Antarctica

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Photography

A Towering Iceberg and Its Shadow Split the World into Quadrants

October 11, 2016

Christopher Jobson

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Captured by Canadian photographer David Burdeny in 2007, this amazing photo of a tabular iceberg rising straight out of the Weddel Sea appears to organize the world into four neat quadrants. Titled “Mercators Projection,” the photo is from his series “North/South” taken while on tour of Antarctica and Greenland. You can follow Burdeny’s most recent work on Instagram. (via PetaPixel)

 

 



Photography

Photographs of Antarctica’s Blue Ice at Eye Level by Julieanne Kost

July 25, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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On a recent trip to Antarctica, photographer Julieanne Kost (previously) spent several days weaving in-between icebergs around Black Head, Cuverville Island, and Pleneau Bay, spending her time aboard a zodiac boat in order to experience the beauty of the continent’s blue ice at eye level. Her images showcase the deep gradations of blue peeking out from within the icebergs, wavy impressions in the outer layers revealing dark blue centers.

You can see more of Kost’s photography, including many aerial shots of naturally vibrant landscapes, on her Instagram and Facebook.

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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)

 

 



Amazing

Magnificent Aerial Footage of Antarctica Shot by Kalle Ljung

April 27, 2015

Christopher Jobson

While touring Antarctica for a few weeks with his 73-year-old father, Stockholm-based filmmaker Kalle Ljung brought along a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter to film their excursion from above. The footage he captured is extraordinary, from isolated shots of crewmates teetering on lone icebergs to pods of whales breaching the surface shot directly overhead. In a deluge of nature/travel films shot with GoPros and drones, this really stands out. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)

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Photography

A Rare Flipped Iceberg in Antarctica Photographed by Alex Cornell

January 15, 2015

Christopher Jobson

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While on an expedition to Antarctica last month, photographer Alex Cornell witnessed a massive iceberg flip, revealing a strangely translucent blue underside that’s completely free of snow and debris. According to Science World, almost 90% of any given iceberg is below the surface, making iceberg flips extremely rare. Much larger iceberg flips are even capable of causing tsunamis that can overtake nearby ships. You can see more photos from Cornells trip on his website. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Photography

The Last Thing You Would See If You Were Eaten by a Penguin

December 4, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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G Adventures

While exploring Antarctica aboard the M/S Expedition, the folks over at G Adventures snapped this wild perspective of a Gentoo penguin attacking their GoPro camera. The photo was shared on the M/S Expedition Twitter account where they regularly document the sights of ongoing adventure cruises. Related: an eagle steals a GoPro camera.

 

 



History Photography

Ice Mask

October 22, 2011

Christopher Jobson

The Australasian Antarctic Expedition team explored Antarctica from 1911 through 1914, studying geology, meteorology, and mapping unknown lands. Here, a photograph by Frank Hurley shows the team meteorologist C.T. Madigan with an incredibly thick ice mask after a day of weathering the elements. Here’s another more extreme example. The photo is from the National Library of Australia Commons which recently made several hundred historical images available online.