Renowned for his preparation, perseverance, and patience in the field, David Yarrow maintains that in an era of information overload, there is “no room for the banal.” He goes to extreme lengths in pursuit of the purest image possible, overcoming the challenges of shooting in some of the most desolate corners of the world. His unusual angles are the result of hours of research and elaborate planning, as well as countless trials and errors in the field. For Yarrow, photography is about active nature rather than passive observation, often creating a feeling of being sometimes unsettlingly close to the animal. African elephants tower, lions stare into the camera, tigers look up from the water, and rhinoceroses charge straight at the camera.
Yarrow was born in Scotland and is currently based in London. He began his photographic career recording the world’s greatest sporting events. He was named Young Scottish Photographer of the Year at the age of 20 and in the same year covered the World Cup in Mexico for The Times, his photo of Maradona holding the trophy aloft remains an iconic image. Yarrow has since turned his lens on the natural world to capture its harsh and endangered beauty. African imagery is at the heart of the project Encounter, which was exhibited in November 2013 in Hong Kong, New York, and at London’s Saatchi Gallery. He was shortlisted for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award 2013. Yarrow’s most recent body of work, The Kenya Collection, was launched at the inaugural Christie’s Conservation Lectures in aid of Tusk in April 2014.
He is the author of two photography books: Nowhere (2007), and Encounter (2013). Many of the monochrome shots that feature in Encounter were captured in East Africa, and through some compelling narrative, Yarrow exposes his thirst to get both physically and spiritually close to the personalities of some of Kenya’s most prized wildlife and cultures. Yarrow’s photographic travels have given him genuine insights into key environmental and geopolitical issues. This knowledge is put to practical use in his long-term commitment to Tusk, the leading African conservation charity, for which he is the affiliated photographer. Tusk, whose Royal Patron is HRH the Duke of Cambridge, receives 10% of sales of Yarrow’s prints and books to support its 53 projects in 18 African countries. Yarrow continues to embark on exhibitions to some of the most remote corners of the world, capturing the unique and sometimes savage beauty of the natural world.