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davidyarrow davidyarrow

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David Yarrow Photography©  •Creative Partner for Land Rover •Ambassador for WildArk •Tusk Trust Charity •UK Nikon Ambassador •Bremont Ambassador

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It is always refreshing to take a picture that was in no measure preconceived. It is also good to have outliers. This snow explosion shot in the mountains of Japan is just that. This adult snow monkey was covered in snow and kindly decided to have a damn good shake down in front of me.
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My camera settings were ill prepared for this and hence the halo type blur around the face. The funny thing is the end image works - by luck not judgement. What sort of weird animal is that? Game of Thrones is alive and kicking in Japan. Third human, third monkey, third yeti. The bigger this image is printed or displayed, the better it gets...there is a load going on.

GOOD MORNING SIBERIA
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The Siberian or Amur tiger is one of the world’s most endangered species. Because of poaching and habitat loss in China and Eastern Russia, the number left in the wild is definitely only 3 figures and within a generation, this will go down to 2. This makes conservation areas in China of pivotal importance in assuring that these most dangerous of animals can successfully breed and survive.
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The Chinese have a poor reputation with regard to their respect for endangered animals and of course the country has been the biggest end market for rhino horn and ivory. At the margin, the situation is improving with an ivory ban now in place. After I gave a conservation speech in Shanghai last week, I arranged access to one such conservation area for the tigers in the freezing north of the country. In January, the temperature is rarely higher than -20 degrees.
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I saw the good and the bad. But it gave me the best chance to experience the magnificence of these animals in what is - near enough - their natural habitat. From a photography perspective, it remains a formidable challenge because whilst their presence is guaranteed, immersive images are handicapped by the fierce nature of the mammal and topography that rarely allows for a camera to be below the level of the tiger. This is a man eater - of that there is no doubt. Even a hand out of the cage will be lost in a heart beat. Then there is the cold to deal with and language barriers with local fixers.
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So all in all, I was more than happy to come away with this image.

Skógafoss is arguably the most aesthetically perfect waterfall in Europe. But its breadth and height needs some foreground context to lend perspective.
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We worked with wild Icelandic ponies to try and introduce this ingredient into a well-known amphitheatre of noise and power. It’s a very challenging brief and the window closes as soon as the first tourists arrive at 9am.
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This image transcends all the others from the trip and offers a dreamlike portrayal of Iceland’s raw and wild beauty.

I think this image from last Sunday in Japan has a real sense of place. It emphatically says, “winter in Japan”. Working in a snowfall is a fine trick - of course you want the snow as it adds narrative and detail, but normally a blizzard is too much if the subject to camera distance is over 3 to 4 feet. This was a gentle fall - so typical of Japan and just about bang on. Shackleton is also exactly where I would want him to be.

The timeless Japanese village of Shibu Onsen is a microcosm of quintessential rural Japan. It was a perfect base from which to hike up and photograph the iconic snow monkeys that can be found in the region. I’ve since arrived in LA to work on my new photographs and I’m excited to see the prints. Stay tuned for the first image from this trip later today.

We have now moved on to #Japan, but #China was a surreal experience. Stay tuned for more updates from the Far East.

Grumpy Monkey
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I’m back where I took this picture in 2014, it is now sold out. There is never any point going back to try and recreate an image - spontaneity is the mother of original content but it is snowing heavily in Shibu Onsen and we have a few new ideas for the next couple of days.
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The sake is flowing and hopefully so is our creative courage. We love #Japan for it’s serenity and hospitality.

Over a 10 day period, I had one picture in mind – a wide angle remote control shot of a big bear on a river’s edge. Something immersive and very close. But the 2016 season was not predictable – berries were plentiful and bears love berries as much as salmon, so traffic in some rivers was abnormally light.
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But bush plane by bush plane I narrowed down my focus to an area I knew well – 70 miles south of Illiamut on the Alaskan Peninsula. We deliberately flew very low over Funnel Creek earlier in the week and saw at least six adult bears fishing up river and so we touched down in the tiny village of Illiamut to discuss logistics.
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The next day, we were dropped off on a tiny lake to walk the four miles through tundra and the river itself to the precise area where we had seen the bears. It is not for the faint-hearted as these are big bears and it is the true wild.
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The location was even better than we dared hope – in six hours we saw at least 15 bears. I knew these bears were not necessarily dangerous, unless you did something really stupid or were incredibly unlucky in your positioning between sow and cubs. I have studied bears and I am not intimidated during the salmon run – they are far too busy fishing to worry about a human, let alone maul a human.
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There is no mileage photographing a bear with a long lens – just like a lion, it has been done before – it is hackneyed pulp. What I wanted was a bear three feet from my ground up camera. Not easy. Why should the bear walk towards a camera, never mind look at it – cameras don’t smell?
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The chance came halfway through the day and we waited over an hour with the camera just 20 feet from the bear. I have made my reputation partly through the use of remotes and it is a language I am now fluent in – manual pre-selected point focus, lens, aperture, distance etc. I know what I am doing here – largely from hard lessons learnt in the past. By getting it wrong, I now know how to get it right.
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It all happened in five seconds. I thought I had missed him to the right, but all was okay.

Bankers are not liked and investment bankers are liked even less. I know this world well and I understand the emotions both inside and outside the industry. Banks and bankers are often considered to be selfish and without a moral agenda. This is a little broad brushed.
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Yesterday in Shanghai, UBS gave top billing to conservation at their annual conference. I was flattered to be asked to give a keynote speech. There is momentum in awareness of what will happen if we do nothing. We must all do more. UBS did the right thing and this may well be just the start.

‘The Factory’ - 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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This image will be shown at the Arthur Roger gallery in New Orleans tonight. Looking forward to it.

Louisiana has loads of bars but they are slightly different from this one in Montana! We open in New Orleans tomorrow night at the wonderful Arthur Roger Gallery.

On this first day of 2018, the world seems to be turning a blind or disinterested eye to the shocking situation in Cox Bazar in Bangladesh where the number of Rohingya refugees is now estimated to be nearing 1 million.
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But some influential and good men do care. Last night Nachson Mimran and Marcel Bach, owners of the celebrated Alpina Hotel in Gstaad, set the stage for me to auction my Chicago image “It’s just a matter of time“ at their New Year’s Eve dinner. All the proceeds would go to the camp in Cox Bazar - where Nachson has just established a charity foundation. This is no lame effort - he has just returned from the camp and the images he showed me are harrowing.
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It was my first shot at auctioning at such a big dinner and at 11.45 pm it was a challenge, but thanks to very generous bidders, we raised $65,000 for the limited edition print. Sadly that will not go that far and we all need to be more conscious of the developing humanitarian crisis. There are 300,000 children in this camp today.
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Thank you @MaddoxGallery in #Gstaad for a wonderful week of shows. The last event is at 5pm tonight, if anyone is near.
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My family will be sad to leave, but equally we know how incredibly fortunate we all are.

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