Jose Regalado is an award winning photographer whose work has been featured on the Discovery Channel, Sport Diver, The Miami Herald, Scuba Diver Magazine and more. We were fortunate to have attended his premier exhibit at the Gallery @ Coconut Grove Arts Festival. The exhibition is aptly named “Rapture of the Deep,” which was a term that Jacques Cousteau coined before there was a definition for it. As one would dive deeper into the ocean, the oxygen levels in his brain would change and he could be subjected to bizarre or startling visuals. The hallucinatory nature of the “Rapture” is evident in the brilliant, chromatic colors that resonate deeply with our own sense of wonder. A decadent treat for the eyes, Jose’s photos capture a side of life that you can’t help but marvel at in fascination.
As a Miami native, his father, Tomas Regalado, took him and his siblings to the beach every chance they got. He took to sailing at a young age, and scuba diving thereafter. Since then, he has traveled to over 50 countries on his personal quest of exploration. Charmed by the siren song of the crystal blue ocean, his curiosity and amazement as a young child grew into a steadfast determination to explore our oceans and capture the beauty that lies beneath the surface.
Jose took the opportunity to explain to us just how he captures the extraordinary colors. Light bends, or refracts, when it goes through water, so the deeper you go, the more blue things become. When you get to about 15 feet, you start losing red light. Around 30 feet, you start losing orange and yellow light. Jose dives down with extremely powerful lighting and custom photography equipment in order to provide the necessary light and capture the astounding spectrum of colors that exist underwater. To encapsulate the transient sensation of awe and sheer amazement he felt, he prints the photos on aluminum sheets to give the already colorful photos a resplendent luminescence. It really is something you have to see in person.
Jose remarked that being underwater is the most peaceful place he’s ever been. Completely disconnected from the outside world and all the electronic devices that fill it, “it’s just you and your tools down there.” There is no shortage of fascination or adventure for this brilliant artist. He mentioned that 75% or more of the species on Earth are in the ocean and we’ve surveyed so little of it. There certainly is a great deal of life in our oceans for us to discover. As a man of virtue, he is adamant about protecting our oceans, having experienced the detriment of our environment from pollution. Jose’s work captures the wonders of the ocean and the vast spectrum of life in it for those who don’t get the opportunity to experience it in person. His art inspires and amazes us with a palette of vibrant colors and satisfies a sense of wonderment that we all feel within.
To see more works by artist Jose Regalado, visit his website at: www.joseregalado.com
Article by Brian Martinez. Article Photography by Ray Raposo