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Friday, March 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, March 27, 2015

Traveling in China Since 1985, #124
CHINA #124:   It was amazing to watch this because I knew I was looking at one of the oldest processes known in the creation of luxurious #silk cloth. This woman has boiled silkworm cocoons, sitting in a basin of water just behind her. When the cocoons were “ready”, she picked one up and located the end of the silk strand used to weave the cocoon. Using a very long fingernail on her pinkie finger, she quickly lifted the thread away from the cocoon ball, and fed it into the spinning wheel that stands in front of her. Turning the wheel slowly, she unraveled the entire cocoon around the wheel. EVERY cocoon produces about 1-mile of a single strand of silk! WHO figured this process out!?!

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
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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, March 27, 2015


SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient, #57
SHANGHAI, OZ of the Orient #57 - 1985 to the Present:  Taking a slightly wider view, you can see what I mean when I say the plaza was slowly being surrounded by vertical #architecture (and for my money, some PRETTY FANTASTIC architecture at that). There are few skylines in the world that can boast this great a variety of distinctive designs. Back at ground level, however, the lunch “rush” had begun, and the first of many groups of businessmen and women have begun to drift in to dine. Check the signage showing off products and dishes. Note also, now that we are in the plaza, the “shooting star” street lamps have been replaced by an “old-timey” style that looks more #British than #Chinese. It is making me hungry just writing about this plaza!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #China #Shanghai

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
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Thursday, March 26, 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 26, 2015

Welcome to Suzhou, 1985 - to the present, #58
Suzhou #58:   In 1988, this neighborhood was beginning its modernizing process, and the canal serving it was bustling, so I returned frequently to observe and #photograph it. As I was VERY obvious, being laden with #cameras, and being the only white person most of them had ever seen wandering their streets, some of the boatmen and the workers began to recognize me, and would nod when they saw me approach. It was great for me that they were getting “used” to my presence, because they would just continue their work, and let me shoot without staring at me like I was an alien being in their midst!
ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @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, March 26, 2015


Silk Road - Embroideries #114
SILK ROAD #114:   By 1998, we had completed quite a few #embroideries, and I felt we finally had enough work to show what we were trying to accomplish. Zhang was very eager to have the work more visible in the U.S. and was pressing me to #exhibit. As my exchange program in #China was made possible through @UCLA, I thought it appropriate that they be offered the first opportunity to host such an exhibition, and so I approached the @UCLA @FowlerMuseum. Fowler recognized that very little #Chinese #embroidery was exhibited in the U.S., AND that there was virtually no documentary record of this 5,000-year-old artisan craft. So they decided to make the exhibit -- and the catalog they would publish with it -- a “definitive” compilation of images and research. If the embroidery detail on the cover of the catalog looks familiar, you will find the complete description of the making of this image in previous posts #77-82.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Embroidery @WesCFA @RSSDesigns
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Wednesday, March 25, 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 25, 2015

TATSHENSHINI:  Saving a River Wild, #42
TATSHENSHINI:  Saving a River Wild, #42:   Finally we reached the bend to the left that brought us to the “backside” of the coastal range. Immediately, more and bigger #glaciers appeared on these #summits, fed by the relentless #weather on the western slope where incoming storms from the Gulf of #Alaska, slam into some of the tallest coastal mountains in the world. Steep, glacially carved valleys literally lined-up, one-after-another. on the right side of the #river. Many large meltstreams fed into our flow every mile or so as we drifted ever closer to #AlsekLake. Our excitement grew also as the weather continued to improve and the afternoon was pleasantly warm.
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:
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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.



Wednesday, March 25, 2015 

NO PEBBLE MINE #132, Pictures from Ground Zero:
NO PEBBLE MINE #132, Pictures from Ground Zero:  Oh, what a difference a little rise makes. Our tents were between a cluster of stunted trees and a low hill. I am now standing on top of that hill and taking in this perspective of the ENTIRE lake basin. Yeowser! The previous post is a detail shot of the same golden trees you see here, but they seem almost insignificant in this larger setting.We couldn't get our food and daypacks together quickly enough! All of us just wanted to be out, in this, and moving through it. We were all pretty sure this world was welcoming our presence and inviting us to play.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:
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Tuesday, March 24, 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 24, 2015

TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #31
TRACY ARM Wilderness - An Alaskan Kayak "Trip" Through Time, #31:  It rained on-and-off during the night, but stopped early in the morning so I got up. In the #weather break I could see up the fjord in the direction we would be heading. Our next camp looked to be a number of twists and turns away and the walls just keep getting taller and MORE SHEER. As Carey and Russell were slowly rising and getting dressed, I strolled toward the kitchen area where we had covered the kitchen gear with the blue tarp. As I came upon the tarp, I found a medium size black #bear curled-up, sleeping in the middle of it! I started shouting, “Bear!!!” and backing away. As a result, my shouting woke it up, and terrified, the poor bear ran off into the bush. My companions and I immediately headed to the food stash to see if we had been raided. There are no markets in a fiord, and the boat would not be back to pick us up for 8-days, so we were all praying that slippery rock pinnacle worked as had been suggested...
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wilderness #Wilderness #Tongass

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism & Art Online:
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Monday, March 23, 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 23, 2015

THE HUDSON RIVER AND THE HIGHLANDS #129:
HUDSON RIVER #129:   My LEAST favorite roads are ANY AFTER AN ICE STORM! The spectacles along the roadside are always interesting, HOWEVER the #HudsonRiver #weather cycle of freezing rain and snow, followed by warming and then re-freezing, creates some hideous black-ice conditions that not even my trick van liked much. Also, as beautiful as this icefall was, because of the freezing-thawing cycle, during a thaw this entire wall could collapse on the the roadway suddenly, or throw off large pieces, which is always nice to have happen if you are driving by.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2015, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd @Wallacefdn @Aperturefnd @PentaxOnline
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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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.