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Friday, February 24, 2017

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, February 24, 2017


My Life in the Garden of Eden, #34:
Garden, #34:  As in the previous posts, this is a simple path of gravel/sand. Again, this path plays on a variety of textures and Ganna has enhanced that by using the red volcanic rock again to define the garden areas. Textures are only part of Ganna’s design ideas, however, and by creating such a large garden, she could dedicate entire sections of it just to color. This path will eventually lead to a “blue” garden featuring blue palms and blue iceplant. Notably here, as we approach the blue garden, we are being drawn in by the marking of this path with blue color. It may not be obvious, but besides the blue succulents/sedum that grow besides the path, the path is actually lined with large chunks of blue glass slag. These chunks come in both green and blue colors, and are the result of melting down recycled bottles. Very large slag pieces are broken into these fragments, and many stores that specialize in stone paving and outdoor gardens, have bins with these glass blocks in them. Ganna uses their striking blue color to offset the red rock very effectively, and then she hints at where this path is going by introducing a variety of blue grasses and succulents along the way. The world gets “bluer” as you proceed. Glovey and the Apple Bonkers would be very happy. LOL.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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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, February 24, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #34:
Daze, #34:  Brooks Institute of Photography was run as a professional school, as opposed to a creative arts program. Brooks students were technically groomed to be commercial photographers and the assignments were often very studio-like, involving the shoot of portraits and products. We were also encouraged to present ourselves “professionally” on days when our work was critiqued, “as though we were meeting with an art director or a corporate client.” Of course, this suggested we should wear a coat and tie and have “manageable” hair. Mine did not qualify, but they tolerated it because I was a good student. We were also encouraged to do “independent” work beyond our assignments, and most of the teachers saw that as an excellent chance to develop a more personal commercial style for our individual portfolios. Spending more time in the studio and darkroom than I already had to, was of NO interest to me, so when I pursued my independent work, I dragged my new 4x5 camera, tripod, and lenses to the beach, where I could also get in a bit of surfing. While I appreciated the technology Brooks was teaching me, I saw myself wanting to be much more like Brett Weston than Richard Avedon. The above image is one of my first B&W’s released as an edition and sold by galleries. It was shot with a 4x5, printed 16”x 20” on DuPont Velour Black with selenium toning, and is entitled, “Return to the Sea."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Thursday, February 23, 2017

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, February 23, 2017
Silk Road - Embroideries #214
SILK ROAD #214:  I do not know how large you can make this on your viewing screen, but magnify these details as much as possible. In the last post I referred to the work in this panel as having completely over-the-top complexity, and this tight detail shows it at it’s greatest extravagance. The shuttle work here must have been VERY challenging to say the least. What appears to be quite a bit of textural variation is an amazing display of technique. Note the numerous tiny “islands” in the lower left, small dots of color and gold thread “floating” on a swampy pond of brown water. They ARE floating! While you ponder this, I will offer something else to consider as we near the final postings about this piece: EVERY thread line, warp or weft, extends well out beyond the image, and drapes towards the floor during the creation of the weaving. On THIS weaving, there are a lot of them, and they are responsible for maintaining the “tightness” of the mounting so that the weaving does not contract or expand unevenly, pulling it “out-of-square”- or in this case, out-of-rectangle. For final display, these must be cut off, or incorporated in some way.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Embroidery @WesCFA @RSSDesigns
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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

WEEKLY POST: Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands: Bowing before St. Elias by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

The Yakutat Forelands are where the Tongass rainforest and the Chugach forest to the north meet. It is also home to many large glaciers, a stunning coastline, the huge Alsek-Tatshenshini river, and Icy Bay, which sits at the foot of Mount St. Elias, the greatest vertical rise from sea level in the world. There is a lot of powerful energy out here.



Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias, #7:
The Yakutat Forelands, #7:  As Mike Iver’s plane plane passed out of site into the clouds, the weather closed down on us. A hard, cold rain started and the wind was picking up - all great reasons to retire to our cabin, stow our gear, and have some HOT food. Throughout a long, leisurely lunch and snacks, the rain continued to pound down in weird rhythms on the roof, and howling gusts coming in off the Pacific would make strange noises, rattling the cabin and causing high-pitched drone tones to echo from the corners. Regularly, we would imagine hearing a bear, but upon investigating, never found prints or saw one - I think it was just cabin-restlessness, and we needed to go out for a walk. Late in the afternoon, the storm momentarily let up, so we took the opportunity to explore our new environment. The cabin is a long way up a HUGE beach that is not only VERY wide, looking north and south, you can not see either end. We are backed against a berm island of dense vegetation that includes small trees. Because of saltwater intrusion, there is a distinct line where the trees stop and a grassy, vine-y beach habitat begins. Everything is wet. The grass is knee-deep and glistening. It sways in mesmerizing patterns as the gusts sweep across it. There is a river a short distance away that is our water source, so we walk there first, but tidal mud on the river bank shows REALLY BIG fresh bear tracks, and this is a bit offsetting. We have not come that far in the scope of this vast expanse of beach, dunes, and berms but as we look around hoping NOT to see a bear, it becomes clear how small the cabin is. Just as we finish drawing water, the rain starts once again, and by the time we forge our way back though the grasses, it is blowing sideways. Time to re-stoke the stove fire, get out the snacks, and hang on! Here we go again.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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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, February 22, 2017

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #28:
ARCTIC, #28:  Awakening from dreams of sky and clouds, I grab some coffee and head onto the now VERY sunny fantail deck to be greeted by this! SKYSHOW for breakfast! The wild weather of the previous evening has given way to a relatively warm, “clear” morning with a stunning display of clouds, AND (as importantly) crystal clear views to the horizon that show little or no ice. We have already passed into “Canadian” waters, and the storm occurred as we navigated past Ivvavik National Park on our approach to the massive delta of the Mackenzie River. The Mackenzie is the largest and longest river system in Canada, and is only exceeded by the Mississippi in all of North America. Our open, ice-free water is due to the tremendous outflow of the river that is warmer than the ocean and holds the encroaching ice at bay. We will swing to the east as we navigate around the delta, heading for the village of Tuktoyaktuk where we will pass through Canadian customs, visit nearby, historically important, Herschel Island, and bring aboard a registered ice-pilot that will advise Captain Jouning as we go forward. Apparently this “ice-free” condition is not going to last very long.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

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, February 21, 2017

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #26:
THE TONGASS, #26:  Everyone was excited to go ashore and meet Stan and “his” bears. The weather was clear for the moment, so we ate breakfast quickly, donned our gear, and climbed into the skiffs. We were at a mid-tide, so we had to be conscientious about where we beached the boats, but after finding the appropriate spot, we had a short shoreline walk and then we wound around a small grassy knoll to view a broad, beautiful meadow and cove with a sizable river flowing through it. We were standing at the mouth/delta of Pack Creek. From where we stood, the creek separated us from the meadow which made me feel more comfortable, because, sure enough, there were bears in the meadow. Three bear, in fact, a mother grizzly and two cubs - not exactly a group you want provoke. They barely acknowledged our presence, however, and continued to play and roughhouse without missing a beat. As our gaze broadened from watching the bears play, we realized that tucked into a pocket of this cove was a rambling homestead. This is Stan’s “home.” Stan’s actual house does float, as you see here, but Stan has been here SO long he also has quite a few “auxiliary” structures built onshore and a power generator is hidden back in the forest. Stan has lived here alone for many years, and loves the solitude. When asked if he got lonely he said that groups like us stop by to visit, AND he has “breakfast with my bears” everyday. Just out-of-sight to the left, there is also quite a nice strawberry and herb garden which I will tell you more about in the next post. I would visit Stan several times over the years, and I would return for my second visit in just a few weeks, because friends and I would paddle canoes down the Seymour Canal to begin our traverse of Admiralty Island.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @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, February 21, 2017 

