On the cover is one of Yarrow’s piercing animal portraits, a face-to-face encounter with a male gelada in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia. Here’s the story behind the shot.
“When I traveled to the spectacular Simien Mountain range in Northern Ethiopia, I traveled light as intuitively I knew that I only needed to take my “go-to” 28mm wide-angle lens. I knew that the views are so majestic and biblical from the 12,000-foot peak of the escarpments that any image that didn’t convey this narrative would fail. My research has repeatedly told me that with the right local guide, the gelada baboon would not only be found with ease but also that proximity would not be an issue. This made the 28mm lens an easy choice.
“The gelada is the most decorative ape in the world—its beauty can’t be compromised by harsh light. On the Sunday afternoon, there was a torrential rainstorm, and I had all but given up for the day. But around 4 p.m., the rain and thunder stopped, and the escarpments were slowly brought to life with shafts of low, late light. And so it was that we left the comfort of our dry camp and, in one precious moment, I had the perfect encounter with a male gelada in exactly the kind of spot I would have dreamt of.
“I do my job for moments like this. This photograph hammers home the diversity of our planet. The human was trespassing in the ape’s mountain kingdom. His eyes say everything—the conviction of proprietorial residence for sure, but also dignity and resolve. Meanwhile to me, it will always remind me to never go anywhere without a 28mm wide-angle lens.”
The November 2019 issue is available now in a variety of digital formats including Apple News+ and on newsstands beginning Tuesday, October 29.
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