A massive explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 led to largest crude oil spill in the history of the petroleum industry. Eleven men lost their lives; another seventeen were seriously injured. And nearly 5 million barrels of crude gushed into the Gulf. It was heartbreaking to watch as the flora and fauna of the region were devastated by the slick.
Photographer Daniel Beltrá, in his continuing devotion to celebrating the world’s ecosystems via his camera, captured these remarkable images to document a horrific disaster that continues to impact the economies and the natural environs of Gulf region inhabitants.
Entitled Spill, the collection of aerial images is, visually speaking, equal parts beautiful and tragic. While the oil slick paints surrealist tapestries and patterns in the blue Gulf waters, it’s sickening to understand where those colors come from, to realize how challenging it will be to completely restore this area to its pre-spill state. Beltrá has won countless awards for his work throughout his career, including several for this series, including selection as the 2011 Veolia Environment Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year.
[quote] By taking viewers to remote locations where man and nature are at odds, I hope to instill a deeper appreciation for the precarious balance we are imposing on the planet.” [/quote]
A native of Madrid, Spain, Beltrá makes his home in Seattle, Washington. Be sure to take a stop over to his website and peruse his portfolio. His work is absolutely stunning.