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Friday, November 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, November 15, 2019

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #174: Daze, #174: Having been selected in the competitive commission of the National Park Service and the Akron Art Museum to photograph the Cuyahoga River Valley, I had a good deal to learn about the history and biological importance of the area. I knew, as did most everyone, that the river was so polluted near its head in Cleveland, that it actually caught fire and burned for several days, but beyond that I was not aware of much else. Once the project began, however, I made a considerable effort to be more informed. The area of concentration afforded by my commission was the extension of the valley from Cleveland to Akron, and what I discovered about that was, historically, that section of the river had been a barge canal and towpath, used to ferry freight from the Great Lakes through to the Ohio River, for shipment downstream. That towpath was being restored by the NPS as part of the new development plan. Biologically the park was very diverse thanks to some unique bedrock structures and sediment deposits. There are over 100 waterfalls in the park, some obvious and very popular, such as Brandywine, the tallest waterfall in Northeastern Ohio, and others pour over abrupt ledges in narrow ravines, feeding into the Cuyahoga. The image above is The Ledges, a dramatic and very beautiful outcropping of bedrock, that offers expansive views of the forested valley below. It is a wonderful place to climb and explore, and there are also Talus caves among the boulders below the outcrop. Other geologic elements that comprise the areas unique features, include traces of the Defiance moraine, Berea Sandstone, Bedford Shale, Marcellus Shale, Utica Shale, Devonian Huron Shale, and Sharon Conglomerate. The interaction of these various deposits created many of the gorges and waterfalls, and fostered the diversity of forest and understory growth.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019 
@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, November 15, 2019

High in the Sawtooths, #10:
Sawtooths #10:  Vicki Golden, my backpacking partner, and I, have been enjoying a very pleasant twilight in the Twin Lakes basin where we are doing a last, late fall, camp-and-hike. After an afternoon of radiant light across our surrounding meadows, thanks to clearing weather opening to the setting sun, we have a great dinner, after which we walk back down the trail a bit, for an overview of the valley, and surrounding summits, all of them glowing from the warm low light at the horizon. When the cool of the evening finally descends, we amble back to camp to find our site aligned with the dramatic rock spire across the lake, still shining in the last rays of sunlight (last post). It provides quite a view from our tent flap, and in fact, suggests to us that we should not retire too early, as there might be more to come. The day, so far, has been nothing but rich,..why stop now? With that thought in mind, we don our parka’s and shells, and take my black lab, Belle Star, for romp in the meadow. After chasing her around for awhile, I feel we should give the valley overview one last look, and what a good idea that is. Upon our arrival, we initially see the last of the departing clouds off to our east, still bathed in the pink hues of the sunset. As we stand silently there, however, to our surprise a full moon pops up through the pinkness. Good night, moon! It does seem tomorrow will be a great day, and very likely clear, so we are going up, because, “The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get."

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

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

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, November 14, 2019

Hotel California, #12:
California #12:  Twilight afterburn, Ragged Point, Big Sur.

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, November 14, 2019

SUNDANCE: Artist In Residence, #70:
Sundance #70:  In the last post, I spoke about using devices such as framing to create dimensions within a composition, and it was exemplified by a tree offsetting a background hillside, taken on the opposite side of the Provo River Canyon from the location of Sundance. Crossing back to the Sundance / North Fork location, I have created a similar image, quite literally, in Redford’s driveway. During my Artist-in-Residence at Sundance, I had the VERY GOOD fortune to occasionally stay in the guest house of Redford’s ranch home, and often walked about the property to take pictures, as it afforded remarkable views in every direction. That driveway can be clearly seen in the winter season, banner photograph, that signatures this blog. In the distance of that image, you can see a section of the Mt. Timpanogos massif referred to as Elk Point. Elk Point is in direct view of both the ranch, and the guest house, and on the fall day depicted above, Elk Point is aglow with fall colors. I arise for a pre-dawn walk about the grounds, thinking I might get a great sunrise picture. However, as it comes up, there are some low clouds that partially obscure it. Nonetheless, they create a bright rosette horizon. At that moment, I am standing near one of the horse pastures, and I see that the reddening sky is turning the grasses in the field a pinkish hue, which seems to be growing more intense. Immediately, I start walking to change my position, because I know in the reverse view, this radiance might color Mt. Timpanogos, and it does. My first images are of the summit as it begins to light up, but while the pink glow slowly crawls down the face, I keep walking toward it, reaching the road near the guest house, which offers up the above POV. This is a shoulder of Elk Point. It is not truly in direct sun as yet, but it IS being illuminated by the ambient red of the sunrise, which in turn, has set off warm tones in the landscape, and in particular, the reds of the trees. The immediate foreground is still in shadow, so I use the dark evergreen tree as my compositional foreground device, to give the otherwise flat relief in the picture some 3-D. This is NOT photoshopped! This is just what the actual lighting at the time, offered my Fuji transparency film.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Wednesday, November 13, 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, November 13, 2019
“Mondrianstone"
circa 1985 -1995

