Enjoying and worrying about our endangered Nature are the two sides of the same coin for me. Seen from this angle, photography for me is a sensible thing to do.

Speaking in general terms, my concern is to draw people’s attention to how fragile and endangered our natural environment is – especially if economic interests are involved. My ambition is to make a small contribution toward a deeper understanding of Nature. No matter in which country, preserving our natural environment is important. We need it as “shelter”, as an “intact counter-world” to an urban society driven by technology, industry and digitization.

Overwrought by our virtual high-tech world, stretched to the limit, tired or even burned out, we yearn for an experience of Nature and see that Nature is a necessity. Not only as a raw material source, but also as a fount of recovery, rest, contemplation and reflection does Nature give us a better self-perception and the rediscovery of the senses or of life per se.

Although said in a different context, Albert Einstein’s pearl of wisdom is as true today as it was then: "Look deep into Nature and you’ll understand everything better".

For instance in the US: The beauty of the Southwest of the USA is fast becoming its enemy. Toward the end of the eighties and in the early nineties, the Antelope Canyon in Arizona could still be seen and admired in its virtual pristine state. Jeep outings were rarely offered, if at all. Back in those days, I walked from the fence at the US 98 to the canyon, and there were no parking lots, ticket cabins or restrooms.

Today, the Antelope Canyon has become a pilgrimage site, beleaguered every day by hundreds of visitors and photographers. It is the reverse of the same coin, as it were. The bitter-sweet after-taste of a superficial development scratching the surface, also promoted by books, magazines, the internet and Google Earth with photos and GPS coordinates.

Our planet, steadily growing smaller and with hardly a hidden spot without hordes of tourists and photographers, holds almost no more surprises in store. Looking back, this is a new quality which worries me and which has given me plenty of food for thought and doubts whether I should make my pictures accessible to the public at large.

I am aware of this dilemma. On the one hand, I want you to enjoy my pictures which might even entice you to travel to see these natural attractions with your own eyes. On the other hand, I unwittingly and indirectly help to jeopardize the often very remote and almost original and sometimes very fragile structures and the indigenous people’s sacred and culturally highly significant sites.

Misgivings aside, I want you to be enchanted by the landscape of south-western USA like it has enchanted myriads of other people and to experience the greatness of Nature and the smallness of Man.

Allow me at this point to give a recommendation: Intelligent travel, which takes people and the environment into account, can be learned. Treat Nature, flora and fauna with care. Meet the descendants of the original inhabitants with respect, even if the living conditions of these people are not the best at first sight.

It’s not my intention to restrict others – traveling does not necessarily result in the destruction of nature and landscapes. But, in the truest sense of the word, only leave an invisible trace and no trash. As the Americans say: Pack it in, pack it out.

David Muench, one of the United States’ most renowned nature photographer, once said: Without taking sides, I’ll just say that a permanent human presence in a place seldom enhances its sacredness...


I often wonder: With all our technology,
have we really learned anything about Nature
except how to suppress it?

David Muench

I’m no know-it-all or a moral preacher, but allow me one more remark in this context: we can’t elude the evident tendency toward the progressing destruction of our life basis. No matter whether these involve large-scale industrial land developments or the leftovers of inconsiderate fellow humans after summer barbecues at the banks of your local river.

In-betweens these poles, there is a spectrum of developments which is increasingly depressing, disquieting and unsettling. Man is the faulty design which is at the center – or better, in the crossfire.

You think my ideas are audacious and without foundation? Well, flora and fauna were at one time in harmony with our planet – incomparable and precious in this universe. One single species destroys it at the expense of all others. Humans have made Earth to adapt to their nonsensical conduct and their expedient aims. At one point in the future, humans will be the victims of their own power, and the system they created will be a phased-out model.

Our biggest problem is that we have lost contact with Nature, that we have become alienated from it, although we are part of Nature. We reach out for other planets and think about alien life forms, while we at the same time systematically ravage and destroy our home planet. Are we maybe doing this in the awareness that we already drive the last nail into our own coffin? Are we working on new ways and means to steal away and blight another place with our accomplishments?

Some admittedly controversial assumptions. But the manifesto of Chief Seattle in the mid 19th century said:

This we know: Earth does not belong to Man,
Man belongs to Earth. All things are connected like
the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the
web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he
does to the web, he does to himself.

This says it all, doesn’t it?

Is there intelligent life on other worlds?
Ask rather, is there intelligent life on Earth?

Edward Abbey in "Desert Solitaire"

Man, the crown of creation.
What a shame it’s a crown of thorns.

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

Man is a late developer.
He begins to understand only in the next generation.

Stanislaw Jerzy Lec

The consistency of Nature makes us forget the inconsistency of Man.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe