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Friday, January 18, 2019

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

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


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




Friday, January 18, 2019

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #131: Daze, #131:  With warming weather and spring rain, the forests around us begin to come alive. Trees have leaf and flower buds, the ground cover is greening up, and crocus and lilies have begun pushing through the the decaying fall debris to display tiny flowers on the forest floor. Carey and I reach the southern end of our drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which terminates in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and spring has arrived. The campgrounds are open, but only a few visitors are using them yet, so we find a nice site, get ourselves established, and then set out to explore. We stay for several days, and one morning in a light rain, we decide to hike the Chimney Tops Trail. Not knowing much about it, we discover it is approached by a trail and road that make its ascent a simple, uneventful walk-up, nothing challenging at all. Once on top, we encounter a few others, with whom we exchange pleasantries. Then one asks how we came to the summit, and when we respond that we took the park service road, they suggests we should descend the unofficial trail that gave the Chimney name to the same. Apparently that trail, plunges down through rock cracks, narrow terraces, and “chimneys,” and is considered the only “true” trail by the locals. Having no idea what the trail might be like, Carey and I love a good challenge, and so we are off. Some rain blows through, and it grows late in the day before we complete our descent, but it is, indeed, an amazing trail. In the image above, I am traversing a narrow ledge with a stunningly sheer drop to my backside. We have come from the summit in the distance, where you can now see the hazy image of two people standing.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019 
@RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post, "Fish Farms: Forming My World View Through Aquaculture in 1977" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

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



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




Friday, January 18, 2019

FISHFARMS:  Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977, #39:
Fish Farms #39:   Wandering along a maze of dike pathways that traverse between fish ponds and canals, Elisabeth, me, and our Indian colleagues pass through various activities in the surrounding communities. As we draw nearer to the field research station, however, there are increasingly fewer people and structures. The clamor of the celebrating (last post) has been lost, and the jungle closes in around our dwindling trail. Whether related specifically to fish-farming or not, I know this is one of the most amazing mornings of my life, so I keep taking “unrelated” images, like this one - a women quietly doing laundry beside a canal, while a crow offers advice. When we arrive at the field station, it is a work-shed, similar to many others that we have seen. Clearly our walk is the most important part of our experience this day.

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

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Thursday, January 17, 2019

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

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



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




Thursday, January 17, 2019

University of Wisconsin: Artist In Residence, #12:
Wisconsin #12:  In posts #5 & 6, I have shown you this before as well. This grass savanna dotted with heirloom oaks is the majority of the property, and where the restoration work is being done. It offers more expansive views, and it has an excellent alignment with the available light of morning and evening. Other than that, it is relatively the same place on any visit,..or is it? Of course it changes with the seasons, but through my repeated visits, there are other touches I have come to appreciate. When you look a post #6, it is a very similar view to this, with more emphasis on the grandeur of the foreground tree. The POV, however, obscures two details in that picture that I fee add to this image in small but important ways. This IS a rural area. It is not “wilderness” land. It is quite domesticated. The evidence of that is in this shot, although somewhat hidden. In the middle-left of this frame is a tiny, white rectangle. That is a bird-nesting box and there are MANY of them on the property. Just slightly above the birdhouse, beyond the radiant golden oak, you can also see a telephone pole, part of the line that runs through post #5.

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

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

Sundance:  Artist In Residence
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



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




Thursday, January 17, 2019

SUNDANCE: Artist In Residence, #27:
Sundance #27:  Just before the sun goes down, it seems the wind picks up. You can hear it howling across the summits and faces of Mt. Timpanogos, and the snow banner from the top is blowing off a dense fog of ice crystals into the North Fork basin. It quickly covers me, while I am trying to work, and it is irritating to breath in, as well. It is also an irresistible light show. The increasing wind during the setting sun sets off a massive glowing cloud above the canyon, that then settles like snowfall. It is NOT snow, however, but primarily ice, and it makes road conditions really sketchy. It is on days like this I am grateful I can stay at Sundance, rather than drive down the now-treacherous canyon road, and back to Provo, which so many skiers do at the end of their day. No one wants to do that in the dark, so most have gone home by now and they missed this.

