DAVID YARROW has built an unrivaled reputation for capturing the beauty of the planet’s remote landscapes, cultures and endangered animals. Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1966, he is now an internationally acclaimed fine art photographer and is currently the world’s best-selling wildlife photographer.
For Yarrow, time, commitment and patience are the foundation stones of taking great photographs. He has a clean, contextual and emotive style and strives to capture images that transcend mainstream offerings. Visiting some of the most isolated and pristine regions in the world, Yarrow photographs animal and human inhabitants in their natural, jaw-dropping environments. He goes to extraordinary lengths to capture his subjects in their most raw, authentic forms, often conducting extensive research and completely immersing himself in his subject’s habitat. His dedication to portraying nature’s most precious and dangerous wildlife is truly astonishing. Yarrow is not only devoted to depicting wildlife in its most genuine state, but is also committed to protecting it through his work as the affiliated photographer of Tusk Trust, a leading African conservation charity for which HRH Prince William is the Royal Patron.
“We live in an era of content overload, and for images to engage, there needs to be not just strength and powerful documentation, but perhaps also a degree of unfamiliarity.” David lists the great war photographer, Robert Capa, as one of his major influences.
His approach to photographing wildlife is guided by Capa’s famous assertion that “if your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough”. When possible, Yarrow takes his photographs of dangerous wildlife using a well-positioned remote-controlled camera, acknowledging that a photographer can achieve perspective by capturing shots that look up at the animal from the ground.
Rizzoli publishing house in New York, has produced a flagship book named ‘Wild Encounters’ featuring work from seven continents, capturing some of the earth’s most endangered species. HRH the Duke of Cambridge wrote the foreword to the book, which was released in October 2016. All author royalties from the book will go to Tusk Trust. Amazon awarded it “The Best Art and Photography book of 2016”.
Yarrow states, ‘When conceptualizing animal shots, think laterally and strive for an image that sits outside normal boundaries. This may be to achieve perspective by capturing shots that look up at the animal from the ground, but often to get the animal at eye level and pin sharp. This can prove problematic when photographing dangerous animals but a solution is offered in the form of well-positioned remote controls.’One of David’s more unusual pieces of equipment is a custom-made 14-pound steel box. This object is used to house his camera body and then placed near the subject matter of his assignment. He then triggers the protected camera from a short distance by pressing a hand-held switch at the right moment… his timing has to be perfect. All of David’s photographs tell a story; his durable camera casing has several tales of its own, ranging from being buried in a swamp in the Camargue, doused in Old Spice aftershave in Amboseli and smothered in rhino excrement in Lewa. These ‘treatments’ have been used after extensive research into identifying the most attractive and enticing smell for the animal in question.
David used a scented remote to capture "THE PRIZE," his iconic, pin-sharp shot of a lioness walking across the dusty plains of Lake Amboseli (Kenya) at sunrise. Shortly after taking the shot, the lioness took the camera casing in her mouth and walked 700 yards into the bush. Fortunately the stoical camera casing and enclosed camera body were retrieved.
The equipment that David takes with him on location will naturally vary according to the subject matter of the assignment and the lighting conditions/climate of the environment in which he is photographing.
David has been using Nikon camera bodies and lenses for almost 30 years, which testifies to the high regard that he has for the quality of the brand’s products. He is the brand ambassador for NIKON cameras.