History with its flickering lamp stumbles along the trail of the past, trying to reconstruct its scenes, to revive its echoes, and kindle with pale gleams the passion of former days. ~Winston Churchill

12 May, 2011

Antarctica, 1915-- in Colour!

I remember being amazed looking at a book of photographs from Shackleton's voyages to Antarctica in the early decades of the 20th century -- it felt like looking at pictures of the expeditions through the Northwest Passage, which were mostly before photography was invented at all. And then I found there are not only photographs, there are colour photographs. As I've talked about before, in a post on WWI colour photos, there is just something about colour photography that brings the scene so much closer. 

These photographs are by Frank Hurley, an Australian photographer who went along with several expeditions to Antarctica (as well as photographing both world wars). In addition to being fascinating, they are exceptionally beautiful, created by a true master of the form. 

The expedition is Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition, during which the ship Endurance was trapped in pack ice and ultimately abandoned and crushed. Most of her crew, including Shackleton and Hurley, were ultimately rescued after a fair amount of hardship. 

Photographer Frank Hurley himself under the bow of the Endurance. Source

The Endurance in mid-winter ice. Source

Dog teams scouting a way to land. Source

The bosun John Vincent repairing a net. Source

The icefield preventing the expedition from reaching land, with the Endurance. Source

The rigging of the Endurance coated with ice. Source

Ernest Shackleton himself watching a lead form. Source

A view of the Endurance. Source

The Endurance under full sail. Source

A view of the Endurance through ice and snow. Source

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. What nice photographs these are. And in colour! Thanks for sharing them with us.

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