Klaus Tiedge | Wildlife Photography & Tribal Portraiture

Klaus Tiedge (1965 - 2019) is a German-born wildlife photographer who lived in Cape Town South Africa. His collections comprise of wildlife prints, baobab trees and tribal portraiture which was photographed on location. His most successful body of work is the Pride of Africa collection which comprises of low numbered limited edition prints which are offered in various sizes. 

 
 

TRIBUTE TO AN ICONIC WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER AND FRIEND WHO HAS SADLY PASSED ON.

It is with great sadness that I bring you the news that one of our artists whom we represent and a close friend, Klaus Tiedge, has passed away after a two-year struggle with cancer. Klaus left us in the early hours on the 1st July 2019 at his family home in Cape Town. 

In 2010 I met this extraordinary person when he strolled into my gallery seeking representation in wildlife photography. From that meeting, I was honoured to mentor him in his newfound passion for wildlife photography and tribal portraiture. 

In our early meetings, we both agreed that that landscape of the bush was as important as the animals, and so he set out to shoot captivating images showcasing the animals in their environment which he achieved very successfully. 

A few years later, leading up to his first exhibition I got to see just how passionate and determined he was. He knew what he wanted and was prepared to travel to the ends of the earth to find it. I still recall the delight on his face when returning from an adventure. His relentless pursuit for capturing iconic wildlife photographs was inspirational and a joy to behold.

What many people don't know is that Klaus was a very successful fashion and lifestyle photographer before turning to the African bush. This, I believe ingrained the "stylized" approach to his highly successful PRIDE OF AFRICA collection for which he became known for. I have always commented that in his photography it seemed as if he directed the animals, as one would a model, on exactly where to stand and how to pose.

His photographs feel like classic portraits photographed under controlled lighting by a master photographer, under the direction of a stylist.

When diagnosed with cancer, Klaus and his family's world was turned upside down. It was in the last two years that I got to see the unbelievable determination and positive attitude of the man. What was amazing is that over the last year, working with Dean Paarman he still filmed an incredible documentary called "Safari of my Life".  A moving film where he shows behind the scenes footage of how he went about his wildlife photography and his passion for the African bush even during the height of his struggles. Furthermore, last month, he had a solo exhibition in Munich, Germany, which has been a great success and an achievement he was very proud of.

During his last few months, those who did not know Klaus would not have even known his circumstance. His positive attitude and love for his family were at the forefront of his life right until till the end and this is what makes his death so sudden and difficult to deal with.

I have lost a great friend who will be loved and remembered for his humorous spirit, being a caring husband and loving father plus a photographic artist with immense talent. 

On behalf of the gallery, staff and clients I would like to extend our deepest sympathy to his wife Sandra and his children during this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

With many of our clients who have admired Klauses work and invested in his prints, I have had to delay sending out this news, as we needed to get clarity on how we would continue representing his work and being part of his legacy going forward.

The good news is that the original limited edition prints are still available and will now carry an estate emboss, authorised and signed by Sandra, his wife.

Klaus, you will never be forgotten and your wonderful family and work will be your legacy!

Rest in peace, my friend!

Martin Osner

German-born Klaus Tiedge has been a prominent figure in the field of commercial photography for more than 20 years, having worked in numerous countries including India, Japan, Brazil and the USA. In 2001 Klaus moved to South Africa and settled down in Cape Town taking full advantage of the thriving fashion industry and optimal conditions that the region is renowned for. In 2008, Tiedge decided to shelve his commercial endeavours and pursue his passion for fine art photography as he turned his attention to the beauty and diversity of the African continent. Embracing the “modern digital darkroom”, Klaus has successfully traversed the boundaries between painting and photography. His editioned wildlife photographs have a unique stylized quality to them. Tiedge displays the distinct ability to give equal attention to the animals and the environment in which they are captured in. His impressions portray the animal as if it is being photographed for the front cover of a glossy magazine. Qualities of master lighting, brilliant composition and technical perfection are emblematic of an artist who has obviously done his time in the commercial arena. Besides his successful wildlife imagery, Tiedge is also kept busy with other projects. In 2010 he completed a series of stylized “on location” portraits of the Himba and Zemba people in North Eastern Namibia and an ageless portrayal of single baobab trees. Of late, Tiedge has been devoting a significant amount of time to going on safari in Africa as he continues to document its diverse people, animals and vistas. Artist Statement: I was always driven by curiosity and the desire to travel the world. My fascination is underpinned with questions such as: “what is life like for others and how do other people live on our planet, how diverse is nature and what else is out there and beyond? ” Pursuing answers to these questions has led me on numerous photo trips to India, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Mexico, Australia, USA, Brazil and Ecuador. The lens becomes my eyes and I literally devour my experiences and document them forever. Finally, in 2001, a photo trip brought me to South Africa. I liked it so much that I moved here with my wife Sandra and we decided to make Cape Town the centre of our lives which we now share with two children. My curiosity for Africa hasn’t abated as I find myself travelling more than ever. Whether portraying her people, animals or landscapes, I find that Africa is good for my soul.