After declining off from a peak in the 1990s and early 2000s, Amazon rainforest destruction increased last year for the first time in the past decade. This series of aerial photos is a visual exploration of Brazil's Amazon at a time where the impacts of global warming are becoming more and more immediate. The rainforest is being eroded by pressure from mining development, hydropower inundation, timber extraction and agriculture production, so there is no simple fix available. The protection of these lands and ecosystems is vitally important in efforts to stem global warming and climate change.
Born in Madrid, Spain, Daniel Beltrá is a conservation photographer based in Seattle, Washington. Daniel’s artistic passion for what he loves is conveyed instantly in images of our environment that are evocatively poignant. He brings sensibility and craft to the fields of nature and the environment, creating images that he hopes will spur greater respect and conservation of those subjects. The most striking large-scale photographs by Daniel Beltrá are images shot from the air, as this perspective gives the viewer a wider context to the beauty and destruction he witnesses and reveals a sense of scale and details normally invisible to the naked eye. In two months of photographing the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill for Greenpeace, Beltrá produced many of the most visually arresting images to come from this man-made environmental disaster. A selection of twenty of these images were a featured part of the exhibit "SPILL: A Crude Response," which premiered at the 212 Gallery in Aspen, Colorado. “SPILL” is currently on exhibit at the Seattle Aquarium, and will continue to tour nationally and internationally through 2012. Over the past two decades, Beltrá's passion for his work has taken him to all seven continents, including several expeditions to the Brazilian Amazon, the Arctic, the Southern Oceans and the Patagonian ice fields, where he has photographed some of the last remaining pristine places on the planet. Daniel Beltrá was awarded the prestigious Prince's Rainforest Project given via the Sony World Photography Awards in April 2009. The award, granted by Prince Charles in a private audience, sent Beltrá for three months to the Congo, Amazon and Indonesian rainforests to create photos for a book, website and exhibitions about the perilous fate that the world's rainforests face. In 2011, Daniel has received many accolades for his work on the Deepwater Horizon Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He was awarded the Special Prize by the Jury for 7th Days Japan International Photojournalism Awards, along with an Award of Excellence for Pictures of the Year International. He was recently awarded the Gold, Bronze Prize, and Award of Excellence for the China International Press Photo Contest. In 2010, the International Photography Awards and the Wildlife Photographer of the Year recognized Beltrá's work in the Yucatan and Indonesia, respectively. In 2008, Beltrá was awarded the inaugural "Global Vision Award" from the Pictures of the Year International contest for work in the Ross Sea and the Amazon. For the last 20 years, Daniel's work has been published by the most prominent international publications such as The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, Stern, Geo, National Geographic, Financial Times, The New York Times, Le Monde, El Pais, Asahi Shimbun, amongst many others. Daniel Beltrá is also a fellow of the prestigious International League of Conservation Photographers. http://www.danielbeltra.com/