Sundance Catalog

icon icon

Thursday, March 5, 2015

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, March 5, 2015

Welcome to Suzhou, 1985 - to the present, #55
Suzhou #55:   I was very excited to have my work included in Aperture Foundation's (@ApertureFdn)  #exhibit. I agreed with the #curatorial choice of just concentrating on the work I had done around #Suzhou, because I did spend most of my time there and knew it with some intimacy. I loved the canals, boats, old community compounds, and pathways, and the sense they gave me of the historical past. I ALSO KNEW that they would eventually disappear so I thought having them included in the exhibit would be a welcome addition to the show. By the time the exhibit would arrive at #Chinese venues, much of Suzhou would be transformed, and there would be children that never knew it looked like this. Through these images I hoped they would “discover” the past and reflect on their “ancient” history dating back to Marco Polo, and well before.
ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Suzhou

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

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, March 5, 2015


Silk Road - Embroideries #111
SILK ROAD #111:   Here, with very good lighting from both sides, you get the full effect of the “luminous” quality of this #embroidery. The dark trees and branches are brilliantly offset by the pale thread colors (depicting frost and steam), and the tiny #stitches used at the branch tips to radiate light. Zhang’s idea to contrast the flow of the water with the static shoreline and trees has been beautifully realized. And as much as I admire the work that the trees required, the riffles in the water truly have a sense of motion and I find that part of this embroidery the most interesting.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Embroidery @WesCFA @RSSDesigns
_________________________________________________

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

TATSHENSHINI: 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, March 4, 2015

TATSHENSHINI:  Saving a River Wild, #39
TATSHENSHINI:  Saving a River Wild, #39:   By dawn, the #Pacific had exerted its influence on the river, and the dazzling vistas of the day before disappeared. It wasn't raining, however, and the cloud cover seemed more like morning fog than bad weather. Later in the day we left the #TatshenshiniRiver corridor and floated into #AlsekLake, a large body of water fed by the river and many large glaciers that descend into it from #GlacierBayNationalPark (@glacierbaynps). Our next camp was on a broad western beach of the lake, looking west across the coastal plain towards the Pacific, and immediately adjacent the outlet where the #AlsekRiver (actually the Alsek and Tatshenshini combined) begins its run to the sea. The steep glacier-clad shorelines we were floating past were gone. Alsek Lake, HOWEVER, lies at the foot of some of the tallest summits in Glacier Bay, and many huge glaciers and icebergs would be visible, in, on, or across the lake, so we were all hoping the weather would clear.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Tatshenshini @glacierbaynps @Life @Wilderness #WeAreTheWild @nature_AK

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

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.



Wednesday, March 4, 2015 

NO PEBBLE MINE #129, Pictures from Ground Zero:
NO PEBBLE MINE #129, Pictures from Ground Zero:  Choosing a well protected place to camp is always essential in #Alaska. Here, this close to the heart of the range, and next to a large body of water, we knew it would get windy, and very cold when weather rolled through. The remainder of the day was spent securing camp for an incoming storm, and getting the boats “constructed.” By dinner the wind had picked up and the temp was headed downward... considerably!  By the time we finished eating it was blowing hard and starting to rain, so we retreated to our tents for the night. As I drifted comfortably off, the tent began to flap and bend as high wind gusts sweeped through the basin. The sound of wind, and eventually hard rain, continued all night. So much so, that when it stopped and grew quiet, it woke me up! As the first one out of his tent, this is how the morning greeted me.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
_____________________________________________________

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

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, March 3, 2015


TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #28
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #28:  Finally some breaks appeared in the clouds, and we entered the section of the #fjord that we thought hosted our intended camping beach. On the right hand side of the fjord, a large #valley with a sizable #river came through from ranges in #Canada. On the topo map it appeared the river created a rocky beach with some actual shoreline, and room to set up tents and a kitchen. One of our guide friends in #Juneau had warned, however, that we needed to stash our food bag(s) on the HIGHEST shoreline rock we could reach. This was because black bears followed the river down out of Canada, and sometimes they would show up and raid a camp that was left unprotected. I understood, BUT at the moment looking at these walls, all I could think of was, "rock climbing black bears... Really!?!"
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

Monday, March 2, 2015

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, March 2, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #126:
HUDSON RIVER #126:   Here is another dirt country road in the mid-Hudson valley also graced by the infamous #Hudson valley light. To be sure, this is a different season from the last post and it is A LOT colder on this particular evening, however the road was there, and as always, the elegance of the light was irresistible. It is worth noting that “winter” makes a country road seem more narrow. In the Hudson, many of the roads had VERY SOFT shoulders that went into swampy drainage ditches. You were never sure whether it was solid beneath the snowy edge. So often driving along I would pray not to meet anyone coming the other way, as on the narrowing road, one of us would have to pull to the side to let the other go by; not always with good results.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
____________________________________________________

Friday, February 27, 2015

Traveling in CHINA Since 1985 by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Traveling in CHINA Since 1985 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. Earthwatch was one organization that allowed foreigners to visit China without going through too much red-tape. These photographs are a first glimpse into China in the mid-1980’s by world-renowned Conservation Photographer Robert Glenn Ketchum. 


Friday, February 27, 2015

Traveling in China Since 1985, #120
CHINA #120:   Look carefully again at my last post:  the red lines indicate a super-highway system that is now in place. In 1986, NOT ONE of those highways existed! In fact, in 1989 it was estimated #China only had 170 miles of highway... and my first visits started in 1986!!! When I tell you in these #blogs growth was explosive and very rapid, consider that by 2003 China used half the concrete in the entire world and created 18,500 miles of new highway. For the time being, however, I was on my way to the #Dongshan peninsula of #LakeTaihu with my hosts, and we werw picking our way through a labyrinth of dirt country roads that navigated around canals, rice ponds, and fish farms. As you can see, once outside the city of #Suzhou, the countryside was VERY rural.  HOWEVER it was an amazing world, and again I was VERY aware of being a witness to “stepping-back-in-time.”
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China @Earthwatch_org

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
___________________________________________________

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient by Robert Glenn Ketchum

SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient 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.


Friday, February 27, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #53
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #53 - 1985 to the Present:  The #JinMao and #PearlTower are situated on a promontory of land overlooking the #HuangpuRiver and the #Bund. I say “promontory” because they are situated on a sharp bend in the river that wraps significantly “around” the towers and their neighboring buildings. As a consequence, the views up-and-down river are sweeping, and give the viewer a MUCH greater sense of the sprawl of #Shanghai, a city now thought to be home to about 24-MILLION people! This is downriver, and the Shanghai industrial shipyards (previous post #21) would be at shoreline near the bottom left, hidden at this point by the surrounding office towers.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
____________________________________________________

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

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. 

Twin Lakes, LAKE CLARK NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, Southwest AK
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.
Dawn, Upper Togiak, TOGIAK NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, 
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.