WWF-Canada Blog:

Chasing Ice: Telling the story of our changing climate through photography

As a former newspaper photographer and now recreational photographer, I am keenly aware of the desire for my images to capture a moment and to tell a story. Whether your photographs aim to tell the story of your family, the birth of a child, a wedding, or your new pet, photography is a means of telling a story through imagery.

That said, as I sat in the movie theatre, I was awe-struck to be in the presence of a landscape photographer who through his work, is in the process of telling one of the most important stories of our time; the climate we are changing.

© James Balog, Chasing Ice

Chasing Ice is a documentary based upon Balog’s ‘Extreme Ice Survey, a comprehensive multi-year photographic study of the world’s glaciers. In the film, director Jeff Orlowski follows the team as they travel to Greenland, Iceland and Alaska to set up a series of cameras that will capture glacial retreat over the span of months and years. The resulting time-lapse photos produce shocking evidence that shows glaciers are melting at an alarming pace, especially when superimposed images, such as a 3D map of Manhattan, are placed over the images to provide a sense of scale and magnitude to the issue.


More than ever, I am conscious of the fact that through our actions, big or small, as individuals and as a society, we are creating and accelerating “epochal geologic change” – and, most importantly, how we must counter that with the same scale of solutions to ensure we do not slip into runaway climate change. Getting the world off of oil and coal and onto renewable energy, for example, will be core to that solution.

© James Balog, Chasing Ice

There is still time to change the course that we are on, but it requires all of us to stand up and use our voice, our pens, our blogs and our cameras to engage in the conversation about the future we want for our planet.

How will you tell your story?


  • One of the great things about this film is it allows people to actually see how our climate is going to effect our environment. I think this is great because we can’t truly appropriate something unless we have seen it. A lot of people damage our outside environment because they don’t spend time in nature. We hear about things but we don’t truly register all the time until we see visual proof of it.

  • Speedy D25

    Well written article, very interesting, great video, hey, keep it comin, and don’t stop/give up!!

    Speedy D25

  • Carrie

    Stunning photography, and a fantastic and novel concept to visually capture the magnitude of what is happening. As heartbreaking as it is to see, it most definitely needs to be seen…by all.

    Looking forward to seeing it in its entirety, thanks for the article!