Fleeing to safety in an old fishing boat
A family following the camera into every corner of Australia

During the northern summer of corner of Australia 1981 a little group of refugees made the perilous voyage from Vietnam to the Malaysian coast. Among those swiftly sheltered in Australian homes was Dr. Tam Doan, his wife Thanh-Tam Pham and their 10 month old son Hieu. Southern Australian temperatures were below average that June but warm smiles need no translation, this was to be their new home.


Tam and his wife are enormously hard working. Although medical graduates from Saigon University both proceeded to again complete medical degrees in Adelaide. (Despite births of daughter Linh and son Trung in the meantime!)

The Doans treasure the wide open spaces of their Australian home. It constantly lures them from their busy medical practices whenever opportunity arises. Weekends can see them travel for some thousands of kilometers sometimes for just a few images. For them, this is a family affair where each of the members provokes the others to greater and more creative “seeing”. In their youth in Vietnam Doctors Tam both enjoyed using an old Canon camera but such pleasures had been put to one side during the tumultuous years that followed.


Not until nearly fifteen years later when son Hieu began to show creative promise behind the lens in high school did their interest revive. What better family activity than for them to share a mutual enthusiasm for photography together. It was something of a surprise however when they found their young daughter Linh also showing an exceptionally artistic eye for composition and colour. The scene was set for many duelling (if not gruelling) photographic expeditions, en masse! in places
located on either side of this vast continent.

Tam Quote
What the Eye's Iris sees the Camera's Iris Records
Large Format Film Equals "Squillions" of Pixels
CameraThe rapid advent of digital cameras offering the excitement of instant access and ease of manipulation does not alter some basic facts about image quality. With traditional photographic film, highlight and shadow detail displays a smoother transition into white or black than the fixed bandwidth of digital. This means more rounded three dimensional looking images and an expanded colour gamut. Couple this greater tonal latitude with the resolving power of medium or large format film and there’s no comparison! The Doans capture many images with the 6X17 panoramic camera making possible enlargements of salon quality even more than two metres wide. This kind of resolution is far beyond the capabilities of any digital camera yet dreamed of.
Big and Gorgeous Cibachrome Prints
Over the years the Doan family has tried all available printing methods and materials. They find that nothing looks as good as a Cibachrome print. The brilliant colour saturation of their transparencies is faithfully reproduced in a way that takes the viewer back to the original scene. Under good lighting, as displayed at their Iris Gallery, the images glow with an illusion of depth. It is as if they become giant backlit transparencies themselves albeit with a tonal range and resolution not seen in any other medium. Iris Limited Edition prints are all hand enlarged by the most experienced craftsmen in the field.
Opera House
Four Pairs of Eyes - One Vision


Whenever the Doans embark on a cross country “shooting” expedition, 4WD vehicles loaded to the roof, it is with the goal of bringing back the scenery as it is. For them it is important that the images be as   natural as possible and a true record of the instant the shutter blinked. They value the integrity of images which capture an actual moment in time rather than those which are just thrown together in a computer.
Tam Doan
Dr. Doan is a full time medical practitioner, husband and father. Never one to sit on his hands, Tam relishes the freedom of this great country and uses every opportunity to record its open spaces with his camera.
Thanh-Tam Pham
Also a full time medical practitioner, Dr. Pham accompanies her husband into the most remote and difficult locations. Her work exhibits an elegant simplicity of composition.
Linh Doan
A full time pharmacy student, Linh shares her parent's facination with the camera.
Hieu Doan
The eldest son, Hieu is a qualified pharmacist with both a sound technical knowledge of photography and a marked originality in his creative vision.