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Wednesday, February 20, 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, February 20, 2019
“Crystal Rainbow Cascade"
circa 1985-1995

Stoned Immaculate, #119:
Immaculate, #119:  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, February 20, 2019

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #132:
ARCTIC, #132:   As our exploratory flight pushes more deeply into the valleys along the northern coast of Baffin Island, the valley we have chosen to follow, narrows. Because our helicopter is so small, we do not need much area in which to turn around, and as my pilot points out, if we really got stuck, we could put it on the ground almost anywhere, get out and turn it around by dragging its tail. Comfortable with that concept, I am good with our continuing push up this river, just to see its source, most likely a glacier feeding in from the icefield above these summits. Immediately ahead in this shot, you turn to the left, which from here, appears to be fairly tight passage. The beauty of flying, especially this low and slow, is that you come upon things quickly, and I find both of us are often surprised at what open up beneath our little plexiglass bubble. Many times it feels that instead of going from one place to another, it is more like going from one world to another.

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

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Tuesday, February 19, 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, February 19, 2019 

NO PEBBLE MINE #336, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #336:  I am sure the two Alaska Department of Fish & Game officers, in whose cabin I am having dinner, think I am a little nuts, because I keep leaving our meal to go back outside. As you see in the last post, there is quite a show going on, and this is SUMMER in Alaska, so the show goes on for a LONG time. The sun doesn’t set until 10pm or so. Although the wind does not pick up, the temperature drops dramatically as night falls, causing patches of ground fog to appear, disappear, and re-appear. I assure my hosts that my behavior comes with my job, and it is likely getting great results. I also thank them for hosting me in their very trick camp. The cabin is very cozy, but is too tight to sleep three, so I have my tent and there is a nice soft-sand floor quite close to the cabin where I pitch. As the cabin is relatively bear-proof, they want me to divest my tent of EVERYTHING, so there are no scent traces that might attract a bear,..except for mine. Then, they hand me a shotgun with hand-loaded slug shells, and suggest I keep it next to me “in case.” They do say, however, they have never had a bear visit this bar when they have been here, and frankly, it is Southwest, there are bears everywhere I go. I can’t say that I am used to them, but I have learned to sleep soundly.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @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, February 19, 2019

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #130:
THE TONGASS, #130:  Philip Slagter and I have nearly reached the terminus beach of the north arm of Rudyerd Bay, but before arriving there, our shoreline exploration reveals a considerable river, flowing out of a sheer cleft in the fjord walls, and we paddle up it “to see what we can see.” The granite towers 2,000 absolutely vertical feet above us, making the slot canyon quite dark, but lushly overgrown with ferns and Devil’s Club. Most of our paddle has been in deep water, then we finally come to a sandbar. We can cross over easily in our kayaks, but as we are pondering whether to do so or not, two big salmon riffle the water, crossing over the bar, as they swim upstream to spawn. Our first thought is that seeing salmon is cool. However, another thought dawns on both of us very quickly. If there are salmon in the stream, there are bears in the forest, who fish the stream. Philip then points out that the shore on either side is quite close, and that the rifle we have is in the hull of the kayak. It would take some effort to get it out, without getting out of the kayak first. On that note, I also realize that the river has narrowed to the point we cannot turn around, so if we are to extricate ourselves from here, we will have to paddle backwards,..a task we begin to do IMMEDIATELY! At the first widening that will allow us to rotate our boats, we do, and before we paddle back out into the greater fjord, I catch this one last shot. I think the look on Philip’s face says it all - LOL!

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

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Monday, February 18, 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, February 18, 2019

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #78:
Wind River, #78:  The next morning dawns warm and cloudless. With no weather threatening, if there were ever a time to risk climbing higher, this is it. During dinner the night before, I told Vicki about what the topo maps appear to suggest, and I propose that we investigate if, in fact, this could be an off-trail way into Island Lake. From where we are camped at Wall Lake, the marked trail to Island Lake is arduous. We would descend to the Cook Lakes, take the long walk around them, then climb up over 11,000ft.+ Lester Pass, descend to Seneca Lake, and then climb, once again, to reach Island. That is a STUNNING amount of up-to-go-down - thousands of feet of elevation gains and losses, pounding away at our knees and back. Were this “stairway to heaven” I think I have discovered, prove to be navigable, it would be a truly remarkable shortcut. Nonetheless, other trips in the Winds have taught me to be cautious of unexpectedly steep granite, so I am grateful today that we have no agenda, and we are simply going exploring with our daypacks. Once again, we begin by following Pole Creek back into the basin. Not only is it warm, it seems that EVERYTHING is blooming. The terraces and meadows are festooned with wildflowers, and I begin to have a VERY good feeling about what we are going to discover.

