Photography runs in the Dombrovskis family

By AG Staff 9 July 2012
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The photos of Nicholas, son of legendary photographer Peter Dombrovskis, reflect the quiet passions of his father.

WHEN NICHOLAS WAS little he was the only one of his five brothers and sisters who went out walking regularly with his father, famed hiker and landscape photographer Peter Dombrovskis.

But, the wisdom the master photographer chose to impart to his son was not in words, but rather in contemplative silence. “We didn’t normally talk much at all; he would just go out and work and I would follow him and watch,” says Nicholas.

The quiet art of landscape photography

Despite this, Peter’s photography was integrally entwined with the political furore swirling around Tasmania in the 1980s, and it is often credited with playing a major part in the success of the protest against the Franklin River Dam project, the election of Bob Hawke and the creation of the World Heritage-listed Tasmanian Wilderness Area.

“He wasn’t a political man,” says Nicholas. “He was really very quiet and used to shy away from all of that.”

Peter died of a heart attack in 1996 while photographing in the Tasmanian Wilderness’ Arthur Range.

Today, Nicholas has followed in his father’s footsteps, having spent the last decade travelling the world photographing landscapes on a digital Sigma DP2 or SD1 camera.

The simplicity of Peter Dombrovskis’ landscape photography

Nicholas has inherited some of Peter’s love of simplicity. “I’m working on perfecting one lens” he says. “I like getting to know exactly what I’m going to be looking at and moving to get the frame, rather than changing all the time.”

Similarly, all of Peter’s photographs were taken with a large-format Linhof Master Technika 5 x 4 inch flatbed field camera and he only used three lenses: a 90mm Nikkor F4.5, a 150mm Schneider Symar-S, and a 300mm Nikkor MF9.

Nicholas is also currently planning a trip to Australia.

“I’ve been influenced by Australian landscapes all my life” says the Tokyo-based photographer. “I plan to come back soon and travel around Tasmania again and rediscover some of those memories.”