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Friday, September 30, 2016

Weekly Post: My Life in the Garden of Eden by Robert Glenn Ketchum

My Life in the Garden of Eden
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

As part of paying the bills in my professional career, I photographed a number of significant gardens. I helped create several pretty amazing ones as well. Some of these pictures have been published in various books, but most have never been seen. In this blog, I will show you all my best garden images AND discuss garden design.







Friday, September 30, 2016


My Life in the Garden of Eden, #13:
Garden of Eden, #13:  In the "drier" garden I am trying to build at my current home, I am creating "islands" - clusters of plants AND potted plants that can all be watered at once, in a focused way, with no indiscriminate watering of the path. You will see images of that as it evolves. In the meantime, I return to a private garden in Florida that serves as part of my inspiration for the islands concept. This is an EXTRAVAGANT and VERY large garden with wonderful whimsical elements. The island here is surrounded by a circular path, and features bromeliads, a huge pot of tropical varietals, and a white ceramic hand. Color is elegantly thought out in these plantings and placements with the ochre walls of the structure, and the red leaves popping bright accents into an otherwise "green" garden. A final touch, the brilliantly glazed blue pot is just for design and has nothing in it.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Weekly Post: 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, September 30, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #13:
The Daze of My Life, #13:   Just before my 18th birthday, a handout flier circulating on The Strip warned that the sheriff's department was going to enforce a 10pm curfew to cut down on the number of young people hanging out late, and it suggested rallying to protest at the intersection of Sunset Blvd. and Crescent Heights Blvd., exactly the location of Pandora's Box. I knew the crowd would be a mix of everyone, hippies, bikers, and Hollywood stars, and I thought it would be great to be part of it, so I found myself with a few friends, standing by an open window at "the box" watching, and taking in what was an increasingly wild and unruly scene. Police say there were over 1,000 people and among them Jack Nicholoson, Peter Fonda, Frank Zappa, and Sonny and Cher - but their were MANY more rock stars that wandered through the crowd. I caught an occasional glimpse of one or another of them, but more importantly, I saw the beer bottle that arced out of the yard at Pandora's Box and broke the window on a passing car as police began to enforce curfew laws. Then all hell broke loose in an event now known as The Sunset Strip Riots. One of my favorite songs (and bands) of this era by the Buffalo Springfield, entitled, "For What It's Worth" is about the several days of riots that followed. I slipped away that night, but got arrested several nights later. Even after I turned 18, I felt vulnerable out on the street, but I wanted to remain part of the amazing energy and music that was blossoming everywhere, so I decided to try and get work in a club. Above is "Self Portrait in a Rainbow Shirt/Self Portrait as Jimi Hendrix" clearly suggestive of the changes in me during the fall of 1966.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Weekly Post: SUZHOU, 1985-to the present by RobertGlennKetchum

Welcome to Suzhou, 1985 - to the present by Robert Glenn Ketchum

During the reign of Mao (1949-1976), China was a closed country. China in the 1980’s was 80% rural, with no outside visitors, particularly from the West. When China opened to travelers, the Chinese government placed severe limitations on who was allowed to enter the country. These photographs are a continuation of other ongoing blog threads of the first glimpses into China in the mid-1980’s by world-renowned Conservation Photographer 
Robert Glenn Ketchum.


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Welcome to Suzhou, 1985 - to the present, #137
Suzhou #137:  Of course, a humble administrator might likely be accompanied by a wife, and as you can see, she was equally humble - a very discreet pair at any party I am sure! Much of this garment is, or has embroidery. The hat is trippy to say the least. And there is nothing like that Chinese "red" to set off all the other flashy colors. What I realize now is that I should have asked about the beads strung together to hold the tassels - are they PEARLS?????? What???? They did not have plastic, and the beads seem irregular in shape and size. If they were glass, I would expect more consistency, and NOT such a lustrous color. If they are pearls, holy cow, this is some serious friggin' riggin' to show wealth and power.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Suzhou

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
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Weekly Post: SILK ROAD - Embroideries of Robert Glenn Ketchum

Silk Road - Embroideries of Robert Glenn Ketchum


The city of Suzhou, China, produced China's most beautiful silk and silk embroidery practiced by generational families for 3,000 years. My purpose in going to China starting in the mid-1980's was to turn my photographs into textiles, and this is my story. ~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Thursday, September 29, 2016


