Sundance Catalog

icon icon

Wednesday, September 28, 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, September 28, 2016

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #7:
ARCTIC:   At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #7:  When Bill Simon decided to create "Itasca," he purchased a super-tanker tug and remodeled it. He was attracted to the durable construction and motor power, but because he was going to take this boat to both the Arctic and the Antarctic, what he liked most about it was that it had TWO systems for everything. If something broke down, they could remain operational. Further, in planning this attempt to cross through the Northwest Passage, he invited his architect for the boat to come on the trip, AND he also hired two of the craftsman that built it as part of his crew. He could have hardly known how quickly his decision to do so would prove a wise choice. In the quieter waters of bay around Teller, and with the storm backing off a bit, we assessed our damage while waiting for Bill, his other guests, our supplies, and the attendant truck convoy to arrive. Two big windows had been damaged, several doors were torn off hinges, and a number of wooden cabinets had been smashed or ripped off walls. Everything was superficial AND BEST OF ALL, OUR STAFF WOULD REPAIR EVERYTHING waiting for Bill come, and the weather to clear.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd:

Monday, September 26, 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, September 26, 2016

Where It All Began:  Limekiln Creek, #39
Where It All Began - Limekiln Creek, #39:  Most of the work I had been turning in for critique in Robert Heinecken's photography classes at UCLA involved a lot of experimentation, which reflected the exploring he was encouraging us to do. When not a student on campus, I spent a good deal of time taking pictures of rock bands on the The Sunset Strip. I also spent weekends camping in the desert and on the Big Sur coast, often at Limekiln. As my personal work evolved, the darkroom experimentation fused with the 60's swirling around me, and Limekiln, in particular, jumpstarted my as-yet-unawakened relationship with the natural world. Before "selfies," this was called a self-portrait (Yes, before KIM this actually occurred). In fact, the title of this image is "Self-portrait in 4F Camouflage." What is interesting in retrospect is that you can see all of the elements of my changing life in this: I am experimenting with darkroom techniques; I am infusing my rockstar-like selfie with 60's psychedlia and political meaning; and, apparently in this pic I am "emerging" from nature.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd, #LittleBearProd, ALC (@american_land), Monterey Pop Festival (@MontereyPopFest)

Friday, September 23, 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, September 23, 2016

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #12:
The Daze of My Life, #12:   As school started, Sam Scranton went back to Webb and I went to UCLA. I hung out on The Sunset Strip on weekends photographing bands in the clubs, and wanting to get more into the club environment, I formed Glendor and his Magic People, a light show company. Most of the clubs had their own staff doing shows, but fraternities, sororities, and high schools I knew from my Webb years such as MarlboroughWestlake, and Girl's Collegiate, all hosted dances and they had never seen anything like us. A VERY INTERESTING Webb school teacher, "Bobbie" Hall came to know the inventor of a machine he named the Phantasmagorion. Basically, it was a kaleidoscope projector that used insertable revolving plexi disks for its source of imagery. The inventor had some disks with water and oil sealed in, which were VERY much like a liquid light show, but Bobbie thought more could be done so he offered to give me a couple of machines to experiment with. Not only did I create some interesting disks to project - dyes, film, and actual plant and insect specimens - but when the projections were combined with massive strobe lights that I was able to rent from Hollywood studio rental companies, we blew small unsuspecting venues away. This is Sam Scranton with his band, Silver Chief - Wild Dog of the North at a Webb exchange dance that featured our light show. We did another for the Marlborough prom that is indelibly etched in their brains, and a couple of Catholic schools on the westside told us we would never be invited back even though I had spent my grade school years in the distinguished Good Shepherd Parrish of Beverly Hills
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd:

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, September 23, 2016

My Life in the Garden of Eden, #12:
Garden of Eden, #12:  This is the Huntington Library again, giving big cacti the space to get bigger, AND mixing the planting up with some succulents, grasses, and agave. This part of THIS garden is one of my favorite places. I find it inspirational and things I have seen and learned here have transformed my gardens. I am also honored by the Huntington, as along with the Amon Carter Museum in Texas, they hold the largest two collections of my prints in North America. Of equal importance to me, when time came to rebuild and restore these gardens, my friend and Huntington board member, Robert Wycoff called upon me to take the pictures for the first fundraising brochure, of which this was one of the featured pictures. He also loved the succulent/cacti gardens and I had MANY great pictures from there so the "brochure" became lavish with multi-pages and many images. In the first leg of the campaign, it helped to raise over $30,000,000 dollars, so I feel great to have helped.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd:

Thursday, September 22, 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, September 22, 2016

Welcome to Suzhou, 1985 - to the present, #136
Suzhou #136:  This embroidered robe is pretty much off-the-chart. Dressed like this, I am sure this "humble administrator" would have been a quite a sartorial hit at Burning Man. The dragon and many details are actual gold thread (not to be ostentatious), and that hat is just a frenzy of little pointy shapes and more dragons. I am quite certain when this gentleman went out, everyone noticed. I suppose it is of some relief that although his decorations represent many dragons, they are all "happy" dragons as opposed to angry ones. You would be a happy humble administrator to if you could afford to dress like this.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @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, September 22, 2016

