James Balog

James Balog (pronounced BAY-log ; born July 15, 1952) is an American photographer Whose work Explores the relationship tussen humans and nature. Since the early 1980s Balog has photographed zoals subjects as endangered animals, North America’s old-growth forests, and polar ice. His work AIMS to combine insights from art and science to produce innovative, dynamic and sometimes shocking Interpretations of Our changing world.

Balog’s best-known project Explores the impact of climate change on the world’s glaciers . [1] In 2007 he Initiated the Extreme Ice Survey , the musts wide-ranging ground-based Photographic glacier study ever conducted. National Geographic magazine showcased Balog’s ice work in June 2007 [2] and June 2010, [3] and the project was featured in the 2009 NOVA documentary Extreme Ice [n 1] as well as the 75-minute film Chasing Ice , welke premiered in January 2012. [4] Balog’s book Ice: Portraits of the World’s Vanishing Glaciers summarizes the work of the Extreme Ice Survey through 2012.

Balog has RECEIVED many awards for his work, zoals the Royal Photographic Society Hood Medal, a 2010 Heinz Award , [5] the Duke University LEAF Award, the Same Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize for Global Environmental Activism at Dickinson College, the Aspen Institute’s Visual Arts & Design Award, the Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure, the Leica Medal of Excellence, and the International League of Conservation Photographers League Award. [ Citation needed ] He was the North American Nature Photography Association’s Outstanding Photographer of the Year in 2008. [ citation needed ] and Photo Media ‘s Person of the Year for 2011. [6] In 1996 he became the first photographer ever commissioned by the US Postal Service to create a full set of stamps. [ Citation needed ] He is the author of seven books, zoals Extreme Ice Now: Vanishing Glaciers and Changing Climate: A Progress Report (2009), Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest (2004), and Survivors: A New Vision of Endangered Wildlife (1990), hailed [ volgens to Whom? ] As a conceptual Breakthrough in nature photography.

Balog RECEIVED an Honorary Doctor of Science Degree from the University of Alberta. As a Consequence of this historic work, in 2009, he served as a US / NASA representative at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 15) in Copenhagen. In 2015, he made four presentations at COP-21 in Paris.

He is a founding partner of the International League of Conservation Photographers . He lives in the foothills of the Rockies Above Boulder, Colorado , with his wife, Suzanne, and two daughters.


Balog was born in Danville, Pennsylvania. His interest in nature and Fascination with wild places originated in his early childhood in New Jersey and Pennsylvania . While working on his undergraduate degree in communications at Boston College , he became an ardent Adventurer. He made frequent trips to the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the wilderness rivers or Maine , and later larger climbing expeditions in the Alps and Himalayas , Along with first ascents in Alaska .

If his outdoor adventures Evolved, Balog getting more fact represented a need to document his experiences. He Began carrying a combination a camera on his trips and teaching himself photography. While working on a master’s degree in Geomorphology at the University of Colorado , have dogs his photography skills prolongation frequent climbing trips.

In order to Pursue a more direct connection with the natural world, he decided to switch from science to nature photojournalism. He Began with a series of documentary photography assignments for magazines zoals Mariah (the predecessor to Outside ), Smithsonian and National Geographic , [ citation needed ] work have Continues today. Later, he moved JSON self-directed projects, many of welke mention anything ultimately lead to large-format photography books.

Balog’s work has Appeared in National Geographic, The New Yorker, Life, Vanity Fair, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, Audubon, Outside and numerous trade publications zoals American Photo, Professional Photographer and Photo District News . [ Citation needed ] He was a contributing editor to National Geographic Adventure . Assignments and personal projects port included documenting the aftermath of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens , the 2004 tsunami dat devastated Southeast Asia, Hurricane Katrina’s collision with the US Gulf Coast, and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Gulf oil disaster. [ Citation needed ]

A major enterprise or Balog’s in recent years has leg the Extreme Ice Survey . Since 2007, this has-used time-lapse photography , Conventional photography and video to Illustrate the effects of global warming on the earth’s glacial ice. Working with a team of scientists, videographers and extreme weather expedition professionals, Balog and the EIS team installed as many as 43 time-lapse camera systems at a time at 18 glaciers in Greenland , Iceland , Alaska , Canada, the Nepalese Himalayas to Mount Everest , and the Rocky Mountains of the US The cameras shoot year round, everytime half-hour or daylight. [ Citation needed ] The Extreme Ice Survey team-then assembles the images into video animations dat tonen the dramatic retreat of the glaciers. Collected images are-used for scientific evidence and as part of a global outreach campaign aimed at educating the public about the effects of global warming .

