“Chasing Ice” as Well as a Love of Photography


A love of science mixed with a love of photography. James Balog, a nature photographer living in Colorado, has both these interests.

A love of science mixed with a love of photography. James Balog, a nature photographer living in Colorado, has both these interests. Recently, he starred in the film "Chasing Ice" that comes out in Denver on November 23 at Chez Artist. In the film, Balog and his work on the 2007 Extreme Ice Survey are showcased.


As a science and nature photographer, James Balog considers himself to be artist. He feels that he is an artist first and then a scientist. Even though he does photography, Balog has realized he is also somewhat of a filmmaker. He says that originally he didn't really think of himself as a filmmaker, but after spending time with the film crew who were working to create what is now "Chasing Ice," he came to the realization that in fact he is somewhat of both a producer and a cinematographer. Even after this realization, he does say that he really doesn't do any actual work with video cameras, but when he is doing his photography, he is using some film techniques. On the Extreme Ice Survey, in order to create a pan effect, one of the cameras was mounted on a rotating head; this allowed the camera to have the stars fixed in place, while having the surroundings move. On the actual film "Chasing Ice," Balog said he actually did very little work. During the process, he says he only saw the editing that was being done every 3-6 months.


Throughout the whole expedition, there were cameras filming the actions of all the crew working on the project. Balog says that originally he felt somewhat self conscious about his actions. He feels that, especially as a photographer himself, he can see all of his actions as if he is looking through a viewfinder. Balog does feel though, that after a few hours or days, he learned to live with the cameras, and life became natural.


James Balog loves photography. He loves nature, and some of his other interests besides ice include, volcanos, lava and rocks. In his free time, Balog generally refrains from photography, but of course he photographs his family just like any other father and husband would do. He says that doing this photography he uses a broad range of cameras, from his smart phone, to his "point and shoot" cameras, as well as his good cameras. Although the quality isn't as good, Balog says he still is fine with the camera in his phone, as it is "more forgiving" as well as being less fragile and expensive.


In parting, James Balog said that all the work he is doing, he is doing for the next generation. He and his team hope that their work helps to make a difference by giving kids a healthy and stable planet, that is at least as good as the planet that they inherited. "Chasing Ice" is dedicated to their children, and Balog says that this isn't just their literal children, but all children, and they hope that this film will help inspire kids to take action and to make the world a better place.