Silk Road - Embroideries #192
SILK ROAD #192:  The "freedom" of the background stitching in "Golden Light of Late Evening," as seen in previous posts #188, #190, and #191 was an indication of Zhang and her embroiderer's willingness to explore stitch applications in new ways. When I first arrived, traditional approaches would have had textures more uniformly represented, and there would be few examples of such random stitching as you saw in "Golden Light." The matrix would surely have been "filled-in," not leaving any transparency through the face of the embroidery. At the same time we were working on "Golden Light," Zhang also agreed to begin another image, pushing these same ideas of "freedom-to-stitch" and "randomness" in another direction. The image above was to become "Old Tree in Autumn Forest." Our mutual goal was to capitalize on the colors, the textures, AND the pronounced dimensional space created by the foreground tree trunks and the background canopy of leaves. In our first 15-years of working together, we would have approached this by using different shaped textural stitches to define the trunks and the lichen on the trunks. We would also have selected different stitches for each tree and rendered that leaf cover in tight detail. We would likely have filled the matrix completely with stitch, except perhaps for small sections of the river. What we would do differently here was that we WOULD detail the lichen and trunks tightly (In fact, one of the most superior renderings of ALL the embroidery work we accomplished), and Zhang wanted to allow the embroiderers to "interpret" the background forest without rendering it specifically, although she was sure it would still appear photographically realisitic. I liked the detail in those leaves and was not sure about this new idea, BUT our synergy had always been terrific and we had already done things the "other" way in past embroideries, so it seemed an interesting direction to explore, and I agreed.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Embroidery @WesCFA @RSSDesigns

Tuesday, September 20, 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, September 20, 2016
THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #4:
THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #4:  In greater detail, this is the domain of the Tongass. Known to sailors as the Inside Passage, you can see how the connecting channels between the myriad islands and fjords of the Tongass allow a boat to pass without being exposed to the storms and rough seas that are generated by the Gulf of Alaska. In the lower right, Ketchikan is pinned. Just to the right of that the coastal fjord system that is visible is Misty Fjords National Monument. Further north, the town of Wrangell sits adjacent the mouth of the Stikine River. North of there, Hobart Bay marks the entrance to Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness area, which I have featured in this blog. West (left) of Hobart Bay lies Admiralty Island National Monument, and then further to the west, Baranof Island hosts the city of Sitka. North of Admiralty Island lies the state capital of Alaska, Juneau, the only state capital that is not connected by roads. To visit you must come in by boat or plane. North of Juneau, and west all the way to the coast is the spectacular Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. In time, because of this project, more wilderness areas would be designated.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd:

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, September 20, 2016 

NO PEBBLE MINE #210, Pictures from Ground Zero:  NO PEBBLE MINE #210 Pictures from Ground Zero:   On this morning's news I heard that 10% of ALL the wilderness in the world had been lost since 1990. This is NOT good news for the health of the planetary ecosystem. Alaskans often complain about federal control and too much DESIGNATED wilderness, but history seems to show a human willingness to disrupt and eliminate wilderness if is NOT intentionally protected. I personally think Alaskans are lucky to have so much. I am also proud that my work has helped to create wilderness:  my TONGASS BLOG; my TATSHENSHINI BLOG; celebrate it:  my TRACY ARM BLOG; and defend it:  my NO PEBBLE BLOG. Part of the wonder of Wood-Tikchik State Park for me is the "wilderness" of it. I can SEE it. Without being any particularly notable place or summit, this entire landscape seethes with wildness thriving in wilderness. American naturalist, hiker, and author, Edward Abbey once said that you do not know wilderness until you enter the food chain. Well, welcome to Alaska! This may look beautiful but I assure you it is rugged thrash and you would be crazy not be armed.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

Follow Robert Glenn Ketchum's Photographic Activism Online:

Monday, September 19, 2016

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, September 26, 2016

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #21:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #21:   While I was improving both my camera and my cross-country skiing skills, many of my non-skiing forays involved Highway #75 north to Galena summit. The drive took you to almost 9,000ft and offered stunning views of the the Bouldersthe Sawtooths, and the breathtaking Salmon River valley headwaters. With a lot of snow on the road, the white Corvair (seen on the left, here) was the vehicle of choice, and the days of choice for such adventures, were usually when the weather was so bad, no one wanted to ski. As the gods would have it, these drives actually proved very enlightening, and shaped my emerging ideas about the photographic image. At the moment of this picture, there is a big storm coming in and we are getting ready to head for Galena. My friend and UCLA classmate is apparently trying to warm his hands. Note the stylish wardrobe: "rough-out" leather pants and a 3/4 length, faux-fur, hooded jacket. You are looking good TW, but don't light that jacket up!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2016, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd:

Thursday, September 15, 2016

NRDC & IUCN in Politico - #NoPebbleMine

Since the International Union for the Conservation of Nature @IUCN has recommended protecting southwest AK and Bristol Bay from the industrial development of the Pebble mine, Joel Reynolds, @NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), and I want to be sure our political leaders are aware of their resolution, so yesterday, this ad dropped in POLITICO.

Contact President Obama and the @EPA and tell them now is the time to act to permanently protect this remarkable ecosystem and the invaluable fishery. Now THE WORLD really is watching!

~Robert Glenn Ketchum