NO PEBBLE MINE #232, Pictures from Ground Zero:  NO PEBBLE MINE #232: It would appear that we are reaching the “end” of the valley, over which we have been flying. As the valley floor has increased in elevation, the drainages have become streams and small rivers, and even those are fewer and further between. Most of the expanse beneath the wing is tundra mesa. I do note that just ahead there seems to be one more deep cleft in the mountains, pretty much at the point we will roll to the left and start our flight back down the basin. As we draw closer to the gap, my pilot with whom I had flown many hours at this point, suggested I may want to be ready when we arrived and before he would make his turn. He said what lay ahead was “deceptive,” and those words set those hairs on the back of my neck off immediately. When I asked what he meant, he responded that the “pass” never appears to be large until you are in it. When I asked further about his use of the term “pass,” he said in a few days he would take me over into the Togiak National Wildlife Refuge, and one of the ways to thread through these mountains and get there was to follow the valley that lay ahead. From my POV at the moment, I am wondering if this is one of those tricky Alaskan flying things that might takes us through some really narrow, and dangerously windy territory, AND surely there is another way to get to Togiak.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Monday, February 20, 2017

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 Flat 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, February 20, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #42:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #42:  After our baths, the evening grew cool quickly, so we donned warmer clothes and began fixing dinner. We all agreed that we would go to bed early as Gordon and Chris wanted to start at sunrise and summit the Finger-of-Fate before any afternoon weather that might arise. They also suggested the rest of us leave camp early to avoid the bugs, and work on getting our “granite legs” under us. As we all sat with our food in the waning sunlight, the Finger was framed perfectly from our campsite. My climbing colleagues thought we might follow their general direction once we were up and moving in the morning, and scramble up high without doing anything technical. I was amazed when they assured us there were many other small ponds, streams, and meadows amongst the rocks and ledges that you see here forming the base of the Finger. Notably they also warned us that it was important to choose your route of ascent/decent wisely when moving around so that you did not end up getting ledged-up - confronted with a sheer face around which you might not be able to navigate.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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STONED IMMACULATE: A Trip in the Desert by Robert Glenn Ketchum

STONED IMMACULATE:  A Trip in the Desert
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

As a young photographer, two places I “discovered” by chance greatly influenced both my photographic vision and my personal relationship with the greater planet. A previous blog, LIMEKILN, is the story of the first location. THIS is the second location which I discovered because my car broke down. As Jim Morrison/The Doors wrote, “Out here we is stoned Immaculate!"



Monday, February 20, 2017

Stoned Immaculate, #16:
Immaculate, #16:  As I went further back into the watercourse, the fins and domes continued to rise and narrow around me, in many places towering hundreds of feet overhead. When opportunities allowed, I scrambled up onto ledges or lesser summits to have a look at my surroundings, and I found myself grateful to be spending most of my time down in the shade of the “slot” sections. It was blazing in the direct sun. The midday heat was peaking and on the horizon you could see that it was generating weather that was moving towards us. Even so, I no longer felt uncomfortable in the canyons because I realized I could get above them to higher, drier ground easily and quickly, so the prospect of weather really did not change my plans, and I continued to wander on, eager to see where this waterless stream path was leading me. Over many years and visits, I would learn that most of these summits could be ascended in non-technical ways through some pretty interesting ledge connections, but for the moment my attention was on finding the “the headwaters of the Nile."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Friday, February 3, 2017

Gung Hay Fat Choy 2017 by Robert Glenn Ketchum



Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Welcome to 2017, the Year of the Rooster.


If it is not already obvious, the rooster always wants to be in charge; he acts aggressively with everyone else in the barnyard; he sets his own schedule and expects everyone else to follow him; and, he is very proud of himself when he feels he has accomplished something, so he crows about it. With each passing year I come to appreciate the perceptive insights of the Chinese birth animals and the metaphors they serve for us in real life. 2017 is no exception.