was the perfect cover for the publication because, like the picture of the Popolopen Bridge selected by @LIFE magazine for their special issue, “The World’s Best Photographs: 1980-1990” (posts #92-93), Flexner felt this image was “contemporary” as a photograph, but reflected a visual timelessness that reached back to the work of #ThomasCole, a prominent painter in the Hudson River School.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, October 12, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #158:
HUDSON RIVER #158:  Because the #HudsonHighlands are such a narrowing and bending of the river, the tidal exchange and currents are especially pronounced and it stimulates the surrounding habitat, causing the Highlands to be this very unique, and specific bio-diverse niche. In the mountains surrounding this portion of the #Hudson, the lake-river-swamplands harbor “micro” environments, but they all lie beneath the canopy of the “macro” environment – a peak intermixing of deciduous forests trees that put on an unparalleled fall color display as you have seen throughout this blog. Walking/hiking in the mountainous parks of the Highlands during the "leafing" season is a extraordinary experience, and quite remarkable as well because of it's wild nature BUT close proximity to a dense urban population.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, October 5, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #157:
HUDSON RIVER #157:  The steam/fog rising from the river is in part, created by the cold air and the “warmer” river water mixing. This warmer water is coming from the #AtlanticOcean and is part of the tidal exchange that flows 70 miles upriver, all the way to Albany in the north. In previous posts in this blog, I said that the #HudsonHighlands are one of the MOST biologically diverse habitats in #NorthAmerica, and that is due to this amazing corridor of water, mountains, and varying temperatures, where Atlantic waters mix with those from the #AdirondackMountains. The habitat created around this exchange is the border where northern and southern flora and fauna intermix. Despite the fact my last four posts (as well as many others) show the #HudsonRiverValley has a cold, wet, icy winter, enough so river freezes, these are the boulders on winter-frigid #IonaIsland, BUT it is now the end of summer and lush mosses flourish in the summer rains and humidity. The other side of this rock is very hot and much drier because of the angle of the sun that it faces. There are cactus’ growing on that side!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, September 28, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #156:
HUDSON RIVER #156:  The house in which I was staying was near the historic town and river landing of #ColdSpring. You could tell Cold Spring was “historic” because every B&B proclaimed, “George Washington Slept Here” (LOL). Cold Spring is, in fact, a lovely small town with a spectacular position on the river that looks south to #WestPoint, and north to #StormKingMountain and #Newburg. Slightly outside of town was the West Point Foundry, serving the military campus across the river. To accommodate the men working at the foundry, in 1834 the #ColdSpringChapel was built. Unused in modern history, the chapel fell into disrepair until in 1971 when actress #HelenHayes headed a successful restoration campaign. On this morning, I am across the river viewing the chapel at sunrise through a fog rising off the #Hudson. If you look carefully in the trees to the right, just above the structure, you can also see the brick chimney of the foundry.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, September 21, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #155:
HUDSON RIVER #155:  After an all night, wet snowfall, the weather cleared and because the road was not yet plowed, I wandered my garden with my camera. As I have pointed out earlier in this blog, I have been accused of making pictures of “nothing.” That morning, after an extensive search for “something” to photograph with few results, I sat on THE bench and pondered the first sunlight of the morning as it filtered into the forest around me. Bright and blindingly busy, I had to squint, but as my eyes adjusted I realized an entire new dimension had just materialized in the thicket of branches around me. It was perfectly clear to me at that moment that all of these things were “woven” together, pulsating,..breathing, and VERY dimensional!
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Monday, September 14, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #154:
HUDSON RIVER #154:  The property where I was living was located between the towns of #Garrison and #ColdSpring in the #HudsonHighlands on the east side of the river. The house was situated just off #Route9D on historic #IndianBrookRoad. It was sizable acreage that bordered a river running down to the #ConstitutionMarsh, a large wetland on the #Hudson managed as a reserve by #Audubon. Often in the winter road conditions were bad enough to keep me home, but NOT out of my garden. Even in “terrible” weather, I always found time for this bench. When I first came into the eastern deciduous forests, the play of light and the complex structure of the forest seemed chaotic and challenging to sort photographically, BUT sitting here taught me to better understand the “dimensions” of it as you will see next week.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, September 7, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #153:
HUDSON RIVER #153:  Now I am standing on the opposite side of the #Hudson from where I was in the last post, and the view is downriver. The #BearMountain bridge connects the two shores. #IonaIsland and marsh are out-of-frame to the right, and you can clearly see here where the rail tracks are on a narrow railbridge, out over the water. Look closely at the opposite shore and you can also see the tracks on that side slithering along the base of the rock face right at the waterline. Slightly above the bridge is the narrow ribbon of #Route9D cut into the rock. I was standing off-highway at that spot when I took the previous post. We are in one of the most narrow and vertical sections of the river.
