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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

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, August 21, 2018 

NO PEBBLE MINE #310, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #310:  Nearly to the top of the Wood Mountains and out of Wood-Tikchik State Park, into Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, the terrain beneath the wing is in transition. The green thrash and tundra openings are giving way to rock and boulder scree. Caribou can be seen quite often, and bear are wandering high meadows, gorging on berries and carrion from winter-kill. This is a remarkable flight on a good weather day, but on a bad day it can be very unsettling. Winds in these high valleys come abruptly from differing directions, and when I was flying in the small SuperCub back in the park (posts #279-299), those gusts really surprised us and pushed us around. The last post offered some scale by pointing out a herd of caribou on a snowfield, so try this - do you see the waterfall in the lower third of this frame? How big is that?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @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, August 21, 2018

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #104:
THE TONGASS, #104:  Philip and I have taken the available boat at Walker Lake for a little row-about. For awhile we just drift and look at the steep walls and waterfalls that surround us (last post). Eventually we decide to explore, hoping to find rock that can be scaled, allowing us to gain elevation. It is a big lake, so there is much to see, but after several approaches, there seems to be two consistent results - this is one of them. Besides the fact the forest is swarming with bugs, it is pretty impenetrable as well, and we are sure there are bear watching us at all times, hoping we come ashore so THEY can have dinner. There is no way either of us is going to go thrashing around in this. Much of the shore is defined by where this “green wall" meets the waterline. We find an occasional moss meadow, but they too terminate rather quickly as they approach the forest cover. There are, however, several “break-throughs,” where if we tried, we might actually reach rock. That presents problem number two...
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Monday, August 20, 2018

TERRA FIRMA Exhibit at the Manhattan Beach Art Center featuring Robert Glenn Ketchum


When at UCLA, Ketchum studied with two very non-traditional photography practitioners, Edmund Teske and Robert Heinecken. Ketchum was especially influenced by Heinecken's use of many different materials in presenting his photographic imagery, some of which involved cloth and fabric. Working with UCLA, in 1985, Ketchum became the first American artist to enter their China exchange program. This began a 30-year collaboration with a nationally prestigious Chinese embroidery guild, to translate his photographs of the natural world into embroideries and loom weavings, of which two of the most recent are displayed here.


Graceful Branch Movement_ 2010
Graceful Branch Movement, 2010

One of the largest 2-sided embroidery panels ever created, featuring the untraditional use of two stitches that were never previously combined. The detailed leaves are done in the most laborious "Suzhou fine style," and all the other background work is done in the "random" stitch. There more than 40 dye colors used, and the work took several embroiderers 3-years.

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, August 20, 2018

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #52:
Wind River, #52:  As Belle Star (my black lab) and I navigate across Pole Creek and around the west shore of upper Cook Lake, the weather not only completely dissipates, but the humidity breaks and it becomes more comfortably arid. Even though we are off-trail, we are traversing relatively flat terrain without too much scrambling around. The calm, glassy lake and granite rock gardens are radiant in the late light, and Belle and I find a number of nice spots, but for some reason I keep pressing on. Eventually we come to a dome we must climb, as it drops sheer to the lake. It is not very high and quite easy to surmount, but I had no way to realize what we would find at the top. The dome is broad, supporting a few trees, and there is a well established campsite with a fire-circle that faces a SPECTACULAR view. There is no one there, so dog and I are home for the night.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @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, August 20, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #120:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #120:  Having had our two-post tech talk (last posts), it is now time to put that gear into another field adventure with my DFC&FC associates. Several times we have discussed skiing into the historic, high-altitude, mining town in the Pioneer Mountains, called Boulder Basin. I have never seen the basin, but my DFC&FC colleagues, Gordon Williams and Mark Sheehan have visited in the summer, and they think with the right conditions, we could winter camp comfortably, get in a good deal of free-skiing, and the snow-covered basin would be spectacular for my picture-making purposes. POWDER magazine agrees, which is our excuse to proceed, and thus we are off! The crew for this winter sojourn consists of Gordon, Mark, Mark’s wife at-the-time, Gail, my friend and fellow artist, Jon Davis, and my partner at the time, Vicki Golden. The weather window we choose is in early spring, and weather is coming in as we head north on US Highway #75 from Ketchum to the foot of the Boulders. From the plowed pull-out area where we are allowed to leave cars overnight, the view above is where we are headed - up through rolling foothills, into a brief stretch of forest, then a long stretch of an ever-narrowing canyon, that final opens into an alpine basin surrounded by summits. Let’s do this!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, August 17, 2018

