Renowned aerial and conservation photographer Daniel Beltrá has seen his share of the effects of global warming. For more than two decades, Beltrá’s 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. His work on the Gulf oil spill in 2010 garnered him much attention, including the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award from the London Natural History Museum and the International Photographer of the Year Award from the Lucie Foundation.
His most recent undertakings took him to Iceland and Greenland, where he once again photographed the terrain from a small plane. Greenland, which is 80% covered in ice, was a logical place for Beltrá to continue his ice project. Hovering above the ground, he captured the melting ice sheets, revealing majestic photographs of ice as it merges with the water. The landscape shimmers in whites and blues, melting under the debris of volcanic ash.
This corrosive residue slices through the ice, creating black and white patterns that, from above, is extraordinary but actually causes the ice sheets to separate and crumble. Iceland is geographically different, populated with geysers, mountains and volcanoes. From above, Beltrá shows us glacier melt, as rushing water envelops islands, rocks and the land. Lichen, an organism that appears from algae, adds a yellow glow that seduces the eye. Yet, like Greenland, both countries are suffering from the effects of greenhouse gases and other pollutants. Text via Edelman Gallery