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Friday, January 24, 2020

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 24, 2020

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #184: Daze, #184: While working on my Artist-In-Residence for the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, co-funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Wisconsin Arts Board, I resided in a lovely old farmhouse in the Kettle Moraine, that the UW had turned into a biological field station to study the re-establishment of a tall grass prairie in an oak savanna. Professor Marlin Johnson and his students worked on that project, and a large community garden they established, and I wandered the property trying to translate the landscape that endowed the farm. The Kettle Moraine is unique to eastern Wisconsin and southwestern Michigan because that is where the line of moraine residue stretches after the retreat of the Laurentide Ice Sheet which covered these states, and, in fact, all of the Great Lakes. Any glacial mass, and especially one this large, picks up an immense amount of rock, boulders, and silt/topsoil as it creeps across the landscape. Because this was a HUGE ice sheet, with numerous glacial fingers, it collected an incredible amount of debris that was then deposited when the melt back occurred. The Kettle Moraine was formed of these deposits. Within the soil/rock residue were buried volumes of ice, which melted more slowly because they were covered by the dirt. As they did melt, the covering soil collapsed forming potholes and lakes. Potholes generally range from 3-200ft. wide, but lakes were created also, some of them quite large. Now this area has rebounded, vegetation has moved in, and the potholes and lakes are often connected through systems of streams that flow through them. All that water nurtures a now-vibrant surface habitat of lush native plants, and large established trees, many of which are ancient, impressive oaks. As this landscape is part of the Atlantic Americas Flyway, million of birds travel through this domain every year. On their long flight, they need food and resting places, and the farms fields, ponds, and lakes, of the Kettle Moraine are a favored place to stop. At the height of the migration, birds are EVERYWHERE, and the squawking and cooing can be heard for miles. (If you would like to see the entire body of work from this project, use this link.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020 
@RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post, "Late Fall High in the Sawtooths" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Late Fall High in the Sawtooths
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



My partner, Vicki Golden, and I, have come to love backpacking in late fall. Although we risk getting snowed upon, most of the bugs, and virtually all of the people are gone. This is our last camping trip together, and the last time I ever camped in the Sawtooths. This is a short blog to say goodbye to both.  
~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Friday, January 24, 2020

High in the Sawtooths, #20:
Sawtooths #20:  My campmate, Vicki Golden, and I, are exhausted after our long day, so when we get back to our tent, she ops to lay down for awhile. Unfortunately for me, black lab, Belle Star, will have none of it, and she is making it clear to me, that it is time to do some fishing, so we wander off to mine the Twin Lakes shoreline in hopes of adding some fresh trout to the freeze-dried meal of the evening. As I ply the edges of our lake, the clouds come-and-go, but eventually they seem to be breaking off above us, and once again, a soft light floods into the basin. These are not the radiant beams of our previous evenings (yet), but the highlights and shadows more clearly define the rugged surroundings, of which I have been enamoured all day. Across the lake, above the canyon through which we will retreat tomorrow, west facing spires light up, their steep walls of polished granite, glowing in the hazy sunlight, and again, I am struck by the fang-like spires and summits that define the Sawtooth Range. It is not just the rock, but since the trees have also established themselves all the way to the top of these peaks, the barren branches of the limber pines, add to the ragged appearance of the ridges. How do things so large, and strikingly beautiful, find nourishment enough to grow to that size in such an environment. What a world! I hope we learn to care for it, so that it can be enjoyed like this for generations. Unfortunately, given our heedless behavior, probably not!

