Peter Dombrovskis

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Peter Dombrovskis
Rock island bend.jpg
Born(1945-03-02)2 March 1945
Wiesbaden, Germany
Died28 March 1996(1996-03-28) (aged 51)
South West Tasmania, Australia
Years active1960s–1996
Known forWilderness photography
Notable work
Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, Franklin River

Peter Dombrovskis (Latvian: Pēteris Dombrovskis; 2 March 1945 – 28 March 1996)[1] was an Australian photographer, known for his Tasmanian scenes. In 2003 he was posthumously inducted into the International Photography Hall of Fame, the first Australian photographer to reach this milestone.[2]


Dombrovskis was born in 1945 in a refugee camp in Wiesbaden, Germany of Latvian parents; together with his mother, migrated to Australia in 1950, and settled in Fern Tree, a suburb of Hobart.[2] The protégé of noted wildlife photographer and activist Olegas Truchanas,[3] his photographs of the Tasmanian Wilderness—particularly his own annual Tasmanian Wilderness Calendar and the Wilderness Calendar produced by the Tasmanian Wilderness Society—brought images of once remote and inaccessible areas of the State into the public realm. Dombrovskis founded West Wind Press in 1977 and later went on to print calendars entirely of his own work featuring incisive commentary from pre-eminent environmental professionals.

His most famous photograph was Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend, Franklin River, which some commentators believe played a part in the victory for Bob Hawke in the 1983 federal election. The photograph portrayed a section of the Franklin River which was to be submerged by the proposed Franklin Dam and spearheaded the visual appeal of the Franklin River in the contentious 'No Dams' campaign of 1982. Dombrovskis later co-authored with Bob Brown an example of his skill in photographing the Gordon River and the Franklin River in his 1983 book, Wild Rivers.[4]

On 28 March 1996, Dombrovskis died of a heart attack while photographing near Mount Hayes in the Western Arthurs mountain range of South West Tasmania.[5]

His works are represented at the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), the National Gallery of Victoria, the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, the Australian Heritage Commission and in private collections.[3]


  • 2017 - Dombrovskis: Journeys into the Wild, National Library of Australia - Canberra, Australia[6]
  • 2020 - Tasmanian Wilderness, Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery - Cradle Mountain, Australia [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Peter Dombrovskis". Collection Online. National Gallery of Victoria. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Peter Dombrovskis". Hall of Fame Inductees. International Photography Hall of Fame. 2004. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Dombrovskis, Peter (1945–1996)". Biographical Notes. Australian National Herbarium. 24 March 2015. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  4. ^ Dombrovskis, Peter; Brown, Bob (1983). Wild rivers. P. Dombrovskis. ISBN 978-0-670-82645-2.
  5. ^ Angus, Max (22 April 2004). "Tasmanian Yearbook 1998". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  6. ^ "Dombrovskis: Journeys into the Wild". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 11 September 2020.
  7. ^ "Cradle Mountain Wilderness Gallery". Peter Dombrovskis. Retrieved 11 September 2020.

External links[edit]