Blancpain Laurent Ballesta's photograph rewarded in London
The winning photograph in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year "Earth's Environments" category shows for the first time the entire submerged part of an iceberg.
Now in its 53rd year, Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the longest-running and most prestigious nature photography competition in the world. It is owned and run by the Natural History Museum in London. The competition uses photography to challenge perceptions about the natural world, helping to promote sustainability and the conservation of wildlife. Laurent Ballesta's iceberg photograph is the result of many hours of work during dives in freezing water temperatures.
The Gombessa Project
Laurent Ballesta is a marine scientist, a distinguished underwater photographer and a pioneer in the use of new diving equipment. Blancpain’s support has enabled him to capitalize on his talents through the Gombessa Project which has been conceived to advance the public’s comprehension of hitherto inaccessible and dimly understood undersea ecosystems. The project has already given rise to four major expeditions. With Gombessa III, Blancpain and Laurent Ballesta traveled to Antarctica for a pioneering exploratory, diving and photographic mission, in collaboration with Luc Jacquet, producer of The March of the Penguins. It was the first time a team of technical divers had been able to go beneath the sea ice in this region to deliver the very first naturalist images of Antarctica’s deep-sea ecosystems. At the request of several research groups, the team contributed to the inventory of deep-sea fauna and gave researchers access to all their photographs for the purpose of scientific publications.
Blancpain's Ocean Commitment
Convinced that support for environmental protection is directly dependent on keeping the public informed, the Manufacture works to raise overall awareness by sponsoring significant scientific projects, ocean exploration initiatives, underwater photography, environmental forums, exhibitions, high-profile publications and a dedicated website. Since the collaborative gathering of all its partnerships in the realm of ocean exploration and preservation under the Blancpain Ocean Commitment label in 2014, Blancpain has co-financed eleven major scientific expeditions, and presented several award-winning documentary films, exhibitions and publications. The Manufacture is particularly proud of its contribution to doubling the surface of marine protected areas around the world with the addition of more than four million square kilometers of newly protected ocean.
Blancpain is the archetypal Manufacture: with a watchmaking heritage dating back several centuries, it has successfully preserved its watchmaking tradition, whilst welcoming a spirit of innovation.Find out more >
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