Horst Klemm
  • Introduction

  • Bio

  • Publications

A veteran commercial photographer living in Cape Town, South Africa, Horst Klemm’s true passion is nature and its dazzling diversity of wildlife.  Always accompanied by a camera, he is the classical traveler.  He has crossed the Arabian desert by camel; he knows the jungles of Papua-New Guinea, as well as the vast expanse of the African landscape, through which he journeys time and again.  His work shows the artist merged and at one with the landscape. His photographs of animals take us along on the journey, and bring us to a conscious reminiscence of a time when slow, deliberate patience was indispensable to survival. What Horst Klemm shows in these photographs through their immediacy to nature goes far beyond the visible image and communicates the souls of landscape and animals.

Driven by his passion for the golden age of adventure and discovery, Horst Klemm has photographed for over 27 years in the most remote parts of the African bush. He strives to capture an image that lets us feel the heartbeat of Africa. On his hunt for the perfect photograph Horst Klemm has been threatened by bandits, attacked by a crocodile, chased by a leopard, and charged by lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, and buffalo. He has been afflicted by malaria, mountain fever, and schistosomiasis. He has withstood blistering heat, freezing cold, and endless hours of patient waiting. Horst Klemm is after neither thrills nor the challenge of extreme sport. Often alone for several weeks at a time, he tries to interact with nature and capture what he experiences in his myriad of striking pictures.

Taken from an afterword on a publication about elephants, 2005

1947born in Gera, Germany
1952–1967Vocational school in Ebersdorf, Eisenach, and Weinsberg, Germany
1967–1969Training in graphic design in Heilbronn, Germany
1969–1970Travel around the world
1971–1972Military service
1973Opens graphic design studio in Heilbronn, Germany
1974Marriage and emigration to Johannesburg, South Africa
1974–1976Employed as graphic designer and photographer by a printer in Johannesburg
Since 1976Freelance commercial photographer with photo studios in Melville, followed by Westcliffe, Johannesburg. Clients: BMW, South African Breweries, South African Airlines, Volkswagen, De Beers Anglo American, Nestlé – numerous Clio- und Loerie-Awards for Photography
1995Founding of the “Africa Collection” a publisher for post cards, calendars, and puzzles
2004Relocation to Capetown
Opening of studio in Capetown

Books/Catalogs (Selection)

An African Journal, Eigenverlag, 1994

Elephants for Africa, Eigenverlag for Randall Moore, 2000

A Celebration, Eigenverlag for South African National Parks, 2003

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