Ghost Town, USA 2015
For reasons I struggle to articulate, I have always been drawn to ghost towns. But having fulfilled this desire, I have been disappointed in the reality because invariably the lure of tourism has necessitated some immediately obvious modernity in the architecture. There are, however, a few villages from the gold rush in America that remain as they were left and after exhaustive field work, I found the best final frontier ghost settlement imaginable. I cannot reveal the destination for obvious reasons, but I persuaded the local government to open up the fenced off historic site for me.
It was a treasure trove of artifacts from 100 years ago – and best of all, there was a railway station and an abandoned carriage. Inside the carriage there was a surreal canvas on which to tell a story – snow on the rotten seats, broken windows and a central corridor strewn with the remnants of decades of decay.
On my first reconnaissance to the site, I saw the possibility of telling a story, but in a dreamy creative moment I thought I might need a wolf and some brave girls. It took some time to get all the logistics in place and I then needed the support of some talented and adventurous locals. We needed to shoot early for the light to be right and for the temperature to drop well below freezing – the wolf’s breath makes such a difference to the story within the picture and would not have been possible after the light and temperature had risen.
I am proud of this shot largely as it is difficult to know how it could be bettered. It is a reward for homework and logistical precision, but it is also testament to the animal handling skills of two people that were in the carriage that the lens could not see. This image will never, ever, be recreated.
David Yarrow has built an unrivalled reputation for capturing the beauty of the planet’s remote landscapes, cultures and endangered animals. Born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1966, he is now one of the world’s leading fine art photographers. At the Sotheby’s photography auction in London, May 2017, David’s iconic picture –Mankind –was sold for £60,000 –the highest price of the 100 lots on auction. He is represented by some of the world’s leading galleries and in America David has shown at the renowned Perot Museum in Dallas and his work is permanently on show at the new Museum of Natural History in Missouri. David’s images are among some of the most sought-after pieces of work within the industry. David has a global book deal with Rizzoli publishing house inNew York and produced a flagship book named ‘Wild Encounters’ featuring work from seven continents, capturing some of the earth’s most endangered species. He is honored that HRH the Duke of Cambridge wrote the foreword to the book which was released in October 2016 and all author royalties from the book will go to Tusk Trust. Amazon awarded it “The Best Art and Photography book of 2016”. Alongside Rizzoli, David launched the book in a series of events across the world in the last quarter of 2016, including exhibitions at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Leonhard’s Gallery in Antwerp, Holden Luntz in Palm Beach and at London’s Somerset House. In April 2017 at the annual Tusk Gala in NYC, David’s images raised $175,000 at auction, including two lots which sold for $50,000 each, very much cementing his status as one of the most coveted artists in his field.Read More