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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

RGK on the Telluride Photo Festival

 I spent the last week teaching and lecturing at the 1st (and I hope, annual) Telluride Photo Festival, and I would like to thank everyone that cooperated to make it possible because it was a fantastic week and I think there is a great future for this event.

Executive Director, Eric Moore, dreamed the Telluride Photo Festival up, making a connection that seems obvious now - in the peak of fall, Telluride is one of the most spectacular locations in the Rockies and hosting a photographer's conference as seasonal colors changed would provide an amazing setting they might enjoy. No kidding! And if the colors were not enough, on Wednesday eve when we 'officially' passed from summer to fall, a midnight thunderstorm put down new snow on all the surrounding peaks and shimmering golden trees. It was quite a sunrise!

From Left-to-Right, Eric Moore, Crystal Geise.  Photograph 2010 Copyright Mark Christmas
Crystal Geise was Eric's 'right-hand' in all of this, but given the amount of work and coordination these events take, Crystal was more like the East Indian Goddess Kali with many arms. Nice job Crystal, I hope you stay with the festival and continue to help Eric grow this into one of photography's premier learning destinations.

From Left-to-Right, Robert Glenn Ketchum, Tom Mangelsen, Carlton Ward, Jr., Cristina Goettsch Mittermeier.  Photograph 2010 Copyright Mark Christmas   

An important aspect of this festival (certainly from my point of view) was that Eric wanted to specifically include photographers in the presentation program who were using their work in purposeful ways. To that end, he invited the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), which I helped to found, and our fearless leader Christina Goettsch Mittermeier closed the festival with an inspiring view of iLCP Fellow's work worldwide that got a 'full-house' audience to stand up and cheer.

Be sure to check out the recent article by 'A Photo Editor' or 'APE', "Using Photography to Create Tipping Points Around Conservation," on the Telluride Photo Festival.

I would also like to thank Mountain Lodge Telluride for being a festival sponsor and offering great packages to house students and teachers. The accommodations are quite nice and the bar/restaurant is called 'The View'. My iPhone snap (see below), taken shortly after I checked-in confirms the truth of that, and it only got better after the snowfall. The pool/hot spa is a great luxury, and the public areas are graced with beautiful regional photography provided by their own Director of Communications, Neil Hastings ­ a very good photographer in his own right, and one of my workshop students for the week.

Photograph 2010 Copyright Robert Glenn Ketchum

Often the reward of participating in one of these festivals is the serendipity of networking and meeting someone that becomes a friend or that inspires you. My moment at this festival came on the night of my lecture when I shared the podium with fellow photographer, Ace Kvale. Ace has had an extraordinary career of high adventure following some of the world's best climbers up to summits never previously attempted, and base-jumpers down into abysses that would scare most of us to just to peer into. In the end, however, Ace had a significant shift in purpose and vision, making the decision to photograph the people of the places his adventures passed through, and then ultimately dedicating a good bit of his work to international doctors that do humanitarian surgery for people in these communities who are sightless, restoring their vision.

Photograph 2010 Copyright Ace Kvale

It turns out that many years ago Ace and I both did stories for the then-formative POWDER magazine, so thank you David Moe (founder of the mag) for giving us both a break as young photographers. Most importantly though, it is the way Ace closed his lecture that has truly stuck with me. His final picture is of the terribly battered hands of an old woman that he found begging on the sidewalk. It is a very sensitive and powerful shot, but the closer is Ace's comment that he looks at that picture all of the time to remind himself that he has NEVER had a bad day!

Photograph 2010 Copyright Ace Kvale
Kashmir Earthquake Survivor
Ace Kvale  2006
These hands belong to a woman. She was waiting in line as we handed out medicine in the cold winter light of December. 80,000 people had been killed in minutes. Hundreds of thousands of lives were affected. This woman was missing one foot from a land mine. She had a horse missing a hoof, also a mine. When I look at this image I am reminded that I’ve never known a moment of real hardship in my life.

Thank you, Ace, for your amazing journey to purposeful photography, and for helping me to remember that I have never had a bad day, either.

