Century-old box of Shackleton expedition negatives discovered in Antarctica


The Antarctic Heritage Trust of New Zealand announced (PDF) that it had discovered a century-old box of photographic negatives from Captain Scott's last expedition base at Cape Evans, depicting Ernest Shackleton's 1914-1917 Ross Sea Party. The mouldy cellulose nitrate negs were among 10,000 artifacts recovered from Scott's Cape Evans hut, and were "clumped together." The negs were painstakingly restored and the photos have been published. They're damaged but remarkable, and no one knows who took them. (via /.)

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  1. I have no proof but I suspect this is a hoax perpetrated by Mumford & Sons.

  2. teapot says:

    These guys are not adequately equipped to be responsible for these items.

    1) Assholes locked graphics into a Flash player so... we... can't download them? Who told you that, guys?

    2) Images have been contrast-corrected in photoshop TERRIBLY. The fucking morons don't understand how it works, so they let photoshop include the damaged ares of the negatives in the correction area. What happens when you let photoshop auto contrast when there's already very bright and very dark parts as part of the picture? Basically nothing. What happens when you don't include those areas in the contrast? You get a far better result.

    In this one I've just isolated the actual picture part of the image and done a manual contrast. It's not rocket surgery.

  3. That's great that you fixed the white balance. All the Arctic Heritage Trust did was trek down to a supply hut at the end of the earth, recover the negatives from a block of ice, process them in a darkroom and archive them for future generations. What assholes.

  4. teapot says:

    Get the details right. They were there already, not in a block of ice and already developed. As I clearly stated I played with the contrast and brightness not white balance. My biggest gripe is the Flash blob and the fact that someone, somewhere already ran it through photoshop, but didn't really know what they were doing.

    Not that I think you really care what happened with them, it's documented in the .pdf that was linked in the post.

    The photographs found in Captain Scott’s expedition base at Cape Evans, Antarctica required specialist conservation treatment. The Antarctic Heritage Trust (NZ) engaged Photographic Conservator Mark Strange to undertake the painstaking task of separating, cleaning (including removing mould) and consolidating the cellulose nitrate image layers. Twenty-two separate sheets were revealed and sent to New Zealand Micrographic Services for scanning using a Lanovia pre-press scanner. The digital scans were converted to digital positives.

    @SteampunkBanana good point.. I might just do that, but I doubt they'd agree to my condition that they be upped somewhere in a reasonable resolution with a CC licence

    EDITED BY MOD: Removed insult

  5. Ramone says:

    Close, it's clearly a viral campaign for a distant-past, prequel to THE THING from John Carpenter. This time, it's a penguin alien shapeshifter!

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