It was so cold, and the air so thin, on the mountain that even walking with his fire-rake for 20 minutes exhausted Norfolk completely. He was like a man lost on an island, pacing and waving a flame for help. But his camera, set for an exposure of an hour or more, captured his movement as a solid line of fire: a burning scar.
In October 2014, English photographer Simon Norfolk traveled to Kenya to literally shine light on the drastic loss of glacier ice on Mount Kenya, the second highest peak in Africa. (The highest is Mount Kilimanjaro.) Well-documented since 1934, the once “overwhelming or otherworldly” glaciers there have strikingly decreased in size over the last eight decades, and are expected to completely melt away in the next 30 years.
At an altitude of 4,790 meters (15,720 feet), Norfolk revisualized the long-gone borders of where ice once stood by drawing a series of fire lines with an experimental torch and long-exposure photography. He hopes this project is “a way to reveal its drama” and to help foster conversation around climate change solutions within the public sphere.
Read more at The New York Times.
Related watching: more climate change videos and more glaciers, including Measuring Earth’s atmosphere from 20,000 years ago and this clip from Brian Cox and the Wonders of the Universe.