You may have seen David Yarrow’s incredible black-and-white nature photography. If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat – you can thank me later, but first watch this short film, YARROW: The Virtues of Monochrome. 

It’s an incredible short by the Australian directors Abraham Joffe ACS and Dom West who followed David to the shores of South Georgia – a small island in the polar region between South America and Antarctica.

Only accessible by an 80-hour boat ride, the shores of South Georgia are covered in king penguins and fur seals as the retreating glaciers have provided roosting space and warming ocean temperatures have brought more fish to the region.

Combined with hanging glaciers and towering mountain peaks you get a scene that Abraham said, ‘would leave even the most jaded person in total awe.’

The area’s home to sensitive breeding grounds, so it was pivotal Untitled Film Works had zero impact as they captured scenes that few get to see with their own eyes.

‘This extremely rare access gifted us the most powerful drone footage we’ve ever captured,’ said Abraham.

‘David was there with a big challenge, to capture single frames that would somehow do justice to what we were witnessing. In some ways, our task as filmmakers seemed less daunting. As the medium of film is almost always a visual assembly, we could gather numerous shots to bring the story of David’s creative process to life.’

For David, the journey was about capturing one monochrome image that summed it all up. A difficult task for a scene he described as ‘visually intoxicating.’

The film ends with that image printed, towering over David.

‘I had my moment in the corner of the beach at about 4:20 am. I knew that was where the big groups of penguins marched for their morning fish and the light, whilst low, was just strong enough to give the penguins a little “ping” without being too visually loud or harsh.’

‘It’s not often that your day is done before 4.30 am, but this was one such day. “The Breakfast Club” is an embodiment of the preconception with which I arrived to South Georgia’s shores.’

To hear more from David about the journey head over to his website. If you’re thirsty for more incredible visuals and stories on nature, and the filmmakers and photographers who document it, you can see Joffe and West’s work at Untitled Film Works.


Feature photo by Dom West

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