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, February 18, 2019

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #146: DFCFC, #146:  Deep compressed snow is a very cool (no pun intended) material to work with, and it is carved rather architecturally by precise thrust of a snow shovel. If you have never done this, Gordon Williams is just starting the first “door” in the image above. At the moment, this is just a two person job. Gordon first dug down, creating a snow pit for himself in which to stand while he works. Once deep enough to assure a thick, non-collapsable “ceiling” to the snow cave, he then makes new, horizontal cuts in to the drift. His cuts come out like igloo blocks, and he throws them up onto a tarp. As the tarp fills, one of us drags it off, and dumps it downhill in front of our camp bench. The door is meant to be small and protected from the wind, as this one is. Gordon will eventually place another tarp on the “floor” he has cut, and then by kneeling or laying on it, he will work his way through the door, going more deeply into the drift. Once in a few feet, he will then begin to hollow out an interior room. As the room grows, another person can dig with him, and the rest of the party just ferries the cut snow out on tarps and tosses it down the hill. This takes a good deal of work and engages everyone. Amazingly, even in sub-zero cold, we all get sweaty and take clothes off. Almost everyone is working in shirt sleeves.

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

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Friday, February 15, 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, February 15, 2019

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #135: Daze, #135:  Feeling certain that the recent trips in my van with Carey will provide a portfolio’s worth of images, soon to become ORDER FROM CHAOS, and having printed only half of the editions for my B&W portfolio, WINTERS: 1970-1980, I am eager to return to my home, studio, and darkroom in LA, so I can get that work done, before moving back to the Hudson River Valley to work on the commission I have recently been given. Carey and I end our “southern tour” along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and head west. Neither of us has been to New Orleans, so we stop there for a few days, continuing on across Texas, to camp in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, and visit nearby Carlsbad Caverns National Park, as well. My friend, the painter, Philip Slagter, who introduced me to Carey when he was living in a farmhouse on a Connecticut estate, is now living in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with his longtime girlfriend, and friend of Carey’s, Marta Reicio, also a very accomplished artist. From where we are camped, Las Cruces is a relatively short drive, so our next stop for a few days is at the large, rambling, dog-filled farmhouse, where Philip and Marta currently live. Their property is rural. There is a bird refuge nearby, so ducks, and other birds are everywhere. Also, not far away, White Sands National Monument, so why not day trip there if the weather is nice? It is, so we do. Day trip, indeed! Clearly we have had too many snacks. Much time is spent running up the slope-side of a dune, to leap blindly off the steep side. That first 15-20ft. of pure air and free-fall is pretty breathtaking, even when you know it is coming.

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, February 15, 2019

FISHFARMS:  Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977, #43:
Fish Farms #43:  I found the villages, canals, and fish ponds of rural Cochin (posts #36-41) tropically beautiful, but as Elisabeth and I continue our journey further south along the coast of the Arabian Sea, she promises there is MUCH more about to unfold, and she is clearly excited by the plans for our coming days. We are headed toward the large, urban city of Trivandrum, that is famous for its beautiful resort beaches, especially Kovalam, the location of our hotel. The road is inconsistently paved, and the day is long and hot. She and I often take naps in a heat delirium on these long drives, and do so on this one. As we approach to Trivandrum, however, the traffic grows worse, so the incessant horn honking does as well, which brings me out of my coma, to find our car following this truck. Inspirational words out of nowhere on a stifling day, and then Kovalam.

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

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Thursday, February 14, 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, February 14, 2019

University of Wisconsin: Artist In Residence, #16:
Wisconsin #16:  Same field of grasses as the last post, but a VERY different light and color. In the previous image, the sun is coming up on a clear morning. The shadow/highlight relationships are harsh, and the color-pop of the illuminated grass, is yellow and gold in tone. In the image above, you are looking at the last light of the day. Although the sky appears clear, because of humidity, there is a haze of moisture at the horizon. As the sun sets, and its rays pass through that vapor, their tones soften and warm into red. It is still quite a windy day, and this is just a lucky moment where everything appears to be motionless. There being nothing in the picture but “weeds,” it is clearly the beautiful glow of the last few rays of sunlight, that give this image its impact. Again, I hope you will scroll between this post and the last two to see how much the change of lighting affects color and tonality.

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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