Editor’s note: Florian Wagner is a photographer, paragliding instructor and helicopter pilot and incredibly adventurous individual based in Munich, Germany. His imagery focuses on wildlife, outdoor sports and the environment. Florian’s work has been featured in publications such as “National Geographic”, “Stern”, “Playboy”, “GQ” and “Focus”. He is also an appointed Leica ambassador and carries Lowepro bags.
Starting today, Florian embarks on “Adventure Germany”. He will ride his paint horse (named Soloma) from the mountain resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in southern Germany to the Isle of Sylt, and fly the same way back in a helicopter. To support the aerial work on a daily basis, he will also fly an electro- engine-driven paraglider that he can launch pretty much everywhere.
Florian’s support team includes of a writer, photographer, cameraman, assistant, guide, driver and escort truck – complete with a 4-horse trailer, office and solar panels. Florian calls this rig a “super-high-tech prairie schooner’! The team will cover about 30 kilometers a day from July to September. The highlights of this adventure will be published in a book produced by “National Geographic” and published in April 2014.
I’ve travelled the world many times and in many places: Mongolia, the Middle East, Australia and so on. I know a lot of places like California quite well, but not as many in Germany. To be honest, I only know the part south of Munich really. I wanted to discover it in an adventurous way, by horse, since it is an ideal speed of traveling and horses open people’s hearts…
I always loved flying and it became part of my work to shoot from the air whenever possible. The rest is logistics. Our trailer and the solar system make us independent. We carry 300 liters of water in it, a tent on the roof, 4 horses, an office and a shower.
2. People living outside of Germany might like to know about the regions you will photograph –describe the types of landscapes you’ll visit.
We start in the mountains – at Germany’s highest mountain – the Zugspitze in the very south. Then we travel through the romantic region called Five Lakes Country to Munich and next we ride along the Isar River. From there the land turns hilly and green with lots of forests and lakes. Next stops: Bayreuth, Regensburg and Hof as we make our way toward Berlin. From there we follow the Elbe River to Hamburg. We then turn northeasterly to the east to take in the coastline with its famous rock formations before we head to the south of the Danish border. Crossing the ‘Watt” (the Wadden Sea), we arrive at our destination, the island of Sylt (in the North Sea), from which I will fly back in a helicopter to add a third dimension to the photo project.
3. Which Lowepro bags will you carry and why did you choose them?
I mainly carry Street & Field bags because they save the cameras from bouncing on the horses I ride. And I can easily and safely reach them as I ride and shoot. I use Pro Rollers to carry all camera equipment in the car.