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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Weekly Post, THE SONORAN DESERT: Visiting with Don Juan by Robert Glenn Ketchum

THE SONORAN DESERT:  
Visiting with Don Juan
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1988, I was contacted by Luther Propst, Director of the Rincon Institute of Tucson, AZ, who asked me if I could help them devise a campaign to protect a part of Saguaro National Monument from a massive real estate development that would disrupt substantial habitat.  I did so, and we not only succeeded in mitigating the development, we added 30,000 acres to the monument, and got it upgraded to National Park status.  While doing this work, I fell in love with the Sonoran Desert, returning to it repeatedly, and visiting the many varied parts of it in Arizona, Mexico, and Baja, CA.  This is the tale of those visits. 
~Robert Glenn Ketchum





Wednesday, September 23, 2020


THE SONORAN DESERT:  Visiting with Don Juan #23
Sonora #23:  After joining the purple wildflowers (last post) for a little drum dancing, I realize I must continue with my “mission” to document this specific habit, that is threatened by adjacent development, so I shoulder my Pentax 6x7, and tripod, and continue to pick my way upward through a prickly world. More flowers appear, and a LOT of saguaros show, but other cacti species seem to decline. The profusion of prickly pear, and ocotillo, which I threaded through on the lower slopes is hardly visible from where I now stand. Somehow, however, although I see NO cylindropuntia, I know that one is still stalking me, and it is just hiding somewhere at the moment. In spite of an increasingly hotter day, I am determined to summit this climb, so I can see the entirety of the landscape with which my project is involved, and there is still a lot of up, to go. Excelsior!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post, ARCTIC: At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change (#101+)

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.
~Robert Glenn Ketchum



Wednesday, September 23, 2020


ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, :
ARCTIC, #215:   As our flight forges on above Ellesmere Island, en route to a mail, and supplies, delivery at Grise Fjord, the endless succession of snow-capped ranges, expansive valleys, and ice-filled fjords, flows beneath my gaze, through the small portal window. As we are flying in a southerly direction, it seems that it must be growing warmer in the landscape below me, because the snow line is creeping up the slopes, and huge icefields, spawning glaciers, are fewer, and further between. Since refueling, and leaving Eureka base, we have been in the air for quite awhile, and the guests are restless, so Bill Simon asks about our remaining fly-time to Grise, and the pilots respond that we are about 1hr. out. Besides the rising snow line, I am now seeing clouds, and what appears to be banks of fog, which I also assume are do to the land warming. Little do I know what we are getting into.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Weekly Post, NO PEBBLE MINE: Pictures from Ground Zero (#351+) 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, September 22, 2020 


NO PEBBLE MINE #419, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #419:
As my flight leaves the rugged summits of the Wood Mountains, it arrives at the point where Wood-Tikchik State Park, begins to broaden out, and become more expansive. The mountains are no longer granite spires, instead they are rounded, and covered with dense vegetation. Streams wetlands, and rivers, are to be seen everywhere. It is not fall, as yet, but we are late in the season, and I can see the hint of the coming colors, starting to creep into the hillsides. I am sad because I will miss the spectacle this year, and likely, I will not be back, but thanks to my 4yrs. of work in Southwest, and this park in particular, I will be able to savor the richness of my experience through my imagery. What a gift to me this project has been to my life.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post: THE TONGASS: Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees (#100+) 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, September 22, 2020


THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, , 
Tongass, #213:  
While Jan Cianciarulo holds our boat fast to the shoreline of an island in Goat Lake, her husband, Krys, and I, venture ashore delicately. The 400+ inches of rain that falls on this terrain, has grown some very extravagant gardens, and this is one of the strangest of them all. Lush mosses, mushrooms, and eccentric lichens abound, and when we come upon this tree, I am pretty sure we have found the entrance to the troll underworld. Kyrs, and I, must have been amusing for Jan to watch, because not only were we balleting around, trying not to step on anything except rock or meadow grass, but we were also fighting off swarms of insects,..and I mean swarms. Jans only purpose in coming ashore with me, is to take a cloth cape I brought with us, and right before I trip the camera shutter, he waves it around wildly in front of the lens, to blow the mosquitoes away. Had he not been doing this, all these images would show a screen of bugs between the camera’s eye and my subject matter. Thank you, Jan!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Monday, September 21, 2020

Weekly Post, High and Wild: Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers (#101+)

