Photo: Dale Robbins

James Balog


James Balog has been a leader in the field of nature photography for three decades. In 2007, after years of traveling to work in such varied landscapes as African savannahs and the Himalayas, Balog founded the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), the largest ground-based photographic survey of the world’s glaciers ever conducted. The project is dedicated to documenting the increasingly rapid melting of the glaciers in the Arctic and other areas.

Balog’s work with EIS has been featured in two issues of National Geographic, and was the focus of the 2009 NOVA documentary “Extreme Ice.” A feature-length documentary about Balog and EIS, “Chasing Ice,”  premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2012 and will be released in November.

Balog’s long photography career has earned him wide acclaim and awards including the Leica Medal of Excellence and the International League of Conservation Photographers Award. He was named “Person of the Year” in 2011 by Photo Media magazine, and “Outstanding Photographer of the Year” by the North American Nature Photography Association in 2008. EIS has also been recognized with the Missouri School of Journalism’s Honor Medal for Distinguished Service, and the Galen and Barbara Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure.

Prior to the Extreme Ice Survey, Balog’s assignments and personal projects have included photographing the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters, such as the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

Balog has published eight books of his photography and prose, including his most recent work, Ice: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers, and Changing Climate: A Progress Report, in 2009. His work has also been published in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Vanity Fair, and other magazines, and can be found in dozens of public and private art collections including the Denver Art Museum and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC.