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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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, October 24, 2018

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias, #94:
The Yakutat Forelands, #94:  The spectacle of the exaggerated, and very visible, changes in the parts of Icy Bay we actually explored, is quite sobering to all of us. As the plane climbs and heads for the coast, we fall silent as each of us ponders the numerous times we have encountered life-threatening circumstances in just these past 10-days. This was NOT a casual Alaskan kayaking adventure. Our pilot suggests we have been in the middle “of an epic weather event,” and he acknowledges that he wondered what he would find in flying in to pick us up. He also notes that all flights in and out of Yakutat have been grounded for the better part of the last week, so he was not even sure if he would be allowed to come for us. As our flight path hits the coast, where we will turn south, the large river pouring out of the bay has flushed so much mud and silt into the Pacific, that it is actually changing the color of the ocean water for many square miles. Well, it IS Alaska! Go big, or go home. We have done one, and now we are going to do the other. I want to sleep on a mattress. We have all come to bow before St. Elias, and now suitably humbled, we retreat to play another day.

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

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.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Cont.: THE TONGASS: Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees by Robert Glenn Ketchum

continued. . .

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, July 17, 2018

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #99:
THE TONGASS, #99:  Although the day that Philip Slagter and I fly into Walker Lake and cabin, the weather is terrible, I want to give everyone a sense of HOW BIG the walls around us are, so I am inserting this image of our plane, which in this shot, is actually coming back to pick us up on a beautiful sunny day. That is a big floatplane that seats four people and a lot of gear. It is a small speck in the airspace of this fjord, and we can hear it long before we can actually see it. Even though the day of our arrival it is raining and cloudy, low elevation visibility is excellent, and we land on Walker Lake effortlessly. Our pilot taxis us across the lake to a firm tundra bank on the far shore, where we disembark with all our gear. With a quick swing-around for the plane, he then launches off, back down-valley, returning to Ketchikan. After the noise of his engines fades, all Philip and I can hear is the patter of rain, the echoes of falling water, and the high-pitched whine of millions of mosquitoes.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: @LittleBearProd

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:
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com

Friday, May 18, 2018

2018 Venice Art Walk Featuring Robert Glenn Ketchum

For more than 20yrs. I have contributed to this event. It is VERY fun!. Because of some significant sales in the past few years, I have been allowed an “oversized” contribution this year, as the committee recognizes my images have amazing detail that is best viewed at a larger scale. “Rivers of Life” is stunning at 40” wide. Come to the Google offices - view all the work being exhibited and auctioned. Eat, drink, be merry, enjoy music, AND bid up my piece. Help support healthcare for all!

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.

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