These retouched photos of Shackelton’s 1914 expedition appear to have been taken yesterday


The retouched images of the famous Shackleton expedition from 1914 to 1917 appear to have been taken by a visiting photographer Antarctic today.

The photos were originally taken in color, but London-based multimedia artist Stuart Humphryes brought them into the 21st century by enhancing what was already there. In the original color photographs – recorded through considerable effort by Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew after their ship was crashed into the pack ice – the colors are toned down, giving the photographs a distant and distant feeling. The retouched versions are more textured and immersive.

“It’s a pretty moving jolt for people to see images of the expedition not only in vivid color, but enhanced, immediate and contemporary,” Humphryes wrote in an email to Live Science. “It bridges the century-long gap between the photos taken and the modern viewer looking at them.”

Legendary journey

Shackleton was an experienced man in Antarctica when he launched his Endurance expedition in 1914. His objective was to cross the Weddell Sea and disembark a group of men, sleds and dogs to perform the very first land crossing of the continent. . Instead, Endurance quickly got stuck in the pack ice in mid-January 1915. The crew spent the long Antarctic winter on board, hoping to be freed with the summer thaw. Instead, the ice crushed the ship in October 1915 and the men decided to camp on the ice. November 21, 1915, Endurance sank. Shackleton and his crew then encamped on the softening pack ice and struggled to slide their lifeboats there; eventually, the crew managed to launch their lifeboats into the open water for a perilous six-day journey to Elephant Island, which was a short distance away. A smaller group, including Shackleton himself, was then launched from Elephant Island in a single boat for an 800 mile (1,300 kilometer) hail trip through rough seas to Georgia Island. South, where a whaling station offered hope of rescue.

Related: In Photos: In Search Of The Wreckage Of Shackleton’s Endurance

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Shackleton recolored.

Alfred Cheetham, the third officer of Shackleton’s Imperial Transantarctic Expedition (as it was called), prepares signal flags aboard the Endurance. Cheetham used to travel to Antarctica; Endurance captain Frank Worsley called him “a pirate at your fingertips”. On the high seas voyage to Elephant Island, the lifeboat Cheetham and Worsley were on was pulled apart from the others by a gale. In his account of the evening, Worsley describes Cheetham buying him matches at the cost of a bottle of champagne per match. “Champagne has to be paid for when he opens his pub in Hull and I can call that way,” Worsley wrote. Although Cheetham survived his ordeal in Antarctica, the pub will never be open. Cheetham enlisted in the Merchant Navy after the expedition and died in 1918 when the ship he was on was torpedoed by a German submarine. (Image credit: Stuart Humphryes / Babel Color)
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Shackleton recolored.

John Vincent, the Boatswain’s Mate, or Equip and Crew Officer, Endurance, repairs a net in this photo of Hurley. Humphryes improved the color, shattering the century of distance between the viewer and Vincent. Vincent was one of five men Shackleton selected to sail from Elephant Island to South Georgia Island in a desperate attempt to secure the rescue of the stranded crew. He barely survived the effort. (Image credit: Stuart Humphryes / Babel Color)
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Shackleton recolored.

Shackleton crew members with their sled dogs. Taking care of the dogs was a major activity during the period when the crew was frozen. At first, the animals lived in “dogloos” next to the ship, sleeping on mattresses of straw and garbage, according to Shacketon’s “South.” When the weather got worse, the men built kennels for the animals on the deck of the ship. (Image credit: Stuart Humphryes / Babel Color)
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Shackleton recolored.

A crew member contemplates an advance in the ice during Shackelton’s ill-fated Antarctic expedition. The spring breakup put the men in a difficult position. There was not enough open water to launch the lifeboats, but the ice was too soft and rough to walk through. The crew had to camp for weeks, waiting for the increasingly unstable ice to break enough for a sea voyage. (Image credit: Stuart Humphryes / Babel Color)
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Shackleton recolored.

