Frank Hurley: The Mad Photographer of World War I

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Phil
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Frank Hurley: The Mad Photographer of World War I

Post by Phil » Fri May 04, 2018 12:13 pm

While not a Canadian photographer, or photographs of Canadians, Frank Hurley's photography stands as some of the most stunning images ever recorded of the First World War. Some of his work is part of a current, and also an upcoming, exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Photography: First World War, 1914 - 1918.

I have added a number of galleries of his photography to WARTIMES.ca along with a brief blog post.

Frank Hurley: The Mad Photographer of World War I

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Re: Frank Hurley: The Mad Photographer of World War I

Post by BFBSM » Fri May 04, 2018 1:21 pm

Hurley created some excellent images which showed what the war was. Unfortunately, he caused some animosity diverging from what Charles Bean was seeking, an accurate and undoctored record of the war, Hurley was combining sections of and complete images to portray events.

I don’t think this should matter; his images are an excellent representation of events.

It is worth looking at his works; the Australian War Memorial holds an extensive collection of his images: https://www.awm.gov.au/advanced-search? ... Photograph.

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Re: Frank Hurley: The Mad Photographer of World War I

Post by Phil » Fri May 04, 2018 1:45 pm

As long as the fact that some images are composites is made clear I don't see an issue, are they a true representation of their subjects? That's a more complex question to explore. From Hurley's perspective he may have thought that his composites conveyed a more accurate account of what he experienced than he was able to capture with a single photo, or perhaps he was simply stretching the truth for dramatic effect in his chosen art form.

They probably should not be considered official records, or used for detailed research into the events they depict, but they're certainly a unique body of work.

Hosted on WARTIMES.ca are approximately 200 of his photographs from the era, they can be viewed in galleries towards the bottom of the post I linked. While they can be viewed online elsewhere, on WARTIMES.ca they have been cropped, desaturated and level corrected. Paget process photos have been cropped but not level corrected in any way so as to preserve the original colours.
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