Laurent Ballesta’s Luminous Photographs Reveal the Astounding Diversity of Ocean Life — Colossal

August 23, 2023 - Art


#Laurent Ballesta

August 23, 2023

Kate Mothes

An up-close photograph of tiny squids.

All images © Laurent Ballesta, shared with permission

The earth’s oceans are mindbogglingly expansive, and less than 20 percent has been mapped, explored, or seen by humans. For Laurent Ballesta, the underwater world provides an endless stream of remarkable aquatic personalities. The French photographer seeks exciting formations of fish, coral, and crustaceans, capturing their behaviors and honing in on individual traits: a hefty crab carries numerous barnacles on its back, a colony of shrimp look as if they want to say hello, and a shiver of sharks swarms around a meal.

Trained as a marine biologist, Ballesta has been a photographer for National Geographic since 2011 and won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award three times, capturing life below the surface with an eye for beauty and a focus on scientific inquiry. As the director of Andromède Océanologie for more than 20 years, in addition to leading group dives through Gombessa Expeditions, Ballesta emphasizes undersea exploration where there is “a scientific mystery to be solved, a diving challenge to be met, and the promise of unprecedented images.”

Prints are available for purchase on Ballesta’s website along with a selection of books. Follow updates on Facebook and Instagram to stay apprised of new releases. You might also enjoy taking a deep dive into footage of rare jellyfishes spotted over the past few years. (via Blind Magazine)


A photograph of a large crab on the sea floor with a heavily barnacled shell.

A photograph of yellow and white spirally coral.

Fish swimming around a coral reef.

A photograph showing a group of shrimp swim directly toward the camera.

A cloud of activity undersea with a spiral-shaped pattern and fish emerging from it.

A close-up view of a crab's face.

A shiver or sharks, featuring one with a fish in its mouth.

Fronds of a sea plant.

A colorful jellyfish.

#Laurent Ballesta


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