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2013 is the jubilee year of the Biebrza National Park, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary in October.

On this occasion, an idea arose to celebrate the jubilee of BPN by organizing an exhibition of photographs taken by nature photographers during the 33rd International Congress of IFWP (International Federation of Wildlife Photography), which took place in April this year in the area of the Biebrza National Park. 

The exhibition presented works by photographers from 10 countries who during their several days’ stay on the Biebrza had a chance to grasp the diversity of Biebrza fauna and flora in photographs.

The unique natural values of this region made those areas a highly valued place, attracting many nature watchers and lovers both from home and abroad.

For participants of the IFWP Congress, the Biebrza National Park has become an exceptional place, the place they want and will return.

Dorota Kycia - Vice President of IFWP

 

Andrzej Rybczynski 1 Andrzej Rybczynski 8 Andrzej Rybczynski 10 Andrzej Rybczynski 15 Andrzej Rybczynski 18 Andrzej Rybczynski 20 Andrzej Rybczynski 24 Andrzej Rybczynski 25 Andrzej Rybczynski 26 Andrzej Rybczynski 27 Andrzej Rybczynski 28 copy Andrzej Rybczynski 29 Andrzej Rybczynski 32 Andrzej Rybczynski 34 Andrzej Rybczynski 39 Andrzej Rybczynski 40 Dorota Kycia 1 Anna Kycia 5 Anna Kycia 6a Anna Kycia 11 Anna Kycia 16 Anna Kycia 19               Anna Kycia 27                Dorota Kycia 1

Anna Kycia 2a Anna Kycia 23a

Twenty years ago, in 1993, the dream of a group of enthusiasts came true and the Biebrza National Park was established. The place where over the centuries limited human activity has created favourable conditions for maintaining specific plant habitats and living conditions for animals associated with them. The landscape of the lowland, heavily meandering river with inaccessible swamps and extensive marshy meadows, separated with alder carr and forests on mineral islands, is a wonderful, enchanting place. And so are our plants and animals. Many people come to the Park to feast their eyes, to delight in the peace and quiet. Others wish to keep those views in a photograph.

The Park is glad to meet them, since they make our Biebrza and its nature famous. We are particularly happy when they make photographs without disturbing the animals and obey the ban on enticing or calling them with sounds.

Photographers, or rather fine art photographers, of nature, respecting it just as we do, are our dear guests – welcome in !

Roman Skapski – the Director of the Biebrza National Park

 

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Photo credit : (c) Anna Kycia ; Dorota Kycia ; Andrzej Rybczynski.

 

Discovering the Biebrza phenomenon

Each photograph – regardless of the subject – is at the same time a sort of a self-portrait of its creator. This particularly refers to artistic wildlife photography – including those which compose this exhibition.

The collection presented here came into being under special circumstances – in April, that is during an early spring, blooming, or rather exploding, everywhere. The magic of the Biebrza nature simply emanates from all the frames.

The authors of these photographs are experienced wildlife observers. Some of them had already been “mad about the Biebrza mud” – they had already come across the phenomenon of that place, difficult to describe, and after it had enchanted them, they decided to return here. For what reason? The answer to this question can be found in their photographs. As well as the deep fascination and admiration of those who for the first time watched from close up feeding elks, climbed the Strekowa Mountain, paddled the marshes, went on pilgrimages along the Tsar’s Road and studied the sunrises and sunsets in morning and evening mists above the overflow areas.

The “microclimate” of the hunted frame betrays who was holding the camera, chose exactly that particular moment and then released the shutter. A split second of a good view results from many hours, and sometimes years, of going in for the passion, that is a great deal of preparations, whole days of tracking, waiting... And many apparent failures, which are as important as successes in watching and portraying wildlife.

True professionalism implies that technique by no means disturbs pure passion, and still inspires it. And that is the characteristic of this exhibition – both the fascinating subject and the spectacular way of grasping it. Each frame is a result of searching, wandering, a real hunt – if need be, their makers could wait, track, creep on all fours - and above all, enjoying every moment spent in such a unique place.

Each photograph is like the final scene of a film – it just can be heard from behind the frames; deafening spring croak of thousands of blue moor frogs, honking and fanfares of flying cranes, flapping of wings of innumerable flocks of wild geese moving above overflow areas, splashing of big hoofs of elks, the ceaseless chirping and screams of hundreds of big and small birds.  

The authors of this exhibition had good guides who know the ins and outs of their Park. They had their plans, the rare species they had spotted and wanted to show off... How difficult it is to demonstrate in three days to what you devoted many years of your work. Every dawn is different there, every sunrise and sunset brings something new, and the same place never looks and lives the same. 

The Biebrza will always surprise. It hides out its charm from the eyes of the hurried and the impatient. But it can also reward. Especially those who can spare no effort and positive emotions to learn the “genius loci” of this land. 

The authors of this exhibition, thanks to the true, creative passion, were able to grasp a small but deeply true fragment of this extraordinary phenomenon which is the Biebrza river.

Arkadiusz Szaraniec