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Frank Hurley

An Adventurer

Frank Hurley photograph in black and white

To get war pictures of striking interest and sensation is like attempting the impossible.

~ James Francis Hurley


James Francis “Frank” Hurley was an adventurer.  He is best known as the official photographer on Ernest Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.  The expedition set out in 1914, but was marooned until August 1916.  Hurley had made an earlier journey to Antarctica in 1911 with the Douglas Mawson expedition, and returned to Australia in 1914, only to immediately turn-around to leave with Shackleton.  

During the exhibits, and later as a war photographer, Hurley pioneered a new color image, the Paget process, a method of using two glass plates, one of which was a color screen plate and the other a standard black-and-white negative plate.  

Hurley compiled his photographs from the expedition into a documentary film, South, in 1919.  This footage was later used in the 2001 IMAX film Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure.


Antarctic scenes


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