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David Yarrow Photography
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Official account of David Yarrow, fine art photographer and author.
Official account of David Yarrow, fine art photographer and author.

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'Mankind', Yirol, South Sudan

I had a preconception of what I wanted to capture… something that conveyed the raw enormity of a Dinka cattle camp in the cradle of mankind. Something timeless and vast. I want people to be able to look at the picture for hours and find new stories each time. 

I was the first white guy to visit this camp, which a year ago was at the heart of the civil war.
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'Heaven Can Wait' - Amboseli, Kenya 2014

This is a hard-earned and timeless photograph – indeed it is probably the strongest picture I have taken for some time. Some pictures firmly grab our attention and then retain it and I do now believe that this could be one. It has soul and a sense of place to it and I am proud to be responsible for its creation. There are many quiet days or weeks in the field, where there is nothing magical to capture and no transcending images with which to return. In my own crusade, this single image makes up for a great many of such days.

‘Heaven Can Wait’ has a biblical countenance – it is also primal and raw. The dramatic sky appears to be in communication with the only sign of life on the flat dustpan below. Indeed there is diagonal connectivity across the whole image as the dust tracks of the giraffe lead the eye to the animal, which then takes the eye to the talkative sky. The image conveys the arid and elemental habitat that is Lake Amboseli at the end of the dry season and the implicit contradiction of life on its inhospitable canvas.

To take this image, I employed three of my key rules for filming in East Africa but then broke a fourth. The first two rules of working against the light and then employing a wide angle rather than telephoto lens were instinctive, but the third rule of working as close to the ground as possible was practically challenging in that we were chasing the lone giraffe in a jeep driving at 30 miles an hour on a crusty dry lake. The trick was to shoot blind from an outstretched hand leaning downwards to the ground from the jeep. This was – I knew – a low-percentage shot.

We encountered the isolated giraffe late one afternoon on the dry lake and it immediately seemed core to the prevailing mood to emphasise the dust being licked up by the giraffe’s hoofs. Amboseli is about dust and its capture should make the picture, not be ancillary to it. This meant not only shooting into the late light but also shooting from behind the giraffe. This was at odds with a fairly standard rule of mine to be positioned ahead or at least parallel to a moving subject – but given all the other factors involved; it appeared that breaking this rule would be the most effective way to tell the story. We are in the wild, not a studio, and it is often better to just go with the flow, think spontaneously and break rules.
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A collection of memorable moments from my recent photographic assignment in Kenya.
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2014-10-27
4 Photos - View album

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The long-awaited Yarrow U.S. launch exhibition at Rotella Gallery opened last week in Las Vegas and New York City. 

15 of David's most prized images will be displayed for a period of one year in the gallery's flagship showrooms. The collection includes five previously unseen works, which were captured during David's latest photographic assignments in Africa. 
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2014-10-14
2 Photos - View album

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What a privilege to work with Kevin Richardson this week. Some extraordinary moments to cherish.
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2014-08-15
6 Photos - View album

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On assignment in South Africa with conservation icon Kevin Richardson - 'the lion whisperer' #WorldLionDay.

The positioning of the remote control in the river was critical and required observation of previous behaviour.

© David Yarrow Photography Ltd
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2014-08-12
2 Photos - View album

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Little is understood about the Great Whites that congregate in areas such as Mossel Bay and False Bay - mating, for instance, has never been witnessed.

In Cape Town's winter months - June, July, August - the Great Whites attack high protein seal pups returning to their Seal Island colony and do so by breaching the water line in the process.

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558 rhinos have been killed in South Africa already this year. 62 of those deaths occurred just in the last 10 days alone.
#EndWildlifeCrime
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