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Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Weekly Post, "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!"



Wednesday, January 16, 2019
“Geological Cubism"
circa 1985-1995

Stoned Immaculate, #114:
Immaculate, #114:  from the portfolio, STONED IMMACULATE

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post, "Arctic: At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

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, January 16, 2019

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #127:
ARCTIC, #127:   Our common conversation in the sauna after a remarkable day of flying over the various islands surrounding Lancaster Sound, is that we are already past the point that might have caused our attempted Northwest Passage traverse to fail, and now the navigation before us appears to be very doable, but not without ice and some peril. Nonetheless, we are all confident that we will get through, and our timing is so much earlier than we expected, the consensus is that we should not be in a great hurry to complete the trip, but rather, settle back, go a bit more slowly, and enjoy days exploring with the helicopter. That thought in mind, and a opulent dinner, we retire to awake to this. The advancing storm of the previous evening was not only cold enough to freeze “brash” ice while I was shooting, but during the night, winter arrived in the Arctic, and it has received the first snow. Our morning is blustery cold, and all the islands are snow-dusted. At breakfast, John Bockstoce points this out and suggests whatever we are going to do, we better do it soon, as time is running out - Arctic weather and the north Atlantic might turn against us anytime now..

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Weekly Post, "NO PEBBLE MINE Pictures from Ground Zero" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

NO PEBBLE MINE Pictures from Ground Zero 
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Since 1998, I have been working to protect the spectacular resources of southwest Alaska and the fishery of Bristol Bay. Two Aperture books, a national traveling exhibition, a massive coalition of concerned users, and a lot of personal lobbying, had it looking like we were almost there. Then Donald Trump took office claiming he would always put America, and American jobs first. SO WHY destroy a BILLION-dollar-a-year, RENEWABLE salmon fishery and over 100,000 jobs for a group of international mineral speculators that will leave us with a Superfund site to clean up, and NO fishery left edible? And yet, he did,..so please, keep saying NO TO THE PEBBLE MINE!
~Robert Glenn Ketchum






Tuesday, January 15, 2019 

NO PEBBLE MINE #331, Pictures from Ground Zero
NO PEBBLE MINE #331:  Delivered to Goodnews by a plane from Dillingham, I await an upriver boat pick-up from colleagues in the Department of Fish and Game. While waiting, I am surveying this small Native village, and considering what it must be like to live here throughout the year - at the edge of the Arctic Circle, on a gravel-scrub-tundra shoreline, facing into the north Pacific, and without much supportive infrastructure to speak of - this is a rugged lifestyle! Of course, everyone fishes. Freshwater fish and spawning salmon are in the Goodnews river, and Goodnews Bay opens into one of the most productive marine fisheries in the world. No one in this village, however, is a “commercial” fisherman. There are no industrial fishing boats here. This is the fishing “fleet” for the village. It is a flotilla of Lund’s! In one of these, a skilled hunter might catch fish, or marine mammals, hunt seals, and raid cliffside bird rookeries for their eggs. It takes a distinct skill set, and some considerable confidence to go out hunting by yourself, in one of these.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Weekly Post, High and Wild: Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers

High and Wild: Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

After receiving my MFA from CalArts, I was invited by Bill Lund, Sharon Disney’s husband, to come stay at the families' Diamond-D Ranch in Dubois, Wyoming. Bill thought I might like to photograph in the nearby Wind River Mountains, which I did, backpacking through them extensively over the next three summers. Welcome to a world of big granite walls and huge alpine lakes!