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Monday, August 31, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #152:
HUDSON RIVER #152:  We are now standing at a typically precipitous POV in the #HudsonHighlands looking west across the #Hudson toward #BearMountain and the #IonaIsland complex. In the highlands section of the river, shorelines are generally steep like this allowing only room between the river and the rock wall for the railroad, and occasionally a car road. You can see the tracks squeezing along the edge of my perch. They are middle-right through the trees. A similar rail-line follows the opposite shore, and in many cases on both sides the tracks actually follow dike bridges out over the water.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, August 24, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #151:
HUDSON RIVER #151:  The #HudsonHighlands are modest, solid-rock mountains, not as high as the #Catskills or the #Adirondacks, but certainly rugged. Mostly likely glacial sculpted long ago, much of this landscape, especially the Highlands, has swales in the rock that have created the swamps, marshes, and lakes. It was not uncommon for larger properties on the east side of the river to have their own small lakes and swimming holes. I would also remind the followers of this blog that posts #8, #10 & #11 feature, #Manitoga, the home of American designer, #RusselWright, which was designed to “be part of the nature around it” and which he constructed at the edge of a pond created in a rock quarry he was reclaiming. Manitoga is another of those remarkable homes tucked away in the forests and vales of the Highlands.
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Monday, August 17, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #150:
HUDSON RIVER #150:  On the east side of the river #Route9 was the only roadway that paralleled the river through the #HudsonHighlands. Many other mostly dirt and gravel roads snaked off of Route 9 into the forest. Some were actual roads; some were long private driveways. Not all homes were large estates, but most all valued their privacy and seclusion. I was fortunate to work on this project for long enough that “locals” began to feel more comfortable about why I could often be seen around the area with my camera, and some invited me to see their homes. This is The Aerie a home built for a pianist. It has a sunken living room adjacent the piano platform, and everyone can listen/play while sharing a dramatic panoramic view of the surrounding hills and vales.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, August 10, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #149:
HUDSON RIVER #149:  From the dogleg at #JonesPoint, north past #BearMountain, #WestPoint, and terminating just beyond #StormKing mountain at the city of #Newburg, is one of the most interesting sections of the river. Collectively called the #HudsonRiverHighlands, this narrowed section of the #Hudson is surrounded by mountainous terrain and steep shorelines. Small, sometimes dirt/gravel roads wind around through the hills and vales, connecting hundreds of homes often hidden by the forest or some fold in the landscape. The few small towns that exist occupy what little “flat” land is available, and although several have views of the river and access to it, only #ColdSpring is actually at the shoreline. Otherwise, private homes have populated smaller sites along the rivers edge, trying to position themselves a little upslope to accommodate high water during tidal extremes, ice build-up during river freeze/thaw, and spring flooding.
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Monday, August 3, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #148:
HUDSON RIVER #148:  Here is one for #Ansel: “Moonrise Over Snow Removal Equipment near #IndianPoint.” It all depends on your point of view, I guess. In my last post I mentioned a small bay off of the river that ran to #Annsville, and on this eve I am exploring that bay. This is much the same POV as my last two posts, but I have added a few foreground elements. As “scenic” as the #HudsonRiverValley can be, it always amazed me to find pockets in the woods and right next to the river that were just “discarded” and often being used for industrial “storage” or just outright dumping of stuff.
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Monday, July 27, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #147:
HUDSON RIVER #147:  This is classic fall twilight. The view is looking west from the eastern shore, above #Peekskill. To the left, I am looking downriver. In the middle, I am looking upriver. The water to the right of the #MetroNorth railroad bridge is a long, narrow bay that terminates at #Annsville and #HudsonHighlandsGatewayPark. The #Hudson river has just turned north and west around #JonesPoint and #BaldMountain (middle silhouette). Continuing upriver, #BearMountainStatePark - #IonaIsland can be seen directly above the track bridge in this view. Beyond there the river will again bend right to a more true north as it heads toward #WestPoint.
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Monday, July 20, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #146:
HUDSON RIVER #146:   With #HarrimanStatePark and #BearMountainStatePark rising on the western shore and the #HudsonHighlands rising on the eastern shore, the #HudsonRiverValley narrows. The large, expansive southern bays have one last hurrah at #Peekskill before the river doglegs west and north between #BaldMountain and the Hudson Highlands. Peekskill is also the location of #IndianPoint nuclear plant, one of the oldest in the US (and stunningly close to Manhattan were anything to happen). For the most part, at this point in the valley the shorelines are dark at night except for the small pockets of suburban light. Here in a lingering fall twilight looking downriver, the iconic skyline of Indian Point, and a power corridor flowing out of it, are part of a view the #HudsonRiverPainters could never have imagined.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
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Monday, July 13, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #145:
HUDSON RIVER #145:   Once I began to work in the #HudsonRiverValley on a daily basis, I understood how clearly #TheHudsonRiverSchool of painters “got” the river valley, the surrounding mountains, and the amazing light. As the 1st School of American Painting, they were NEARLY photo-realists, and it captivated their audiences, especially the scenes of dense forests full of radiant light and fall color. As a contemporary artist working in those same locations, but with a more modern technology, the camera, I WAS a photorealist. One of the ways I took pleasure in marking the difference in how our “technologies” allowed us to see, was to revel in subjects that would have been nearly impossible to paint. The way a camera renders this immense biodiversity with the intense detail of layers, lines and color form is simply unparalleled, AND I didn’t need the Hudson river “light,” or the fall colors, just some winter swampland in #HarrimanStatePark.
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