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News & Insight

“Chasing Ice” Documents Climate Change with Time-lapse Photography

By Christopher Lin on November 8th 2012

There’s that classic phrase, “sometimes you have to see it to believe it.” When it comes to climate change, it’s one thing to hear politicians using the issue for political ping-pong or to hear your science professors explaining the theory behind greenhouse gases. But it’s entirely another thing to visualize it.

In “Chasing Ice,” opening tomorrow in New York and Toronto, with other showtimes to follow, James Balog and his daring team use 25 Nikon D200 to gather undeniable evidence of our changing planet.

As you can see from the trailer below, the photography in this movie is visually breathtaking, inspirational, and eye-opening. Be sure to check it out! As the Huffington Post puts it, “Hauntingly Beautiful.”

Chasing Ice’s Awards

SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL – Excellence in Cinematography Award: US Documentary
The Environmental Media Association’s 22nd Annual BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD
AUDIENCE AWARDS at the following festivals:
South By Southwest Film Festival
Hot Docs Film Festival
River Run Film Festival
Palo Alto Film Festival
Berwick Film Festival
Port Townsend Film Festival
DocuWest Film Festival
Take One Action Film Festival
Seattle Film Festival (Runner-up Audience Award)
BEST DOCUMENTARY at the following film festivals:
Berkshire Film Festival
Big Sky Film Festival
MountainFilm in Telluride – NORMAN VAUGHAN INDOMITABLE SPIRIT AWARD
Full Frame Film Festival – NICHOLAS SCHOOL ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD
CinemAmbiente – JURY SPECIAL MENTION PRIZE and TURIN PROVINCE STUDENT COUNCIL AWARD
Boulder Film Festival – BEST ADVENTURE FILM
DocuWest Film Festival – BEST FEATURE LENGTH FILM and BEST FEATURED FILM
Heartland Truly Moving Picture Award

Synopsis

In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.

Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of that first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. With a band of young adventurers in tow, Balog began deploying revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

As the debate polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Balog finds himself at the end of his tether. Battling untested technology in subzero conditions, he comes face to face with his own mortality. It takes years for Balog to see the fruits of his labor. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice depicts a photographer trying to deliver evidence and hope to our carbon-powered planet.

Co-Founder of SLR Lounge and Photographer with Lin and Jirsa Photography, I’m based in Southern California but you can find me traveling the world. Click here to connect on Google +

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Joseph Prusa

    Nice.

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  2. Klem

    These films document climate change?  I don’t think so, they document calving glaciers that’s all. They are great films to watch.

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