Monday, January 14, 2019

High and Wild:  Three Years of Wandering in the Wind Rivers, #73:
Wind River, #73:  The outlet end of Wall Lake is mostly granite and few gardens, and there is too much exposure, so Vicki, Belle, and I traverse the shoreline, looking for some place that offers a little more protection. At the other end of Wall, the basin becomes a bouldered terrain, speckled with some beautiful, flowering gardens through which Pole Creek is flowing. We find a nice place to pitch in amongst some very large rocks, and settle for the night with a good dinner. The next day dawns breezy, and although the sky is swimming with cloud layers, we can tell it is not going to storm on us, so we eat a casual breakfast, stock our daypacks, and begin a slow wander, ever deeper into the basin. We finally have had the good sense to acquire complete topographic maps for the entire area, so we know we are in the Pole Creek headwaters, surrounded by some impressive spires and summit walls, and we spend a good deal of the day just walking to the far end of the basin where the creek begins.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post, "The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get
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 Flats 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, January 14, 2019

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #141:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #141:  There is no more steep, or dangerous terrain to navigate, on our ski out of Boulder Basin. The stress of traversing the narrow canyon and possible avalanches is gone, and we are now in the trees on a broadening valley floor that will soon give way to some miles of smooth, snow-covered, rolling hills. We are seriously snacked-up, recovering from our tricky descent, and now we get to play. Packs get re-adjusted. Cameras are put away (for the safety of my ribs). Our heels are free, not locked down. This is not downhill skiing, although we are often screaming downhill. We are now skiing in the track-path we collectively cut, skiing in. It is a packed down groove, that has been refilled with a bit of powder snow. Whoever leads is skiing new powder, those behind are skiing a track that is increasingly more groomed, and getting faster with the passing of each skier. Since you are in a track, turns are REALLY awkward because you step-around them using fast, little ski steps. You don’t really make a turn as you do when downhill skiing. No one blows up, although there are some hair-raising moments, and the long run to the car is just amazing! At various places I have kick-glide steps that cover 20-30 yards before I set the other ski. There is a lot of whooping, and more snacks at the car. These DFC&FC trips for stories in POWDER magazine, and the furtherance of my personal work, are just getting better and better. Maybe we should do another?

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Weekly Post, "The Daze of My Life: Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography"

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. 
~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Friday, January 11, 2019

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #130: Daze, #130:  As the cold dissipates and the warmth of spring creeps in, many things begin a transformation. Carey and I get in some excellent hikes, and we visit some beautiful cities that lay at the foot of the mountains whose ridgeline creates the Blue Ridge Parkway. Asheville, in particular, provides us with a spectacular evening event. We leave our campground and 3-burner Coleman stove, to have a formal dinner and candlelight tour of the Biltmore House, at 178,926-square-feet, it is the largest privately owned home in America. The gardens at dusk are beautiful, but it is the detailing inside that blows everyone on the tour away. Incredible, grand rooms; elegant furnishings; curious collected artifacts - there is an endless array of things to see and ponder. My favorite, however, manifests during our meal. Well into several courses of food and conversation, I am looking around the huge table at which we are seated, and my eye catches something unusual in the candles displayed. Like many festive candelabras, these tonight feature “decorated” candles. The ones closest to me host tree branches on which doves are perched, and near the top of the candle is a nest with chicks. On the other candelabra there are also branches, but these branches feature a rat that is scouting the dove nest at my end of our table. Back on the road the next morning, I find this from the top of my van, “And Gravity Lets You Down,” which becomes another image in the evolving ORDER FROM CHAOS portfolio. If you wonder about my titles in this series, you need to read this blog for the whole story, but I will tell you this title is a line from The Talking Heads song, “I Get Wild, Wild Gravity,” wherein the lyrics suggest David Byrne is in a hotel room in South Carolina and gravity has let him down. Carey and I can identify with that.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019 
@RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Weekly Post, "Fish Farms: Forming My World View Through Aquaculture in 1977" by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Fish Farms:  Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1977, I was commissioned by Elisabeth Mann Borgese to help do research, interviews, and take photographs for a book she was writing about worldwide aquaculture. It would be published by Harry N. Abrams, one of the world’s premier publishing houses, famous for their beautiful books. It would also involve around-the-world travel to 8 countries, and some of the most remarkable places I would ever visit. SEAFARM: The Story of Aquaculture was a very successful publication featuring over 100 of my images, and an exhibit I assembled with support from Nikon, became a Smithsonian traveling exhibition for 6-yrs., viewed by over 6-million people.  ~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Friday, January 11, 2019