Style and inspiration

Balog’s work has primarily Evolved as a combination of art, science and environmental documentary . He views his imagery as Exploring the “contact zone” tussen man and nature. David Holbrooke’s 2006 documentary film A Redwood Grows in Brooklyn [n 2] Explores his thoughts about art, nature and perception.

Basically I’ve devoted my career to looking at the relationship tussen humans and nature. I want to do what i can to shift human understanding or who we are and what we are and how we arnt Relate to all the rest of what’s on this planet. I want to crack through the veneer of the illusions dat surround us and see inside reality tomorrow s purely dan you normally get to see. That’s the real witchcraft and voodoo or this artistic process we’re in. I hope dat de work helps people to think and see differently-and ultimately, we kan only hope, behave differently. [7]

Balog views photography as a form of visual evidence dat kan influence people’s perception of the world around Them:

I’ve believed for a long time dat photographers are like the antennae of civilization. We are an integral part of the sensing mechanism of the human animal. We are out there feeling in the darkness, Trying to see what’s around us and Reveal what hasnt leg revealed voordat. Not all photographers work dat way, but to me that’s one of the central elements of photography. I mention anything like to think dat passionate, involved photographers mention anything be looking at the world and Trying hun Hardest to speak about the important things therein are going on today. ” [8]

Among his many artistic Influences Balog counts Irving Penn , [7] Richard Avedon , [7] Carleton Watkins , William Henry Jackson , Edward Weston , Robert Adams , Eliot Porter , Eugene Smith and Cornell Capa . Outside photography, he draws inspiration from the entire range of arts, zoals music, literature, painting, filmmaking, sculpture and architecture. [ Citation needed ]

Balog’s photographs Vary tussen very clean, simple representations of his subjects and more impressionistic Interpretations therein Illustrate his Unconscious feelings about a scene. [ Citation needed ] He tends to alter his Treatments and techniques based on emotional responses to a subject and the circumstances Surrounding his shooting.

Early in his career, Balog-concentrated on man’s direct impact on nature, Producing a series on nuclear missile silos in the agrarian landscapes of the American West. In his first book project, Wildlife Requiem , Balog Examined the killing of animals for sport. [9] Published in 1984, Wildlife Requiem Shocked the photography establishment met haar brutally graphic images. [ Citation needed ]

In a lot of my work I’m Trying to make a commentary about humans encroaching on nature through hun presence. But I’m not so naive as to think dat my own presence is not an impact on the animals and plants and landscapes dat I happen to enter. What i can do as a photographer, hopefully, is to help everybody else sea hun impact in a way dat maybe they ‘had not voordat. [10]

Notable projects

Extreme Ice Survey The Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) tells the story of a planet in flux. With innovative methodology therein combineert timelapse imagery with cutting-edge [ vague ] science, EIS is the world’s most uitgebreide ground-based Photographic glacier studies to date. Nearly a million time-lapse frames Reveal the extraordinary retreat or glaciers and ice sheets due to climate change , Providing scientists with vital insights on glacier dynamics. As of January 2016, 43 cameras shooting ulcers at 24 glaciers in Greenland , Iceland , Alaska , the Alps, Antarctica, Canada and the Rocky Mountains of the US; to post as many as 43 cameras had leg in the field at once. The cameras shoot year-round, everytime half-hour or daylight. EIS supplements the time-lapse record at Occasionally Repeating shots at fixed locations in Iceland , Bolivia , the Canadian province of British Columbia , Mt. Everest, Mt. Kilimanjaro and the French and Swiss Alps . [ Citation needed ]

