German-born Klaus Tiedge had traveled the world, working as a commercial photographer for 20 years when, one day in 2001, an assignment brought him to South Africa. He liked it so much that he decided to move there with his wife, settling in Cape Town where he would be a photographer for the thriving fashion industry. After taking a trip to Namibia, that all changed. He knew he had another calling. Taking his own car, he made a second trip to Namibia and also to Botswana this time, shooting animals in the wild. In 2008, he made the switch to focus solely on wildlife photography, deciding that he would embrace the “modern digital darkroom” and create highly stylized, fine art photos of African wildlife but ones that still captured raw moments. Though he’d use the techniques he’d learned in commercial photography, he knew he had to learn a whole new set of skills.
“The right lighting, composition and technical perfection is vital for me,” he told Photography Office. “It is always a challenge to comply to this as you ‘never can hurry nature.’ I am very dependent on the weather, the animals behavior and that the photograph eventually happens in the scenery I have chosen. This is a totally different approach then what I am used to from my previous work in the commercial arena.”