Siberian Emptiness

Photos by Dominik Staszowski

Dominik Staszowski was born in Radom Poland in 1971 and in 1983 he migrated to Melbourne Australia where he currently works as a freelance photographer and contributes to Getty Images.

Recently Dominik spent more than seven months traveling through 30 countries documenting photographically various aspects of the world. One of the intriguing and curious photo essays he wanted to shoot was the mystical train journey on the Trans-Siberian in Russia. During the months of December and January, Dominik decided to travel alone on the train and shoot this vast landscape. The journey started in St Petersburg, through Siberia to Vladivostok and then continued through China and Mongolia. He had no expectations or envisaged what this trip will offer and how it may shape him as a photographer and a person.

Siberian emptiness photo essay was shot during one of the harshest winters in Russia with temperatures falling to minus 38. Spanning a massive 9,500km in Russia alone and seven time zones, the journey was filled with emotion being the only foreigner on board and subdued and monotone Landscape that surrounded his thoughts and perception. “When you spend more than two days on the train, it becomes like your second home” and during the 30 days on the train, he got to know all the conductors, spent a lot of time with co-passengers, interacting with them, sharing life stories, customs and a special life was being formed inside and outside the train.

In this photo essay Dominik wanted to portray what this Life that was being formed was like, and the emptiness that surrounded the Trans-Siberian train journey during the bitter cold months. Day after day the landscape took on a new and different life, yet remained distinct and similar. There was no point to keep time, or day as it became irrelative as the land passed through the frosted windows. The only thing that remained clear and present was his consciousness of where he was and what the next day was to bring…

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