Even as a youngster accompanying his parents, Werner van Steen loved nature and the delightful sense of peace and quiet he found there.
In nature, Werner discovered the strength and sanctity of life itself. He spent hours at his favourite spots, dreaming away to the whispers of the wind... When Werner was nine years old, his parents introduced him to the Alps. The majestic mountains made such an impression on him that he took up mountaineering two years later. He climbed the legendary Küffner route up Mont Maudit of the Mont-Blanc mountain range when he was just 16 years old.
He took along a compact camera to record his adventures. Within a decade, Werner had developed into one of the world's best extreme rock climbers, climbing grade 8A+ back in 1988. In the summer of 1999, Werner visited Alaska, and the impressive brown bears he saw became his inspiration for nature and wildlife photography. The image he captured back then of a bear with a jumping salmon is still one of his most popular photographs.
Soon after he was invited to display his pictures at International photography festivals and specialty magazines started publishing his work.
Werner won prizes at many international competitions, among them the prestigious BBC/Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year and the European Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions.
For Werner, travelling in and remaining close to nature, in the company of his beloved girlfriend Marion, will always remain the highest priority. His images reflect this. Only once the spirit is in harmony with its surroundings, can a moment be captured in all its glory in a photograph. Werner has travelled the globe: from the deepest waters of the Pacific for a close encounter with the great white shark to the top of the Himalayas to capture the world's highest mountain tops. Werner is a contracted Getty Images photographer.
Read more about the artist on www.wernervansteen.com