“Baobabs are absolutely stunning and awe-inspiring”, says Markus Mauthe. He is a well known photographer of stunning untouched nature and the beauty of our planet earth, an environmental activist, cocoa farmer in his Brazilian home and a dedicated fan of trees.
I saw his inspiring and touching photo show “Natural Wonders of Planet Earth” in Berlin-Köpenick. He presents his current work mostly in German speaking countries and in close cooperation with the environmental organization Greenpeace.
Some time ago he contributed to the book “Hunters of Light” together with four other established natural photographers. The group tours with a photo show of the same title in Germany. I am very impressed by his work and I have arranged to interview him about his life and work as a nature photographer and environmental activist.
Talking to a Tree Enthusiast
He tells me that he loves trees – which I can understand very well. More than 10 years ago he started his cooperation with Greenpeace with a photo show featuring the topic of forests, climate change and climate protection. He spent a lot of time in “the woods” doing his research and photographic work for this show.
With this background, I naturally ask the traveler of his encounters with Baobabs. In fact, last year he spent several weeks traveling in southern Africa for his latest project with Greenpeace, which involves the interaction of people with natural areas. He does not want to spill more about this ongoing project other than that the results of his current work will be shown in a new photo presentation and a movie in 2018.
Baobabs at Nyae Nyae
In the north-east of Namibia, near Tsumkwe close to the Botswana border, he worked with Ju / ‘Hoansi, an indigenous group also known as “San” or “Bushmen”. They founded the conservation area “Nyae Nyae Conservancy” some years ago. It includes a large salt pan and is the home of large numbers of wildlife at its boundaries. Naturally, huge Baobabs love this environment. The photographer had to take action.
Fortunately, the tree lover positioned himself next to one of the giants and was lucky to use the most beautiful light of the day. His favorite time of the day to shoot his photographs is just before sunrise and sunset – THE time for picturesque light conditions.
The bark of Baobabs is often smooth and can reflect the quality of the light particularly at this time of the day. This allows the observer to catch completely different impressions of the same tree at all times of the day. If one is lucky enough to lie under a Baobab tree in the evening, one can experience a magnificent view of the very impressive outline of a giant particularly in front of an unbeatable clear starry African night sky.
Mauthe is intrigued by Baobabs because they stand alone. Their appearance is quite impressive in the dry savannahs where they extend their branches high into the sky. In addition they can grow very old. Therefore they served and still serve as landmarks for travelers. “I have taken photographs of many trees in my life. Baobabs are absolutely stunning and awe-inspiring”, recalls the adventurer enthusiastically.
Find more information about his work and current projects HERE.