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Spotlight: Florian Ledoux's "I Am Vital" Sends a Message About Climate Change

By David Schonauer   Thursday May 21, 2020


Look around, and what do you see?

Water, probably.

“Around our planet, it appears in many forms, liquid, gas or solid,” says filmmaker Florian Ledoux. Most of our planet’s fresh water is the solid kind. “Almost 70 percent of the freshwater on our planet is held within glaciers and ice-sheets,” Ledoux says. “We take water for granted, even though it is something we all depend on. Our future, amongst other challenges, depends on the capability of preserving the ice.”

Originally from France and currently based in Tromsø, Norway, Ledoux is a self-taught photographer and drone pilot whose work focuses on conservation issues. His images have been seen in National Geographic, Time, GEO France and Spain, CNN, Forbes and elsewhere. In 2018 he released his film I Am Fragile, featuring footage his shot on a sailing trip from Greenland to Nanavut, Canada. His beautiful footage documented arctic wildlife on Devon Island, Bylot Island, Baffin Island, Somerset Island, and Lancaster Sound.

Here is I Am Fragile.

Now Ledoux has released a followup effort titled I Am Vital, which underscores the importance of ice  and sends a message about climate change.

“Like all my work, and my previous documentary, I Am Fragile, the beauty, power, and fragility of these polar regions inspire me,” Ledoux explained recently at DP Review. “I feel so many emotions when I find myself in the remote Arctic, co-existing in harmony with the wildlife that calls it home.”

The new film was shot across Greenland, Antarctica, Nunavut, Svalbard and Iceland over the course of three years. “The main body of my work is still photography but over the last few years I have developed video skills,” Ledoux told DPR. “This allows me to use footage that creates an emotional atmosphere in my films.” Ledoux shot with DJI Inspire, Phantom 4 Pro and Mavic 2 Pro drones. “The choice of an ultra-short documentary is to keep people focused on the message that is clear and direct for a very short time mixed with powerful images,” he said.

Preventing the melting of glaciers and ice sheets is crucial for maintaining sea levels, noted DP Review, adding that 2019 was the second-hottest year in recorded history. Antarctica hit a peak temperature of 18ºC, or 64.9 degrees Fahrenheit. 

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