Collected oil spilled from the BP Deepwater Horizon is burned.

Documenting the forces and impacts of climate change can sometimes feel like an impossible task, but for over thirty years Daniel Beltrá has been traveling the world to shine a light on the dramatic changes afflicted on our fragile ecosystems. In his presentations, Beltrá views the climate crisis with hope and optimism for the opportunity it presents to us to make long overdue changes. He brings you along on his journeys while witnessing global shifts from Greenland and the Arctic Circle, to the world’s great tropical rainforests in the Amazon, Indonesia and the Congo, to Antarctica.

His most striking photographs are images dramatically captured from airplanes and helicopters. This perspective gives the viewer a wider context to the beauty and destruction he witnesses, while revealing a delicate sense of scale that emphasizes that the Earth and its resources are finite. Daniel structures his talks around years of incredible expeditions, explaining not just what the photos represent, but also the often risky, and sometimes hilarious stories, behind them. Audiences from the Continuity Forum in Miami, the University of Washington, WildSpeak at the Carnegie Institute of Science in Washington, D.C. to the 2020 Climate Finance Conference at Cambridge University have been both entertained and educated by Beltrá’s presentations.

A section of Amazon rainforest remains in a soy field near Santarém, Brazil.

Once a student of biology and forestry in Madrid, Beltrá finds inspiration in the beauty and complexity of nature. Later, as a staff photographer for the Spanish agency EFE, he honed his journalistic skills. His passion for conservation and truth-seeking is evident in the evocatively poignant images that reveal the precarious balance the planet has been pushed to by our carbon-intense economy.

Beltrá’s work has earned him many of the most prestigious photography awards while on this odyssey. For his work on the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill he received the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the Lucie Award for the International Photographer of the Year. His oil spill photos then toured the world independently and as part of the Prix Pictet exhibitions; they are in the collections of the Library of Congress and the Hood Museum. In 2009, Beltrá received the Prince Charles Rainforest Project award. Other highlights include the BBVA Foundation award in 2013 and the inaugural “Global Vision Award” from the Pictures of the Year International in 2008. In 2006, 2007 and 2018, he received awards for his work in the Amazon from World Press Photo. ABC News named Beltrá as a “Person of the Week” in 2009. Beltrá’s work has been published by the most prominent international publications. Beltrá is a fellow of the prestigious International League of Conservation Photographers.

Pinnacle iceberg floats thru the Ross Sea off of Antarctica.

©Daniel Beltra, courtesy of Catherine Edelman Gallery



What a great talk! I loved his photography. So beautiful and sad at the same time!” – Becky FahrnerAssistant Director, Student Engagement – Florida Southwestern State College

“I am profoundly moved by Daniel Beltra’s gorgeous and terrifying images of our planet under siege.  But when I was able to hear from the mind behind the camera, get a sense for the motivation and curiosity that framed so many haunting images, it added an exciting dimension to the work, giving even more poignancy to these powerful photographs.” – Daniel P. Schrag – Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment

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