David Yarrow - The Wild West
“There are no universal rules in photography—only personal ones. My central premise is that if photography was a language, then focus would be the most important word in that lexicon. Focus deliberately includes or it deliberately excludes, and it should be emphatically clear what the photographer is trying to say.” – David Yarrow
David Yarrow was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1966. He took up photography at an early age and as a 20-year-old found himself working as a photographer for The London Times on the pitch at the World Cup Final in Mexico City. On that day, David took the famous picture of Diego Maradona holding the World Cup and, as a result, was subsequently asked to cover the Olympics and numerous other sporting events. Many years later David established himself as a fine art photographer by documenting the natural world from new perspectives and the last nine years have been career defining.
David’s evocative and immersive photography of life on earth is most distinctive and has earned him an ever growing following amongst art collectors. His large monochrome images made in Los Angeles are on display in leading galleries and museums across Europe and North America. He is now recognized as one of the best selling fine art photographers in the world and his limited edition works regularly sell at high prices at Sotheby’s and other auction houses.
MEET THE FOCKERS
Texas, USA - 2020
“I have been fortunate to travel around much of the world taking photographs - but I don’t think I have found a better backdrop to stage a shoot than this remote outpost on the Mexican border in Big Bend Ranch State Park. It was a hell of a drive from the team’s base in Marfa and securing permits was challenging, but I knew it would be worthwhile - the building and the mountains behind were just so good. They play effortlessly into the lore of the Wild West. Better still, the area is called Contraband Creek.
The nearest town of note is the bizarre art community of Terlingua. It is difficult to imagine the circumstances that led to people living around here unless they were in a witness protection programme or cooking crystal meth. It’s a sketchy place that would look at home in a Mad Max movie, not mainstream Texas.
It was clear that whatever I did with this gift of a canvas, the concept had to be badass and mean. Josie Canseco - the Victoria’s Secret girl - was perfect for the lead role as she can look badass and still retain her femininity and sexuality. My instincts were that my camera lens should be encroaching upon a place of outlaws and that the underlying narrative should major on the dangers of trespassing.
There could be no happy ending for the trespasser here.”
THE END OF THE LINE
Texas, USA - 2020
“Longhorn cattle are not only emblematic of Texas, they are also the most visually spectacular cows in the world. On location on the abandoned film set of “There Will Be Blood”, we tried different combinations with a few prize-winning cows. But the reality was very clear - they are not camera friendly. In fact, they are considerably less compliant than the elephants of Amboseli, Kenya.
To achieve this composition was a real test of the team’s patience and all my thanks go to Ryan Thompson and his fellow cowboys, who worked with great skill to engineer this frame. I was doubly appreciative, as lying on the old rail sleepers is not the most comfortable way to spend a morning. It was critical that the bull was facing me and there were no tension points with his fantastic horns.
Rail roads were so integral to the great push West as indeed were wagons and it struck me that they could complement each other outside a station. There is no real need for people to be in the image - there is enough there and the composition works. This is a personal favorite of mine.”
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Montana, USA - 2020
“Once we found the caterpillar road that dissects this picture, I knew that we had the canvas on which to continue our road series that started in 2018. The area is so remote that we doubt it has been used as a film location before, certainly not with an American icon as the lead player. The only traffic was the occasional oil worker or perhaps someone that was totally lost. The next big event north of here is the Canadian border and that’s some 300 miles away. It is not a place to run out of gas.
Cindy makes the picture for sure. The styling is perfect and there is a such a good energy - cowgirl chic in her manner. This was the intent in the preconception - the two companions were enjoying the freedom of the vastness of the American West.
The sense of place is palpable. This is the America that so many know and love, with its long roads running to the horizon with either side exuding a simple sense of calm and solitude. No other country in the world offers road trips as visually rewarding as America and they are integral to the fabric of the American dream.
The snowfall the previous night added another layer to the narrative both on the road itself and on the prairies. We were lucky that the snow stopped and the light picked up. It adds warmth to an image already glowing with positivity and joy.”