Stoned Immaculate, #157:
Immaculate, #157:  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, November 13, 2019

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #170:
ARCTIC, #170:   On our plane trip north to Eureka, the fog over the ocean, and some of the islands, created by considerable temperature differentials, obscures the pack ice, and ocean, from view for some time. As a consequence, I do not see much of Cornwall Island, or Amund Ringnes, although I know they are down there, somewhere. When we reach Axel Heiberg, however, things begin to change significantly. Axel Heiberg is VERY mountainous, and quite a large landmass, which alters the temperature differential, so the dense fog is considerably broken up, and as our flight path encounters the first shoreline, this (above) appears quite clearly through my portal window. Below me is a huge peninsula, bathed in fresh snow, and at the moment, a spotlight of sun. The landform is not so much a mountain, as it is a massive, gradually rising mesa. I am VERY excited to see it, and to realize the fog is dissipating, because I was concerned that there might be no visibility at all, as we fly further north. The pilots even cautioned that we might have to turn back to Resolute, if the fog was so dense we could not land at Eureka. That now appears to be less likely, so I cross my fingers these conditions will hold, and turn my attention to the view I have, a mesmerizing sculptural landscape beneath me.

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

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Tuesday, November 12, 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, November 12, 2019 

NO PEBBLE MINE #374, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #374:  My assistant, Rhett Turner, and I, spend a few days recouping in Dillingham, but do go out everyday, and wander around a bit, enjoying the onset of fall colors (last few posts). Rhett also does some great underwater work with his film camera and housing, wading into the middle of a stream, where salmon are migrating and spawning (last post). Nonetheless, we have been adventuring ALL summer, and after a few days, we are restless once again. Neither of us wants to head home just yet, because the fall is peaking, so I suggest we go back to Katmai, where we have previously enjoyed watching the bears, and perhaps we can arrange a flight-see south of Katmai, towards Lake Becharof, a portion of the Bristol Bay landscape that we have not yet photographed. Lodging at Katmai is always reserved, and in high demand, and we do not have reservations as yet, so our plan is to fly to King Salmon-Naknek, where there is available lodging, and we have some friends. We will wait there to see if we can get in at Katmai. No plane flight should be wasted, so en route to King Salmon, we fly over some familiar terrain, to have another look at the amazing system of rivers that feed into the Nushagak and Kvichak rivers, the two most productive of them all, which are part of the Bristol Bay salmon fishery. I love the image above, because you can see the contrast between the spare tundra terrain, and the rich, lush river valleys. Here, two smaller systems feed into the much larger Mulchatna.

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, November 12, 2019

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #168:
THE TONGASS, #168:   Philip Slagter and I, flip the last canoe in our descent of the tidal falls (last post), but we opt not to unpack and change our clothes, rather, choosing to "wear them dry.” One of the beautiful things about the “new” high-tech, Patagonia gear, is that it not only stays warm while wet, it will actually dry out on your body through radiant heat created by activity. Since time is of the essence now, there is none to loose, and we must get moving with the outgoing tide, to cross the expansive Mitchell Bay, before it goes dry, potentially stranding our party, if we do not reach deeper water first. Thus, Phil and I, dump the water out of our boots, wring our capilene longjohns out, then put them back on, and return to assist the loading of the canoes. As soon as our group completes that task, we launch, and begin a long, tiring, and very determined paddle with the flow, out into bay. The bay is a broad complex of rock shoals, around which the water flows in some very strong and confusing currents. Our guide, Jeff Sloss, knows where the deepest channels lie, so he expertly leads us through the maze. As we paddle, before our eyes, jagged rock “islands” begin to appear, revealed by the quickly dropping tideline. The rate of this is amazing to watch, and worrisome to be caught in, so we all bear down, and stroke as hard as we can to keep moving quickly along. As the water shallows beneath our canoes, we can see a myriad of kelp, starfish, and jellyfish, as though we are looking into an aquarium. Unfortunately, we can also see the seabed getting ever closer to the bottom of the canoes, so I never stop paddling to take pictures, until we finally hit the deep water channel. Eventually, we will cross it to arrive at the Native village of Angoon, but having successfully completed our journey, we are collectively exhausted, so we stop for one last lunch prior that final effort. The break for food leaves me with a moment to walk back into the now completely exposed bay, where I shot this (above) - seabed rocks, draped with various grass strands and colorful kelp growth, like some crazy abstract painting.

