Born in Germany in the mid-1960s, Klaus Tiedge’s career as a commercials and fashion photographer saw him shooting in many locations around the world, including New York, London, New Delhi, Tokyo and Sao Paulo. But it was Cape Town that caught his attention in the late ’90s, when the city was at its prime as a sought-after photographic location.
In 2001, Klaus and his wife Sandra made South Africa their permanent home. Over the next seven years, travel to many parts of the country, and elsewhere in southern Africa, gave Klaus the opportunity to meet and work with various people in exotic places, and exposed him to the hugely diverse and beautiful landscapes of the subcontinent. As a result, Klaus made the move to nature and wildlife photography.
Now one of the continent’s leading stylised wildlife photographers, Klaus consistently produces work that combines the freshness of Africa’s people and animals in their natural environments with his precise Teutonic touch, giving his shots a revitalised cover feel. His signature desaturated colouring perfectly showcases the region’s spectacular natural beauty, whether it’s storm clouds building up over the Okavango or smouldering sunsets over Etosha.
“Nature has a way of being incredibly unpredictable,” he says. “I can sit for hours, sometimes days and even up to weeks at a time, trying to capture that perfect moment in the bush, when an animal’s pose, breathtaking light, a perfectly balanced background and a dramatic setting all come together in one single focus.”
“My curiosity about Africa hasn’t lessened as I find myself travelling more than ever before,” he adds, who still lives in Cape Town with Sandra and their two young children. “Whether portraying her people or animals in their natural environment, I find that Africa is good for my soul. It is rich, genuine and satisfying.”
In 2012, Klaus published a spectacular coffee-table book of 75 breathtaking images of wildlife in locations around sub-Saharan Africa, including Kenya, Botswana and Namibia; two editions of the book have since been printed, with blue-chip companies such as Anglo American and FNB Namibia using them as corporate gifts.
Klaus’s work can be found in some of the world’s finest galleries, including the Marla Kennedy Gallery in New York, the Photographers Gallery in Los Angeles and Saatchi Art online. Locally his artwork can be found in the Martin Osner Gallery in Cape Town and the Imbizo Gallery in Durban. His “Pride of Africa” retinue includes wildlife photography plus two additional portrait collections, namely the Portrait Collection documenting women, children and men from the Herero, Himba and Zemba tribes, and the Kiburi Portrait Collection featuring the Maasai, San and
Himba. His work, printed on fine-art German etching paper in a variety of sizes, can be ordered online at www.klaustiedge.com.