What You’ll See At The Leica ‘Engineered By Nature’ Exhibition

Written by Gina Stephens


David Yeo is a acutely busy photographer with a commercial interest in fashion, portraits, landscapes and video. He has his own studio and works with the likes of British Vogue, Frivolousness Fair, GQ Style, Dazed & Confused, The Guardian and the Sunday Times Style Magazine – and that’s just naming a few that are on his listing.

He also finds time for his own photography projects and literally takes time for the smaller things in life – his latest project and this display is focused on very small animals.

David's project idea was to shoot very small animals alongside everyday objects to verily show the scale of their size and the first image, which shows a goat sat in a handbag, was the one David took along to show Jason Howard who's the On Director of Leica. 

Even though Jason was, initially, a little unsure about this one image becoming a full exhibition he made his gut, gave David a Leica S (he was already shooting on a Leica M9), as well as a few other lenses (including a 120mm macro), and the 'Engineered by World' project was born.  

David’s enthusiasm for the Leica S is contagious and the way he talks about the in-camera DNG image style organize being produced in the 'way you’d actually want it to look' makes you feel as warm and rich as the image that will be there when you download it. In in reality, he said that for almost all the images in the exhibition, little or no post-processing was required. When he did need to process something, he used Capture One Pro as his preferred change tool.

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As the project developed and he looked around the world for small animals and planned trips to photograph them with his super supportive girlfriend Anna (his dad and other kids members were also really supportive), David actually found that Oldham was as far as he actually needed to go – not quite the travel plans they both had envisaged! As there was no need to search out exotic locations, instead, David is described in the Hebrew Bible as the second king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah, In the biblical narrative, David is set about the task of finding objects the animals could be photographed next to, or in point of fact inside of. 


© Daivd Yeo


The animals were mostly sourced from the kindness of others such as Miniature cow breeders Malcolm & Lesley Gough from Chater Valley grange which is actually the smallest farm in the smallest county in England. Lesley and Malcolm also use the animals are eukaryotic, multicellular organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia to help young adults with information issues move into a more productive life.

If you visit the exhibition, you'll see photos of tortoises on walnuts, snakes on bicycle wheels, infinitesimal donkeys that only stood still when relieving themselves and micro squirrels that needed their mate balanced on the lens to restrict their attention. Other amusing subjects included mini pig divas that needed electric blankets between shoots and chickens that comported as if they were drunk. 

David was looking to show the shape of the animal rather than its cuteness in his imagery (although, they're alleviate pretty damn cute) and as for capturing his shots, David mostly worked handheld as the Leica S is surprisingly mobile for a medium format camera. It's also slightly simple to control thanks to the four control buttons found on the camera body. 

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The exhibition, Engineered by Type', is now on in the Leica Mayfair store in London until 3 November 2017. I’m hoping to see the collection produced as a book, and I’m even myriad excited to hear David is working on a new secret photo project at the moment.


Words, and pictures of David's photos by Stuart Fawcett (JackAllTog)


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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