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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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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, February 14, 2019

SUNDANCE: Artist In Residence, #31:
Sundance #31:  In the previous post, you see a fog over the low valley of the Deer Creek Reservoir. It has been created because the air is SO cold, it literally freezes, and the crystals cause the haze. This condition occurs frequently, when it is cold AND CLEAR, and the temperature falls into the teens or below. It starts with a dawn like the one above over Sundance resort. The sky is “bluebird.” The temperature has been falling all night, and at the resort this morning, it is about 10˙. Cold air sinks, however, and Sundance sits in a high basin, beneath Mt. Timpanogos. Provo Canyon is well below us, and interestingly, it is MUCH colder down there. That is where the coldest air has settled. As I drive the relatively steep North Fork Road, slowly down into the Provo River canyon, the outside temperature plummets, and I enter a zone of haze-frost briefly. Then, I pass beneath it, into a VERY different world of predawn, super-cold (-8˙) blue shade. Where my road meets the canyon highway, I also come immediately to the banks of the Provo River, which the highway parallels. The presence of the river makes for a whole new environment, I need to immediately stop and consider.

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

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Wednesday, February 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, February 13, 2019
“Trinitite Half-life Glow"
circa 1985-1995

Stoned Immaculate, #118:
Immaculate, #118:  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 13, 2019

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #131:
ARCTIC, #131:   Our morning remained overcast by high clouds that still clung to the island summits, where there were also fresh deposits of snow from the night before. The wind blew in dramatic gusts, as you might have noticed the riffles on the water in the last two posts. It also made for an occasional breathtaking moment as it pushed the copter around, but my pilot has been flying in northern Canada and the Arctic most of his life, and he seems to have a good read on our daily conditions. When we left “Itasca,” we headed across open water toward Baffin Island. Since we have flown a number of beaches and shorelines, we decide to explore river valleys into the backcountry on this flight. Because of the low clouds, visibility of the summits is limited, but there is plenty of visibility to fly UNDER that ceiling, as we can see for miles. The pilot reasons that if we reach a point we can’t get through, we will just turn around and follow the same valley back out. Otherwise, he says, this will be like picking a path through a maze, and we need not worry about getting lost, because all rivers flow north will lead us back to Lancaster Sound.

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

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Tuesday, February 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, February 12, 2019 

NO PEBBLE MINE #335, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #335:  As the two Alaska Department of Fish & Game enforcement officers and I work our way up the Goodnews River, I go ashore and climb low hills in many places, in spite of the unsettling evidence of grizzlies on the first beach at which we stop. The river remains wide, and in many places there are sizable sandbars around which we carefully navigate. One of these, further upstream, hosts our camp. I am amazed at the number of float groups fishing the river, many of whom do not have necessary permits or fishing license. I find it depressing that there are SO many that want to cheat the system. They have come great distances to fish trophy-class waters, for which, apparently, they have little regard, and they refuse to acknowledge there must be management to prevent overfishing. Our most amazing encounter is a 60-ish, white male, who tells us he was born in state, lives part of the year farther north, and then during salmon season, he comes here to fish for his “winter supplies.” The ADF&G officers know him, so we stop to board the houseboat he has built for himself, which is presently anchored to trees on the riverbank. He has no license. He has no permits. He has an illegal fish wheel trap, which he denies using. He also has WAY MORE fish iced than seems even close to legal. YET, he yells at us, saying because he was born in state, none of the laws apply to him, because he had these rights before the laws existed. The officers have heard it before, and issue him several citations. He is one of our last encounters for the day, and about 1/2 hour further upriver, we come to a section with a massive sandbar in the middle that sports a shed, a cabin, a small dock, and a lot of “Alaskan gear.” We are home. As it is getting dark, my hosts start dinner, and I wander out on to the bar to watch the unfolding of the evening’s stunning sunset. We are looking downriver, and to the west. It HAS been a good day on the Goodnews, and now, real food not freeze-dried.

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 12, 2019

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #129:
THE TONGASS, #129:  During our leisurely paddle into the north arm of Rudyerd Bay, Philip Slagter and I see many spectacular waterfalls, and explore the vertical shore that is often deeply cleaved by flowing streams. Near the terminus of the arm, however, something MUCH larger than a cleft stream appears. This is an absolutely vertical canyon on both sides, with a true river of water flowing out of it. It is so narrow, I am sure sunlight rarely touches the forest floor, and since it has been raining on-and-off for several days, the walls glisten and stream with water, and the river is bordered by dense, verdant, and very entwined trees, snags, ferns, and Devil’s Club. It is quite dark, but strangely beautiful, and Philip and I realize we can paddle up it some distance, so we do. At first it just seems that we have found a kind of “lost world,” but as we progress, the river narrows even further, and the growth onshore, begins to overhang the river, making it ever darker. To this point, the river has been relatively deep, but just ahead of us, we can see it grows more shallow as the water passes over a sandbar. These kayaks we are using do not have rudders, and they are extremely light and buoyant, when they are not loaded with gear, so we could float over the bar easily. While considering whether to do so or not, something else occurs that gives us pause for thought,..2 large salmon splash up big riffles in the water, as they pass over the bar, swimming upstream to spawn.

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

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Monday, February 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!





Monday, February 11, 2019

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #77:
Wind River, #77:  Having reached the headwaters of Pole Creek, Vicki Golden and I, spend a good part of the day just enjoying the remarkable granite world in which we have immersed ourselves. After a late lunch at the last small lake in the basin, we begin a slow walk back to our camp at Wall Lake, and as we wander, I regularly take out the topo map, to see if there is anything we are missing. On the east side of the basin, and somewhat above us is another fairly large lake, but Vicki and I agree that we are too tired to climb again, so we pass on that exploration. Close to the actual shore of Wall, and nearly “home,” I notice a very ascendable series of garden terraces that climb up the west side, and when I locate that terrain on my topo map, it does not seem too steep, except where it nears the dome of the ridge, after that, it appears we would find ourselves in basin of small lakes, and within easy walking distance to Island Lake. The evening is upon us, however, so I will discuss my discovery over dinner in camp. While we dine, the setting sun lights up Knife Point Mountain, and we enjoy reflecting on the fact that several hours earlier, we had lunch at the foot of this “fortress” wall.

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 11, 2019

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #145: DFCFC, #145:  Our helicopter pilot, Danny Danielson, thinks the impending sub-zero cold a danger to our adventurous group, and that we should rethink our camping plans. However, he has worked with Gordon Williams, and myself several times, and he trusts our judgement, so we stay and he leaves - to be back in 4-days. Now, if we are to survive the night, we must do a good deal of work. This shot gives you a sense of our encampment. The overhanging cornice does not threaten us, as there is a significant valley and berm wall between us and it. The ridge of the berm wall (just uphill from our camp) has been blown bare of snow from high winds, and we are the beneficiaries of that, because that snow has formed a deep drift on this side of the wall. that has been there long enough to set up quite solidly. There is A LOT of snow depth accumulated there, and that is where we will start to dig our snow cave.

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

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