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Friday, April 20, 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, April 20, 2018

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #94:
Daze, #94:  The end of the 70’s is a VERY busy time for me, as you know if you follow this blog. The discovery and development of the Paul Outerbridge collection (posts #50 & #88), and the huge exhibit in cooperation with Security Pacific Bank (post #86), bring other opportunities and inspire curatorial projects of my own. I survive traveling around the world with Elisabeth Mann Borgese, researching and photographing aquaculture, and return to my studio in LA to do a massive edit of 2,200 images that need to go to Harry N. Abrams in New York. Galleries are selling my prints, keeping my master printer, Michael Wilder and me busy making them. I have also built a very nice B&W darkroom in my family home and have begun to print the images that will become the portfolio, “WINTERS: 1970-1980”. Occasionally, a distant winter trip gets planned to further those images, but much closer to home, I am spending time in “winter” by visiting my clients home in 3 Rivers and tour skiing amongst the groves and big trees of Sequoia National Park. Michael Wilder and I have become close friends, not only because we are working together, but he also enjoys the outdoors, backpacks, and cross-country skis. So, I bring Michael along on one of my visits to 3 Rivers because he is going to do a trans-Sierra, multi-day, winter camp and cross-country ski, and the planned route begins in Sequoia, which we intend to explore. I have not previously skied above the big tree groves, so when we reach this point, I am VERY impressed.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018 
@RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

SOCIAL MEDIA by @LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Thursday, April 19, 2018

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!




Thursday, April 19, 2018

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #34:
Wind River, #34:  The granite bench Belle and I occupy momentarily, is great relief from the tiny ledges and vertical exposure through which we have been climbing. It seems to extend a good distance, so we walk along it trying to take as much advantage as we can. I am intending to find my friends, Chris and Cathy, who stayed on the opposite shore to fish and sun, and I am hoping from their viewpoint, they might be able to guide my choice of terraces, and get Belle and me off of this vertical face. Our navigable ledge shortly brings us to this expansive view, and now we can see our destination, the end of the lake. Just ahead, on the opposite shore, I can also see the cove where I left my friends earlier in the day. Excited by the hope of communicating with them, Belle and I are about to continue our wall traverse, when a funny, little orange raft floats into view just below us. Chris is chasing trout! Perfect! Perhaps, now, we are saved. Ahoy, matey! Can you hear me?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
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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, April 19, 2018

Big Mountain and Glacier National Park - Expanding My Winter Consciousness, #38:
Big Mountain, #38:  After a brief respite and some snack-time, Bob and I watch the show unfolding ahead of us in the canyon. We agree that the road feels “safe,” so we strap back into our skis and resume our daytrip, pressing ahead,..after all, my original intention is to follow the road up the Going-To-The-Sun highway, and reach Logan Pass on the Continental Divide. That is still a good distance ahead. The wind-driven snow debris occasionally pelts us, but being in trees also protects us from more direct exposure, so we are not cold. We are just AMAZED! Sections of our ski afford few vistas because of trees, but then we come to an opening and this happens. As we progress, the summits begin to tower above us, and the verticality of this park begins to dawn on us. These mountains have taller, steeper faces than any other ranges into which I have adventured, and they seem increasingly threatening as the bottom of their obvious avalanche chutes, grow closer and closer to the road. Adding to the excitement of our day, the high wind is moving a lot of snow around at upper elevations and building up cornices. Eventually overweighted, these cornices break off, dropping onto slopes and into chutes, setting off thunderous avalanches that we can hear the rumbles of, echoing around in the narrow valley. We do not always see them, but we certainly know when they happen.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Remembering Barbara Bush


In 1987, Aperture published my book, 'The Tongass: Alaska’s Vanishing Rain Forest', which was intended to support the proposed Tongass Timber Reform Act. In the ensuing years, I spent much time in DC, exhibiting, lecturing, and lobbying on behalf of the bill’s passage. The most significant timber reform legislation in American history passed in 1990, and was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. He then invited me to the White House in 1991 to acknowledge my contributions to the effort. For the photo-op, I was ushered into a room to find both he and Barbara awaiting me. We “socialized” while the pictures were being taken, and even in such a brief period, I was struck by Barbara’s presence. The president and I exchanged formalities, and he made sure I knew he had seen the book and knew my story, as I would have expected on this occasion. Barbara, however, was like speaking with my mother, in spite of the fact I am sporting a mohawk, a long ponytail, and a diamond-stud earring, and I am sure she was glad I was not her son. Nonetheless, she wanted to know if I was married, had kids, took them with me, were my adventures scary, did I enjoy sleeping in tents - you know, mom stuff - not a word about the politics of the situation. I have never had anyone make me feel some comfortable, in an otherwise “stiff” situation, so thank you Barbara Bush for meeting with me that day as well, and may you rest in peace.

