My interview with Laurent Ballesta, in the evening edition.
My interview with Laurent Ballesta appeared in the evening edition of Ouest-France.

Interview with Laurent Ballesta

  Between Two Journeys

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I won't be at the dive show this weekend. But I had the pleasure to interview the godfather of this 2014 edition, the underwater photographer and naturalist Laurent Ballesta.

He went diving with the oldest fish in the world...

I rarely mix up my personal posts on this blog and my job as a journalist at Ouest-France. Except when the theme of one of my articles for the paper has something to do with... diving!

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After my meeting with François Sarano and Jacques Perrin at the beginning of 2010 for the release of the film Oceansthis time I had the pleasure of interviewing the diver... Laurent Ballesta .

The article appeared this Friday, April 10, 2014 in the digital evening editiona new digital journal for tablets launched by Ouest-France. I have made a PDF version of it, which you can read by clicking on the link or image below :

My interview with Laurent Ballesta, in the evening edition.
My interview with Laurent Ballesta appeared in the digital evening edition from Ouest-France.

The man who photographed the coelacanths

Laurent Ballesta is the man who photographed the mythical coelacanththe oldest fish in the world. It was in South Africa, in 2010 and 2013, during dives at a depth of 120 meters.

Gombessa: meeting with the coelacanth, by Laurent Ballesta.

He has just published a book on his extraordinary expeditions entitled Gombessa, from the local name of the famous fish. A film will also be broadcast on Arte in May 2014.

Laurent Ballesta will be present this weekend at the Salon de la plongée 2014, at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris. On the programme: exhibition, signing sessions, conferences (Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 2pm).

Biologist and photographer, he talks about his quest for the coelacanth with a communicative passion. "These are the most complicated dives of my life, the most involved, the most difficult, he told me. You live an incredible 30 minutes with the animal, in 120-150 m depth, and those minutes are worth an eternity... " 

But after that, you still have to hit the surface in the 4.5 hours of landings before you can go back over the surface...

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Laurent Ballesta: "A narrative between natural history and lived history".

He didn't want to just publish a beautiful book of photos, about the adventure of the Gombessa project. So he decided to write in the first person. 

"I consider myself a wildlife photographer, but I wanted to accompany my images with a story, like a long journey, he told me. The coelacanth, it's a very personal dream, that I have in my heart for so many years ... I tried to strike a balance between insipid and immodest, between natural history and lived history. "

Laurent Ballesta during the Gombessa expedition, South Africa, end of April 2013. (Photo: Andromède Oceanology)
Laurent Ballesta during the Gombessa expedition, South Africa, end of April 2013.
(Photo: Andromeda Oceanology)

I have not read the book yet, but our conversation made me want to dive in! ! !

Other than that, guess where will Laurent Ballesta soon go? AT Raja Ampat! ! ! I even think there are still a few places left on one of the two photo cruises organised with him at the end of January - beginning of February 2014…

2015 Update : it was aboard the aptly named Waowa magnificent ship that I too was fortunate enough to discover...a little more than a year after this article was posted online... 😉

  Between Two Journeys

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