Now one of the continent’s leading stylised wildlife photographers, Klaus Tiedge 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.
Born in Germany in 1965, Tiedge has been a prominent figure in the field of commercial photography for more than 20 years. He has worked in six countries, and numerous companies the world over use his images for their brochures, reports and advertising. His 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.
A Love Affair With Cape Town
Cape Town caught his attention in the late ’90s and in 2001, Tiedge and his wife Sandra made beautiful the Mother City their permanent home. Here, the naturally optimal lighting conditions and thriving fashion industry afforded him great exposure. Over the following seven years, his travel across 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.
A Signature Style
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. Inspired by nature, Tiedge says his fascination is underpinned with a curiosity for what life is like for others and how other people live on our planet; the diversity of nature and what else is out there and beyond. He explains, “My aim is to tell how I see things and what my impression was in that moment when I took the photograph. When I am out there I cannot predict what’s going to happen. I have to look for the picture and the right composition. There is no rush. Eventually the lens becomes my eyes and I literally devour my experiences and document them forever.”
His curiosity about Africa hasn’t lessened and he travels more than ever, while still living 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.”
Works Of Art
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. Tiedge’s work can also 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 and San.
Visit www.klaustiedge.com for more information.
Compiled by Katherine Swift
SOURCE AND IMAGES: DUMMETT & CO.