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

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Weekly Post, "Stoned Immaculate: A Trip in the Desert" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

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


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



Wednesday, January 16, 2019
“Geological Cubism"
circa 1985-1995

Stoned Immaculate, #114:
Immaculate, #114:  from the portfolio, STONED IMMACULATE

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

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Weekly Post, "Arctic: At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

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



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




Wednesday, January 16, 2019

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #127:
ARCTIC, #127:   Our common conversation in the sauna after a remarkable day of flying over the various islands surrounding Lancaster Sound, is that we are already past the point that might have caused our attempted Northwest Passage traverse to fail, and now the navigation before us appears to be very doable, but not without ice and some peril. Nonetheless, we are all confident that we will get through, and our timing is so much earlier than we expected, the consensus is that we should not be in a great hurry to complete the trip, but rather, settle back, go a bit more slowly, and enjoy days exploring with the helicopter. That thought in mind, and a opulent dinner, we retire to awake to this. The advancing storm of the previous evening was not only cold enough to freeze “brash” ice while I was shooting, but during the night, winter arrived in the Arctic, and it has received the first snow. Our morning is blustery cold, and all the islands are snow-dusted. At breakfast, John Bockstoce points this out and suggests whatever we are going to do, we better do it soon, as time is running out - Arctic weather and the north Atlantic might turn against us anytime now..

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

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

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

NO PEBBLE MINE Pictures from Ground Zero 
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

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






Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

NO PEBBLE MINE #331, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #331:  Delivered to Goodnews by a plane from Dillingham, I await an upriver boat pick-up from colleagues in the Department of Fish and Game. While waiting, I am surveying this small Native village, and considering what it must be like to live here throughout the year - at the edge of the Arctic Circle, on a gravel-scrub-tundra shoreline, facing into the north Pacific, and without much supportive infrastructure to speak of - this is a rugged lifestyle! Of course, everyone fishes. Freshwater fish and spawning salmon are in the Goodnews river, and Goodnews Bay opens into one of the most productive marine fisheries in the world. No one in this village, however, is a “commercial” fisherman. There are no industrial fishing boats here. This is the fishing “fleet” for the village. It is a flotilla of Lund’s! In one of these, a skilled hunter might catch fish, or marine mammals, hunt seals, and raid cliffside bird rookeries for their eggs. It takes a distinct skill set, and some considerable confidence to go out hunting by yourself, in one of these.

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

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Monday, January 14, 2019

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

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

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




Monday, January 14, 2019

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #73:
Wind River, #73:  The outlet end of Wall Lake is mostly granite and few gardens, and there is too much exposure, so Vicki, Belle, and I traverse the shoreline, looking for some place that offers a little more protection. At the other end of Wall, the basin becomes a bouldered terrain, speckled with some beautiful, flowering gardens through which Pole Creek is flowing. We find a nice place to pitch in amongst some very large rocks, and settle for the night with a good dinner. The next day dawns breezy, and although the sky is swimming with cloud layers, we can tell it is not going to storm on us, so we eat a casual breakfast, stock our daypacks, and begin a slow wander, ever deeper into the basin. We finally have had the good sense to acquire complete topographic maps for the entire area, so we know we are in the Pole Creek headwaters, surrounded by some impressive spires and summit walls, and we spend a good deal of the day just walking to the far end of the basin where the creek begins.

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

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

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get
by Robert Glenn Ketchum


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



Monday, January 14, 2019

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #141:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #141:  There is no more steep, or dangerous terrain to navigate, on our ski out of Boulder Basin. The stress of traversing the narrow canyon and possible avalanches is gone, and we are now in the trees on a broadening valley floor that will soon give way to some miles of smooth, snow-covered, rolling hills. We are seriously snacked-up, recovering from our tricky descent, and now we get to play. Packs get re-adjusted. Cameras are put away (for the safety of my ribs). Our heels are free, not locked down. This is not downhill skiing, although we are often screaming downhill. We are now skiing in the track-path we collectively cut, skiing in. It is a packed down groove, that has been refilled with a bit of powder snow. Whoever leads is skiing new powder, those behind are skiing a track that is increasingly more groomed, and getting faster with the passing of each skier. Since you are in a track, turns are REALLY awkward because you step-around them using fast, little ski steps. You don’t really make a turn as you do when downhill skiing. No one blows up, although there are some hair-raising moments, and the long run to the car is just amazing! At various places I have kick-glide steps that cover 20-30 yards before I set the other ski. There is a lot of whooping, and more snacks at the car. These DFC&FC trips for stories in POWDER magazine, and the furtherance of my personal work, are just getting better and better. Maybe we should do another?

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

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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

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

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



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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

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

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