James Balog (pronounced BAY-log; born July 15, 1952) is an American photographer whose work explores the relationship between humans and nature. Since the early 1980s Balog has photographed such 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. In 2007 he initiated the Extreme Ice Survey, the most wide-ranging ground-based photographic glacier study ever conducted. National Geographic magazine showcased Balog’s ice work in June 2007 and June 2010, and the project is featured in the 2009 NOVA documentary Extreme Ice[n 1] as well as the 75-minute film Chasing Ice, which premiered in January 2012. Balog’s book Ice: Portraits of the World’s Vanishing Glaciers summarizes the work of the Extreme Ice Survey through 2012.