on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

End frame: “The Labyrinth” by Peter Dombrovskis

Bill McClurg chooses one of his favourite images

Bill Mcclurg Rising From The Ashes Portrait

Bill McClurg

I've had a lifelong love of nature and been interested in photography since my teen years. However for a great many years photography was put on the back burner, but acquiring a DSLR rekindled my enthusiasm. I find that photography enriches my experience of the natural world by slowing me down and allowing me to notice the smaller details I might otherwise miss. These days my photography is mostly about the smaller details in the landscape rather than the grand vista. My particular passion is photographing wildflowers and fungi.

After Charlotte asked me to write an article for End Frame I spent some time searching through my collection of photography books trying to select a favourite image to write about. Then I asked myself why I was searching for a favourite image when it has been hanging on the wall for the past 10 or 15 years — and I’m still not tired of it! It’s “The Labyrinth” by Tasmanian wilderness photographer Peter Dombrovskis.

This is of course not the first time an image of Peter’s has featured in End Frame, which shows what a gifted photographer he was. His work gained prominence in the early 1980s when his photograph “Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend” was used as part of the successful campaign to stop the damming of the Franklin River in southwest Tasmania. He was a passionate environmentalist with a deep love for the Tasmanian wilderness and was widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost wilderness photographers. Tragically, he died of a heart attack while photographing in the Western Arthur Range in southwest Tasmania in 1996 at the age of 51. He was posthumously inducted into the International Photographic Hall of Fame in 2003, becoming the first Australian photographer to be accorded this honour.

I’ve been a great admirer of Peter’s work ever since seeing his collection of postcards, diaries and calendars on my first trip to Tasmania in the 1980s. He was able to bring out the essence of whatever he photographed, be it the wider view or the smaller, more intimate details in the landscape. In all of his images, his deep love and reverence for the natural world is apparent. Through his work, the general public glimpsed the wild beauty of the Tasmanian wilderness and, more importantly, what would be lost if it wasn’t protected.

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