Saturday, December 14, 2013

Early Colour Photographs of Antarctica, ca. 1915

Frank Hurley (1885 – 1962) was an Australian photographer and adventurer. He participated in a number of expeditions to Antarctica and served as an official photographer with Australian forces during both world wars. His artistic style produced many memorable images. He also used staged scenes, composites and photographic manipulation.

Frank Hurley visited Antarctica six times, from his first visit with the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911 to the last in 1932 with the British, Australian, New Zealand, Antarctic Research Expedition (BANZARE). Hurley was an exceptional photographer and his Antarctic visits covered a substantial part of the heroic age of Antarctic exploration.

These are Frank Hurley's famous early colour photographs of Sir Ernest Shackleton's ill-fated 'Endurance' voyage, as part of the British Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, 1914-1917. Hurley was the official photographer on the expedition.

Early in 1915, their ship 'Endurance' became inexorably trapped in the Antarctic ice. Hurley managed to salvage the photographic plates by diving into mushy ice-water inside the sinking ship in October 1915.

Frank Hurley photographing under the bows of the 'Endurance', 1915

Sir Ernest Shackleton watching a lead forming, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

[The 'Endurance'], The pink glow of the rising sun shining on a pressure ridge, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

A mid-winter glow, Weddell Sea [showing The 'Endurance'], 1915 / by Frank Hurley

The 'Endurance' frozen in 76/35 South, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

A Sub-Antarctic sunrise. South Georgia, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

Glacier, New Fortuna Bay, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

New Fortuna Glacier, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

The impenetrable icefield which prevented us from reaching the land [showing part of the 'Endurance'], 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

The chick of the Wanderer Albatross, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

Dog teams scouting a way to the land, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

The rigging of the 'Endurance' encrusted with RIME crystals, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

A mid-summer sunset with the 'Endurance' frozen in, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

The Deck of the 'Endurance', 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

Glimpse of the Ship ['Endurance'] through Hummocks, 1915 / photographed by Frank Hurley

Face of the Neumeyer Glacier, 1915 / by Frank Hurley

For more information about the expedition and Hurley in the Antarctic, visit Discover Collections: Hurley's Antarctica.

(via State Library of New South Wales)

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