The Boys Are Back In Town | 2019 | Archival Pigment Print | 132 x 160 cm, ed. 12 | 180 x 220 cm, ed. 12
The Singita private reserve bordering the Serengeti in northern Tanzania boasts around 250 lion. That is the highest density in the world and some of the prides constitute some 20 to 30 lion together. To run into a pride that big is to witness one of nature’s great offerings. The problem for a photographer is how to do the pride or the opportunity justice. If the lion are in the grass - as they almost invariable will be up north - there is no way a cameraman can get out of the jeep – it is unfeasible to watch out for so many lion. If a cameraman is in a jeep, unless the lion are at raised elevation (such as on a rock), the camera will always be pointing down. The closer to the lion, the more obvious the downward perspective and the further away the lion, the greater the need for magnification, which compresses emotion as well as distance. If the lion are together in one huddle, it can be messy - a bit like an Hieronymus Bosch painting - a messy cocktail of legs and tails. I want simplicity and I also like the lead character not just to be close, but also pin sharp. That determines my composition. On this occasion, I was able to be close enough to use my favourite 200mm lens and luckily the lion were on land that was slightly higher than mine. The lead character in the image was probably just a foot higher than me. So, if I was 10 feet away, the gradient of 10% is enough for a 200mm to cover up. I am reminded that whilst key words in photography are emotion, research and authenticity, one that must never be forgotten is maths.
David Yarrow was born in Scotland and is currently based in London. David Yarrow is known for travelling the world’s remotest regions to capture compelling images of nature as we‘ve never seen it before, and is redefining wildlife photography in the process.
His monochrome photographs are bursting with life, vitality and movement, yet the majority of Yarrow’s subject matter, from rampaging bull elephants in Kenya to Inuit hunters and Bornean orangutans, is living on the brink of extinction. This is nature at its most majestic – and its most fragile.
Yarrow’s unorthodox camera angles and unique shooting methods transport the viewer right into the heart of the action; with split-second timing, he crystallises a single instant of drama into an image so immersive that it cannot be viewed in just a few moments. These are photographs to linger over.