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Monday, July 15, 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, July 15, 2019

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #99:
Wind River, #99:  Vicki and I have calculated correctly and successfully navigated an off-trail route between Titcomb Lakes Basin, and Wall Lake. We cross the final divide around noon, so after we negotiate the small snowfield descent into lush meadows, we find an appropriate spot to take it all in, and sit for lunch. We are through! We have been over the terrain on this side of the divide in a previous camping trip, and we know it is an enjoyable, simple descent from here to a good campsite at the far end of Wall Lake. With such a nice day, and no reason to hurry, we sunbath, munch, and walk amongst the flowers. At one point mid-afternoon, I find a pool deep enough to dip in, and so I do. Continuing our meander, the warmth of the day is melting snow at higher elevations, and the smooth granite walls around us trickle water, feeding a growing stream that flows downward with us. Flowers bloom everywhere, and bees and butterflies attend them, although I have no idea where these insects hide on freezing nights. Our leisurely hike is perfectly planned, taking most of the day, and doing minimal damage to our knees. We arrive at the shore of Wall Lake, as our connecting valley is bathed in the last light of the day. The Wall Lake Basin has slipped into the shade many hours earlier, and the breeze coming off the lake is cold. Our summer bliss is over, but we do have an amazing camp, in an amazing place once again, and a fine dinner is had by all.
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, July 15, 2019

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #167: DFCFC, #167:  My descent to our encampment and snow cave, brings me to a towering view of Hyndman Peak, which last night put on a subtle, late light show (post #153). It is frosty-hazier tonight, however, and the summit light is softened, BUT standing on the toe of Hyndman is still, most impressive. I linger to watch the light fade, and then return to the task at hand - descent, more hot food, perhaps some modest libation, and then sleep, for there is always tomorrow. My point in the footpath comes to the most well traveled section, making my efforts minimal, and soon I am back in camp. With various things cooking on the stove, the crew of us mills about on our “terrance,” watching the last of the twilight fade off the summits, and the night sky darken, filled with stars in the cold and clear.

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

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Friday, July 12, 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, July 12, 2019

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #156: Daze, #156:  I will spend the next four summers exploring the Tongass rainforest. Within the first two years, I concentrate just on the rainforest and the logging, in particular, and chose not spend much time in areas already protected as parks or wilderness. In the latter two years, I return to do adventure travel trips I want to pursue, beyond the parameters of my original commission. Exploring the breadth of the habitat aboard the boats of The Boat Company introduces me to the many unique components that comprise the collective ecosystem of this forest. Certainly the most dramatic of these are the coastal mountains, some of which are the tallest in the world, ranging up to 18,000ft. This loft of rock directly faces the fury of storms born in the Gulf of Alaska, and as a consequence accumulates a staggering amount of rainfall and snow. Some places see as much as 350-inches of rain, and others get 50+ FEET of snow, building tremendous icecaps and glacial fields. In our current climate, there has been a considerable retreat of this ice, opening up numerous dynamic fjord systems to be explored by kayak camping. Misty Fjords National Monument, Tracy Arm - Fords Terror Wilderness, Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, and Icy Bay are all places I spend extended time, NOT related to my project. If you are interested in following some of those adventures in depth, several have already been published, or are being published, as blogs. Tracy Arm is one of the most inspiring locations in my life, and I visit over a dozen times in various boats, the best of which is an extended kayak camping journey. That story can be found here. I am also currently posting the stories of my first trips into the Tongass to do this work, and that can be found here.

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, July 12, 2019

FISHFARMS:  Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977, #64:
Fish Farms #64:  Our English-speaking, Thai host/guides take Elisabeth and I on a shoreline walk through the hub of the Chao Phraya River near to central Bangkok, but it is their intention for us to travel well beyond that. After navigating various markets and throngs of people on-loading, and off-loading boats, the volume of foot traffic drops off, and we approach a different community that lives OVER the river, not on its shore. Many of these are large family homes, and some support fish cages among the stilts beneath the houses. In this image, the plank in the foreground serves as a ladder, and/or a walkway when needed. The narrow board supported on stilts where the boat is anchored is also a “walkway.” Clearly, this is a very sure-footed community. While we will visit some of these homes, it will NOT be by these walkways. We are meeting a power boat near here, that is going to take us upriver for several days.

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

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Thursday, July 11, 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, July 11, 2019

University of Wisconsin: Artist In Residence, #37:
Wisconsin #37:  My day wandering about the landscape of the UW field station in Wisconsin’s Kettle Moraine, trying to broaden my NEA funded work as Artist-in-Residence, is finally winding down, as the sun lowers on the horizon. After a previous cold day and night, this day has been warm, beautiful, spring-like, and filled with the renewal of life. Without meaning to, in my return to the field station where I am being hosted by Marlin Johnson, I backtrack a good bit of the terrain that I photographed earlier in the day. The trail I follow brings me from the bird-filled lake, back to the edge of the stream, which will ultimately led me to the farmhouse. As I pass a point that was the first photograph of my morning out and about, it strikes me that something is different, besides the angle and direction of the light. At first I am not sure what that is, and then I realize it is right there before me in the tangle of red branches. They now have green leaves sprouting from them, that were NOT there this morning. The warmth of the day has set off a rush of growth in everything, and while I have been noting the green of rising grasses, the green has been popping up elsewhere as well. Here comes summer!

