By: Frank Hurley
This stunning Antarctic night photograph by Frank Hurley is of the great ship Endurance (1915). Trapped by enormous pressure ridges in the ice the Endurance takes on an almost ghostly quality from this reproduction of Frank Hurley’s photograph.
Outside temperature: -24F. August 27, 1915: "During night take flashlight of ship beset by pressure. This necessitated some 20 flashes, one behind each salient pressure hummock, no less than 10 of the flashes being required to satisfactorily illuminate the ship herself. Half blinded after the successive flashes, I lost my bearings amidst hummocks, bumping shins against projecting ice points & stumbling into deep snow drifts.” (Hurley, diary)
In August 1914, days before the outbreak of the First World War, the renowned explorer Ernest Shackleton and a crew of twenty seven set sail for the South Atlantic in pursuit of the last unclaimed prize in the history of exploration: the first crossing on foot of the Antarctic continent. Weaving a treacherous path through the freezing Weddell Sea, they had come within 85 miles of their destination when their ship Endurance was trapped fast in the ice pack. Soon the ship was crushed like matchwood, leaving the crew stranded on the floes. Their ordeal would last for twenty months, and they would make two near-fatal attempts to escape by open boat before their final rescue.
This 8"x10" photograph is matted and sleeved and measures 11"x14". Reproduced from the original glass plate, the finished product is of near perfect quality.
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