Born in Valencia and introduced to photography through the Agrupación Fotográfica de Cataluña, which he joins to become a prominent member. He excels as a photojournalist during the Civil war, publishing work in newsmedia such as El día gráfico, La Humanidad, Diario de Barcelona, La Publicidad or La Vanguardia using a Leica camera. After the Republican defeat, he is forced to seek exile in France, spending time in several concentration camps. Here, with S. Pujol, he assembles a clandestine photographic laboratory to document living conditions.
After his release in 1942 he collaborates with the French Resistance but returns to Barcelona in 1944, where he is arrested by the Francoist authorities and blacklisted as a photojournalist. Until the end of Francoism, Centelles could work only as a commercial and advertising photographer.