Alaska, USA – 2016
I prefer to work with big alpha animals – elephants have a greater pull on me than mice. This is true also with birds and this has drawn me towards the American Bald eagle – a magnificent and emblematic creature with an astonishing wingspan of up to seven feet.
The difficulty is capturing imagery that captures fresh detail – the world is not short of images of this bird – indeed they adorn homes in America from the White House down.
The starting point for me was always going to be the wings – their size and textural detail. However, the more I worked on this project in Alaska, the more I was disappointed by my “in flight” work – I struggled to do the wings justice. The problem was simply that in flight, the wings do look big, but there is a disconnect to anything that gives real scale – a “big sky” does not help as it excludes much of what could help define and give context.
I travelled to the fishing village of Homer – a great place to spot great Bald eagles, especially in the winter and spring and sure enough there were a great number of eagles on the beach. It was then a question of getting sufficiently close to work with as small a telephoto as possible. Instinctively, eagles will tend to take off away from an intruder, not towards him and to engineer the effect captured I had to use decoys to encourage the eagle’s first wing movement in my direction.
Finally, it came off – and I think this is indeed a fresh image of a bald eagle. What remarkable wings and all the more remarkable at take-off.
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