The World on Film: A History of Exploration Photography: Shackleton's Endurance Expedition to Antarctica in 1915 Would Never Have Had the Same Impact without Frank Hurley's Images. since Then New Technologies Have Helped to Diminish the Gap between the Event and Publication of Images, Changing the Face of Exploration Photography Forever. (Photography)

By Watkins, Steve | Geographical, July 2002 | Go to article overview

The World on Film: A History of Exploration Photography: Shackleton's Endurance Expedition to Antarctica in 1915 Would Never Have Had the Same Impact without Frank Hurley's Images. since Then New Technologies Have Helped to Diminish the Gap between the Event and Publication of Images, Changing the Face of Exploration Photography Forever. (Photography)


Watkins, Steve, Geographical


Frank Hurley's images of Shackleton's epic voyage to the Antarctic in 1915 have been etched permanently into the psyche of the nation. At the time it took all of Hurley's intimate knowledge of his art and practical sense simply to get them fixed on those fragile glass holders of history. But what kind of impact would Shackleton's survival story have had if Hurley had failed in his efforts, or if even those rudimentary photographic technologies had not been available? We would never have seen the Endurance slowly crumbling under the incessant squeeze of the surrounding ice; the intimate relationship between crew and their dog teams (which were eventually sacrificed for food); or the haunted faces of the crew as Shackleton set off for South Georgia in a last roll of the survival dice. The enduring memories would have relied upon words alone, which, despite the strength of Shackleton's writing skills, would not have captured the emotive power of Hurley's images.

Given the time it took Hurley to set up each photograph and the limited number of glass plates available for shooting, it is amazing that so many became enduring images. At the time, photographing wild places was only for the committed and skilled. The first significant change in exploration photography came when George Eastman launched the lightweight and simple Kodak box camera. With a `press-the-button-and-we-do-the-rest' approach, Eastman's invention enabled people to document their adventures without needing to learn how to develop film. Lieutenant Robert Peary used a Kodak box camera to record his search for the North Pole in 1909.

But it wasn't until the introduction of the 35mm single lens reflex (SLR) camera that adventure photography really changed and became accessible to anyone. Small, cheap, reliable and easy to use, explorers and adventurers no longer needed an entourage of porters and a master's degree in photographic science. Thirty-six exposure film was neatly loaded into metal canisters that could survive life on the road, and various lenses could be used with the same camera body to alter the viewpoint. Plus, where Hurley et al saw the world upside down through their view cameras, SLRs enabled photographers to see their subject oriented correctly. But not all the problems of shooting images in extreme places were solved--film can still freeze and snap, and batteries can die in the cold--but in comparison, modern adventure-photographers have a stress-flee existence.

An explosion in expedition imagery also served to bring celebrity status to some of the more daring and charismatic characters involved, such as Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Sir Chris Bonington. In the increasing competition for personal and expedition sponsorship, photography has become a key tool in securing finance to push the limits of exploration and challenge. Large and progressive companies such as Dyson, Berghaus, Motorola and Sector Watches sign sizeable funding cheques in the belief that having their logo or equipment associated with these adventurers reflects well on consumer perceptions of their own company dynamism and ethics. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The World on Film: A History of Exploration Photography: Shackleton's Endurance Expedition to Antarctica in 1915 Would Never Have Had the Same Impact without Frank Hurley's Images. since Then New Technologies Have Helped to Diminish the Gap between the Event and Publication of Images, Changing the Face of Exploration Photography Forever. (Photography)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.