Some people say a visit to Antarctica changed their life. I don’t but months after my trip the other-worldly beauty of the seventh continent is still with me and I am still grappling with how to put the experience into words. Someone who managed to capture the spirit of the place, long before the I-phone and cruise ships made it easy to photograph penguins and icebergs, was Frank Hurley.
Hurley’s photographic genius has been recorded by Alisdair McGregor. Here’s an extract from my review of the biography:
Hurley could be lyrical in conveying the personality of Antarctica. Of ice floes he wrote:
Newly born ice spotless and lily-like, larger adult masses in the pride of their beauty and gnarled decaying fragments in the senility of old age … Time will disintegrate all.
Little would Hurley have imagined how much more quickly the ice shelves are melting a century on from his first encounter with their majesty.
Frank Hurley: A Photographer’s Life, by Alasdair McGregor. NLA Publishing, 460pp