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From 'dirt poor' to acclaimed wildlife photographer: New documentary tells the story of Cincinnati's Karl Maslowski

 Karl Maslowski is pictured carrying equipment through Reelfoot Lake in the 1930s.
Maslowski archives
Karl Maslowski is pictured carrying equipment through Reelfoot Lake in the 1930s.

Karl Maslowski was only 15 years old when his father died.

He left school to help support his sister and mother but maintained a keen interest in the natural world and the creatures that inhabit it.

In 1935, when Maslowski was 22, he had saved up enough money to buy a used, professional camera. That purchase launched his interest in wildlife photography and was the start of his decades-long career as an acclaimed wildlife photographer, writer and filmmaker.

The new documentary Wildlife Photographer: The Life of Karl Maslowski tells the story of this Cincinnati man who grew up “dirt poor” and how his work as a conservationist brought to light challenges that face ecosystems and wildlife.

Joining Cincinnati Edition to discuss the documentary are former Cincinnati Museum of Natural History Director — and a friend of the late Karl Maslowski — DeVere Burt; and Maslowski’s son, Steve Maslowski, who served as project director on the documentary.

More information about the documentary is available online. The film is scheduled to air at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 22, on CET 48.1 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 19, on KET.

Listen to Cincinnati Edition live at noon M-F. Audio for this segment will be uploaded after 4 p.m. ET.

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