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Udo Kieslich

Even though he has a very German name, Udo is South African born and bred. Of all the beautiful places his parents could have chosen for him to enter this world, they decided that Klerksdorp was the place to be at the time of his birth… a small little town in the North West Province which was apparently founded in 1837. His mom is South African born and his dad emigrated from Cologne in Germany at the age of 21.

As a kid he loved nothing more than exploring in nature, turning over every rock and branch, swimming in streams and fishing until the sun went down. His room was a zoo most of the time, filled with aquariums, scorpions, snakes and various bugs of the week. Things haven’t changed too much as they still have 2 aquariums and an ever increasing population of cats (at the last count they have 4).

He was never particularly fond of school as he found it too regimented, but varsity more than made up for this and he had a blast. Udo started studying at WITS, but despite majoring in two such diverse subjects as Psychology and Archaeology, he still couldn’t find his calling and ended up completing a PDM in Business Administration at WITS Business School. It was here that his love of photography began and he chose to avoid the corporate world for one more year in order to study photography.

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In 2001 Udo graduated with a diploma in professional photography. Much to his parents’ delight, he thankfully never looked back and opened a professional photography studio with one of his class mates.

They started teaching photography in their spare time and this passion soon grew into what the College of Digital Photography (CODP) is today. Udo is the founder and current owner of CODP and has been teaching photography for the past 15 years. He recently launched his personal website called Picture Playground, which sells fine art photographic prints.

“I am a big Nikon fan and use a D850 and a D810 for most of my work. My lenses include a variety of Sigma Art lenses – 14mm f1.8, 14-24mm f2.8, 35mm f1.4, 50mm f1.4 and the 135mm f1.8. I also use the Nikon 200-400mm f4 for wildlife and the 105mm f2.8 Macro for the smaller stuff”, says Udo.

“My specialty is commercial photography, and I love exploring and experimenting with different photographic techniques in the studio. In my own time I’m an avid wildlife, night sky, landscape and nature photographer, and enjoy exploring the miniature world with my macro lens,” he concludes.

Besides photography Udo loves reading, watching his son grow and spending time with his family.

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