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Thursday, January 29, 2015

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, January 29, 2015
Welcome to Suzhou, 1985 - to the present, #50
Suzhou #50:   The accelerating pace of #redevelopment rippled across #Suzhou. Blocks were being transformed; not just one house at a time. Massive amounts of construction / destruction were ongoing. To do this took lots of material, and also required a lot of rubble be removed, so the streets and #canals were busier than I had ever seen them. Riding my bike was becoming more risky, as traffic was increasing, and much of it was large trucks. However I still found refuge from the chaos off the streets, and in the back canals, where I often would just sit and watch all the activity float by.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Suzhou

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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, January 29, 2015
Silk Road - Embroideries #106
SILK ROAD #106:   Another #focus of the #embroiderers' attention was rendering the prominent #tree trunk “from nature”, as opposed to just using random #stitches to “fill-it-in.” Zhang had seen the result of “working from nature” on our previous #embroidery (see posts #99-102), “Rock in Lake with Fog”.  She agreed with me that doing so created a truer #photographic #realism, AND it increased a dimensional #illusion. In this #detail you can see the careful rendering of the tree trunk. As with the branches and pine needles, there is quite an array of #thread colors being used to make all of this 'work'.  These varied colors help create the effect of 'deep-space' in the folds of the tree trunk, and in the #background of overlapping branches, most notable to the right of the trunk.  Here, layers and layers of branches recede to dark #shadows, and a believable infinity point. This realistic effect is accomplished, in part, with arduous #stitching, combined with a stunning application of thread color.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Embroidery @WesCFA @RSSDesigns

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Weekly Post: TATSHESHINI: Saving a River Wild

TATSHENSHINI:  Saving a River Wild by Robert Glenn Ketchum

In 1990, I was invited on a 10-day float down the Tatshenshini, a huge river system flowing from Western Canada to the Pacific Ocean that literally divides two of North America's largest national parks, Canada's Kluane National Park and Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park. A gold mine was being proposed mid-river. I broke the story in LIFE magazine. There were many other articles and a book. The mine was never developed and the river is now a wilderness corridor. This is a conservation SUCCESS story!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

TATSHENSHINI:  Saving a River Wild, #34
TATSHENSHINI:  Saving a River Wild, #34:   Our trip was nearly over, and looking down-valley we felt we could “see-the-future.” Tomorrow the #river would bend to the left and carry us directly in front of the coastal #range. The #GulfofAlaska and the #Pacific were just on the other side of the background #summits, and at this moment you can see the first signs of incoming #weather / #fog collecting around the peaks. Our encampment was on the right side of this picture, presently out-of-site from our rocky lunch mound.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Tatshenshini @glacierbaynps @Life @Wilderness #WeAreTheWild @nature_AK

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Weekly Post: NO PEBBLE MINE: Pictures from Ground Zero by RobertGlennKetchum

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.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 

NO PEBBLE MINE #124, Pictures from Ground Zero:
NO PEBBLE MINE #124, Pictures from Ground Zero:   Not all cinder scree is in the #foothills, or is just #foothill size. Here is a side #canyon with a large #river wending its way back into the ranges. Clearly these are well vegetated #mountains. If you look closely at the slope, there are patches of black #volcanic cinder rubble showing through. As you have seen, this is a park with a considerable range of micro-climates. So, now that you have some sense of this park from the air, next week we will come down to ground-level and see what all of this looks like up-close-and-personal!.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

National Wilderness Conference

The other recent event celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Wilderness Act I participated in was National Wilderness Conference in Albuquerque, NM. Organized by all of the collective federal agencies that manage wilderness lands, this was a multi-day event featuring numerous presentations and distinguished speakers such as Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, author Terry Tempest Williams, and Senator Tom Udall. I was asked to be an "inspirational" closing keynote speaker, along with my old friend, Dave Foreman, author of Ecodefense: A Field Guide to Monkeywrenching, and co-founder of Earth First!, the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance and  most recently, the Rewilding Institute

