Welcome to the Jungle

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David Yarrow


Welcome to the Jungle

Edition of 12

Archival Pigment Print

I am a big fan of Nassim Taleb’s book - Fooled by Randomness - which is essentially the study of how we wrongly attribute good results to skill, but often tend to dismiss bad results as simply a consequence of being undone by bad luck. This is true in financial trading, sports scores and facets of everyday life. Taleb argued that the truth was different and the random walk of luck spreads itself evenly throughout life and some achievements are, in fact, totally a result of good fortune: we just find it affirming to think otherwise.

I took this picture in Kalimantan, Borneo one afternoon in late April 2024 and it certainly outscores any previous pictures I have taken of orangutans. I saw the possibility slowly unfolding in front of me, but whether there would be that one moment in time, when everything was symmetrically aligned, was really just down to good fortune. I had that one glimpse and took it. It’s luck, but having said that, I won’t take it back.

I want to thank the senior park rangers in Kalimantan who granted me permits and guided me up river to a particular bend where they knew there tended to be several orangutans. We were a long way from anywhere that I had heard of that night and I could only have done this with the help of the wonderful team of locals in Borneo. It’s a team sport and what a team we had that afternoon. I think orangutans are the smartest animals I have ever filmed and their gestures, postures and general behaviour are very close to home. - David Yarrow

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