James Balog, the famed photographer featured in the highly acclaimed documentary “Chasing Ice,” will share stories about his leadership in documenting the impact of climate change during the Centennial Center for Leadership’s (CCL) Leadership Café event, Tuesday, April, 9 at 4 p.m. Through an interview conducted by Liam Allman ’15, Balog will share information about his photographic adventures and on-the-ground observations. His talk will be held in the Centennial Center for Leadership’s Seneca Room. That evening, “Chasing Ice” will be screened at the Smith Opera House beginning at 7:30 p.m., with a short multimedia introduction by Balog. After the film, he’ll briefly answer questions and sign books in the lobby. The event is free and open to the public.
For three decades, Balog has been recognized as a leader in photographing and interpreting the natural environment. He is an avid mountaineer with a graduate degree in geography and geomorphology.
To reveal the impact of climate change, Balog founded the Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), the most wide-ranging, ground-based photographic study of glaciers ever conducted. The project is featured in “Chasing Ice,” which won dozens of awards at film festivals worldwide, including the award for Excellence in Cinematography at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. National Geographic showcased EIS in its June 2007 and June 2010 issues and it was featured in the 2009 NOVA/PBS documentary, “Extreme Ice.” Balog’s film was also on the 2013 Academy Award shortlist for documentaries.
Balog has been recognized with the Heinz Award; the Missouri School of Journalism’s Honor Medal for Distinguished Service; the Aspen Institute’s Visual Arts and Design Award; and the Galen and Barbara Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure. He has received the Leica Medal of Excellence; the International League of Conservation Photographers Award and the North American Nature Photography Association’s “Outstanding Photographer of the Year” award. He was named “Person of the Year” for 2011 by PhotoMedia magazine.
The author of eight books, Balog most recently published “ICE: Portraits of Vanishing Glaciers” in 2012. Other books include “Extreme Ice Now: Vanishing Glaciers and Changing Climate: A Progress Report,” “Tree: A New Vision of the American Forest,” “Wildlife Requiem,” “Anima,” and “Survivors: A New Vision of Endangered Wildlife,” which was hailed as a major conceptual breakthrough in nature photography.
Additionally, Balog’s work is in dozens of public and private art collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston; the Corcoran Gallery; the Denver Art Museum and the Gilman Paper Company. It has been extensively published in most of the world’s major pictorial magazines including The New Yorker, National Geographic, Life, American Photo, Vanity Fair, Sierra, Audubon, and Outside. In 1996, he was the first photographer ever commissioned by the U.S. Postal Service to create a series of stamps. The documentary film, “A Redwood Grows in Brooklyn,” explores his thoughts about art, nature and perception.
The Leadership Café and the screening of “Chasing Ice” are sponsored by a grant from the Betsy and Jesse Fink Foundation to The Smith Center for Arts, The Finger Lakes Institute, and the HWS Environmental Studies Program.