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

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Thursday, January 23, 2020

Weekly Post, "Welcome to Hotel California: Some Pictures from My Backyard" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Welcome To Hotel California:  Some Pictures From My Backyard
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



I was born, and grew up in Los Angeles. As my professional career developed, I traveled around the world working on various commissions, but seldom had opportunities to work in California. Nonetheless, I always came back “home,” and when there, I occasionally took pictures. For ten years I also taught a photography workshop on the Mendocino coast that provided some great visual moments as well. There is no “project” unifying these images, they are just my way of showing, “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!”   
~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Thursday, January 23, 2020

Hotel California, #22:
California #22:  It’s a lovely day in the neighborhood. Huntington Gardens in the late afternoon light, OR skyrockets in flight, it’s an afternoon delight - my apologies to Mr. Rogers and the Starland Vocal Band ( skyrockets in flight afternoon delight )- LOL!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @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 23, 2020

SUNDANCE: Artist In Residence, #80:
Sundance #80:  “Forest Heart,” one of my favorite 30”x 40” cibachrome prints (there are a few still available) - LOL!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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 22, 2020
“Striations of Cowabunga"
circa 1985 -1995


Stoned Immaculate, #167:
Immaculate, #167:  from the portfolio, STONED IMMACULATE

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd


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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

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 21, 2020 

NO PEBBLE MINE #384, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #384:  As my pilot and I head north and a bit west, up the coast from Dillingham, and the mouth of the Nushagak River, I marvel at the tidal flats that have been revealed at an extreme low tide. The is a lot of weather streaming through the skies above, but below the clouds visibility is good, and I have enough light to work with, so I am excited to be flying on what will probably be my last shoot over Southwest this season. Some miles into our travel along the shore, the expanse of the Nushagak River mouth is intersected by the inflow of the Snake River, which you can see part of in the above picture. Please check out the link, as it clearly explains why the river is called the Snake, unusual to me, since most of the waterways bear Native names. The greater part of the Southwest landscape looks like this. As you can see, it is flat, and VERY wet, covered by a myriad of rivers and pothole lakes. This surely NOT a place to put an open pit mine, proposed to be 2,000ft. deep. Can you imagine the inflow of water, that then, toxified by mineral contaminants, would have to be pumped back out, to be stored “in perpetuity” in poisonous lagoons? There is no reason to create an open pit mine in such a water rich landscape, so PLEASE SAY NO TO THE PEBBLE MINE, regardless of what our jackass leadership promotes! If you doubt the DANGER of an open pit mines toxicity, check my much earlier postings is this blog about the Berkley Pit, #35-#42, and the threats it poses to Butte, Montana’s groundwater, and the ENTIRE drainage of the Clark Fork of the Columbia River.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post: THE TONGASS: Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees by Robert Glenn Ketchum

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees
by Robert Glenn Ketchum
In 1985, I began a 2-year commission to explore the Tongass rainforest, the largest forest in the United States Forest Service (USFS) system AND the largest temperate rainforest in the world. It was a unique, old-growth environment under siege from industrial logging. The resulting investigative book I published helped to pass the Tongass Timber Reform Bill, protect 1,000,000 acres of old-growth, and create 11 new wilderness areas. This is the story of how that was achieved.




Tuesday, January 21, 2020

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #178, Tongass, #178: On the first day my assistant, Philip Slagter, and I, take a walk through the Native village part of Sitka, it is all new to us, so we are noting the unique evidence of village culture, fish being dried, animal skins hanging from clothing lines, and the other evidence of many people living either partially, or totally, subsistence lifestyles. I want to take pictures because it is a very different looking neighborhood, but I am also aware that many in the village do not want to be seen as spectacles of tourism photographers. Then we arrive here, and neither of us can resist getting a closer look, so we approach this house, trying not to be too obvious. Both Phil and I LOVE Tlingit design and symbols, so this is irresistible, but as we draw close, we hear a voice from inside asking, “Can I help you?”, and then the gentleman to the right appears from beneath a skin-draped door opening. I have not yet raised my camera, so we begin by explaining what we are doing, and who we are - a photographer, and a painter, exploring another culture, and not intending to capitalize upon it for touristic images. To which the person confronting us, asks us if we would like to come inside and “smoke a pipe,” and so we do. This person is Boyd Didricksen, an elder hunter and craftsman of the village, who is half Russian, and half Tlingit. This is a house of his design and building, and he also runs a store in town, Three Guys across from the Church, selling very high-end art and artifacts to the throngs a visitors off the cruise ships. He is amazing, funny, and his art is spectacular, as well as controversial. Boyd crafts remarkable objects from, and of, the animals he hunts. ONLY Natives may hunt animals they then craft into salable objects, and although he can legally do both, he often crafts things that cause the ADF&G and the FWS to question the actual historical lineage of the product. (Did historical Tlingit really use Auk beaks as buttons and jewelry?; Did the previous culture decorate their traditional cedar storage boxes with sealskins, and polar bear furs?) Boyd was unabashed, however, and besides creating well-crafted objects, he fought back against his critics, and often found himself in court, arguing about one practice or another, and frequently winning. He is/was what white cultures call “a character.” I would return to Sitka many times over my 24yrs. of coming to Alaska, and Boyd became a good friend, and someone I looked forward to seeing on each visit, regardless of the politics of his behavior.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, January 20, 2020

