I know 2 things from photographing hyenas. The first is that they have a few idiosyncrasies - they run funny, smell funny and with their oversized heads and large ears, they look dead funny too. Maybe they are just laughing at themselves - a good sign in any mammal.
I don't actually think many of us really know exactly what hyenas look like because, they are the least photographed of all the storied animals in Africa. We are not familiar with them as we don't revere them - indeed to be called a hyena, has become a term of abuse, which seems rather unfair on a species that adds to the rich fauna of sub-Saharan Africa. Hyenas are clearly useful additions to animated films and musicals as they can be demonised and portrayed as the bad guys.
But here is the other thing about hyenas which slightly plays towards their stereotyping of being the villains - they don't respect camera equipment at all. I am sometimes asked which animal destroys the most camera equipment. Elephants kick my remote cameras in Amboseli, lions will confiscate the camera, but get bored after a while, whilst bears and bison could not be less interested.
But the adult female hyena in this photograph, picked up some of my equipment from the ground and I watched from the safety of my cage as it was broken up into 30 different pieces over a 5-minute period of intense brutality. It is the first and last time, I will leave camera equipment on the ground if there are hyenas in the area.
Luckily my memory card which contained this photograph was not a victim of the assault. It was taken from my cage on a 58mm lens - I am not sure many have tried that with a bunch of hyenas before. I would not take risks with them - they could live up to their name and that would not be funny.
Available Sizes (Framed Size); Large: 71' x 102' (180 cm x 259 cm); Standard: 52' x 72' (132 cm x 183 cm); Available Editions; Large: Edition of 12; Standard: Edition of 12
David Yarrow was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1966. He took up photography at an early age and as a 20 year old, he 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, he was subsequently asked to cover the Olympics and numerous other sporting events. But he refused to be pigeonholed and his interests expanded as he grew into himself. It was only many years later, that he found his true comfort zone in documenting the natural world and the last eight years have been career defining.
Yarrow's evocative and immersive photography of life on earth is most distinctive and it has earned him an ever growing following amongst art collectors. His large monochrome images made in Los Angeles are on display in many leading galleries and museums across Europe and North America and his work is also a regular feature at established art fairs. By the spring of 2017, he had firmly established himself as one of the bestselling fine art photographers in the world, with the limited edition prints (just 12 in an edition) regularly selling at over $40,000 a piece and his well-received recent work is now priced even higher.
At the Sotheby's photography auction in London in May - Yarrow's iconic image from South Sudan - Mankind - was sold for $75,000 - the highest of the 100 lots in the show. In April the following year David's image "The Wolf of Main Street" sold for $100,000 and was the highest bid for piece by a living photographer and most recently "78 Degrees North" went for an impressive $110,000.
In 2016, Rizzoli New York published his latest book - Wild Encounters - with a foreword written by HRH The Duke of Cambridge (Prince William). The book was awarded "Art Book of 2017" by Amazon and has already sold out a second print run. All Yarrow's royalties from the book continue to be donated to Tusk, the leading British NGO, that focuses on animal conservation in Africa.
Philanthropy and conservation are indeed central to David Yarrow's passion to document the animal and human world in a fresh and creative way. In 2017, charitable donations from the sale of David's images exceeded $1.2 million, with four of David's pieces raising $186,000 in just a few minutes at the Tusk Gala dinner in New York City in April 2017.
In North America, he is represented by two leading photographic galleries in Holden Luntz in Palm Beach and Izzy in Toronto, as well as broader art galleries such as Samuel Lynne in Dallas and Miller in Cincinnati. In Europe, David has a very strong presence in the Baltic - with Oslo, Antwerp and Amsterdam all key venues. David's most recent partners Maddox have been extremely popular in both London and Gstaad.
Yarrow's position in the industry has been rewarded with a wide range of advisory and ambassadorial roles. In conservation, he is an ambassador for WildArk, on the advisory board of Tusk and Ambassador to the Kevin Richardson Foundation (). In 2017 Land Rover also appointed David as a global ambassador and creative partner. He is the European ambassador for Nikon and has recently been integral to the companies most anticipated Camera release of the last decade. In December 2017 he shot TAG Heuer's latest campaign with Cara Delevingne.
His status as an artist and conservationist was confirmed in June 2017 when he was invited for a private lunch with President George W. Bush in Dallas, Texas.
180.3 × 259.1, Edition of 12 + 3AP, Contact for price;
132.1 × 182.9, Edition of 12 + 3AP, Contact for price