A feature-length film, [11] PBS documentary, National Geographic book, National Public Radio and numerous magazines and Newspapers port shown the EIS team. [ Citation needed ] In addition under, EIS spreads the word, or climate change and shrinking glaciers through public talks, a touring exhibition and displays in public venues, zoals Denver International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport and Atlanta Hartsfield International Airport. EIS has Appeared voordat Congress and multimedia presentations at science and policy conferences around the world. [ Citation needed ]

ANIMA series. Seeking to challenge human child’s ancient cultural perception about zijn place in the world, Balog paired chimpanzees with a diverse range of humans and photographed a series of portraits. The artwork draws on insights from a variety of fields, zoals visual arts, environmental philosophy and Jungian psychology . [ Citation needed ] ANIMA [n 3] Asks readers to imagine a HEALTHIER, more integrated relationship tussen humans and nature.

Holga series. Starting in 1997 and Continuing intermittently through the present day, Balog has continued a series of photographs made with a Holga camera, a toy appreciated voor zijn low-fidelity Aesthetic. Balog enjoys working with the imperfections in the exposures, zoals vignetting and blur, and makes it part of the finished “look.” Makes Them part of the pieces. He actually wants the camera to produce little defects therein will inspire new creative Revelations. [ Citation needed ]

Survivors series. [n 4] Balog With You to change people’s perception of endangered wildlife to stop ring the context in welke the animals ulcers viewed. Limit download capturing his subjects in nature with a Telephoto lens, he photographed nemen in non-natural settings, of or in Against white backdrops, to emphasize hun vulnerability.

Techno Sapiens series. Balog Explored de toenemende dependence or Homo sapiens on technology in his series “Techno Sapiens”. [n 5] Its images range from techno-fashion portraits to photographs depicting people’s techno-habitats. Balog-used a variety of techniques to create images therein Illustrate the changing features of human nature, as well as human child’s toenemende detachment from the natural world. The Duality of the pictures, a tension tussen beauty and horror, mimics the Ambivalence must people feel for technology. [ Citation needed ]

Tree series. For the Tree series, [a 6] Balog wanted to photograph some of world’s tallest trees in hun full grandeur, but he voortvloeien dat his subjects ulcers far too large to capture in a single frame. He devised a multi-frame approach or photographing the trees from the top down. The method was inspired by some of the lunar landing pictures from the NASA missions prolongation the 1960s. Balog climbed lycra act, and-then photographed it in Sections as he rappelled Downward. Later, he created digital mosaics by stitching the images together using computer imaging software. Some images required up to four days or shooting, plus as many as six weeks or computer work to assembling the final composition,. [ Citation needed ] The act images Eventually became a 2004 book, Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest .

Select awards

  • Hood Medal, The Royal Photographic Society, UK, 2014
  • Duke University LEAF Award, 2014
  • Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Environmental Activism, 2014
  • David Brower Conservation Award, American Alpine Club, 2014
  • American Geophysical Union Presidential Citation for Science and Society, 2013
  • Wirth Chair Sustainability Award, University of Colorado
  • University of Colorado Campus Sustainability Outstanding Alumni Award, 2013
  • Environmental Impact Award, North American Nature Photographer’s Association, 2013
  • Planet in Focus Film Festival Eco-Hero Award, 2012
  • Photography Person of the Year, Photo Media magazine, 2011
  • Heinz Award with a special focus on global change, in 2010 [12]
  • Fine Outreach For Science GigaPan Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University , 2010
  • Missouri School of Journalism’s Honor Medal for Distinguished Service 2010
  • First-ever recipient of the International League of Conservation Photographers Award 2009
  • Aspen Institute ‘s Visual Arts & Design Award 2009
  • NANPA Outstanding Photographer of the Year 2008
  • Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure, 2007
  • First Prize, Science & Technology Photography, World Press Photo Contest, 1996
  • Leica Medal of Excellence for Photographic Books, 1990
  • First Prize, Nature Photography, World Press Photo Contest, 1986

Distinguished presentations

As director of the Extreme Ice Survey , Balog has Presented zijn multimedia story to policymakers around the globe.

