Eye-Opening Landscape Photos Explore the Environmental Cost of Human Impact

Daniel Beltr is globally recognized for his stunning aerial landscape photography. Though remarkable, his expansive shots aim to communicate more than just the inherent beauty of the land, instead seeking to expose the fragility of our ecosystem and the transformations that are occurring for the sake of human expansion. His artistic perspective simultaneously captures the majestic scale of our beautiful planet while revealing the substantial impacts that we have on the land and our dwindling resources.

Typically perched high within a helicopter, Beltr makes use of his vantage point to explore breathtaking landscapes across each of the seven continents, from Iceland and Brazil to the North Pole. Drawn to the complexity of remote areas which don't immediately seem impacted by urban sprawl, Beltr's shots still manage to record how we are actively destroying environments across the planet. Recently, he spent two months photographing the Deepwater Horizon Gulf Oil Spill, which he then composed in a book entitled SPILL. His images expose the horrific tragedy of this man-made disaster, yet are stunning enough that without context, just seem like impressively staged photographs.

Beltr's work has been exhibited around the globe in several prominent museums and galleries. His work is an artistic response to the rapidly changing environment, pointing to the precarious balance between business expansion and protection of the natural space. From oil spills to rainforest destruction, Beltr's signature aerial shots explore the prominence of human-made environmental stresses and unsustainable developmental practices, from a unique and creative perspective.

Above: Southern Ocean –February 8th, 2007

Ilulissat, Greenland–August 19th, 2014

Ilulissat, Greenland–August, 2014

Ilulissat, Greenland–August, 2014

Ilulissat, Greenland–August 24th, 2014

lfus River, Iceland–July 7th 2014

Iceland–July 7th 2014

BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico–May, 2010

BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico–May, 2010

BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico–May 6th, 2010

Oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead–May, 2010

BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Gulf of Mexico–May, 2010

Plume of fire from oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead–May, 2010

Arctic Ocean–September 10th, 2012 

Para, Brazil–February 11th, 2012

Belo Monte dam project near Altamira in Para state, BrazilFebruary, 2012

Belo Monte dam project near Altamira in Para state, BrazilFebruary, 2012

Manaus to Santarem, Brazil–September 16th, 2013

Belo Monte dam project near Altamira in Para state, Brazil–February, 2012

Construction site of the Belo Monte Dam project, near Altamira, Para State, Brazil–February, 2012

Palangkaraya, Kalimantan, Indonesia–July, 2009

Damming of the Curu Una River, a tributary to the Amazon River, in Para State, Brazil–February, 2012

Belo Monte dam project near Altamira in Para state, Brazil–February, 2012

Daniel Beltra: Website | Instagram | Facebook | Amazon

All images Daniel Beltr courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago.

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