To further this story a bit, I brought along my newest Aperture book, Overlooked In America: The Success and Failure of Federal Land Management which I gave to the President during the photo-op. Given the title of the book, and the nature of my politics, the President smiled broadly for a picture holding the book, and then put it aside. After speaking with me for awhile, Barbara turned and picked it up, opening it and leafing through the pages, complimenting my pictures and asking about their locations. She was a skillful weaving of necessary Washington formality, and honest, human interest.

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, April 18, 2018

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias, #67:
The Yakutat Forelands, #67:  With the chocolate waterfall in sight, and everyone accounted for, we paddle through the maze of bergs to an ice-free shore on the left side of the falls. We are still 1/2-mile or more from the glacial face and waterfall, but any closer and we might get swept by a wave from the glacier calving. What we have found is a protected cove on the shoreline where we can secure the kayaks and begin to hike. Boats tied down, daypacks stuffed with water, clothes, and food, we are off to walk upon the surface of an emerging planet. Our hiking terrain was under glacial ice less than 10yrs. ago, and we are witness to its emergence. The ground is a mixture of rock, and compressed mud with rocks suspended in it. Growing things have JUST begun to establish themselves, and water is flowing EVERYWHERE! Most of it comes from melting ice above us, but the rain has begun to pick-up as well. We are now going to ascend a long series of conglomerate terraces and try to wend our way across them closer to the waterfall. As you may have noted, the chocolate waterfall is not the only one we can see. They are, quite literally, dozens of them in any direction we look.

photograph(s) © copyright, Robert Glenn Ketchum, 2018, @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, April 18, 2018


ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #88:
ARCTIC, #88:  When John and I spot the approaching boat with the 4 armed, men dressed in fur parkas, we move off the bridge to the side deck to observe them more closely. Bill Simon goes on the intercom to tell staff, and then joins us. The boat is much closer now, and running parallel to us. There are a number of dead seals hanging off the stern, bleeding out into the water. It is a Native hunting party. They are looking at us with as much curiosity as we are looking at them. John and I wave. They wave back. Then one yells, “Who are you, and where are you going?” We explain we are a research vessel from the US, and we are trying to be the first private vessel to cross through the Northwest Passage in a single season. There is a brief silence, and then the question comes back, “Why?” Perfect! Why, indeed! Especially on such a good day for a hunt. I do notice that while the conversation is being exchanged, two staff members, now also fully armed, have positioned themselves just out-of-sight, on either side of Bill Simon. Once everyone grows comfortable, however, Bill sends them away, and invites the Natives aboard. “Itasca” and all of its opulence and technology amazes them. They especially like the “little” helicopter. We have excessive stores of food on board, so when they depart, Bill offers them some frozen meats, and a huge rasher of bacon. A good day for a hunt, indeed! Before they leave, they tell us that the pack ahead is very bad and storms are coming, so perhaps we should return to Gjoa Haven to wait out the weather. They motor off, and we motor on. Bill is not going back! Near-shore we make decent headway, but when we anchor for the night, the northwest wind resumes, pushing ice into Larsen Sound and bringing predicted serious weather with it.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

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, April 17, 2018

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #86:
THE TONGASS, #86:  After our flyover of Goat Lake, we turn homeward toward Ketchikan and as we take in the last of the great evening light, I ask what our pilot thinks would be a good “first camp” for us. He suggests that he can bring us into Walker Cove, a fjord featuring a lake and cabin. The cabin is at the head of the fjord, where Walker Creek forms a small lake before flowing into the Pacific. The terrain around the cabin is flat and somewhat navigable. The lake supposedly has fish. The setting is dramatic, and there is also a boat available. Philip and I think that sounds like a good place to start, so as we get closer to touching down in Ketchikan, we make plans to fly again in the coming days, and to go camp at the cabin in Walker Cove.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @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