FISHFARMS:  Forming My World View through Aquaculture in 1977, #38:
Fish Farms #38:   Part of the reason I am seeing so many women and so few men on our walk through the dike paths of a Cochin aquaculture community, is that the men are still partying over the Janata party election victory of the previous week, and this particular morning, they have gathered in one of the large main canals for wild paddle races. They use canoes made from tall, straight palm trees, that seat 25-30 men. Women and children line the banks to watch in amusement, as boats that can barely stay above water, are furiously paddled down the canal with lots of yelling and wild shouts. The guy standing with his arm raised is supposedly leading the paddlers by shouting out the stroke, but the guy in front of him, I think, is just praying. It is all very funny, and for the community, the presence of Elisabeth and I, is pretty funny as well.

photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2019, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

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, October 24, 2018

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias, #94:
The Yakutat Forelands, #94:  The spectacle of the exaggerated, and very visible, changes in the parts of Icy Bay we actually explored, is quite sobering to all of us. As the plane climbs and heads for the coast, we fall silent as each of us ponders the numerous times we have encountered life-threatening circumstances in just these past 10-days. This was NOT a casual Alaskan kayaking adventure. Our pilot suggests we have been in the middle “of an epic weather event,” and he acknowledges that he wondered what he would find in flying in to pick us up. He also notes that all flights in and out of Yakutat have been grounded for the better part of the last week, so he was not even sure if he would be allowed to come for us. As our flight path hits the coast, where we will turn south, the large river pouring out of the bay has flushed so much mud and silt into the Pacific, that it is actually changing the color of the ocean water for many square miles. Well, it IS Alaska! Go big, or go home. We have done one, and now we are going to do the other. I want to sleep on a mattress. We have all come to bow before St. Elias, and now suitably humbled, we retreat to play another day.

photograph(s) © copyright, Robert Glenn Ketchum, 2018, @RbtGlennKetchum, @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd

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Saturday, September 1, 2018

Surf Gidget the Pug Surfs for Charity and Makes a Splash with a Rare Disease By Rachel Baerchen

Surf Gidget the Pug Surfs for Charity and Makes a Splash with a Rare Disease 

By Rachel Baerchen Sept 1, 2018
Surf Gidget the Pug in the Finals, heading to shore and winning the 1st Place ‘Top Dog’ award at the 2018 Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition at Imperial Beach, San Diego, CA
Photo Credit Dale Hernandez
Surf Gidget the Pug® is the little 15-lb. pure white Pug-in-Pink that many are now referring to as ‘Small but Mighty’ since she swept back-to-back championship titles two weekends in a row this summer. Gidget surfed to Gold, sweeping the 2018 Top Dog Category, out surfing dogs of all sizes for both the Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition (Jul 28, 2018), AND the World Dog Surfing Championships (Aug 4, 2018). And apparently, in surfing, the smaller a dog is, the more difficult it is to stay put on a surfboard. Larger dogs can simply lie down if the surf is rough, where smaller dogs tend to get tossed off unless they are agile and know how to balance their weight on the board. So for a 15lb. LITTLE dog becoming the World Dog Surfing Champion, or any Surfing Champion, it’s a BIG deal!

Monday, August 20, 2018

TERRA FIRMA Exhibit at the Manhattan Beach Art Center featuring Robert Glenn Ketchum


When at UCLA, Ketchum studied with two very non-traditional photography practitioners, Edmund Teske and Robert Heinecken. Ketchum was especially influenced by Heinecken's use of many different materials in presenting his photographic imagery, some of which involved cloth and fabric. Working with UCLA, in 1985, Ketchum became the first American artist to enter their China exchange program. This began a 30-year collaboration with a nationally prestigious Chinese embroidery guild, to translate his photographs of the natural world into embroideries and loom weavings, of which two of the most recent are displayed here.



Graceful Branch Movement_ 2010
Graceful Branch Movement, 2010

One of the largest 2-sided embroidery panels ever created, featuring the untraditional use of two stitches that were never previously combined. The detailed leaves are done in the most laborious "Suzhou fine style," and all the other background work is done in the "random" stitch. There more than 40 dye colors used, and the work took several embroiderers 3-years.

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