David Yarrow’s photographs carry an extraordinary level of depth. Of course, the images are instantly arresting, but their creation wasn’t entirely instantaneous—each comes freighted with stories of superhuman persistence, knowledge, and creativity.
Extraordinary images demand an extraordinary amount of planning. When you’re working in truly remote and inhospitable regions, you can’t leave anything to chance. That’s doubly true when attempting to capture an intense intimacy with some of the world’s most unpredictable and dangerous animals, an intimacy that requires the camera to be only feet away from the subject.
Just a few photographers working today can achieve these kind of images with the authority that is the marker of fine art, which is why a David Yarrow is so instantly recognizable as a David Yarrow. In this two-part series, David shares the stories behind ten of his stand-out images: the highs; the lows; the risks; and the dogged perseverance required to get the final result.
FISHER KING Alaska 2017
“Over the years, I have spent many days working close to grizzlies in Alaska and this is surely my most visually arresting photograph. The intimacy is courtesy of a well-positioned camera and a 28mm wide-angle lens. The bear was big, primeval, and menacing, and in this instant, just two feet from the camera.
“Moraine Creek is not an easy destination to get to for first light, but that was our preferred schedule. We were on-site just after dawn and the remote camera was positioned after studying the fishing pattern of the big male bear. I prefer to photograph against the light, but at 7 am this is a risky strategy as shooting directly into the sun can jeopardize an otherwise strong image. The route of the river meant that there were no other options at this time.
“I was begging the bear to come to the camera and he did exactly that – with a head held high and a face full of energy. I knew that if my maths was right, I had a big image.”