Włodzimierz Puchalski

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Włodzimierz Puchalski (March 6, 1908 – January 19, 1979) was a Polish photographer and film director.

Life[edit]

He was born in Mosty Wielkie, near Lwów (then in Austria-Hungary, now Lviv in the Ukraine). Puchalski studied at the Politechnika Lwowska to become an agronomic engineer. He was the first man to use the term "bloodless hunt" to describe hunting wildlife with the use of film and a still photo camera.

He began his photographic career while in the Cadet Corps and during his college studies, initially photographing waterfowl in the fish ponds at Żółkiew (Zhovkva) from hideouts made of grass, and, later, carnivorous birds in Sokal. He also immortalized hunting scenes of the Polish nobility.

During World War II, he worked as a forest ranger in the Sandomierz Forest only to return to his passion after the war. He joined forces with the Łódź educational film company Wytwórnia Filmów Oświatowych w Łodzi and, travelling constantly throughout Poland, took photographs of nature subjects: flocks of migratory birds on the Biebrza and Narew rivers, as well as wisent, elk, wolves, lynx, beavers, deer and smaller animals.

On Spitsbergen, he gathered substantive material about the fauna of this cold area; in the Polish research station on King George Island in the Antarctic, he photographed penguins, sea lions, whale bones and his beloved birds. He died while filming skuas.

Film festival[edit]

This pioneer of nature photography and popular science and nature films created several dozen albums and almost 60 films, winning numerous photographic contests in Poland and abroad. The Włodzimierz Puchalski International Nature Film Festival is held yearly in Łódź in his honour.

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