10/10/2014 Expedition Mount Baker
It has been three weeks since photographer Peter Funch and his team Adam Kremer, Anatole Höcek, and Douglas Emery returned from Expedition: Mt. Baker. While these city boys certainly have been enjoying the luxuries of home it isn’t just the foot rubs and lattes that been getting in the way of the project’s distribution, as Funch explains:
The process that we used for the artistic side of the project, RGB tri color separation, gives me a lot to work with. I might have anywhere between 6 and 40 RGB images from the same point of view. Each one of these will have different elements that I can combine. The effect has been pleasantly surprising – the distortions, colors, blending of time, I think, is quite beautiful. But it takes a while to put these images together.
It seems that his trip was full of revelations and good fortune. When we asked Funch to relay a bit about the trip he sent us a copy of his notes from the field:
The crew set up the cameras while I wandered with a postcard in hand. It depicts Mt. Baker in yellow desaturated tones, a product of its age and the printing of the early 70s. The back of the card says that this shot was taken in 1972 by Fred Shaw on Kodak’s Ektachrome, the flowers in the foreground are by Indian Paint Brush, Mt. Baker’s elevation is 10,778’, as well as several other facts. It is a surreal experience looking up from the postcard and seeing almost the exact same image, but in reality many times more magnificent. I feel a bit funny continuously looking at the postcard while I walk back and forth, side to side, keeping my focus on matching the perspectives, ignoring the beauty, and trying not to fall down the sheer drop to my left.
Then it clicked.
I realized in this moment, seeing it for the first time, with the forty-two year old (almost my age) photograph in hand, just how much the glaciers have been receding. The top of the Coleman Glacier is still very similar. I could see the same crevasses cutting their deep lines across the Mountain’s surface… but these lines ended abruptly. Whereas before the ice extended to reach the cliff I stood on, going beyond the composition of the old postcard, it was now dusty bedrock, naked and grey. This wasn’t the huge recession I had seen in comparison photos. I was closer to the top of the glacier where less melting occurs. But it was real and clear and in front of me. The surrealism deepened as I imagined the ebb and flow of time, precipitate accumulation, melting, erosion, day and night, summer and winter, months, centuries, the relative fragility of the glacier, the fragility of myself compared to the ice, and a future person standing in my shoes wondering maybe the same things.
In total Expedition: Mt Baker has generated around 40 images that include approximately 20 recreations of old postcards, the RGB images, and new photographs from more accessible locations for future contributors. We would like to thank Project Pressure’s sponsors Rab UK for providing equipment and clothing for the expedition.
For further updates check out the Project-Pressure Facebook Page.
23/09/2014 In search of Glaciers in Iran
Photographer Klaus Thymann and documentary maker Michael Langhoff have just returned from one of Project Pressure’s most intrepid expeditions to date – a journey into the mountains of Iran to document the vital glaciers of this beautiful yet forbidding land.
The team spent 11 days in the country; starting a short distance from Tehran on Mount Damavand, part of the Elborz Mountain range, then completing the expedition at the inactive stratovolcano Mount Sabalan. Along with geotagged images of the region’s glaciers, Klaus and Michael also documented the backdrop of the journey, depicting the country’s heritage, culture and unique landscapes to generate press interest.
Watch this space for more Iran updates!
03/07/2014 Heading to Mount Baker
After an excellent Kickstarter campaign we have successfully secured funding for a new expedition. This summer, on behalf of Project Pressure, award-winning photographer Peter Funch will be heading to Mount Baker. Located in Washington State, USA; this Mountain is a unique place where the effects of climate change can be seen from the accumulation of over a century’s worth of photographic documentation.
Following in the footsteps of Ansel Adams, Peter Funch will capture these stunning and individual glaciers before it is too late. The end result will generate a direct comparison to Mount Baker’s historic visual legacy and provide a complimentary narrative to Mount Baker’s rich history and cultural significance. With Funch’s extensive experience this expedition is sure to be an eye-opening and unique opportunity.
Thank you to those who contributed and don’t forget it’s never too late to help, just click the link below.
24/04/2014 Comparing Khumbu
One of greatest things about working on Project Pressure is meeting others who are studying, documenting and trying to understand the world’s glaciers and the ways they’re changing. We recently came across just such a group – a team of glaciologists from Aberystwyth University who are looking at debris-covered glaciers respond to climate change. We’ve lent them a Garmin GPS-enabled camera to help create geo-tagged images in the Khumbu region of Nepal, which can then be compared with previous photographs taken in 2003.
As they explain in more detail on their project webpage:
“Mountain glaciers rapidly advance or recede with variations in climate and modify the hydrological budgets of glaciated catchments. In mountainous regions such as the Himalaya, the impacts of glacier mass loss on water resources are likely to be severe and the risks to human life posed by glacial hazards will increase with climate change. However, making predictions of the impacts of future climate change on the mountain cryosphere is challenging, particularly for large debris-covered glaciers. We combine 3-D glaciological modelling, remote-sensing observations and the collection of field data to quantify how debris-covered glaciers respond to climate change.”
Photo by Uwe Gille
Project Pressure directors Klaus Thymann and John Wyatt-Clarke speak about photography’s role in highlighting climate change in the latest issue of Fisheye. Issue #5 of the French photography/lifestyle magazine features an overview of the project with images from Sweden, Alaska and Uganda, alongside in-depth features on photography and rock music, Henri Cartier-Bresson and images of Madagascar.