The Untouchables

Simon Jeavons

26 Sep 2017

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David yarrow's "78 Degrees North" on exhibition in norway

Acclaimed wildlife photographer and NWS specialist guide David Yarrow is currently exhibiting at the Galleri Fine Art in Oslo, Norway. His exhibition, “The Untouchables”, will be running from the 21st September until the 15th of October and is his largest show to date, with 71 photographs on show including several new photographs. The showreel below includes a selection of some of his best-known images, including a now iconic photograph of a polar bear walking away that was captured on our Svalbard Photography Safari, led by David himself. This striking image, entitled “78 Degrees North”, caused a stir on social media when it was first published back in June, and in August it was sold for an incredible $43,000 to raise money for African conservation organisation Tusk. 

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David had this to say when he first posted the image on his Instagram (@davidyarrow), where he has attracted a following of over 100,000:  

"The eye is immediately grabbed by the detail we recognise but have perhaps never seen - the distinctive pads on the sole of his foot. The central pad, that resembles the Nike style “swoosh”, is the epicentre of a photograph that owes its differentiating content entirely to this right foot. The image is made complete by its own lack of completeness - the storytelling is started by the camera and finished by the viewer. We are asked to finish the story, not just read the story and the spartan economy of the narrative helps us along the way.

Less is more in the arctic - its beauty is in its simplicity and the enormity of the white detail. It is not a noisy place - in fact it is characterised by the lack of noise. The image pays homage to that variable - it conveys a true sense of place. This is not a natural human habitat - it is in fact our final frontier.

The irony was that it was the very last of a sequence of 60 images I took of the polar bear. I did not press the trigger with this image in mind - it was such an intense 15 minutes that it would be most disingenuous to suggest that it was preconceived. The heart was beating too fast to consider creating art - these moments just sometimes happen. 

It was only when I returned to the ship that I realised I had an extremely evocative photograph.

Other exhibitions this year include Moscow, Paris, Toronto, New York, Cincinnati and LA as well as a show in a brand new gallery in Notting Hill, London. You can find out more about David Yarrow's exhibition by visiting his website.

If you would like to travel alongside David, next year he is once again heading into the cold for us. In November 2018 he will lead a small group trip to the wild shores of South Georgia. Find out more about this very special trip to one of the most remote places on our planet.

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