on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Dombrovskis, Journeys into the Wild

Exhibition review with Len Metcalf

Len Metcalf

Leonard Metcalf is the director of Len’s School located in Sydney that specialises in innovative small group offerings for dedicated amateur photographers who wish to grow. Len exhibits his photography regularly and is widely published. His intimate portraits of people and nature show a unique and very personal vision of beauty of the world though his photographic art.


Dombrovskis, journeys into the wild is an exhibition at the National Library of Australia in Canberra. The library holds his archive of over 3,000 transparencies. It runs from the 21st September 2017 to 30th January 2018. The exhibition is the most comprehensive of his photography we have ever seen.

I am sitting here in this amazing exhibition of my most important and influential photographic hero.  At first I was speechless and felt overwhelmed with emotions.  Slowly as I wandered around my thoughts surfaced through the intense feelings for a love of place.   Peter photographed the places he loved.

I took photographs for the simple pleasure of recording objects and places that were important to me, and because the discipline of photography increased my awareness of Tasmania's beauty and made me appreciate more clearly the value of its wilderness. ~ Peter Dombrovskis

It is immediately apparent that his deep connection to place shines through these beautiful works of art.  I overhear an elderly couple of women say how they look like paintings.  Printed on a lustre cotton rag paper, Canson Platine Fibre Rag Paper with an Epson Surecolour P20070 by Dr Les Walking.  This gives them a deliciously feel particularly as you can get so close to each print.  Many are printed at 24 x 30 Inches.   A few take on a decidedly surrealist feel.  Particularly, Drying Kelp at Sandy Bay, Macquarie Island in Tasmania 1984 and Swan-plucked and Wind-driven Quillwort Leaves at Lake Elysia in the Du Cane Range 1985.   The photographs are very different to the Ilfochrome prints I saw at the Wilderness Gallery in Tasmania.  I am reminded yet again about the importance of printing and paper choices.  Printed on this paper definitely, softens them and creates a more gentler image than the Ilforchrome prints I had previously seen.  

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