THE AUSTRALIAN photographer who captured some of the most iconic images of early 20th century polar exploration visited Antarctica six times between 1911 and 1932 to document voyages of discovery.
Frank Hurley, born in 1885, first travelled to Antarctica with the Australian Antarctic Expedition and was a member on the ill-fated Endurance voyage led by Kildare-born explorer Ernest Shackleton and crewed by Kerryman Tom Crean.
The ship was crushed in October 1915 after becoming trapped in the polar ice. Despite the extreme conditions and having no way to signal their difficulties to the outside world, six of the exploration party daringly set out across the stormy Atlantic to raise the alarm and mount a rescue of the remaining men. The whole crew was saved in August 1916 by a Chilean trawler.
Having left school as a young teenager to work in an iron foundry, Hurley discovered his passion for photography and began developing his skill after purchasing his first camera aged 17.
A collection Hurley’s glass plates, photographs and notes from his half-dozen Antarctic journeys are held by the State Library of New South Wales, some of which are shown in the slideshow below.