Photo & Video Gallery

Chasing Ice

Chasing Ice, a documentary about photographer James Balog and his Extreme Ice Survey (EIS) project, will be released nationally starting in mid-November 2012.

Director Jeff Orlowski spent months following Balog, an INSTAAR affiliate, as he struggled with balky equipment, terrible weather, sideways terrain, and personal injury to acquire time-lapse photography of moving glaciers. The time-lapse footage shows dramatic evidence of glacier retreat in Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, and Montana.

James Balog founded the EIS in 2007 to capture still and time-lapse images of glaciers, merging art and science to show changing ecosystems. The project deploys solar-powered cameras at glaciers around the world; each records an image every half hour during daylight, about 8,000 frames per camera per year. The frames are compiled into dramatic time-lapse videos that document swift changes in climate.

Orlowski interviews several scientists to give context to the imagery, including INSTAAR Fellow W. Tad Pfeffer, whose data on climate and the environment reinforces the visual effect of the EIS footage.

Chasing Ice has won dozens of awards at film festivals, including Sundance and South by Southwest (SXSW).

This gallery features

  • The official trailer for the film.
  • The end credits, featuring the song “Before My Time,” by J. Ralph, which weaves together Scarlett Johansson’s snagged-velvet voice and Joshua Bell’s violin. (See Bell's web site for the remarkable story of his Stradivarius.)
  • Chasing Ice clip: "It's been working the entire time."
  • James Balog's 2009 TED talk, showing the work of the Extreme Ice Survey.
  • An interview with Jeff Orlowski shown at Sundance London 2012.