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:
The article appeared this Friday, April 10, 2014 in the digital evening editionthe new digital newspaper launched by Ouest-Francewhich I work for. This article is unfortunately no longer available online, but I have made a PDF version of it, which you can read by clicking on the link or image below :
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.
He has just published a book, with a preface by Nicolas Hulot (his former partner in the TV shows Ushuaïa), on his extraordinary expeditions. It is entitled Gombessa: meeting with the coelacant, 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 Parc-Expo of the Porte de Versailles in Paris. On the program: exhibition, signing sessions, conferences (Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 2pm). If you are there, these are really moments not to be missed...
Biologist and photographer, this specialist of deep rebreather dives talks about his quest for the coelacanth with a communicative passion: "These are the most complicated dives of my life, the most committed, the most difficult, he confided to me in the interview I did with him. You live 30 incredible minutes with the animal, in 120-150 meters of water, and those minutes are worth an eternity..."
An eternity that is costly... He and the other divers in the team still have to endure 4 and a half hours of decompression before they can return to the surface.
Below is an excerpt from the Gombessa I expedition documentary, later posted on YouTube:
Laurent Ballesta: "A narrative between natural history and lived history".
Laurent Ballesta didn't want to settle for publishing a beautiful book of photos on 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. Coelacanth is a very personal dream that I have had in my heart for so many years... I have tried to find a balance between the insipid and the shameless, between natural history and lived history. »
I haven't read the book yet, but our conversation made me want to dive into it !!!