To travel the world with a camera – this is the dream of many photographers. 50Centimos turned this dream into reality. In this interview, he tells us more.
Hi 50Centimos, tell us a little bit about yourself! Who are you, where are you from and how and when did you take up photography?
My name is Markus Göttlich and I’m from Faistenau, a small village 25 km outside of Salzburg, the city of Mozart, Austria. I got excited about photography when I was i kid. Back then, I found a Polaroid at my parent’s attic, that awakened my fascination and that I treated with care and used very sparingly. 10 photos did cost what was a small fortune for me back then. This is basically how it all started and since then, I’ve been a constant owner of a camera. Time went by and technology advanced. After several “Point and Shoot” cameras, I finally got myself my first Canon Eos 350 digital camera. This ultimately triggered the sleeping photographer in me and so I started my development from a hobby to – what I like to call myself – a self-made travel photographer.
And as such, you are on the road at the moment. Please tell us, what “self-made travel photographer” means for you and how it all started.
“Self-made” simply because I never attended a photography class oder seminars. Most of what I know, I thought myself by trial and error and reading online. Three years ago, I decided to pack my stuff and start traveling the world with my camera. Since then, my journey has brought me across South America. At first, I was taking photos just for me, my family and close friends. But then more and more people asked for more photos from my travels, so I first set up my webseite, followed by my Facebook page, where a lot of travel and photography enthusiasts follow me already. It’s always a nice moment for me when I see familiar the “Like” message blinking, because I’m often on my own for a long time and can’t share all the things I’m experiencing.
Why South America?
This is an easy one: My journey came about very spontaneously. From the moment of decision making until the actual start, there was only 2 months time. And as I plan to do a world trip, the question for me was: first to the left or to the right? East or west? The internet made the decision for me, when I searched for a affordable “voyage by freighter.”
Do you travel according to a special concept or certain rules?
Rules or concept? Well, there is pretty much only one rule, that guides the most, which is not to fly. This way, I move very slow in comparison to other travelers. But it has the advantage, that I see a lot more of what lies inbetween A and B and that enchants me. I get an idea of how big the globe we are living on is. In general, I travel without big plans, because one thing that I experience over and over again is that things never turn out the way you expect.
So where have you been until now and where do you plan to go next?
During the last 1100 days I traveled parts of Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. I climbed mountains, explored big cities as well as small Andean villages in the middle of the Peruvian mountains. I walked along endless beaches in Brazil and crossed deserts in Chile. What’s most fascinating for me is the vastness, the magnitude, the panoramas as well as the ever-changing landscapes. I often wander around for a few hours through unknown areas and capture everything I see in my photos. Last year, I crossed all of Peru with my 125cc motorcycle. My plan for this year is to add two more wheels. At the moment, I’m at the Argentinian coast and started reconstructing an old Ford pickup, with that I want to explore and travel endless Patagonia next. This part of my journey will bring me deep into landscape photography. I hope to be able to expand into even the last corners of Argentina and Peru.
What kind of photo equipment is on your side?
One of the biggest challenges to my continuous journey is, that I have to fit all my belongings into a 65 litre backpack. All my clothes and camera equipment including a MacBook for editing and publishing. Hence, I had to think very carefully about what to take with me and what to leave behind. My current photo equipment consists of a Canon EOS 650D with a wide-angle, a telephoto and a 50mm lens. With this equipment I can capture pretty much everything that crosses my sensor.
Do you have any favorite subjects?
I don’t really have a preferred subject or favourite photo yet. I constantly try to improve my photo skills and learn new techniques. The great thing about my current life is, that I have time for my big hobby: photography. It’s my dream to be able to make a living from it one day and to show people, how beautiful it is out there. To inspire to travel and let you all see the world through my eyes.
Here are a few impressions of 50Centimos’ journey:
An icy night in the Andes Mountains at 4000 meters. Here I crossed the Andes with my motorcycle for the first time. I think I will remember this night forever.
This photo was made near the salt desert of Uyuni, Bolivia, on a train cemetery. We reached this mystic place right in time for the sunset and I succeeded in taking some good shots.
This is the view I had for one month in Rio de Janeiro, where I lived in a hostel in the middle of a favela near the famous Copacabana.
Cochabamba, Bolivia – The picture shows my friend Ciáran, with whom I traveled across the country. The view overlooking the city was breathtaking.
Wonder of the world Machu Picchu. After a 4 day hike together with my mum, who visits me once a year, we reached the old Inca town in Cusco.
I made this photo quite recently at the coast of Argentina. It was my first attempt to capture a thunderstorm. I think I managed to do it quite well. 😉
Muchas gracias, Markus! We wish you all the best for your journey and always enough camera battery power. 🙂