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Friday, December 2, 2016

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. 
~Robeert Glenn Ketchum



Friday, December 2, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #22:
Daze, #22:  Driving from LA through the desert to spend Christmas vacation with my parents in Idaho, my car broke down and I was rescued by a small town garage service. The repair would take several days, and to keep me from driving him crazy, the garage owner gave me the keys to his jeep and sent me off to camp in the desert in a place he thought I would find interesting as a photographer. Not far away, a dirt road led into a maze of highly mineralized fins and domes rising up from the desert floor. Although he thought I would find them interesting enough, he further suggested I spend the ensuing days hiking in the washes and slot canyons that crossed the road, paying greater attention to the caves and overhangs being created by the erosion of wind and water. Following his advice, I found a remarkable world that became a large and obsessive body of work over the next ten years. A small portion of these images have been published, and a select number of prints were made, but for the most part, little of this portfolio has been seen, so I am now publishing it as a blog: STONED IMMACULATE, which I hope you will follow.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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My Life in the Garden of Eden by Robert Glenn Ketchum

My Life in the Garden of Eden
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

As part of paying the bills in my professional career, I photographed a number of significant gardens. I helped create several pretty amazing ones as well. Some of these pictures have been published in various books, but most have never been seen. In this blog, I will show you all my best garden images AND discuss garden design.




Friday, December 2, 2016

My Life in the Garden of Eden, #22:
Garden of Eden, #22:  As long as I am having a visual lament about not having enough space in my new garden to accommodate really large aloe, I am going to whine about large agave as well. Like aloe, there are a huge variety of agave, and of widely varying sizes and rate of growth. As a gardner, agave to me feels more aggressive than aloe. Most agaves require some space just so you can move around them without getting stabbed by their spine-like needles. Some agaves are not just large, they also spread aggressively. On the hillside of my former Santa Monica Mtns. property, I planted a blue-and-white variegated, much like the one above but not as large. Within the first year, there were about 10, all close enough to each other to make weeding dangerous. Within 5 years, they had taken over most of the hillside. They looked beautiful, but required “cautious” gardening.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Welcome to SUZHOU, 1985 - to the present by Robert Glenn Ketchum

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, December 1, 2016

Welcome to Suzhou, 1985 - to the present, #146
Suzhou #146:  If you look at the earliest pictures in this blog, you will see this one is a kind of conclusion to the arc of this story. Suzhou is place VERY different than the one to which I first came, and yet, some things remain familiar. It is clearly more vibrant - younger, flashier, more style conscious, more tech-savy, often multi-linguistic, and in many cases, VERY flippant and funny. If you look carefully you will see the product this crew is selling, but they could easily be a new group of Marvel characters. On the street, in the middle of the day, I passed an attractive 20+year old Chinese girl whose t-shirt read in English, “Shut Up And Just Do Me.” Then there was a huge billboard looming over a busy area of shops that offered no picture or color, just the black letters - www.richfinance.cx - on a white background. I think I laughed the hardest, however, watching the English news one night in my room. A VERY young, stylish Chinese female was doing stock analysis the night following the conviction of Martha Stewart in a stock trading case, and her colleague queried, “what should one do if you hold Martha Stewart stock certificates?” To which the young analyst replied, “Well, if you turn them over they make lovely place mats!"
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Suzhou

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
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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, December 1, 2016

Silk Road - Embroideries #202
SILK ROAD #202:  In one of my first visits to Suzhou and the embroidery institute, I was introduced to another technique for which the workshop was also quite well known, loom-weaving. As you have seen throughout these posts, the embroiderers work with an image affixed to a matrix of silk and nylon that is stretched in a frame. Every thread is then sewn into this matrix by hand. This allows for highly accurate detailing, the use of stitches to build texture, and a stunning palette of color. What you see here is a woman sitting at a small weaving loom. Above her head hang thread shuttles. Directly beneath them you can the see the wooden bar from which hundreds of lengthwise / longitudinal threads extend. Those threads are the “warp.” The woman is interweaving other threads through the warp using a shuttle. Those threads are the “weft.” The end result is very different from embroidery - detail is less precise, and great detail is nearly impossible; there is no layering of stitches to build textural surfaces; and, colors are more limited because they are not changed thread by thread. Nonetheless, the loom-woven screens on display at the institute had a beauty all of their own that attracted me, as you will see next week.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Embroidery @WesCFA @RSSDesigns
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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

