The Factory, Archival Pigment Print, 2017, ed. 12, 132 x 168 cm
Lewa, Kenya 2017
Andy Warhol once said “My favourite colour is black and my other favourite colour is white”. On the basis of this alone, I fancy that this image might have struck a chord with him. I have been seeking an abstract image like this for some time and have consistently failed partly because the zebra is so skittish and this has prevented me from getting close enough to play with the patterns. But the bigger issue is that if all the zebras are on the same piece of at land, as is usually the case, one animal tends to block the body of those behind. As I thought about the riddle, it dawned on me that the odds of success would narrow if I could find zebras stacked on a hill. This rules out the majority of locations because of their flat topography. Lewa was therefore going to be my best chance of an outstanding image – there are hills and steep areas where the zebra can congregate. Of course there is no assurance that zebras will be in these areas at the same time as my camera lens. But the more time I employed the greater the chance of success. I had then to get lucky with the formations. The grevy zebra, for which Lewa is renowned, also have such distinctive and pristine stripes that are thinner than other breeds to the south. The stripes are also very much white on a black background as opposed to black on a white coat and this works well. When this image presented itself in my viewfinder, I could not quite believe my luck. Thank goodness I remembered to press the shutter. Every grevy in the world has distinctive markings and this image makes that point with a clarity that will be difficult to beat.
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.