adventure

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Amazing History Photography

Newly Restored Photos of Shackleton’s Fateful Antarctic Voyage Offer Unprecedented Details of Survival

December 9, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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This photo was taken when the crew felt they had a good chance of freeing the trapped Endurance from the sea ice of the Weddell Sea, so they put the sails up. As we know, this and other attempts failed, and realizing the ship wasn’t moving Hurley went onto the ice to take this photograph. New details of sea ice have been revealed. Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

In what may be one of history’s most famous successful failures, explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton and 27 other men set out on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1914 to make what they hoped would be the first land crossing of Antarctica. The crew had hardly reached the continent when their ship was swallowed and crushed by ice. Freezing in unfathomably cold conditions, all 28 men survived for nearly 17 months in makeshift camps in a desperate trek back to civilization. Despite losing their ship, expedition photographer Frank Hurley was able to save his camera equipment, working in incredibly difficult conditions to document their plight. Nearly 100 years to the day of the ship sinking the Royal Geographic Society (RGS) has mounted the Enduring Eye: The Antarctic Legacy of Sir Ernest Shackleton and Frank Hurley, an exhibition of newly digitized images that provide incredible detail to the day-to-day life of the group of adventurers and survivors.

After 80 years of storing the original glass plate and celluloid negatives, RGS along with the Institute of British Geographers (IBG) has digitized over 90 images for the public. Due to enlargement, the photos reveal detail that had not been previously seen, like in the image of six crewmen huddled around the fire below. Previously, only five men were visible in the image, but after digitization it is now possible to make out a sixth man through the thick smoke of the flame.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

Even modern photography would have been difficult in the antarctic conditions, but for Hurley it was nearly impossible. Glass plates were extremely heavy and would force the boat to carry unnecessary weight. In Hurley’s book “Argonauts of the South” written after the journey, he explained that he often had to risk his life to protect the plates. In one story, a time came to choose between tossing the plates or surplus food overboard. Hurley dumped the food.

Complete darkness was also a difficulty during the trip. This forced Hurley to light his subjects with flares, juggling a red hot flame while he manipulated a heavy camera. The effect of the technique was nothing short of cinematic, the image below showcasing the ship Endurance like a brilliant specter just before its fateful sinking.

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Iconic shot of the Endurance lit by flares at night. Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Wearing full polar clothing and gathered under the bow of the ship, photographed and filmed by Frank Hurley, probably on 1 September 1915. Glass Plate Negative: 6¼” x 4¾” (16cm x 12cm). Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Ernest Shackleton at Ocean Camp. Glass Plate Negative, 8 ½” x 6 ¼” (21.5cm x 16cm). Photo by Frank Hurley. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1915. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

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Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917. Single use permission from the Royal Geographical Society/Institute of British Geographers.

Each photograph of the expedition is both a testament to Shackleton’s ability to lead and will to survive, as well as to Hurley’s contribution to the canon of photography. To learn more about Shackleton’s fateful voyage check out the book Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage. If you want to explore the newly digitized images in person, make sure to catch the Enduring Eye which runs through February 28, 2016 at the Royal Geographic Society in London. The exhibition will then have a voyage of its own and travel to the US, Canada, and Australia. (via Al Jazeera)

 

 



Design

Sleep Amongst the Condors 400 Feet Above a Sacred Valley in Peru

July 11, 2015

Kate Sierzputowski

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Suspended 400 feet above Peru’s Sacred Valley of Cusco are three capsules that appear like Space Age airstream trailers. These transparent sleeping pods are intended for unfazed adventures, crafted from aerospace aluminum and weather resistant polycarbonate giving each visitor a 300 degree view of the valley below.

Skylodge Adventure Suites was created by the company Natura Vive, a group of young entrepreneurs who aim to show people of any age or experience level a mountain adventure. As a part of the thrill, visitors must either climb or hike a challenging trail with the help of ziplines to reach their sleeping quarters in the sky.

Each 24 ft. by 8 ft. capsule suite holds four beds, a dining area, and bath, ensuring a comfortable internal temperature and atmosphere with the inclusion of six windows and four ventilation ducts. The pods also have a clear dome at the top of each, which Natura Vive explains also has curtains for privacy “from the curious gaze of the passing condors (your sky neighbors).” (via designboom)

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Photography

A Tribute to Discomfort: Insights from National Geographic Photographer Cory Richards

June 3, 2014

Christopher Jobson

At the age of 14, photographer Cory Richards had dropped out of high school and was technically homeless. His education, he says, was instead obtained through the observation of struggle. Through various forms of discomfort and adventure he would eventually become the first American to successfully summit an 8,000-meter peak in winter (Pakistan’s Gasherbrum II), and launch an incredible career in photography through the pages of National Geographic.

Brooklyn-based digital media company Blue Chalk recently sat down with Richards to discuss his motivations and driving desire to connect with the people he photographs. (via ISO 1200, PetaPixel)

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Photography

Underworld: The Intrepid Cave Photography of Robbie Shone

April 17, 2014

Christopher Jobson

China Caves 2012 - Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County

China Caves 2012 / Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County.

China Caves 2012 - Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County

China Caves 2012 / Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County.

The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia.

Exploring The Gouffre Berger(cave) in the Vercors region of France. At just over 1000m deep, The Gouffre Berger is recognised as one of the best sport trips in the world.

Exploring The Gouffre Berger (cave) in the Vercors region of France. At just over 1000m deep, The Gouffre Berger is recognised as one of the best sport trips in the world.

Epic cave exploration photography from around the world

A cave explorer climbing out of a Maelstrom on the fixed rope in Boxhead Pot, Yorkshire Dales.

The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

The giant caves of Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

China Caves 2012 - Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County

China Caves 2012 / Hong Meigui Expedition to explore giant caves in Wulong County.

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Robbie Shone is a British adventure, cave and travel photographer based out of Austria. His adventures have led him to the remotest areas of China, Papua New Guinea, Borneo, the Alps and Crete where he has photographed the deepest, largest, and longest cave systems ever discovered. These feats involve dangling on a thin rope 650 ft. (200m) above the floor in the world’s deepest natural shaft, exploring the far ends of a 117 mile long cave system, and spending nearly four days continuously underground on shoots.

Collected here are some of his most jaw-dropping shots, many from a 2012 excursion into cave systems in Wulong County, China. You can explore more of his cave photography over on his website. All imagery courtesy the photographer. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 



Photography

Photographer Takes a Boy with Muscular Dystrophy on an Imaginary Adventure

April 18, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Slovenia-based photographer Matej Peljhan recently teamed up with a 12-year-named Luka who suffers from muscular dystrophy, to create a wildly imaginative series of photos depicting the boy doing things he is simply unable to do because of his degenerative condition. While he can still use his fingers to drive a wheelchair and to draw, things like skateboarding and swimming are simply not possible.

After having a conversation with Luka about his understandably normal desire to play sports or go swimming, Peljan was struck with the idea to create a non-digitally manipulated series of photographs showing the boy conquering a number of imaginary physical feats. The photographer used sheets and other props as a backdrop and shot Luca from above to capture each image, showing clearly the boy’s strength and shared sense of humor. See more photos from the series on the photographer’s website. All images courtesy the artist. (via peta pixel)

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Amazing

Experience Human Flight

April 16, 2011

Christopher Jobson

For the first 10-15 seconds I almost thought this was digital. Shot by the Melbourne Skydive Centre.

 

 



Design

Let’s Do This!

April 4, 2011

Christopher Jobson

A great new letterpress print available from Heartfish Press. Printed with soy-based black ink, only $23. (via svpply)