I hope to see many more of you at next year's Telluride Photo Festival!


Friday, September 17, 2010

RGK Exhibiting at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art

As many of you know from my previous postings, I will be teaching my final workshop of 2010 during the inaugural Telluride Photo Festival starting September 20th and running through the week. During the festival I will have a small exhibit of my Bristol Bay work at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art.

On Friday evening, I will also lecture about the way I use my work to serve conservation purposes highlighting my current efforts to protect the wild salmon fishery of Bristol Bay from the disruption of the Pebble mine.

Because several of you have asked, the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art will also have a small inventory of my 16-color, lustrous silk scarf whose design has been derived from photographic imagery. There were only 200 of these scarves and shawls printed and they are nearly sold out, so remember, Christmas is just around the corner!

Telluride Gallery of Fine Art
130 East Colorado Avenue
PO Box 1900
Telluride, Colorado 81435

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Downtown Portland at Nightfall, taken from my iPhone...

 Recently I returned from Portland, OR where I attended The International Ecotourism Society's  (TIES) conference, 'Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference' or 'ESTC10' for short.  Founded in 1990, TIES has been in the forefront of the development of ecotourism, providing guidelines and standards, training, technical assistance, research and publications. TIES' global network of ecotourism professionals and travelers is leading the efforts to make tourism a viable tool for conservation, protection of bio-cultural diversity, and sustainable community development.

The ESTC is North America’s largest and only conference focusing on sustainability in the tourism industry.   My longtime friend and colleague, Hunter McIntosh, of The Boat Company, got me involved in a panel discussion at this year's ESTC.  

We participated in a panel discussion consisting of Hunter McIntosh of The Boat Company, Dave Parker or Orvis Travel, myself (Robert Glenn Ketchum) and Larry Edwards from Greenpeace USA.  The topic of the panel was 'How To Build Win-Win Partnerships For Your Business and Community'.

Specifically, I was at the conference to speak about my relationship with The Boat Company which goes back nearly 25-years. They supported my work in the Tongass and the distribution of the Tongass book on Capitol Hill as well as an exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History. Our working relationship is an example of a sustainable tourism business partnering with an individual through many different ways, but purposefully to protect the geographic area in which they were running their tourism business. Our partnership had many significant effects, not the least of which was helping to pass the largest timber reform bill in American history.

Oh, and by the way, The Boat Company is a non-profit educational organization offering luxury eco-cruises through Southeast Alaska. They specialize in treating the needs and wishes of each guest effortlessly. Hikers, fishermen, sightseers, and all sorts of outdoor adventurers are in heaven with The Boat Company.  I have been on their boats many times.  They are without a doubt one of the very best  ways you might ever see the Tongass. The dining, especially fresh catch is AWESOME.  The guides know all the secret trails and coves.  And... they can deal with your kids!  At 8  and 11, my two children did their first trip.  Now they are whining to go back.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Join Robert Glenn Ketchum at the inaugural Telluride Photo Festival, September 20-26, 2010

The world's most renowned outdoor and adventure photographers will share their art and their passion at Telluride's first ever annual Photo Festival September 20 - 26, 2010. The weeklong event, geared toward professional and experienced amateur photographers, features photography workshops, seminars, symposiums, portfolio reviews and exhibits. Workshops will be conducted by iLCP Fellows Robert Glenn Ketchum,Jack Dykinga, Wendy Shatil, and Bob Rozinski. iLCP President, Cristina Mittermeier will be speaking at the festival, and an iLCP RAVE Retrospective exhibit will be on display.

 3-Day Workshop
Robert Glenn Ketchum - Scale And Color In The Landscape

The artist activist, Robert Glenn Ketchum, will take you beyond the mechanics of photography and into the mind's eye. He will show you how to better visualize to create more dramatic and impactful images of the natural world. Geared not just for the fine art photographer, this workshop can aid anyone looking to make better nature photos.

