Jeleński Jarosław Jan

I was born in 1962, in Bydgoszcz, Poland. I have been photographing landscapes and nature for over 40 years. My first pictures had been taken with Russian photo cameras on 135 film and spool-wound photographic film format 120. With the aid of my father, I learned to develop black and white negatives and produce finished prints. I used to buy, rare in those times, photo magazines and books on landscape photography written by Jan Sunderland, Jan Bułhak, Edward Hartwig, Włodzimierz Puchalski and others. Nature, ornithology and entomology also became my passion and I enthusiastically photographed birds, butterflies, woods, meadows, lakes. In consequence, I have studied books on wildlife photography by Tomasz and Grzegorz Kłossowscy, Wiktor Wołkow, Wiktor Pawłowski, Leszek Krzysztof Sawicki, and Włodzimierz Puchalski with whom I have corresponded briefly and who, in concise reviews of my photographs, encouraged me to perfect my photographic techniques. In my collections, I have almost all of the Polish and foreign publications of his books. At present, I am a digital photographer and I aim to go beyond photographing specimens of native fauna and flora. My favourite photographic hunting grounds are the Lower Vistula Valley, the Tuchola Forest and my beloved Podlasie, and also surrounding meadows, woods, fields and rivers. While photographing, I concentrate on planning the frame and choosing location and lighting – the time of day. All this is as equally important as the very photographic technique. Practically, in all my works I use filters. These are mainly UV filters, dark ND filters and half grey filters. By means of these tools, I can carry out my visions of images and reduce their later processing in the “digital darkroom”. I am inspired by photographic exhibitions, especially by Sebastiao Salgado, Tomasz Gudzowaty, Nick Brandt, Art Wolfe and many other photographers. I carry out the “digital development” of my photographs, including the printing, as for me, the photography exists only on paper, in the form of the printout, blueprint, enlargement. During photographic workshops and outdoor activities within Bydgoska Akademia Fotografii (Bydgoszcz Photography Academy), I popularise the knowledge of landscape photography. I am an author and co-author of numerous photographic exhibitions in galleries and national parks. Such form of presentation of my works constitutes for me the highest gratification. Along with my brother Slawomir, I have established my own gallery of wildlife photography “Na płocie – pod bocianim gniazdem” (On a fence – underneath a stork’s nest) in Rogacze, Podlasie. Currently, I return to monochromatic photography and also realise projects in the technology of instant photography. My photographic motto represents the words of the great wildlife photographer in Podlasie, Wiktor Wołkow: “It acts like a drug: when I photograph, I feel high…”.



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