My Introduction to Fine Art Wildlife Photography

Fine-art Portrait of Asian Elephant.


Fine art photography is a medium for creative expression. It allows the photographer to manipulate the image and subject to fit a particular narrative.

Black and white photography might sound outdated to many. It was the dominant form of photography until the early 20th century when colour photography really took off. Many feel that it has no relevance in today’s world.

I too felt the same, until I came across the work of David Yarrow.

Tigress black and white fine art edit. Shot in Karnataka, India.
Face Off

Originally from Glasgow, UK, Yarrow is one of the most acclaimed photographers of our time. Specialising in wildlife and contemporary photography, his images are impactful, holding the viewer’s attention for a long time

His work has an ethereal quality to them. They embody the need for photography to be an immersive experience. His images are evocative, leaving you wondering how he envisioned them.  It places emphasis on the subject’s character, enhancing textures and details.

Fine art black and white portrait of Black Headed Ibis. Shot in Karnataka, India.
Ibis Portrait Fine Art

His maxim is that a powerful image is one that can grab the attention of the viewer, and keep that attention. I completely embrace this approach. It has played a vital role in shaping my photography.

Brahminy Kite and boat. Shot in Allapuzha, Kerala, India.
Eagle Diaries (Brahminy Kite)

He asserts that close proximity is required for powerful photography. He says it is the only way one can accurately capture a subject’s personality. David Yarrow talks about this in his TEDx talk. (Watch it here).

He stresses on the need to shoot at the subjects eye level for an impactful image. Taking a photograph from a higher elevation immediately hints at an artificial encounter. To make you subject seem large and imposing, you must get below or at its eye level.

Bonnet Macaque intense gaze, Black and White Fine art shot by Ishan Shanavas. Shot in Kerala, India
Staring into your Soul

His maxim is that a powerful image is one that can grab the attention of the viewer, and keep that attention. I completely embrace this approach. It has played a vital role in shaping my photography.

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These images are a testament to that tenet. Through them, I hope to depict my artistic outlook of the world.

Full Fine Art Wildlife Portfolio here.

Hanuman Langur Fine Art Portrait. Shot by Ishan Shanavas.
Pensive Langur
Group of Egrets moving together. Shot in Kozhikode, Kerala, India
Forward Together

Have a look at David Yarrow’s work here (Highly recommended!)

In this video, he explains how he takes his images.

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Published by Ishan Shanavas

I am a young adult, interested in nature, photography, art and culture. An aspiring polymath, I share my learnings through my blog. I also include insights from my favourite books.

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