Mark Vincent Müller
Born 1965 in Sierra Leone, Western Africa, Mark Vincent Müller returned to his native country of Switzerland at the age of four. In his youth he grew up watching nature documentaries, knowing one day he would explore African wildlife himself. He kept reptiles and never missed an opportunity to venture in the forests surrounding his home to observe the local flora and fauna. During his early adulthood, Mark became one of Switzerland's leading close-up magicians, performing on TV and top events nationwide. But it was a trip to America which sparked an interest in photography when friends praised his holiday slideshow.
In 1990 Mark set off to Southern Africa with camera equipment and a 4x4 Land Cruiser filled with camping gear, hoping to create his own collection of the nature photography which inspired him in his youth. Over the next few years he would travel to Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and South Africa, living for several months in each location. The Namibian desert in particular became a fascination for him, with many of his photographs capturing the incredible survival of life in this harsh paradise. During these trips his ambition is to inherit the energy and atmosphere of a place and its wildlife. "I try to let myself drift with the essence of what makes an environment special and unique", he says of his work and travels, "I believe that wildlife should be shown embedded in their habitat". His photography has also lead him to the clouded rainforest of Costa Rica, the American Southwest, and to capture some India's last free roaming tigers.
Mark describes his photography as poetic and passionate, his images as "colour, light, and composition reduced to the max". "The world is full of fantastic colours, yet I reduce them to monochromatic interpretations. Almost all of my images show only one or two colours, rarely more as I find that photographs are more striking and memorable if they carry a strong colour theme", he explains. "My images are very clear in their statement and focus precisely on the subject. Each image tells a story of a specific place or animal, expressing the symbiosis between that animal and the world it lives in. The big challenge is to show an unspectacular animal in a dramatic way using the surrounding landscape as the stage and decoration." Asked what is the most important aspect of photography, Mark replies "Light. Without light there is no photography. I am very aware of light and shadows and will return to a place many times if possible to get it right."
Mark's work has been published in numerous magazines, books, calendars and advertising worldwide, including his self-published books "Namibia: The Living Desert (1996) and "Etosha: Place of Dry Water (1999)" which enjoyed much success. Currently he lives with his wife and children in Switzerland, working as a Manager in a software company. Many of Mark's best work remains unpublished and he is in the process of developing an extensive website of his images.
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