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, August 17, 2018

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #111:
Daze, #111:  To organize a retrospective body of the work of James Van Der Zee, I first must be sure the prints are available, and in good condition, so my new colleague, Robert Dockery (far right), arranges for me to meet James and his wife, the next time I travel to New York. It is a great meeting. James is quite amazing, very conversational, AND he has a large collection of well-kept vintage prints. There are spectacular images of life in Harlem that I have never seen in any publication. There is also a huge collection of small prints, that are exclusively of people in their caskets, apparently a black family tradition. When I see these, I know immediately that this could be a remarkable, and very different exhibit. In LA, I work with Dockery to find funding from major black LA institutions and businesses, and bring in the Bank Of Finance and Pro-Line Corporation as sponsors. Needing a stylish venue, in or near downtown, I approach Josine Ianco-Starrels at the Barnsdall Municipal Art Gallery, because I also want the city to get involved, and she and I/LACPS have worked successfully together before. Josine immediately gets what I am putting together, and signs on, offering me the largest galleries for his “regular” printwork, but then offering to create a small gallery, like a private viewing space, where we would put the casket portraiture. The Oakland Museum of California also learns of the show LACPS is creating, and they would like to exhibit it at their museum, as well. Josine does an amazing job on the installation, including the HUGE mural of Van Der Zee in a stylish brim, in front of which we are all standing. Van Der Zee flies out for the opening, and Josine arranges for the final polish on his plate, a fantastic sit down dinner, served in the long-closed-to-the-public, Hollyhock House, adjacent the gallery. The exhibit brakes attendance records at both institutions. (FYI, I am standing next to Van Dr Zee’s wife.)
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018 
@RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

SOCIAL MEDIA by @LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Weekly Post, FISHFARMS: Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977 by Robert Glenn Ketchum

FISHFARMS:  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, August 17, 2018

FISHFARMS: Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977, #17:
Fish Farms #17:  The lawn in front of our Mumbai hotel hosts 3 elephants and a camel, so many people come to play, picnic, and watch them. This is perfect for me to practice taking pictures of people, which I have always been uncomfortable doing. I see my self as a landscape photographer in the tradition of Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter, and I seldom think much about motion and film speed. Now, those elements are paramount, and I do not have the luxury of taking my time, or setting up a tripod. At the beginning of this project, I explained this to everyone involved, and I was assured that they did not need “people” pictures. The editors felt they already had those images, sent from contributing scientists. I was expected to take pictures of the “landscape” of aquaculture. After several days in Russia, however, I was pretty sure my pictures were going to involve people, so now that I am in India and surrounded by them, I keep saying to myself, “what would Salgado do?,” and I shoot what sits before me on the lawn. Elisabeth joins me after a short while, and takes in the view as well, but eventually suggests we should get breakfast, and then go explore. Her associates will take us to dinner this evening and explain our tour plans.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Thursday, August 16, 2018

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!"





Monday, August 16, 2018
“Coeffusive Extrusions"
circa 1985-1995

Stoned Immaculate, #92:
Immaculate, #92:  from the portfolio, STONED IMMACULATE

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
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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, August 16, 2018

SUNDANCE: Artist In Residence, #5:
Sundance #5:  At the time of my Artist-In-Residence at Robert Redford’s Sundance, the “resort” and cottages are new, but the ski area has long been a favorite of locals, and the college students from BYU in nearby, Provo. There are an increasing number of services at the base of the ski mountain, but there is only one small hut at the top of the lift, and nothing in between. The hut is like a clubhouse on a good ski day. It is small, so it fills quickly, and the demand for food is greater than the kitchen can supply, so if the weather is nice, they take food outside and grill. Everybody, suns, drinks, and parties. Over the several years of my visits, I will enjoy the summit hut in several ways. I will camp in it overnight for a spectacular dusk-to-dawn shoot. I will also arrive at the hut early one morning after a DEEP POWDER storm, to find the bar scene from Star Wars, waiting for the ski patrol to open the slopes so they could all jump into the bottomless white. Some skiers actually had snorkels!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

