November 2018 - 6 Minute read

What's on your list,
Max Muench?

How landscape photographer Max Muench fulfilled his wish to journey to the remote Tian Shan Mountains of Kyrgyzstan.

The hunt for beauty:

In the remoteness of Kyrgyzstan, the landlocked country nestled between China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, landscape photographer Max Muench hunts beauty from a different perspective. He’s used to shooting in remote locations, but it’s no easy feat. It’s only autumn and the cold is already piercing. He wonders what he’s got himself into. In the last week, Max and his partner have been snowed in, dangerously driven up icy inclines, found themselves lost and survived on nothing but bread. Like many explorers before him, Max has been tested by challenging obstacles. However, it’s been well and truly worth it: the results are awe-inspiring.

“Sometimes it’s a very long way to get that one picture.”

- Max Muench, on getting the perfect shot

“Sometimes it’s a very long way to get that one picture” says Max, talking about his trip after the fact. “It’s both physically and mentally challenging, but the outcome was simply magnificent: when we scaled the top of this one mountain, we were able to see valleys of glacial lakes. It’s a view that stops your heart”. He always dreamed of traveling to the isolated mountains of Kyrgyzstan and Montblanc helped him to fulfill that wish. “I wanted to be as far away as possible from people. I wanted to dive as deep as possible into the natural wonder of a country. I wanted to go where only very few have ever been”

“I wanted to go where only a few have ever been.”

- Max Muench, on the motivation to go to Kyrgyzstan

Montblanc 1858 Geosphere

Life on the moon:

Each photograph is proof that no shot is an accident; they are an orchestration of time, light and exploration. From above, the Tian Shan Mountains look like the surface of the moon and there’s a poetic symmetry to the circular craters and crevices. Max’s descriptions of the landscape are unforgettable: wild horses galloping past the campsite, tracing the base of the snow peaked mountains that stand guard over the landscape. The photographs speak for themselves, scenes so painstakingly beautiful it’s hard to believe they’re real.

“It’s a view that stops your heart.”

- Max Muench on discovering a valley of glacial lakes

Inspired by Caspar David Friedrich:

Berlin based Max, who is driven to “see the unseen,” and to travel to the furthest corners of the natural world, has a rapidly growing online community. He started photographing while travelling the world as a concert pianist, documenting the locations his music took him to. Inspired by the 19th Century German painter Caspar David Friedrich, he soon developed an iconic subject matter: wide, breathtaking landscapes featuring a tiny person, illustrating the sense of calmness only nature can offer.

“… I felt so tiny. To be surrounded by this overwhelming landscape grounded me”

- Max Muench, on his impressions of the Tian Shan Mountains

A perpetual quest:

The Montblanc 1858 Geosphere accompanied Max on his trip. Built for true mountaineers, his own perpetual quest for exploration made the collaboration an obvious one, resulting in an inspiring outcome. The landscapes deliver an overwhelming sense of tranquility, quite literally putting life into perspective. Like many explorers before him, Max fulfilled his wish and tested the limits of his abilities, pushing to discover the undiscovered. This holiday, Montblanc is helping other artists fulfill their wishes, from New York to Florence to London.