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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

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, January 18, 2017

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias, #2:
The Yakutat Forelands, #2:  Yakutat is a small community of less than 700 people, but interestingly in the vast scale of Alaska, it is one of the largest counties in the US. The city sits at the mouth of Yakutat Bay, a relatively protected harbor, surrounded by Forelands and at the foot of the massive coastal range. At the deepest point of the bay, it connects to Russell Fjord and the Hubbard Glacier, America’s largest tidewater glacier. As the Forelands spread north of Yakutat, you truly enter a world of Alaskan superlatives: the first encounter is the spreading braids of the massive Alsek-Tatshenshini River flowing out of Canada to the Pacific; then comes the Malaspina, the largest piedmont glacier IN THE WORLD. Now in significant retreat, the Malaspina was 1,500-square-miles in size at one point, and THIS is an amazing thing to fly above; just past that (and visible here) is Icy Bay, another large bay like Yakutat, but created quite recently by epic glacial retreat (it is now 30-miles deep); and lastly, Icy Bay brings you directly to the foot of Mount St. Elias, at 18,008ft, the second tallest summit in North America, AND the greatest vertical rise from sea level in the world. The massif of St. Elias also defines the western boundary of Wrangell-St.Elias National Park and Preserve which includes the Malaspina and Hubbard glaciers. Wrangell-St. Elias is not only our largest national park, it is the largest designated wilderness as well. All of this is VERY accessible because, although small, the Yakutat airport is serviced by major daily flights, AND in keeping with the Alaskan “welcome,” as your plane begins to land, you will notice one of the large hangar roofs painted in bold letters: “FOOD, BOOZE, BEDS."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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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, January 18, 2017

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #23:
ARCTIC, #23:  Looking behind our boat in the direction of the continental shoreline, there was still little visibility because even though the arcus cloud had rolled past us, the weather above it was ongoing. The sky was slowly opening but squalls continued to blow by. As the storm progressed, it began to clear and some very confusing light displays occurred. At the horizon in this image, it may appear that there is a black line mirage, but the “black line” separation is being caused by a glow of reflection coming off the ocean surface, directly beneath an opening in the clouds that is letting sunlight through. These “golden spots” would open and close around us for many minutes as the storm continued to pass and lift off, and I DO mean lift off! As the last of these rain curtains passed, much like in a theater, the “curtain” went up. Behind it was a stunning reveal.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

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, January 17, 2017


THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #21:
THE TONGASS, #21:  About the time we were to return to the skiff that would ferry us back to “Observer,” it began to rain hard. Once again we had to wade relatively deep water to get to the boat and most of us got wet to some degree or another. The wind chill of the skiff added to our collective chilling, so I must say I was SO GRATEFUL to see the warmly lighted decks of our “home” awaiting our return. Hot showers, terrific food, and a warm, dry bed were guaranteed for a night out “not fit for man nor beast.” Clearly I was not yet ready to be camping in these conditions! Our plan was to remain at anchor in this protected cove for the rest of the night, and then we would depart early for a morning cruise to a spectacular fiord wilderness area just to our south called Tracy Arm. Although not part of my Tongass commission because Tracy Arm was already protected by Wilderness designation, this first encounter would leave an indelible impression on me of this remarkable place, and over 25yrs. I would return many times, once to due a 10-day kayak camping trip, the story of which you might enjoy as previously published in this blog.
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, January 17, 2017 


NO PEBBLE MINE #227, Pictures from Ground Zero:  NO PEBBLE MINE #227:Boy! That little sandy spit looks like a great place to camp for awhile. There is no stinking 18ft tide to worry about either - LOL! We have come to the end of one of the lake arms and we will now follow the valley and river (middle, upper half of pic) back into the range to explore a complex of rivers and lush elevated valleys and plateaus thriving at the foot of some very rugged peaks that still hold remnant glaciers and attract DEEP winter snows. As it is fall, the final fish runs have come in and bear, moose, wolves, caribou and many others are preparing for winter and are quite visibly out and about. Hunting is allowed in this park, but it tends to concentrate around the lakes that have cabins and a few select basins. Taking an animal is one thing, but getting it out may be a much more complicated deal if you are too far from your support base. This is big, WILD country!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Monday, January 16, 2017