Dave Foreman, EcoWarrior, and Robert Glenn Ketchum, Conservation Photographer
Dave Foreman, Environmentalist, and Robert Glenn Ketchum, Conservation Photographer, 2014

Weekly Post: TRACY ARM WILDERNESS - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time by Robert Glenn Ketchum

TRACY ARM WILDERNESS - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time by Robert Glenn Ketchum

To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act (#Wilderness), this new blog focuses on a wilderness area in the #Tongass rainforest of southeast Alaska. This is the tale of a 10-day kayak trip - a testament to WHY wilderness is important, by world-renowned Conservation Photographer Robert Glenn Ketchum.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #23
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #23:  Paddling for most of the day is a meditative thing; you become aware of every nuance to your seated position and your stroke. You also become VERY aware of the world around you that you are passing through; a truly heightened state of perception. As I floated amidst this #landscape, I realized my allusion to #Chinese scroll #paintings left me with a sense of paddling back in time. However WILDERNESS was speaking to me at some other level, and I also sensed we were paddling, NOT up the fjord, BUT into a crack in the world where we might see, or sense, the inner-workings of this #planet.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

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Monday, January 26, 2015

50th Anniversary of The Wilderness Act

As I mentioned previously, 2014-2015 is the 50th Anniversary of The Wilderness Act. There were many celebrations of this, and I took part in two of them which have some interesting links I have provided here for you to enjoy. 

The Crary Gallery in Philadelphia is in Warren County, near to Tionesta township and the Allegheny River. Tionesta was the home of Howard Zahniser who wrote the original Wilderness Act, so the Crary Gallery honored him by having a large exhibit of photographers whose work would show the breadth of wilderness in North America. Among them, I am the only photographer whose work has ever actually helped to create wilderness, so the curator honored the special nature of those images and included brief text / stories with the display. 

If you would like to see the actual gallery and installation, here is a short YouTube video:
Wilderness at 50 - invited photographers
Wilderness at 50 - invited photographers

There was also a very nice print catalog produced for the exhibit: 

The essays are short yet very informative and worth a read. You will learn something about the amazing American wilderness system and enjoy great pictures as well!

And lastly, here are the images I was proud to display as wilderness to which I feel a special connection:

Tracy Arm, TRACY ARM-FORDS TERROR WILDERNESS, Tongass National Forest, AK

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015 @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 
During the 1980's, considerable momentum developed within the environmental community to protect the largest of all national forests, the Tongass rainforest in southeast Alaska. A unique old-growth, temperate rainforest covering over 1,000 islands and a coastal fjordland, the Tongass was being clearcut, an industrial logging technique that was disrupting substantial habitat. Beginning in 1985, Ketchum spent 2-years in Southeast, photographing and doing research that was then published as the Aperture book, The Tongass: Alaska's Vanishing Rain Forest.  Ketchum had the book delivered to all of Congress, exhibiting prints at the National Museum of Natural History and in the Senate Rotunda. In 1990, President George Bush, Sr. signed the Tongass Timber Reform Bill into law. Not only was it the most comprehensive timber reform bill in American history, it created 11 new wilderness areas and protected over one million acres of pristine forest habitat. In acknowledgment of the contributions of his work, Ketchum was invited to the White House to meet President Bush and also given the United Nations Outstanding Environmental Achievement Award by the King of Sweden. 


photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015 @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 
In 1998, Ketchum was introduced to southwest Alaska and the Bristol Bay fishery by fellow board members of the Alaska Conservation Foundation. Intending to make the public more aware of this remarkable part of the state and the valuable fishing resources, Ketchum published, Southwest Alaska: The Last Great Salmon Fishery in 2001. Fish were not the only resource however for the area hosts Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Katmai National Park and Preserve, and the largest state park, Wood-Tikchik. In 2004 Ketchum published, Wood-Tikchik: Alaska's Largest State Park. In 2005 a huge Canadian mining consortium proposed the largest open-pit copper and cyanide gold-leach mine in the world, to be located adjacent Lake Clark National Park in the headwaters of the fishery. In response, Ketchum organized and circulated an exhibit entitled, "Southwest Alaska: A World of Parks and Wildlife Refuges at the Crossroads" and he began building an extensive social media platform.
Southwest AK
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015 @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 
Southwest Alaska is home to Alaska's largest state park, two national parks, and two national wildlife refuges, one of which is 4.5 million acre Togiak National Wildlife Refuge - a completely roadless wilderness. All of these wild lands are pristine habitat that would have their air and water quality severely compromised if the proposed Pebble mine were to be built. Besides the books and exhibits, Ketchum also used his imagery to build a social media following and helped to create a coalition of over 100 partners opposing the mine. Currently the spokesperson for that group is Robert Redford, and the media campaign has been so successful, as of this year all the principal investors have withdrawn. Further, the EPA is considering canceling the mining permit. Former Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, gave Ketchum the Partnerships In Conservation Award for the work he did to help build the coalition.

Mt. Fairweather and the Alsek Glacier, 1 a.m., GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, AK

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015 @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd 
In the mid-1980's a Canadian mining consortium proposed developing a gold mine on a tributary of the Tatshenshini, a large river that comes out of Canada and winds it's way between Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve and Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Ketchum was asked by The Nature Conservancy to float the river and his photographs and story were published in LIFE magazine, breaking this news in the American press. Concerns the mining would impact the parks, the river's fishery and the perhaps even the Gulf of Alaska caught the attention of politicians, in particular, Al Gore who voiced opposition to the mine in the Senate, and spent time persuading his friend, the Canadian Prime Minister, to reconsider the mining permit. Ketchum and a coalition of photographers and writers generated many stories in the press and worked together to produce a book, Tatshenshini: River Wild. Canada withdrew the mining permit, and requested World Biosphere status for the river corridor to protect its wilderness. In so doing, three vast wilderness areas, Wrangell-St.Elias - Tatshenshini - Glacier Bay, were linked creating the largest legally designated contiguous wilderness expanse on the planet.

Happy 2015 from Robert Glenn Ketchum!

I want to wish everyone Health, Happiness, and Prosperity for the New Year.  2015 is the Chinese year of The Sheep!

2015 is the Chinese Year of the Sheep!

My Xmas / New Year's present came early and in a big package - PRESIDENT OBAMA PROTECTED BRISTOL BAY FROM ALL OIL AND GAS LEASING. I hope to ultimately see Bristol Bay have status as a protected commercial fishing reserve, yet this is a GREAT first step! GRAND AS THIS IS, HOWEVER, IT DOES NOT END THE PLANNED DEVELOPMENT OF THE HUGE OPEN PIT MINE IN THE BRISTOL BAY HEADWATERS, SO PLEASE CONTINUE TO BE VOCAL AND SAY "NO" TO THE PEBBLE MINE.

Weekly Post: THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS by Robert Glenn Ketchum

by Robert Glenn Ketchum

This is the story of my first major commission and book, THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS (Aperture, 1985). In 1984, #StephenShore, #WilliamClift, and I received a 2-year commission from the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund to photograph the #HudsonRiverValley. This blog tells the tale of the book, with many photos not seen before. Enjoy!

Monday, January 26, 2015
HUDSON RIVER #121:   In publication and #exhibition, I often juxtaposed #images, like post #119 with post #120, because together they express the remarkable biological and visual breadth of this subject. Every once in awhile, I actually framed two images together, as is the case here. I DID NOT precisely set this up. The near-exact framing of these two shots was COMPLETELY accidental, and I didn't even realize this had happened until I was in the greater edit for the #exhibit. After all, these images were made more than 6-months apart. They do suggest, however, that my eye senses some VERY SPECIFIC alignment of the #landscape when I am down in this part of the #IonaMarsh.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com

Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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