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Eye-Opening Images of the 2010 Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico

oil spill

Many of you will still remember the news as it unfolded on live TV, as we all watched one of the worst oil spill disasters worsen each day.  It was April 20, 2010 and an explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig killing 11 men. That tragedy would eventually send a staggering 210m gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, creating an obscene black tide spreading on 68,000 square miles of ocean along a vast 16,000 miles of coastline. Recently, Daniel Beltrá documented the infamous spill from a Cessna floatplane, 3,000 ft. above the Louisiana coastline and today it still looks just as horrific.

oil spill pelicans

The collection of Beltra is called Spill, and it includes 27 of his award-winning aerial photographs that have been exhibited around the world, as well as an essay by Barbara Bloemink which serves to complement the photographs of Spill.

Daniel Beltra

Beltra is a fine-art photographer whose main focus and aim is to cast a glaring spotlight on conservation of our environment. He has collaborated often with Greenpeace, which has taken him all over the globe. Beltra is the recipient of numerous awards, including two World Press Photo accolades. Beltra is also a fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers. He recently shared some views of his work, Spill.

Daniel Beltra oil spill

“…. I take a clear stand in the issues and it’s my hope that I can inspire people to become more aware of the need to conserve our planet’s resources. That was why I felt a strong desire to photograph 
the oil spill.

Once the initial oil fires had died, the media’s attention began to wane slightly. However, there then came reports of the oil leaking into the ocean. It was then that I received a call from Greenpeace, an organisation I had done some work with in previous projects. Naturally, they were incredibly concerned about the oil spill, 
so they asked me to go out to the Gulf 
of Mexico and see what I could do.”

Daniel Beltra oil spill 2010

Daniel Beltra aerial

See the horror but graphic and ironic beauty of Spill here.

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Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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