Silk Road - Embroideries #193
SILK ROAD #193:  In the course of our many years of working together, Zhang had come to understand that rendering the foreground element with great detail and careful attention to "photographic" accuracy established a very 3-dimensional relationship to the background. In some cases like "Sumac Along the Chattahoochee" (posts #33-40), the detailed foreground was offset by a "loosely" stitched background, suggesting the camera's in-and-out-of-focus. We also used a variation of this technique in "Pale Leaves and Blue Fog" (posts #77-82), wherein we further heightened the dimensional effect by NOT embroidering the majority of the background matrix. Even so, the leaves in both embroideries were stylized and a familiar subject to the Chinese. A proving moment for Zhang was "Rock in Lake with Fog" (posts #99-102) because I insisted they honor the photographic accuracy of the rock and NOT just render in the "Taihu" stylized way. Zhang understood how different and dimensional the embroidery was because of the "reality" of the rock, and in the trunks of this new embroidery, she saw a way to use a similar treatment for a new effect. The foreground trunks with their lichen colonies are VERY textural (the rock also had lichen and moss, post #102) and she wanted elaborate layers to be built up EXACTLY as described in the photographic image. This detail shows the consistent-length, linear stitching that describes the tree, offset by numerous looping and bundling stitches used to render the lichen. Look carefully also at the ASTOUNDING intermixing of dyed threads in BOTH surfaces.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Embroidery @WesCFA @RSSDesigns
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Weekly Post:, ARCTIC: At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change

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, September 28, 2016


ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #7:
ARCTIC:   At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #7:  When Bill Simon decided to create "Itasca," he purchased a super-tanker tug and remodeled it. He was attracted to the durable construction and motor power, but because he was going to take this boat to both the Arctic and the Antarctic, what he liked most about it was that it had TWO systems for everything. If something broke down, they could remain operational. Further, in planning this attempt to cross through the Northwest Passage, he invited his architect for the boat to come on the trip, AND he also hired two of the craftsman that built it as part of his crew. He could have hardly known how quickly his decision to do so would prove a wise choice. In the quieter waters of bay around Teller, and with the storm backing off a bit, we assessed our damage while waiting for Bill, his other guests, our supplies, and the attendant truck convoy to arrive. Two big windows had been damaged, several doors were torn off hinges, and a number of wooden cabinets had been smashed or ripped off walls. Everything was superficial AND BEST OF ALL, OUR STAFF WOULD REPAIR EVERYTHING waiting for Bill come, and the weather to clear.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

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, September 27, 2016


THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #5:
THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #5:  So now you have seen the maps and heard my verbal description of the Tongass, but what does that look like on the ground. This is Lisianski Inlet on Chichagof Island, a location you might call "typical." Very likely a fjord now underwater, the inlet is deep and narrow with considerable summits rising on all sides. The forest is uncut old growth that for the most part comes right down to the water's edge. Because of a HUGE tidal flux of +/-15ft a day, there is a rugged, slippery tidal beach of rocks covered with kelp, and there are big meadows of grasses where rivers feed into the inlet. At high tide, the water may come to the treeline. At low tide in a river mouth, you may suddenly have hundreds of yards of rock and mud to cross before reaching the retreated waterline. Here you see kelp exposed in a grass marsh/meadow during a dropping tide. An area like this is a BIG favorite with bears who will scavenge delectables the tide has exposed.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Weekly Post: NO PEBBLE MINE: Pictures from Ground Zero by Robert Glenn Ketchum

NO PEBBLE MINE Pictures from Ground Zero 
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Thank you to the EPA for recognizing the value of the Bristol Bay fishery. 
NOW, what can we do to protect this habitat further? 
Mission: To protect the national parks and national refuges of southwest Alaska, 
and the Bristol Bay fishery from the development of the Pebble mine, and other commercial risks.






Tuesday, September 27, 2016 

NO PEBBLE MINE #211, Pictures from Ground Zero:  NO PEBBLE MINE #211 Pictures from Ground Zero:  Such dense vegetation may be tough to travel through, but it is an incredible water trap. Look how this valley and foothills are literally swallowed by growth. There are dozens of rivers and streams here and you can hardly see one of them. Careful study, however, reveals the magic of this fish-rich watershed. Not only does the "bush" trap water from passing weather, it filters it, and channels it downward into innumerable small drainages - I count at least 22 here. In turn, their waters merge in the valley to form a stream that will soon connect again further down, creating a river. Water, water, everywhere! Unpolluted and teeming with life. More living things are sustained on land as well, BUT if you disrupt THE HABITAT which clearly includes clean air and water quality, you change everything over time and it will all go away. SAY NO TO THE PEBBLE MINE!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
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Monday, September 26, 2016

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.




Monday, September 26, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #21:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #21:   While I was improving both my camera and my cross-country skiing skills, many of my non-skiing forays involved Highway #75 north to Galena summit. The drive took you to almost 9,000ft and offered stunning views of the the Boulders, the Sawtooths, and the breathtaking Salmon River valley headwaters. With a lot of snow on the road, the white Corvair (seen on the left, here) was the vehicle of choice, and the days of choice for such adventures, were usually when the weather was so bad, no one wanted to ski. As the gods would have it, these drives actually proved very enlightening, and shaped my emerging ideas about the photographic image. At the moment of this picture, there is a big storm coming in and we are getting ready to head for Galena. My friend and UCLA classmate is apparently trying to warm his hands. Note the stylish wardrobe: "rough-out" leather pants and a 3/4 length, faux-fur, hooded jacket. You are looking good TW, but don't light that jacket up!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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