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!
~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Monday, January 20, 2020

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #126, Wind Rivers, #126:  After an early morning rise, doggo, Belle Star, my tentmate, Vicki Golden, and I, have climbed the dome that separates the Deep Lake basin from the Temple Peak basin, in time to catch the early morning light (last post), and now as the day warms up, it is time to catch some trout (Belle definitely agrees with this idea). At the base of Temple peak is Temple Lake, which is quite large (and in the Google map link, still sporting a good deal of ice). There is no ice on the lake today, however, as it is clear, sunny, and warm. The near shore to us is crusted with large boulders, and does not offer much access to the waterline, but it does afford some standable platforms from which we can cast. We are not flyfisher persons, we are casting and trolling, so I start off with a really flashy, wiggly lure, and get a strike immediately - a big one at that. It is clear that there are A LOT of trout here, and they have not been fished much, so they are not wary. Vicki finds a platform of her own, and throws out her choice of temptation, which eventually brings her a fish as well, just not as quickly as mine. I love how she is even getting her tongue into the action in this picture - LOL! If you think Belle is staring intently, she is. Her focus is on a patch of grass I have watered down, and onto which we have placed the trout we are catching. Belle wants to make VERY sure that none of them try to escape back into the lake.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd


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

by Robert Glenn Ketchum


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



Monday, January 202020

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #194: DFCFC, #194: While Gordon Williams is doing a little non-technical crack climbing, against everyone’s advice, his partner, Polly, watches his ascent pensively. My partner, Vicki Golden, is not especially fond of heights, so she can’t bring herself to even watch. From my point of view, the backdrop for the two of them is spectacular. Below on the left is Clear Lake where we are camped. In fact, our tents are in the shoreline of the jutting peninsula to Polly’s left. In the far distance is Big Sandy Lake, which we passed hiking in. The pointed summit to the left is War Bonnet Peak, looming over Jackass Pass, entrance to the Cirque of the Towers, and the lake of the right is Black Joe, around which we will hike tomorrow. The sinew of granite on which we stand divides Clear Lake from Black Joe, and is the ridge of Haystack Mountain that we have ascended to get to this point. What a view! What a day to be here, so late in the fall.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, September 6, 2019

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, August 30, 2019

FISHFARMS:  Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977, #71:
Fish Farms #71:  As Elisabeth, our host/guides, and I, begin our return to Bangkok, we intend to do in one day downriver, what took several days as we came upriver. This run starts early in the day, and it is actually very nice to be out on the Chao Phraya in the cool air of the morning. Also, we are traveling at a greater speed heading back, because we are not “sight-seeing” any longer. Although I try not to spend too much film on things unrelated to our aquaculture research, there are no further pictures to be offered regarding fish, so I enjoy just observing the diverse river life, as we pass quickly by. Like most things you experience for a second time, I begin notice further conditions of life around the river, that I did not see when we first passed through. Most of these families along the shore, live OVER the water, and do not possess actual land. It makes them extremely vulnerable to flooding, and it exposes them to pollution in the water, that grows more apparent the closer we get to Bangkok. In the above image, the clothes being hung up to dry have just been washed in the river, and the women hanging them up, also bathed in it.

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

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