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

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Monday, November 11, 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!
~Robert Glenn Ketchum





Monday, November 11, 2019

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #116: Wind River, #116: My partner, Vicki Golden, and I, have backpacked into a high, and very exposed, granite basin that surrounds Deep Lake. After a number of camps in similar Wind River locations, we know we could be fiercely stormed upon, so we hoped to find some refuge, and we do. After unloading our packs, she, my black lab, Belle Star, and I, do a walk-around, looking for a spot where we can “hide” our camp, and we come upon a dense cluster of stunted trees, that have a small meadow at their center, that is large enough for us to pitch a tent. The trees are not much taller than we are, but they are so dense, we feel certain they will shelter us from strong winds and, hopefully, any lightening. It feels like we have found a discreet fort to protect ourselves, so we set up camp. Our position has an unparalleled viewshed, as you will see in the ensuing posts. We are slightly above Deep Lake, and quite close the the sheer granite walls of Haystack Mountain. Our tent vestibule opens to a spectacular perspective of Deep Lake with Temple Peak towering above it, and the reverse position looks over the Clear Lake basin below us, directly at Warbonnet, Pingora, and other big walls in the Cirque of the Towers. We are surrounded by a display of some SERIOUS granite. With our site established, we have a good lunch, and then load our daypacks for an afternoon of exploration, determined to circumnavigate the lake, better orienting us to our new home for the next week. By the time we are ready to roll, the day has grow warm, with little wind, and no visible threatening weather, so we launch ourselves with positive anticipation about what the rest of the afternoon might offer.
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

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, November 112019

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #184: DFCFC, #184: My partner, Vicki Golden, and I, and my DFC&FC colleague, Gordon Williams, with his friend Polly, meet up in Pinedale (WY) to attempt a LATE fall backpack into the Wind River Range. From Pinedale, we can see that it has already snowed in the high peak section, but we are planning to go in the Big Sandy entrance and climb up into the Deep Lake-Temple Peak basin, which is a relatively short hike, and we feel that if it does snow, we will still be able to walk out. After buying food and organizing our backpacks, we overnight at the Log Cabin Motel (a favorite of Vicki and me), and then get an early morning start the next day. We have a leisurely 1-hour+ drive into the Big Sandy trailhead, but notably, after we leave the main highway, we see no one else on the road in. Furthermore, Big Sandy Lodge is now closed, and there are no other cars at the trailhead parking. We are here COMPLETELY alone. The day is overcast and cool, but not storming, so it makes for a very comfortable hike. The first six, or so, miles to Big Sandy Lake go by quickly, and with ease, as there is little elevation gain, so we stop there for lunch, and to prepare for the vertical that will take us up into our destination basin. There are patches of snow on the ground in the shade, but the trail is totally open, and because our packs are 4-day, instead of the 10-to-12-day ones, that Vicki and I have been carrying all summer, even the climb up seems effortless. We arrive at Clear Lake by mid-afternoon, deciding to camp there, rather than go higher to Deep Lake. Above Clear Lake, you must navigate open granite slabs, and they would become treacherously slippery if it snowed, and we had to down-climb that with our packs, in retreat. We situate ourselves in a nice cluster of rocks and trees, very close to the edge of the lake, and settle in. To the west, and still a good distance away, we can see the towering summit of Temple Peak, but immediately to our east is the impressive granite “hump” of Haystack Mountain, whose stunningly shear walls drop right into the trees behind our camp. Even though we are still in the forest, granite walls assert themselves around us, so we enjoy a leisurely afternoon of scanning our views with binoculars and big lenses, while we get camp arranged, and have some warming drinks. (Above) A ledge on the face of Haystack, whose dripping water has “stained” the granite, supporting algal growth.

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

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