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Jeffrey Pawlan

My keen interest in photography started 61 years ago when I first noticed the beauty, artistry, and message of magazine and museum photos. I began taking my own photos with an old Kodak bellows camera and later with a Brownie Hawkeye. I was keenly interested in learning how to do my own darkroom processing. I experimented with many kinds of films, and learned about ISO, contrast, and grain. I even experimented with Kodak Infrared film and learned how the world looks through the long wavelengths of infrared. Later, I began to use color negative films. I also built my own large format sheet film camera

Eventually, I got enough money together to buy a 35mm camera which geve me far more choices of types of film. I even experimented with Kodak Infrared Aero Ektachrome and achieved some interesting artistic results. Eventually I printed color enlargements from both color negative film and slides. Compared to Black and White printing, color printing was difficult and limited because there were very few ways to adjust the contrast. In the process, I learned how to make contrast control negatives and a registration frame to align the negatives with the color negative or positive.Today, photographers can easily do all of these things with software. But, learning them first with film gave me a grounding and education that photographers who have only used digital have never had.

My interests in ethnomusicology and anthropology inspired me to take many photographs of cultural scenes and traditional ways of life that are now nearly gone. I will eventually digitize the best of these and populate this website with them. My goal is to use photography to honor traditional cultures and to inspire others to help preserve their lifestyles and cultures.

I have always been a lover of animals and I try to visit zoos and refuges where I can see them. The most special animals are rapidly going toward extinction. Those animals are often not regarded as important to save by the impoverished people living in the places where the animals live.

Two years ago, my wife and I went to two different locations in South Africa. After that we toured Madagascar for a few weeks taking pictures of the native wildlife and the environment. Most of the photos on this website are from those trips. I was shocked to see that the local people were setting fire to the forests and the grasslands to make grazing land for raising cattle. They would start fires in long lines, often as much as 100 miles long and then just let it burn without any control to take care of what it burned down. I saw hundreds of thousands of acres of completely burned land on that trip. Many of the most beautiful and sweet lemur species are very close to extinction.

When I returned, I realized that I needed to help from here and did some research. I found the Duke Lemur Center of Durham, N. Carolina was actively trying to make a real difference by bringing lemurs to this country, breeding them, and then taking some back to Madagascar to places out of reach of the cattle farmers. They are also giving many to zoos so people can see and be amazed by them. People will usually try to protect the things they love. I hope that my photos of lemurs will do just that. We now give much of our spare money to the Duke Lemur Center every year.

https://lemur.duke.edu/donate/

I have made this photography website to show many different animals in their natural habitat and doing the things that make them happy. I hope this will be a tool to move people to care for all animals and especially protect those that have been significantly reduced in population by hunting, loss of habitat, and by climate change.

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