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, July 11, 2019

SUNDANCE: Artist In Residence, #52:
Sundance #52:  With the arrival of summer at Sundance, the view disappears as the green glow grows, and the days heat up. Many of the backroads that I drive upon to shoot, loose their vistas as the trees leaf out. It is probably a good thing there are leaves in the forest, though, because they provide some shade and relief from the blazing sunny days. Being beneath their canopy spares you from the direct sun, and it is also a great place to relax on a hot afternoon, while warm breezes cause the surrounding Aspens to shimmer. Because of the heat, I seem to be the least productive as a photographer in the summertimes of my residency, but I do spend more time around the Sundance Institute buildings interacting with the mentors and students. I am not here to teach a workshop, but it is inevitable that when the guests know who I am, they want to ask me for technical advice, and everyone enjoys the location so much, they ALL want to take pictures.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Wednesday, July 10, 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, July 10, 2019
“Clastic Refraction"
circa 1985-1995

Stoned Immaculate, #139:
Immaculate, #139:  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, July 10, 2019

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #152:
ARCTIC, #152:   “Itasca’s” arrival at Pond Inlet is well into the evening, and Bill Simon suggests we await going ashore until morning, instead having a good-bye dinner aboard with our pilot, who has until now, eaten with the staff. After a great meal, and a good deal of drinking, we all retire and sleep well. We have crossed through the Northwest Passage, the first yacht to accomplish that in a single season. From here on out, we will see huge icebergs from Greenland in the Atlantic, but there will be no surface ice, or blocking flows. Ultimately, our last port is Greenland, from where we will all fly home. In the morning, Bill is “eager to engage” with Pond Inlet, so an earlier-than-usual breakfast is had by all, and then we go ashore. The helicopter pilot has one last task - to ferry the MANY multi-gallon canisters for gas, off of our boat, and to the local airport. As much as we flew, we actually carried nearly twice as much gas as we used. That Bill, always on the safe side! Visiting villages usually involves walking around, and often meeting people that John Bockstoce knows. Our group does just that for most of the morning, while the pilot proceeds with the offload. We plan to connect with him at the airport before lunch. We do meet people in our socializing meander, and several times there are comments from the Natives, that we have succeeded in our crossing, because of climate change. They also say they see less ice in their bay, and most nearby glaciers have melted back from tideline. Upon return to the airport, Bill is considering re-selling the unused gas for the helicopter to the town, as their fuel prices are sky-high, when a curious thing happens - a cargo-like mail plane lands, and the two pilots come into the terminal building, where we are gathered. Bill and John both engage them immediately about what they do, where they fly, and where they are going. They respond that they are on a regular mail and supplies “loop” to numerous villages, much farther north. As we guests return to “Itasca” for lunch, I can clearly see that Bill’s “wheels” are turning.

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

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Tuesday, July 9, 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, July 9, 2019 

NO PEBBLE MINE #356, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #356:  My trip back down the Kanektok River in the power boat my two ADF&G “guides” operate is a long cruise through an ever-changing landscape. The mountains recede, as the plains and rolling hills continue to broaden around us. Heading west to the Pacific, the river grows in size, also. Weather has been pouring though all day. There has not been much rain, but the clouds have been dramatic. The timing of our return goes well, the sun is beginning to set as we near our cabin. With about 2-miles yet to navigate, something spectacular happens. The sky over our heads is dark and filled with clouds, but somewhere to the west, the setting sun has found clear sky as it nears the horizon, sending low, golden light streaming across the landscape. Even my colleagues are blown away, and they live on the river the entire summer, seeing a lot of nice evenings. Recognizing this might only last a few minutes, they quickly help me get ashore on the low bluff so I can set up my tripod/camera and have an overview of the river and plains. I make two exposures of this, and it then it is gone!

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, July 9, 2019

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #150:
THE TONGASS, #150:   The start of our trans-Admiralty Island canoe traverse begins with our “gear army” portaging the canoes to Lake Alexander for our first run. It gives us some sense of the trail which has been developed by the U.S. Forest Service, but the canoes are heavy, and awkward to manage, so there is little time on the first pass to take anything in, or to make pictures. We all do note that the forest is dense, and swampy in places. Although we do not see any bear, on this first roundtrip, we cross a boardwalk over blackwater that hosts massive skunk cabbage. There is no bear poop on the boardwalk. After dropping the canoes, on return, that same boardwalk features a giant fresh bear poop, and all the skunk cabbage has been torn up. Yup! They're here! On our second pass, we carry most of the remaining gear and/in our backpacks, as you can see in the last post. It is more convenient in this rig to bring out my cameras, and so I do. Like all the excellent guides that work(ed) for Alaska Discovery, Jeff Sloss is also a knowledgeable naturalist. He knows I have a mission to “understand” the Tongass rainforest, so he lingers with me along the trail, explaining various things unique to this rare ecosystem. Above is an excellent example - running a GREAT distance along the right half of this shot, is a HUGE, fallen, old growth tree. In this position it becomes a “nurse log,” a seed bed in which other trees can establish themselves. This massive nurse log has spawned three trees visible in this image, two of which are mature and large in their own right. This gigantic organism represents multiple generations, and hundreds of years of growth.

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

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