The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott: Unseen Images from the Legendary Antarctic Expedition brings these brave men's story to light, and does so with an incredible story of its own. Several years ago, as polar historian David M. Wilson was having a drink at a London salon, he was approached by an art collector by the name of Richard Kossow, who claimed that in 2001 he had purchased a portfolio of Antarctic photographs from the early 1900s. Wilson was already intrigued, but when Kossow informed him that the photos were from Robert Falcon Scott's 1910-13 expedition, whose ill-fated crew featured Wilson's great-uncle, Edward Wilson, and they were taken by Scott himself, Wilson nearly choked on his gin and tonic. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Self-portrait by professional travel photographer Herbert Ponting, hired by Scott, as he photographs the Terra Nova in pack ice, December, 1910.
The hut at Cape Evans, captured by Scott in a photograph used chiefly to practice using lenses, filters, and other photo equipment, yet an invaluable record of the expedition, October, 1910.
Crew members from the Terra Nova expedition, 1910.
The ponies rest in the sun, the line of sledges leading the eye out into the great beyond, November 19, 1911.
The ponies straggle in the icy wilderness on a trek from which many of the men and none of the ponies would return.
Scott's lens looks in the direction of the crew's journey out from the Lower Glacier Depot, December 11, 1911
On December 20, 1911, Scott captured these striking geological features of the mountains around Mount Wild.
Equal parts inspirational and heartbreaking, The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott is as much a rugged lesson in early extreme photography as it is a priceless lens on the history of polar exploration, at last free of the fog of mystery.
Images: Robert Falcon Scott (courtesy of Little, Brown and Company).
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