Near Enough is Not Good Enough

This is my new motto for the last 4 weeks here.  It was scrawled by Frank Hurley over a hundred years ago on his 1912 darkroom wall at the Mawson’s Huts in Antarctica. This man was cold, cut off from the world, watched some of his mates die, and he suffered for over a year taking photos in the “windiest place on earth”.  His sled dogs are on the other side of the wall.  I paid $12 to see this replica of the Mawson’s Huts. The fee goes to restoring the original that is pretty much entombed in ice. It is one of very few still surviving buildings from the “Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration”.   Online I found some images of the real darkroom – still full of old chemicals and plates.  I guess not too many people go there and grab souvenirs……

Here is a full shot of the replica.  I uploaded a full res image, so you antique photo geeks out there can click on it and see if you can read the bottles, etc.

But here is a screen grab of the actual scrawled line on the real darkroom wall from a pano taken by Peter Morse in 2008. Kudos to Peter for getting there at all, and then getting in there with lights, batteries, and equipment (and it is a perfectly stitched pano in a tiny tiny space).

Peter Morse’s pano of Frank Hurley’s 1912 Darkroom at Mawson’s Hut Antarctica.

If you want to pan around the real space here is the link:

Clearly I cannot relax this next month.  I am channeling Frank.  He put that line there so he could see it every day – or at least when the lantern and wood stove was on and he wasn’t out trying to find meat for his dogs or salvage his wrecked ship…  Following are 3 images he took of his ship. It got locked in ice, was torn up, and sunk.  They were stranded for 3 years.


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