For Famed Photographer David Yarrow, “It’s a Pirate’s Life For Me”

Interested in high seas adventures? So too is photographer David Yarrow, who is putting together a pirate-themed photography collection.

Photographer David Yarrow, whose work has been auctioned at Sotheby’s and put on display at prestigious galleries the world over, is now looking to enjoy a pirate’s life. Of course, Yarrow won’t be sailing the high seas, capturing treasure-laden ships, but he will be using his photography skills to capture what a pirate’s life may have looked like.

“One of my major goals as a photographer has been capturing the lives of others,” David Yarrow explains. “From Sudanese herdsmen to Native Americans at the arctic edges of civilization, I’ve been blessed to see just how diverse human lives can be.”

So why are pirates next on the list? It’s perhaps hard to believe, but to this day, pirates still prowl the oceans. Modern-day high seas piracy looks far different from your typical video game or movie chronicling the Golden Age of Pirates. Even from a historical perspective, these fictional works often fail to capture the nuances of the truth.

“I melded history, fiction, and modernity through a Wild West photo collection and aim to do the same next with pirates,” says photographer David Yarrow. “Through photography, we can capture both the real world and imagination too, and that’s what I aim to do with pirates.”

Pirates certainly capture the imagination, perhaps more so than treasure. History tends to glorify the past, but a pirate’s life was typically hard, full of uncertainty, and rich with risk, not just gold and silver.

Photographer David Yarrow Discusses the Importance of Photography

These days, it seems like everyone is a photographer. Most smartphones now come equipped with great cameras that can capture life’s moments. And yet, photography is about more than simply capturing images. What’s vital is preserving moments and documenting history.

“The world is a fast-changing place,” photographer David Yarrow notes. “Think about how different things are today compared to when you were growing up. Through photography, we can capture and record the present, thus offering it to the future.”

The first cameras didn’t appear until the mid-nineteenth century. By then, classical pirates had largely faded away, with the Golden Age of Piracy having wrapped up decades earlier. Through historical recreations, however, it’s possible to preserve and document the past.

Much of David Yarrow’s work focuses on wild animals and their ever-changing natural habitats. This should come as no surprise given that nature itself is rapidly changing. Photographs and video clips today will help preserve the history of nature and its evolution. Capturing historical recreations, meanwhile, helps document the growth of human civilization.

“Photography is both an art and a tool,” David Yarrow argues. “As a photographer, I try to use various angles and lighting methods to not simply capture an image, but instead to instill a moment or event. Whether it’s pirates or parrots, I want to transport my viewers to a specific time and occurrence.”