Nature photographer with a mission and a big heart
Markus Mauthe, (born in 1969 in Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance, Southern Germany) came into this world with a penchant for photography. He comes from a family of photographers and studied as an industrial and advertising photographer. Since the time he could hold a camera, he has had a dream that continues to drive him to this day: to portray the earth in its stunning beauty and diversity. At the age of 17 he traveled the African continent for the first time; at 20 he crossed New Zealand by bike, created his first slide show – and an enduring love of nature photography was kindled.
Markus Mauthe is now considered one of the best of nature photographers. One who puts his heart and soul into his work. Perseverance, a strong will, curiosity, endurance and patience are important characteristics which distinguish him. For the perfect photo, no mountain is too high, no water too deep, no jungle too thick. He is the one who stays when the others have called it a day. The one who puts his own needs on hold when it comes to the perfect photo. The results: stunning images of places that have sometimes never been photographed before.
His life motto: Follow your dreams and keep going when things get hard. Get up again if you fall. Happiness lies beyond the comfort zone.
Professional photographer and environmental activist with heart and soul
Working with his camera in pristine wilderness defines pure happiness for him. This passionate photographer and conservationist says: "Those who travel the world with open eyes cannot escape the problems; those who are underway with an open hear cannot be indifferent.” Since he began working with Greenpeace in 2003, Markus Mauthe has given his work a deeper meaning as an ambassador for conservation. With unique, colorful images he captures the diversity and beauty of our planet and also wants to illuminate interrelationships for his audience. This he does with sensitivity, occasionally referencing the threat to ecosystems in his stories, without lifting an accusatory finger.
Incredible sense of color, light and the right moment
Markus Mauthes’ photos are unique and distinctive. His success in deeply and emotionally touching the viewers of his images and taking them on a unique journey is equal to only a handful of photographers. This passionate photographer succeeds not only through the intuitive use of his camera; his talent lies in his incredible sense of fantastic color and light composition – in waiting for the right moment. He also takes on an incredible degree of physical hardship and goes beyond his own physical limits. As an example, he tells an anecdote from a trip to Africa: in the north of Gabon in Central Africa, he fought through an area which had previously been seen by hardly anyone. "We traveled sixteen days through original-growth forests. For days on end we had to cut small swathes with our machetes to make our way forward in the dense undergrowth," recalls the 45-year-old. "Temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, a multitude of insects, open wounds on his feet and legs, and the venom of eight wasp stings in his body – that was the photographer’s every-day life." But upon reaching the inselbergs, the view of the pristine jungle extending to the horizon compensated for all of his hardships.
He always goes one step further than many others for his images. He demonstrates courage, pushes his own limits and overcomes his own fears. Mauthe climbs high mountains with his photo equipment on his back, overcomes his aversion to water to be able to dive with his camera, and defeats his fear of palm-sized tarantulas when camping out in a tent. When weather and animals don’t play along as hoped, a great deal of endurance and patience is needed for just one successful photo.
Text: Karoline Krenzien/Greenpeace