Rainer Straub, born in 1967, has been caving since 1983. He started surveying small caves of the Swabian Jura and deep vertical caves of the Bavarian Alps. He is a member of the German Speleo Group Höhlenforschungsgruppe Ostalb-Kirchheim. In 1985 Rainer started cave diving. He is the Delegate for cave diving of the German Speleological Federation (VdHK) and participates on major cave diving projects like the exploration of the Wulfbachquellhöhle, Wimsener Höhle or the exceptional Blauhöhlensystem. These are some of the longest caves in Germany. He has been caving in many areas of Europe, Africa, South America, Cuba and Asia and participates in several long expeditions to Lechuguilla Cave in US. His wide interests in different speleological scopes are focused on exploring new caves and their documentation in cave maps, reports and photos. He published several books and speleological papers. Because of the mostly extreme conditions during his explorations, he prefers light and compact photo equipment. Rainer is in international Sales business and lives with his wife Conny and his children in Filderstadt, Germany.
Web page: www.rainerstraub.de
Born in 1948 in Bavaria. Started caving in 1964, joined the Munich Caving Club in 1966 and a couple of years later the Landesverein für Höhlenkunde in Salzburg. President of the Munich Caving Club from 1994 to 1998. Cofounder of HÖPHO, which started in 1980. This is the annual meeting of all the people interested in cave photography: photographers, models and the audience. In 1990 I started together with a friend an anthrospeleological group, which is devoted to all aspects of cave and man, be it psychological, spirtual or philosophical – HÖREPSY. Since 1997 I run the website Mensch und Höhle / man and cave (www.lochstein.de).
My career as a cave photographer started in 1965 in the Klausenhöhlen near Munich. More than 10 cameras have been ruined through my activities in caves, but I don’t give in and buy the next one. I have seen many caves all over the world now, from Madagascar to Ecuador, from New Zealand to Meghalaya. Some of them I had to discover first or a part of it at least before I was able to take a photograph of it. It was worth it.
Remy Wenger from Switzerland once wrote a dedication into one of his books for me: „To Franz Lindenmayr, esthète des cavernes..“ He hit the nail right on the head: to get a photographic glimpse at the beauty inside our small planet - that is what I mainly try to do. But I have learned to be more reluctant to make all my photographs public – too many caves have been destroyed completely or partially because of thoughtless publication.
Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.