All posts filed under: Essays

Hurley’s composite images shed light on photojournalism’s present day dilemma

It’s one of the greatest survival stories of all time. The epic recount of British Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and the miraculous efforts of his men to save themselves from vast tracts of sea ice and imposing doom after their vessel – The Endurance – was sunk, has stood the test of time as a true feat of human fortitude. Like many events before it, much of the intricacies of The Endurance chronicle were brought to light by both diary entires and the verbal recounts of those involved but in many ways, what was ostensibly an enormous failure was saved from the footnotes of Antarctic exploration history by a visual documentation of the saga: a series of photographs taken by Australian, Frank Hurley. James Francis (Frank) Hurley was born in Glebe in 1885. Proving quickly his insatiable desire for exploration and pushing the limits of his photographic ability, Hurley appealed to Sir Douglas Mawson to hire him as photographer for the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911. From this point on, Hurley’s life would prove …