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, January 16, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #37:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #37:  Another of the images that I printed and that sold well at the time, this reflection in Redfish Creek deals with the landscape as an abstraction, but as is apparent, it is not really dealing with the landscape of the Sawtooths in any descriptive way. There was some part of my own emerging vision that wanted to be able to see and understand the greater landscape, while still rendering it abstractly, a technique and way-of-seeing that I found in the best of Eliot Porter’s images, especially those from the New England woods and the slot canyons of Utah. I began to consider the words of my former instructor, Robert Heinecken, that I might want to use a larger camera to photograph the landscape, and indeed, Eliot shot with a 4x5 view camera. This kind of thinking would eventually have me commuting between Sun Valley and Santa Barbara so I could attend the Brooks Institute of Photography. For the moment, however, it was summer, it was hot, I had the weekend off from teaching the Photography Workshop program for the Sun Valley Creative Arts Center and my DFC&FC friends, Gordon Williams and Chris Puchner were going camping in the Sawtooths to climb the Finger-of-Fate. They thought I might come along and take some pictures. While I had been camping, I had not yet backpacked, so it was off to The Elephant’s Perch for some new gear.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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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!"



Monday, January 16, 2017


Stoned Immaculate, #11:
Immaculate, #11:  My elevated view point was a wildly striped pinnacle of reds and yellows, and most of the landscape seemed dominated by those colors until I began to dial in the subtleties around me. The ledges I had ascended had deep slot washes on two sides, and one was so narrow it had already passed into shade. Here the glare off of the brilliant sandstone surrounding me abates and in the flat even light of the wash, a whole new assortment of colors becomes visible. The more I study the amazing strew of boulders, the more I begin to realize the blue and purple shades are all around me, but in the sunlight they are “overwhelmed” by the warmer tones. As a young photographer, I did not know it at the time but this place in the desert, and my recent attention to the work of Eliot Porter with whom I had begun communicating, would teach me to see and understand color in a unique way that would come to define my career 45yrs. later. Another thing I began to realize was that not only were the swirls and bands of color disorienting, but combined with the verticality and unusual ledge formations, having any sense of visual space was easily confused. In some of these shots I have had to look at the lettering in the film-edge to determine up, down, or sideways.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, January 13, 2017

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, January 13, 2017


My Life in the Garden of Eden, #28:
Garden, #28:  My last post was a view from my balcony looking down on the new garden I am creating. Besides “chipping-out” the water-guzzling lawn, I said that I was creating “watering islands” so I could better use the water and still have an attractive garden. This is a view of the first island I have finished. It is an elongated ellipse that is covered by two sprinklers. There is almost no watering that falls on the chip. It is all concentrated “within” the island. The island is VERY diverse and includes a banana tree, numerous pots, and ground plantings as well. There a variety of succulents (purple, lower left) that give me year-around color; there are dudleya; sedum (blue, bottom middle); two variations of blue ice plant (in background); and roses. There is also one of the “gigantea” gene schwarzkopfs ( schwarzkopf succulent ), that will grow almost tree-like as it ages.
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, January 13, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #28:
Daze, #28:  In the previous post you saw the outside jacket covers for the 1971 UCLA Yearbook. That jacket housed two volumes of pictures and notes. The front and back cover of the first book is above, the second, below. The intent of these six images reflected the yearbook’s symbolic design. As I mentioned, from 1966 to this point there was increasing political turbulence in American life, and the sometimes very confrontational streets of LA made the quietude of the UCLA campus seem like another world. The outer jacket is intended to reflect the future LA - lots of tall buildings and a complex supporting infrastructure. Interestingly at the time, I used the then-under-construction, Century City as my “location.” Since those were the first tall buildings on the westside of LA, the skyscraper-concrete environment felt like “Bladerunner” to me. By contrast, the campus had open skies, lots of trees, flowing water, and in the midst of the “real” world, seemed rather dreamlike. When I consider this design now, I am struck by elements that continued to reappear in my work throughout my career: the black background to offset bright color; layers of bright color, sometimes using them to distort spacial relations; and, the circular motif.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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