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, August 15, 2018


ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #105:
ARCTIC, #105:  Flying to the edge of the merging, re-freezing icefloes, we can see open water IN the Sir John Ross straight, the issue is how to get to it. Indeed, “Itasca” is NOT an ice-breaker. The weather that brought all of this ice, came from the north and west, blowing the ice to the south and east. As our helicopter flight heads back to the boat, south and east is to the left in the image above, north and west is to the right. In front of us, the sky appears to be clearing! I can see blue for the first time in days. Most amazingly, I can see blue WATER, on the horizon at the far right side of this frame. The storm has pushed all of this ice PAST us and is now driving it south, and a more open water is following behind. This could be VERY important to our progress, so we head in that direction to check it out. En route, we see the SJF has sent up their copter to investigate as well.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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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, August 15, 2018

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias, #84:
The Yakutat Forelands, #84:  As soon as the katabatic wind starts, I know our pleasant paddle has become dangerous. Amy and I are in the midst of a lot of ice, and some of it large, dangerous pieces. The ice is now being slammed together and driven by a rising gale-force wind, strong enough that if we turn sideways, it will roll the kayak, so we must paddle directly into the blow, while trying to navigate safely around bergs that are picking up speed as they move. We both know we HAVE to get out of the surrounding ice as quickly as possible, so we bear down and paddle HARD. As the wind continues to rise, it becomes impossible to stop paddling, because if either of us do, are blown backwards, loosing ground. I have spent a lot of time wilding in Alaska, and Amy runs marathons, so fortunately, we are both fit enough to manage the task at hand. The wind hammering us, makes forward progress achingly slow, but we do finally reach the far edge of the icepack, and break out into more open water, that we can see extends all the way to our destination beach. There is little time to relax, though, because the wind force still seems to be growing. The endless rowing gives us lactic acid cramping, and it is unrelentlngly exhausting. The fear of being damaged by ice has abated somewhat, but now that there is less of it around us, the howling wind has created fetch waves that are coming offshore and right at us. About every other stroke, Amy and I duck our heads forward as the next small wave washes completely over us. At one point, she asks me if we are going to die. We are strong, we do the right things, and we don’t die, but when we finally reach the beach, Amy crawls out of the kayak, lays down on the muddy beach, and passes out cold from exhaustion. The terrace above the waterfall is our new home.

photograph(s) © copyright, Robert Glenn Ketchum, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum, @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Weekly Post: Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - 
Expanding My Winter Consciousness
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

In the early '70’s, I was doing a lot of winter adventuring with my friends in the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club, and a client invited me to take pictures at Big Mountain, a ski resort in Montana. Glacier National Park was not far away, so I thought that might be an interesting place to explore in the winter, as well. These two locations added important work to my exhibits and portfolios, and definitely expanded/sobered my winter consciousness.




Thursday, July 12, 2018

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness, #50:
Big Mountain, #50:  Bob Tchirkow and I finally arrive at Avalanche Lake which is frozen over, and we are certainly in a BASIN. Except for the direction from which we have come, the sheer walls rise straight up all around us, and disappear into the snowfall that is not only heavy, but the flakes have become gigantic as well. The open expanse of the lake runs right up to the walls, and there is no gorge now between us and an avalanche. Still boggled by the one we witnessed as we came in, neither he nor I want to get any nearer to the walls than where we already are. We choose a huge tree on our side that has a wind hollow beneath it, and we crawl in there, out of the weather, to drink, snack, and occasionally poke my camera out and take a shot. The above image, “Avalanche Lake Basin (Headwalls in a Blizzard)” becomes another from this trip to be included in my future portfolio, “Winters: 1970-1980,” and a larger print of this will also be included in “Silver See,” a portfolio, published by the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies. Once again, unfortunately, Bob and I misjudge the short winter day. Our journey back down the trail is more dangerous than we expect. Going downslope with so many trees is pretty ragged, there is a lot of falling,..and then it starts to get dark. When we fall in the heavy, wet snow, it clings, making our clothes wet as well,..and we are tiring. Then, rather abruptly in the growing darkness, the roar of the creek is close once again, and the bridge appears before us. We are back! Crossing the bridge to head for camp, we encounter a BIG, shaggy, snow-covered mountain goat, that just stands and stares at us, then disappears into the trees. I am sure we surprised him. Camp is a mess, as the heavy snow has squashed the tent and covered equipment. One of our two stoves will no longer light, and almost everything is wet. We survive the night, ski out in the early morning hours, and have a GREAT breakfast in a cafe. One feature story in POWDER magazine, and three new images for my portfolio are part of my expanding winter consciousness, and I hope you have enjoyed these “visits” to Montana that helped to shape my career.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
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Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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