“Those who travel the world with open eyes cannot escape the problems; those who are underway with an open heart cannot be indifferent.” Markus Mauthe
In my own words:
The roots of my current activities stretch back to my childhood.
I was lucky in that my parents didn’t plant me in front of the television; early and often, they took me out into nature. Those who have this possibility at a young age are shaped by it. Since the time I first set foot on the African continent when I was 17, it’s been clear to me that adventure isn’t just to be found in books and films, but rather it’s to be personally experienced and felt.
I’ve travelled through wild landscapes, become familiar with foreign cultures and repeatedly experienced generous, heartfelt cordiality. This has very often come from people who, from a material standpoint, were much poorer than I. Since that time “being on the go” has influenced my worldview.
I grew up in a family of photographers, which is why I came into contact with an artistic form of photography at an early age. A three-year training program as a professional photographer forged the foundation of my expertise.
I first really felt like I had “arrived” a few years later when I was able to combine my career with my passion. As a 20-year old, I traversed New Zealand by bike. On this trip it became clear to me that nature and the art of image design belonged together.
After that, I earned my living photographing travel stories and hosting multimedia shows for a broad public audience. I’ve realized my photographic concepts with passion and a high degree of physical exertion. I’ve explored (and sometimes shifted) my limits of what is possible. From the beginning, I was successful in a career that was active, that fulfilled me and that made me happy. Nature photography is my “soulfood".
When I find myself in pristine wilderness, I feel very close to the essence of our being.
I have had the privilege of travelling in a way that isn’t possible for many because of the constraints of their lives. I have had the opportunity to "touch" people with my expressive photography. In my shows, I try to convey the feelings that I experience when I'm traveling. I’ve spent my entire professional life continuing to develop my photography. Today, I produce my own visual language and its creative advancement will hopefully still lure me for many active years to come.
Over time, I’ve come to focus more on one issue – namely, how we as people treat the earth as our homeland. Wherever I’ve looked, I’ve seen the decline of wildlife and the destruction of their habitats. The more interdependencies I came to understand, the less I liked it. It became increasingly clear that a large part of these negative developments were directly linked to lifestyles based on consumption and endless growth. In 2002, an article in Greenpeace Magazine tipped the scales for me and led me to set my work into a new context, connecting it with environmental issues. I learned that 80% of the earth’s virgin forests have already disappeared and that the remaining areas are also at high risk. Because I love the wilderness – and especially forests– I saw an opportunity to put my photographic skills to good use for an important issue. So I created a media concept on the theme of old-growth forests, which I introduced to Greenpeace Germany campaigners. Through persistence and my sincere desire to make a difference, we created a very close collaboration that continues to this day. I became somewhat of an ambassador for conservation. I host up to 120 shows per year, most of them along with Greenpeace. In these I present my images on the big screen, sharing the beauty of this planet with the audience. With the stories I tell, I point out the dangers that threaten our planet’s sensitive ecosystem, while at the same time, trying hard not to point an accusing finger at anyone.
With these activities as a passionate wildlife photographer and dedicated speaker, I've found a job that satisfies me and gives me hope for maintaining a sustainable society, beyond fossil fuels and entrenched thought patterns.