ZOOM SET

Decades of travel are a testament to the wonder of our planet and nature. There are many stories behind our photographs that are not visible at first glance. We love to share them because they make us get to know the world and ourselves even better. Sometimes we are like hitchhikers, eagerly searching for the right moment to press the shutter and racing after it in a helicopter, a terrain vehicle or on foot with a twenty-kilogram backpack on our backs. Other shots were taken while I was chief of a village of Vanuatu man-eaters or while we were diving to the wrecks of the American World War II fleet. Behind every photograph, whether it's a male gorilla in Uganda, a fisherman fishing with cormorants in China, or lava erupting in the ocean in Hawaii, there is a lot of preparation, patience, hardship, and ultimately, the luck that we need on every trip. Ten-metre waves tossing a helpless ship heading for Antarctica, escaping the cracking ice at the North Pole, or three dozen degrees below zero in the freezing Svalbard mountains, where all human activity is paralysed, have shown us that we are but a plaything in the hands of nature. The three books in the set you hold in your hands therefore perhaps best chart much of the experience of our travels in more than 140 countries around the world.