A photograph of Endurance. Australian photographer Frank Hurley was tasked with documenting the Franklin Expedition by camera, an awkward and difficult process at the time. When the ship crashed into the pack ice, Hurley chose about 150 of his best images and shattered the rest of the glass plates on the ice. On the ensuing survival journey through the ice, Hurley took a Kodak Vest Pocket camera and three rolls of film, according to With this, he documented the crew’s camp on Elephant Island and their rescue. (Image credit: Stuart Humphryes / Babel Color)
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Shackleton recolored.

Hurley called this impressive massif at the end of Morain Fjord on South Georgia Island “Bulldog Peak”. An unretouched version of the original color image is available here. (Image credit: Stuart Humphryes / Babel Color)
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Shackleton recolored.

A soft pink light filters through the ice and the Endurance crew. The crew attempted to free the ship after it got stuck in the ice, but by mid-February 1915 it was clear that the men would have to winter aboard the ship. When the spring thaw arrived, they hoped to sail freely, but the churning of the pack ice would instead reduce the ship to ignition. (Image credit: Stuart Humphryes / Babel Color)
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Shackleton recolored.

Hurley continued to document the expedition, even as the ship quickly blocked. According to Sir Ernest Shackleton’s travel account “South”, the men spent the Antarctic winter caring for their sled dogs, hunting seals and penguins for food and dredging under the ice for samples. scientists. (Image credit: Stuart Humphryes / Babel Color)
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Shackleton recolored.

This color-enhanced photograph taken by Hurley and retouched by Stuart Humphryes shows the hustle and bustle of the ice. Driven by waves and wind, ice crunched around the ship all winter. The danger only increased in the spring, when huge patches of ice creaked together, sometimes lifting chunks of ice 15 feet (4.5 meters) above the rest of the surface. (Image credit: Stuart Humphryes / Babel Color)
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Shackleton recolored.

Endurance against a pale Antarctic sky, stuck in the pack ice. Shackleton’s journey has gone down in history as both disastrous and surprisingly successful. Despite the loss of the ship and almost unthinkable conditions, the crew members all escaped Antarctica with their lives. (Image credit: Stuart Humphryes / Babel Color)

The rescue team landed on the other side of the island as a whaling station, forcing Shackleton, Captain Frank Worsley and Second Officer Tom Crean to traverse the rugged topography of the island. South Georgia had never been crossed before, but the trio made it through without a map and barely any gear. Their accomplishments, and the subsequent rescue effort for the rest of the crew, were immortalized in the classic book “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Journey“(Hodder & Stoughton, 1959).

Not only did the entire crew survive, but the trip photographer managed to save 150 of the original 550 photographic plates taken during the expedition. They show the ship stuck in ice, the crew going about their daily chores and stunning Antarctic landscapes.

Amplify color

It was these photographs that caught Humphryes’ attention.

“[Shackleton’s] tribulations and determination are part of the legend, and many people have read his feats of endurance and the miracle of his crew’s survival, but much of that story lives in people’s imaginations and in a few photographs. monochrome which were subsequently published, ”Humphryes mentioned.

Humphryes got his start as a colourizer, taking old black and white film footage and adding color to make color films. Now he’s a colourist, taking century-old photographs that were already in color and magnifying them to better reflect what the photographer would have seen through the lens. Humphryes likens the process to removing pops, clicks, and other distortions from sound recordings. The retoucher doesn’t add anything new, but highlights what’s there.

“Photography from the 1910s is often considered [as] monochrome and indistinct, the films also rough and jerky, “he said.” “Hand-cranked cameras and black-and-white films make the past alien and irrelevant. But I try to bridge the modern viewer with the past by removing the ravages of time and making it look like a 1910 photo was taken on an iPhone. “

In Shackleton’s photos, the result is stunning Antarctic skies in blue and pink, sled dogs that you feel like you can pet, and crew members that look like any you might come across on a dull day. windy winter today. On his Twitter feed BabelColour (@StuartHumphryes), Humphryes presents other retouched photos: soldiers of the First World War, children playing along the English coast, the governor of Aqaba, in Arabia, in 1918. Other works of Humphryes are available on

Originally posted on Live Science

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