October 3, 2011
The Aquarium of the Pacific will host an exhibit beginning on October 13, 2011 that features aerial photos capturing the aftermath of the April 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Photographer Daniel Beltrá shot the photos during May and June 2010 off the coast of Louisiana. The exhibit featuring Beltrá’s work is titled SPILL: Images from the Gulf and will be on display at the Aquarium through January 15, 2012.
Over the course of three months approximately 4.9 million barrels of crude oil (205.8 million gallons) were released into the Gulf’s waters. The Deepwater Horizon wellhead was eventually capped on July 15, 2010. Beltrá’s aerial images depict the accident site, relief well drilling platforms, controlled burns, boats and skimmer ships that were brought in to monitor and assist in the containment efforts, planes dropping dispersant, and brown pelicans covered in oil.
“These photographs explore the tenseness of the situation in the Gulf of Mexico as the oil seeps into an already challenged and complex ocean ecosystem. Though tragic, it is a fitting example of the vast scale of transformation our world is under from man-made stresses,” Beltrá said. “I hope to reawaken people to their connection to this world by challenging them to contemplate their relationship with nature and how their individual actions will contribute to the changing needs of our planet.”
SPILL premiered at the 212 Gallery in Aspen, Colorado during the 2010 Environment Forum held in July at the Aspen Institute and will continue to travel nationally and internationally through 2012. Images from the SPILL exhibit have been featured in The New Yorker, TIME Magazine’s Year in Review, Outdoor Photography, and Orion.
Beltrá was born in Madrid, Spain and is currently based in Seattle. Beltra’s photography covering the Gulf spill earned him several awards including the Editorial Environmental Pro Category for the International Photography Award; Gold Prize, Bronze Prize, and Award of Excellence for the China International Press Photography Contest; Juror’s Honorable Mention, Center Forward, Center for Fine Art Photography; Award of Excellence in the General News Picture Story, Picture of the Year International; Special Prize by the Jury, 7th Days Japan International Photography Awards; Award of Excellence from the Pictures of the Year International contest; and he was named one of the forty most influential nature photographers in 2010 by Outdoor Photography magazine. Beltrá is a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.