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!
~Robert Glenn Ketchum



Monday, September 21, 2020


High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, , 
Wind Rivers, #161:  Considering it is August, the storm which moved in during the night brought FREEZING cold with it, besides the pounding rain. There is no point in getting out in it at the crack of dawn, so Vicki Golden, and I, linger in our sleeping bags, and snuggle with Belle Star. About 9am, the rain tapers off, and there are some blue holes that appear in the sky. Not wanting to take any chances, Vicki, and I, bolt to the “kitchen,” and down a hearty breakfast. As we eat, the wind begins to pick up, which I am hoping, signals the storm is blowing off. Unfortunately, it does not. Rather, it signals that a new one is blowing in. Within an hour of our meal, the wind reaches another rage level, and clouds, once again, begin to pour over Round Top Mountain. It looks as though we will NOT be climbing up there today. Then suddenly, there is a massive roll of thunder directly above us, and there are two lightning strikes on the other side of the lake. Belle hates thunder and lightning, and we are not fans of it, either, se we all flee back into the tent. Belle is terrified, and shivering, so we put the sleeping bags over her, and keep petting, and assuring her, it will be OK. However, the intensity of the storm continues to build, and it is rolling right over us. We have a reasonably safe location with taller rocks and trees around us, but this is a massive electric system, and it is striking everywhere. When we close our eyes, we can see the flashes in various colors, and there are often several at once in a kind of strobe effect. Over our three years of backpacking in the Winds, we have lived through some fierce storms, but this one takes the cake. We are actually so frightened, we pull our ensolite pads from beneath our sleeping bags, fold them in half, and balance on them using our tip-toes and fingertips, so there is as little of our bodies in contact with the ground as possible. After about an hour of this unrelenting assault, a torrential rain moves in.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @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, September 212020


The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #229  DFCFC, #229:  This blog about my early days in Sun Valley, and my adventures with members of the Decker Flats Climbing and Frisbee Club, will end with these next three posts. All three are posthumous homage to my dearly departed friend, and mentor, Gordon Williams. Gordon took me to the Finger of Fate in the Sawtooths for my first backpack. Gordon led the way up into the Boulders for my first winter camping, and ski-touring adventure. And, Gordon helped plan our Hyndman basin ski-tour, multi-night campout, as well as digging the spectacular snowcave in which we all slept. I am honored to say, he was my best friend. In those early days, none of us had a lot of money, but Gordon was very thoughtful, and we always gave each other gifts on our birthdays. Rather than trying to buy me gifts, he either made them, or “found” them, so these last three posts are my most loved of those gifts. The above was apparently on an outhouse door in an old mining camp. After receiving it as a gift, it was initially hung on the front door of my cabin at Bald Mountain Hot Springs Hotel, but now it graces the door of my digital studio, and watches over me while I create. Thank you, Gordon,..I hope you like the new work I am doing.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, September 18, 2020

The Daze of My Life: Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography

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, September 18, 2020

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #218:
Daze, #218:  In late 1992, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Cornell University organized a 20-year retrospective of my work, that was displayed at the museum for several months. Following the exhibit there, it was to travel to Palm Beach, FL where it would be displayed at The Society of the Four Arts. As a consequence, Aperture decided to publish a monograph to accompany that exhibit. The Legacy of Wildness: The Photographs of Robert Glenn Ketchum, spanned numerous bodies of my work, and is the only time images from my series, “Stoned Immaculate,” ever appeared in print. As usual, Michael Hoffman, the President of Aperture, and I, had some back-and-forth about the book, this time over the title. He wanted it to be “The Legacy of Wilderness” NOT “Wildness,” which he thought was referencing my behavior. So, I had to point out there were NO pictures of wilderness in the edit, and that “Wildness,” was a reference to Eliot Porter’s book, In Wildness Is The Preservation Of The World.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020 
@RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post, THE CUYAHOGA RIVER VALLEY: From Flames to Fame by Robert Glenn Ketchum

THE CUYAHOGA RIVER VALLEY: 
From Flames to Fame
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1986, I was given a commission from the Akron Art Museum and the National Park Service to photograph the recently created Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation Area. My work helped put that location on the map, and since then, the NRA has been upgraded to National Park status, becoming one of the most visited parks in the national system.
~Robert Glenn Ketchum



Friday, September 18, 2020


Cuyahoga River Valley:  From Flames to Fame #27:
Cuyahoga #27:  I want candy!  (See last two posts.) - LOL!

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2020, @RobertGKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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