The Heart of the Great Alone: Scott, Shackleton and Antarctic Photography

The spit and Gnomon Island from the interior of an ice grotto, 1916


Frank Hurley

Presented to King George V


Following the destruction of the Endurance, Hurley had lost most of his camera equipment – all except a small pocket camera and three rolls of unused film, which he used to take photographs on Elephant Island. These images are noticeably different from those taken with glass plate negatives: the images from film are grainy and they lack clarity and definition. This is somehow in keeping with the physical conditions that the men were enduring while stuck on Elephant Island, as it is suggestive of the difficult and dirty environment in which they had to survive.

Silver bromide print

12.7 x 20.4 cm

RCIN 2580118