Signed, dated, and numbered from edition of 12 on certificate of authenticity.
Frame: 42 x 88 inches
“The early bird catches the worm and I remember thinking, when I took this photograph sometime before 6 am in remote Alaska, that we had been rewarded for our efforts to make our way to this creek long before most sane people are out of bed. Warm windless summer days are not normal in Alaska and offer threats as well as opportunities. The principal threat is strong sunshine, but also on these days, in the mountains of Katmai, thick mist can form at predawn over the landing lakes and on the previous day, visibility was not good enough for our float plane to land. That can be so frustrating, as by the time the mist has cleared, the sun is high and filming is a bit miserable. The day is a right off. But we were luckier on this morning and much of the credit for this photograph goes to our bush pilot; he saw a brief clearing over the water and he went for it. We then gathered our gear and walked briskly down to the river where we knew the bears were fishing in numbers.
Five minutes after I took the photograph, the light that makes the image had changed materially, and the sense of mood was gone. That period, just before the sun peaks over the mountains, lasts a few minutes and that is all we had. There is enough light to film, but no harshness from direct sunlight. It is the briefest of windows.
I knew I had something in the can when we flew back to the lodge around 8 am, the bears were cooperative and really didn’t mind me following them up the river. I needed to be close otherwise the foreground would be loose and I am always wary of that.
As it is, this picture is special to me as there is such a palpable sense of place. It shouts “Alaska” and does so with content that is unusual. The premise of taking pictures of the backs of animals would seem unpromising, but in this case, it tells the story I wanted to tell. It is “Bear Market”. – David Yarrow
Art Inquiry: Bear Market, David Yarrow
Archival Pigment Photograph
27 x 73 in