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, April 17, 2018 

NO PEBBLE MINE #292, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #292:  As our flight slowly descends to lower elevations in Wood-Tikchik State Park, the terrain beneath the wings continues to broaden. We have been following an obvious river valley, whose shoreline hosts visible shrubs and many large trees. Moose and others have spent a good bit of time here foraging because there are tracks in the snow everywhere. The valley we follow keeps widening, but at one point, we make a small turn and an expansive vista opens. I have become so used to the walls being close, the openness and the wider view take my breath away. We are not above a lake, but we have come to a large valley floor where several rivers coalesce, and my pilot-guide tells me this is a very popular basin for both fishing and hunting, and that we are not far from the lodge at this point. Once again, glad to be in his company, as I have NO IDEA where we are, and nothing looks “familiar."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
SOCIAL MEDIA by @LittleBearProd:  http://www.LittleBearProd.com

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Monday, April 16, 2018

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, April 16, 2018

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #102:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #102:  After we ascend the largest of the granite dikes, there is a short walk and rather suddenly, meadows and clusters of trees appear, framing a waterfall whose splashes I can hear echoing around in the rock walls. In a relatively few steps, a shoreline of little mossy islands and zen trees opens, and BEHOLD KANE LAKE! After many visits I have come to believe that what makes Kane special are the contrasts of the setting. The lush, often flowering meadows, the encroaching trees, and the shimmering lake are a wash of vibrant blues and greens that come to a truly abrupt end, at the foot of ragged granite headwalls and debris fields of boulder rubble. Towering above that are larger summits, and whatever snow pack feeds that waterfall. OR, are there other lakes above Kane? Look carefully. Above the waterfall, amongst the rocks. Is there something green there?
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
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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, April 16, 2018
“Thermohaline Circulation"
circa 1985-1995

Stoned Immaculate, #76:
Immaculate, #76:  from the portfolio, STONED IMMACULATE

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

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
SOCIAL MEDIA by @LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

H.R. 232, 115th Congress, 1st Session

"A CALL TO ACTION: 115th Congressional Assault on The Tongass National Forest", The Boat Company

A CALL TO ACTION: 115th Congressional Assault on The Tongass National Forest

Reprinted with permission from Hunter H. McIntosh, President, The Boat Company

We are living in a time of unprecedented attacks on both public lands and waters, and the agencies that protect them. Without action on the part of all Americans, Republican and Democrat, we stand to lose much of the conservation legacy that has been achieved over the 38 years since The Boat Company was created, not just in Southeast Alaska, but everywhere. And it is no coincidence that this legislation is all coming out rapid fire – the flood of new legislation, not seen in six years, is designed to make it more difficult to meaningfully respond to or organize around any one proposed law.

Monday, September 18, 2017

A Tale of Two Futures: Alaskan Wild Salmon vs. the Pebble Mine by Joel Reynolds, NRDC

A Tale of Two Futures: Alaskan Wild Salmon vs. the Pebble Mine

by Joel Reynolds, Western Director, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Reprinted with permission by the Author.
Originally published on Huffington Post.

For anyone still unclear about the irreconcilable disconnect between the rich heritage of Alaskans and the overriding financial self-interest of The Pebble Partnership, it was on stunning display in Bristol Bay’s wild salmon fishery this summer.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"A CALL TO ACTION: 115th Congressional Assault on The Tongass National Forest", The Boat Company

A CALL TO ACTION: 115th Congressional Assault on The Tongass National Forest

Reprinted with permission from Hunter H. McIntosh, President, The Boat Company

We are living in a time of unprecedented attacks on both public lands and waters, and the agencies that protect them. Without action on the part of all Americans, Republican and Democrat, we stand to lose much of the conservation legacy that has been achieved over the 38 years since The Boat Company was created, not just in Southeast Alaska, but everywhere. And it is no coincidence that this legislation is all coming out rapid fire – the flood of new legislation, not seen in six years, is designed to make it more difficult to meaningfully respond to or organize around any one proposed law.

Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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