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, November 30, 2016

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #16:
ARCTIC, #16:  “And now for something completely different!” Many, many miles and hours ago, we passed the last of the Prudhoe Bay facilities as we moved east toward the Canadian border. The days have been relatively clear which has generated several different kinds of mirages shown you in previous posts. If you read what I write, you might well have found the Golden Gate Bridge story from the last post just a little too much, however, and be inclined to ask, “where is the picture?” Fact is, the “bridge” mirage happened so quickly and passed, I did not get a picture. Today is another story. This is a Fata Morgana. This also lasted for hours. This shot is with my longest lens, but in the high-powered binoculars you could see great detail. What you could see are people moving around, and trucks and cars driving through the road complex of Prudhoe Bay which is now actually over the curve of the horizon - in the opposite direction!!!!!! After a considerable amount of time studying, staring, and cawing about this, it was agreed by all that liquor should be served and consumed at lunch.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

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, November 29, 2016

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #14:
THE TONGASS, #14:  When I was asked about my interest in taking a commission from the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund to photograph the Tongass rainforest in Alaska, I wanted to know if there was a particular reason I was being asked to go there. The council to the fund, Barney McHenry, handed me a dense government document (600+ pages) and said it was a proposed “management” plan revision for the Tongass timber program and the old growth wilderness, and that I should "read through it over the weekend and we will discuss it at lunch on Monday.” Having spent several years working for the National Park Foundation in DC, I can tell you most people avoid a document like this and tell someone else in their office to read it and report back. However, I read through it, and at lunch the following Monday, I told Barney what I thought - no one that mattered would read it. Barney replied, “Exactly! So you need to give this place a presence to make these issues real concerns.” One of those “issues” was that a taxpayer-funded industrial logging program was quickly turning old growth wilderness into clearcuts that took out entire islands, driving out bear and eagles, and damaging the fishery.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero by Robert Glenn Ketchum

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.



Tuesday, November 29, 2016 

NO PEBBLE MINE #220, Pictures from Ground Zero:  NO PEBBLE MINE #220, Pictures from Ground Zero: The anglers have arisen at Tikchik Narrows Lodge, but no one is going anywhere just yet. Those same diurnal fogs that occur over the saturated tundra, which I showed you in post #184, also occur over the lakes. When I first awoke, there was NO visibility whatsoever. Now the landscape is slowly beginning to emerge, and with a leisurely breakfast to occupy our time, all of this will be burned off fairly soon. The planes will go out, and we might well have a sunny, warm day. The next flight loop we will take from the lodge will carry us over the big lakes not yet visited and up to the edge of the backcountry leading into the Wood River Mountains. This is some of the most spectacular landscape I have EVER flown over, so I hope you will continue to follow this blog. I also hope you will continue to say NO TO THE PEBBLE MINE - given our recent election, PLEASE WRITE PRESIDENT OBAMA NOW AND ASK HIM TO PROTECT SOUTHWEST ALASKA AND BRISTOL BAY PERMANENTLY FROM MINING AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT before he leaves office.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Amon Carter Museum, "American Photographs, 1845 to Now”

"TWO POSSIBLE CHOICES FOR THE FUTURE” 1984
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

I would like to thank Assistant Curator of Photographs, Joy Jeehye Kim, PhD, and the Amon Carter Museum of Fort Worth, TX for including the above image in their current exhibit, "American Photographs, 1845 to Now.” These 6-panels of imagery were created during the two years I spent in the Hudson River Valley working on a commission given to Stephen Shore, William Clift, and myself by the Lila Acheson Wallace Fund. Published as the Aperture monograph, “The Hudson River and the Highlands,” I also republished this work in greater length and detail in this blog: The Hudson River and the Highlands


SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Social Media by @LittleBearProd


Amon Carter Museum, "American Photographs, 1845 to Now”

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Lowell Thomas Award 2016

2016 Lowell Thomas Awardees "Celebrating the Legacy of Open Spaces"
Left-to-Right:  Kristine Tompkins, Rick Ridgeway, Laly Lichtenfeld, Martin von Hildebrand. 
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
Last year I was awarded The Lowell Thomas Award as a "Visionary of Conservation" by The Explorers Club of New York. I just attended the 2017 awards “Celebrating the Legacy of Open Spaces” in Santa Barbara, California, and I was VERY excited to see two old friends as this year’s 2016 Lowell Thomas recipients. Above from right to left, Martin von Hildebrand, Laly Lichtenfeld, Rick Ridgeway, and Kristine Tompkins. I have known Rick and Kris for many years through my relationships with Patagonia, The North Face, and the remarkable work they have both done IN the environment, AND FOR the environment. Google all four of these amazing people and see what VERY significant contributions they have made to worldwide conservation.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Where It All Began: LIMEKILN CREEK by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Where It All Began:  Limekiln Creek by Robert Glenn Ketchum

In 1967, I discovered Limekiln Creek on the Big Sur Coast in California. Among those redwoods, I had an epiphany as a young artist. As a photographer, most of the skills I would use, I would learn there. Many years later in a mature career, I helped the American Land Conservancy acquire this property for the California State Park system. This is the story of a very personal place.






Monday, October 31, 2016
Where It All Began:  Limekiln Creek, #44
Where It All Began - Limekiln Creek, #44:  This is a preface to this blog and the last post. In discovering AND then returning to Limekiln, I was inspired to change the direction of my work, and to greatly improve the quality of my photography - these decisions affected my life. Simultaneously I also had other important influences. My parents began leasing a house in Sun Valley (ID), from which some of my earliest published images were created ( SEE MY BLOG about the Decker Flats Climbing & Frisbee Club ). Then in transit to Sun Valley for a visit, as with Limekiln, I randomly discovered an amazing place in the desert that became to body of work, STONED IMMACULATE, a new blog that will begin next week in this spot. The above image is Paul Caponigro's "Apple, New York" 1964, or so it was titled when first published in Aperture magazine. At UCLA, a Robert Heinecken assignment had each of us choose a photographer "outside" of "our genre" and prepare a report/lecture with slides for a class presentation. Although I was "leaning" toward an interest in landscape, I still thought it less exciting than my experimental, hand-colored work, and Caponigro's work, which lacked the drama of Ansel Adams, seemed especially "quiet." I chose him because I viewed him boring and thought I would make that my lecture point, BUT the more I studied his images, the more I grew to understand what he saw. Then there was the final image, the endpiece of the publication. When presenting to the class, I said this was a great final image because it suggested he was doing "newer, more experimental work," and Heinecken asked, "How's that?" I responded that most his other images were landscapes, but this one of the night sky seemed more adventurous. Uniformly the class mumbled oddly, and then my friend, Bob Jenkins, spoke up and said, "What are you smoking, man? THAT is an apple." Having NOT read the image title, I missed that detail, but once he said it, I could see it. In fact, I could still see BOTH. This duality of being a "straight" photograph AND ALSO of "another world entirely" would become a subtext of my work for the rest of my life. In telling that story to workshop students once, I did not notice that Caponigro had come into the back of the classroom. After speaking, I took questions, and the last hand up was his. When he rose, I knew him, so I introduced him to the class. Paul said he was glad to hear that story and know the image affected me in that way, AND then he said I should tell Heinecken that "it WAS the night sky." He has since changed the title of this image to "Galaxy Apple."
photograph(s) © copyright, JOHN PAUL CAPONIGRO, 2016, @LittleBearProd, #LittleBearProd, ALC (@american_land), Monterey Pop Festival (@MontereyPopFest)
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