Photographer & co-founder of Andromède Océanologie
Laurent Ballesta is a French photographer from Montpellier. He is the author of 13 photography books dedicated to underwater wildlife. Cofounder of Andromède Oceanology since 2000, he has been leading major expeditions for the past 10 years. His Gombessa Expeditions gather 3 emblematic values: a scientific mystery; a diving challenge; and the promise of unique world first images. From the first pictures of the coelacanth taken by a diver at 120 metres deep, to the hunts of the 700 sharks of Fakarava at night, and the deepest and longest dive in Antarctica, Laurent illustrates the underwater world with a naturalist and artistic point of view. In the summer 2019 he did a world first : for 28 days Laurent and 3 other divers lived in a 5 square metres pressurized chamber and dove daily in the mesophotic zone, between 60 and 140 metres deep with no limit of time between Marseille and Monaco. There, they were able to illustrate targeted ecosystems and put together unique scientific protocols. In 2021, he was awarded the grand title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year.