Learn from Fine-Art and Conservation Photographer David Yarrow

Fine-art, wildlife, and conservation photographer David Yarrow is on a tier of his own. Watch this video to learn some of Yarrow's methods and techniques to shooting in the wild. 

Yarrow is a world-renowned, award-winning British photographer famous for his images of wildlife, landscapes, and indigenous communities. When shooting wildlife in particular, he is known for getting close to the subject rather than shooting from far away with a telephoto lens, which is one aspect that sets his work apart from others. 

Right off the bat in the beginning of the video, Yarrow makes a strong statement about shooting wildlife which I think can be applied to any form of photography. "I think a mistake a lot of wildlife photographers make is they go on a trip without any specific ideas of what kind of African animals they'll be shooting," said Yarrow. "For me you choose the animal and then know where you'll go to shoot the animal." What this photographer is referring to is having an intention before you click the shutter. Having an intention behind your images — in other words having an idea of what you want to shoot, how you want to shoot it, and the way you want the final image to look — can help strengthen your work and give you more direction when heading into the field.  Plus, having an intention can help save you time and money during shoots when these two aspects are limited. 

Watch the video above to hear more helpful tips and insight from David Yarrow. 

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26 Comments

Sean Sauer's picture

Amazing photographs! But why all black and white? I guess it's his style and why he can charge so much for them but I feel like they're missing something without the color. Just my opinion but I've never been a fan of B&W. I feel like a lot of people take a bad photo and make it B&W and then call it "art". in this case I feel like he's taking GREAT photos and taking something away from them by making them B&W.

Tim Behuniak's picture

I personally love the BW. I think he nails the tonal ranges and BW makes it shine!

user-156929's picture

Sometimes color gets in the way of a subject. It competes for the viewers attention and in those cases, should be discarded. Color makes a photo pretty while B&W emphasizes character. Dangerous animals are all about the character.

Michael Holst's picture

"Just my opinion but I've never been a fan of B&W. I feel like a lot of people take a bad photo and make it B&W and then call it "art". in this case I feel like he's taking GREAT photos and taking something away from them by making them B&W."

At least in this case he's still making art right? You just don't like B&W.

Some might dislike traditional photographs because they could have taken 3d photos which would have added more for the viewer to consume. I don't think more is always better but that's just me. I think it depends more on the goal of the artist.

A bit too much bravado and arrogance for my taste. Sure, he produces some lovely images, though I found his confrontation of the animals (as evidenced by the circling of the elephants) as antithetical to the credo of wildlife photographers; to do no harm to the animals. Ironically, I heard him rail against telephotos and the first scene of Yarrow shooting was with a telephoto. Just comical.

Edward Blake's picture

Here's the thing I find interesting; your work is really good, no doubt, but you feel the need to shit all over someone who is, without doubt, world class.

Personally I found this quite inspiring.

World class? Perhaps. Arrogant? For the viewer to determine. Causing undue stress to endangered animals? Probably. Pointing out facts is not “-hit(ting)” on anyone.

Edward Blake's picture

I'll simply copy and paste my response from below, with slight modification.

I would suggest that a person producing work of that standard, and who says they produce a couple of great images a year, is probably not arrogant.

Just as you are entitled to your opinion, I'm entitled to assert that you are full of shit.

The simple fact is that the featured photographer is better than you, and not just a little bit better.

Your work is competent, but I've seen it a million times, which makes it utterly forgettable. His work is astoundingly good; a fact which is confirmed by the market.

I hope that clarifies things, and you feel better for having received my honest response.

Jeff Walsh's picture

Did you watch the video? Where the hell are you getting bravado and arrogance? I found neither in anything he said or did. I'm going to guess that your sensitivity is dialed way passed max, you just don't like this guy for some reason, or you didn't watch the video. I'm putting my money on your sensitivity being beyond reasonable, and it's based on, "rail against telephoto" when he did no such thing. He simply said he prefers, when able, to not use one, which is totally reasonable and his stated reasons were perfectly acceptable. Elephants didn't circle him, he said they literally were trying to figure out which way best to walk around him. You should think about writing for Fstoppers though, that wild type of blown out language, even when faced with the facts, is exactly what gets posted around here.

Besides some of their own work, this is one of the best videos put on by Fstoppers. Short, sweet, to the point and highly informative. Also, the negative comments (see Sauer and Rubinstein) are a case study in, "haters gonna hate."

Classic dodge. Can’t refute the facts so you label and dismiss people.

The Yarrow video is there; your commentary is there... for all to see. There is nothing to refute... except you.

user-156929's picture

You can make negative comments without it being hate. Sometimes, it's just a different point of view.

Sometimes... However, I don't believe that applies in the two examples I mentioned.

user-156929's picture

I'm working on giving people the benefit of the doubt in the hope they'll return the favor. ;-)

Thanks Sam. The rush to judgement and attempts to defame legitimate critical observations are simply Stalinist.

Really Rubinstein... You've been busted; lame excuses are only digging your hole deeper.

Edward Blake's picture

And you are consistently negative.

I'm sure being you is amazing.

Edward Blake's picture

What is it with photographers and their need to run down other photographers? Maybe it's just an internet thing.
Personally, I found this quite inspiring.

Since when are critical observations “run(ning) down”? You are entitled to be inspired as much as others have the right their opinions.

Edward Blake's picture

Yes, and just as you are entitled to your opinion, I'm entitled to assert that you are full of shit.

The simple fact is that the featured photographer is better than you, and not just a little bit better.

Your work is competent, but I've seen it a million times, which makes it utterly forgettable. His work is astoundingly good; a fact which is confirmed by the market.

I hope that clarifies things, and you feel better for having received my honest response.

Joe Black's picture

Sincerely amazing share. Thank you so much for posting.

Tim Behuniak's picture

Glad you liked it!

Wasting Time's picture

Wow! Now that is some amazing work.

These are gorgeous shots .. a monumental quality to them all, esp the polar bear's gaze.

John Friese's picture

Uh, he used elephant manure as a prop stand for his camera. That's shit's (pea)nuts! (no pun intended) lol