When: September 21-23, 2010
Photographer: Robert Glenn Ketchum
Workshop Title: Scale and Color In The Landscape
Length: 3 days
Attendees: 5 min/10 max
Location(s): Telluride Photo Festival

Description: Join Robert Glenn Ketchum, renowned conservation advocate and landscape photographer for his workshop, 'Scale and Color In The Landscape'. Robert will work with students, one-on-one, to assist you in creating dramatic images of the natural world. This class will help you understand the ideas and techniques of capturing the scale and size of large-scale landscapes through the lens. The grandeur of the landscapes around Telluride makes it the perfect place to do just this. Geared not just for the fine art photographer, this workshop can aid anyone looking to make better nature photographs. Robert will work with you to understand what you are trying to create with your images and what your personal photographic goals are. Students are encouraged to bring in portfolios of your work. During critique, Robert will help students understand better techniques of photographing, editing, and application to reach personal goals. Students should bring their portfolios, DSLR camera, tripod, laptop and the corresponding digital software and cables to download for critique.

about the Telluride Photo Festival, September 20-26, 2010

Telluride presents its first Photo Festival. It's an inspiring event to culminate the vibrant Telluride Colorado festival season.

The world's most renowned outdoor and adventure photographers will share their art and their passion at Telluride's inaugural Photography Festival September 20 - 26, 2010. The weeklong event, geared toward professional and experienced amateur photographers, features photography workshops, seminars, symposiums, portfolio reviews and exhibits.

The photo festival also seeks to foster the next generation of photographers by offering programs geared toward young people, as well as amateur and intermediate photographers.

Additionally, the public is invited to view and enjoy the many outdoor photography exhibits in and around Telluride and Mountain Village. The photo festival has something for every level of aptitude and appreciation. The photography festival is timed just right for photographers to capture the changing fall light and the aspens turning gold and blaze orange.

The Photography Festival is teaming up with the Ah Haa School for the Arts. The Ah Haa School is a community center of learning and culture and a Telluride icon for nearly two decades. Ah Haa will help promote the Festival and host a number of Festival events as well as the opening reception and gallery shows at the School's historic Depot building.

There is just no better place for a Photo Festival than Telluride. Tucked in a high mountain valley, Telluride is a dream playground for the adventurer and the photographer. Majestic peaks surround the town, once home to silver and gold prospectors. Weathered ruins of old mining operations dot the hillsides. Telluride is also home to a world-class ski resort. The area attracts mountain bikers, hang gliders, kayakers and climbers. Telluride is known worldwide for its summer festivals: the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Mountain Film, Blues and Brews, Wine Festival and the Telluride Film Festival.

Also it should be mentioned that the festival is within a half day trip of four National Parks--Mesa Verde, Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef--as well as several notable National Monuments and State Parks such as Hovenweep, Dead Horse Point, and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Be sure to pick-up a copy of this month's BBC Wildlife (September 2010).  They are featuring an article entitled, "THE PHOTOGRAPHS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD.  The International League of Conservation Photographers chooses 10 images that have really made a difference."

I'm honored to be included as one of the 10 photographers for this shot of mine taken in 1998.  This image is of Katmai National Park (Naknek Lake). Katmai is home to some of the most photographed bears in the world because of the famous falls viewing area where dozens of grizzlies congregate during salmon runs. Katmai park, and particularly its air and water quality will be impacted by the nearby development of the Pebble mine, proposed to be the largest open-pit copper and cyanide gold-leach mining complex in the world.:

The Iliuk Arm of Naknek Lake Katmai 1998  
Photograph © 2010 Robert Glenn Ketchum For Display Use Only, No Permission to Reproduce in Any Form
"Katmai National Park, where Ketchum took this picture, lies in southwest Alaska, a vast wilderness that once supported the richest, most productive salmon fishery in the history of the world.  Today, it is at risk from offshore oil drilling and a proposed gold mine in the headwater of Bristol Bay.

Earlier in Ketchum’s career, his landscape photos brought he plight of Alaska’s Tongass temperate rainforest, which was threatened by logging, to the attention of the US Congress.  Now conservationists hope that his images of Katmai National Park will be equally successful in protecting one of North America’s most pristine wild places from the ravages of industrial development."



Orvis Supports No Pebble Mine

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