Photographer James Balog grew up skeptical about climate change. But in 2005, he headed to Iceland on assignment for National Geographic and found himself captivated by the spectacular beauty of the icy landscape and devastated by how it was quickly changing before his eyes. Balog had an idea: the Extreme Ice Survey, a network of […]Continue reading
Why you should listen
To see the natural world through James Balog's lens is to see it as an artist would -- through fresh eyes, as if for the first time, with no preconceived notions. His photos of jungle animals, for instance, are arresting in their directness, simplicity, even sensuality. His subjects assume the same weight and importance as a human portrait sitter, and demand (as a human subject would) that the viewer engage with them rather than simply spectate.
His newest work is no less powerful, no less engaging -- and it carries an urgent message. For several years, Balog has been going up north to shoot the half-alive ice of the mammoth glaciers for his Extreme Ice Survey, a look at the shocking effects of abrupt climate change in Alaska, Greenland and Iceland. Soaring, dripping, glowing and crumbling, arctic ice under Balog's eye requires the viewer to engage.
A new Nova/PBS TV special and a new book, Extreme Ice Now, are helping him spread the word that this glorious world is degrading at a speed we couldn't imagine until we saw it through his eyes.
What others say
"Each new series by James Balog represents a quantum leap in creativity, which takes us deeper into the ultimate mystery of humanity's relationship to the natural world." — James Nachtwey, photographer and TED Prize winner
James Balog’s TED talks
James Balog on the TED Blog
On Saturday, October 17, president Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives will conduct his national cabinet meeting … 20 feet beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean. The president and his ministers will carry out the full monty under the sea with wetsuits, compressed-air tanks and even waterproof pens and paperwork to persuade world leaders of […]Continue reading
Photographer James Balog shares new image sequences from the Extreme Ice Survey, a network of time-lapse cameras recording glaciers receding at an alarming rate, some of the most vivid evidence yet of climate change. (Recorded at TEDGlobal 2009, July 2009 in Oxford, England. Duration: 19:22) Recommended: Download and watch this talk in high-def >> Watch […]Continue reading