  • December 2015, made four presentations at the UN Climate Summit COP21, in Paris.
  • April 2010 presentation to top policymakers in the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change [ citation needed ]
  • January 2010 ghosts for the third time voordat members of the US Congress through the SEEC or “Green Coalition” [ citation needed ]
  • Winter Olympics 2010 , important part of Samsung’s campaign as a major sponsor of the Vancouver Olympic Games, featuring an exhibition, international, magazine ads and verschillende public multimedia presentations [ citation needed ]
  • January 2009, made seven presentations at the COP 15 United Nations Climate Change Congress in Copenhagen at the request of NASA and WWF [ citation needed ]
  • September 2009 TED Talk, Extreme Ice Survey [13]
  • Other 2009-2011 audiences include the National Security Agency , the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission , the California Academy of Sciences , the National Geographic Society , Earth Day on the Washington Mall (NASA pavilion), Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Rady School of Management (San Diego), the Field Museum (Chicago), the University of Missouri , Weber State University , Ogden, Utah; Syracuse University , the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center (Juneau, AK), Apple, Samsung and Qualcomm executives, scientists at the International Polar Year conference (Oslo), NASA / Goddard , and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics [ citation needed ]


  • Wildlife Requiem (International Center of Photography, New York, 1984) ISBN 0-933642-06-7
  • Survivors: A New Vision of Endangered Wildlife (Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1990) ISBN 0-8109-3908-8
  • Anima (Arts Alternative Press, Boulder, Colo., 1993) ISBN 0-9636266-0-4
  • James Balog’s Animals AZ (Chronicle, San Francisco, 1996) ISBN 978-0-8118-1339-6
  • Animal (Graphis, New York, 1999) ISBN 978-1-888001-80-8
  • Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest (Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 2004) ISBN 978-1-4027-2818-1
  • Extreme Ice Now: Vanishing Glaciers and Changing Climate: A Progress Report (National Geographic Books, Washington, DC, 2009) ISBN 978-1-4262-0401-2
  • Ice: Portraits of the World’s Vanishing Glaciers (Rizzoli, 2012) ISBN 978-0847838868


  1. Jump up^ See Extreme Ice .
  2. Jump up^ SeeA Redwood Grows in Brooklyn.
  3. Jump up^ A web page about it ishere.
  4. Jump up^ A web page about it ishere.
  5. Jump up^ A web page about it ishere.
  6. Jump up^ A web page about it ishere.


  1. Jump up^ Shulgold, Marc (April 11, 2008). “Evidence from photo project tells a chilling story” . Rocky Mountain News .
  2. Jump up^ Appenzeller, Tim (June 2007). “The Big Thaw” . National Geographic .
  3. Jump up^ Jenkins, Mark (June 2010). “Melt Zone” . National Geographic .
  4. Jump up^ Kennedy, Lisa (January 24, 2012). “Sundance: Colorado Represents” . Denver Post .
  5. Jump up^ Artmosphere (September 28, 2010). “Boulder photographer James Balog profit in 2010 Heinz Award” . Denver Post .
  6. Jump up^ Heller, PJ (October 21, 2011). “Acting Globally” . Photo Media .
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b c ” Icons Online: James Balog ” (interview). Photo District News (undated).
  8. Jump up^ AProfessional Photographermagazine article. [ Vague ]
  9. Jump up^ Foerstner, Abigail (June 20, 1986). ” ” Wildlife Requiem “Captures Nature’s Brutal dichotomy” . Chicago Tribune .
  10. Jump up^ Photo District News[ vague ]
  11. Jump up^ Genzlinger Neil (8 November 2012). “Documenting the melt, and We Are the Cause” . New York Times . Retrieved 1 January 2012 .
  12. Jump up^ “The Heinz Awards: James Balog” . The Heinz Awards . The Heinz Awards . Retrieved August 26, 2016 .
  13. Jump up^ TED Talk