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Images: Scott's Lost Photographs

Scott With Camera


(Image credit: © 2011 Richard Kossow.)

Man with a camera: Robert Falcon Scott, the doomed British explorer whose attempt to reach the South Pole ended in tragedy, gets in some photography practice. The photograph was taken by the expedition's official photographer and Scott's teacher, Herbert Ponting, who brought his own images back for the world to see. Most of Scott's own photographs were lost for decades, and are published in a new book,"The Lost Photographs of Captain Scott ," (Little, Brown and Co., 2011). The book's author, David M. Wilson, is the great-nephew of Scott's close confidante Edward Wilson, who perished by his side in the Antarctic wilderness in late March, 1912.

Scott Hut Panorama


(Image credit: © 2011 Richard Kossow.)

A lonely house in a vast land. Scott took two images together for a panoramic photograph of the expedition's hut at Cape Evans, which served as living quarters for Scott and his men for many months. The hut still stands today . Author David M. Wilson said Scott began to experiment with panoramas, something the more experienced and more artistic Ponting typically avoided. This photograph was taken in October, 1911, just weeks before Scott left the base for his fateful trip to the Antarctic interior. Although the image was woven together from two different photographs, which have differing exposures, it still offers a taste of Antarctica's majesty and dramatic isolation.

Scott Beardmore Glacier


(Image credit: © 2011 Richard Kossow.)

December 13, 1911. Scott's sledging party pulls one of the heavy sledges through a deep snow that an unseasonably warm blizzard dumped on the expedition as the men approached the Beardmore Glacier. The ponies Scott brought to pull the equipment had sunk up to their bellies in the deep powder, and had been shot several days before this picture was taken.

Although this iconic photograph has been seen in the past, it wasn't attributed to Scott until recently.

December 20, 1911. One month from the pole. This is one of the last images Scott took before his camera headed back to the expedition base with one of the sledging parties. Scott took only four men with him on his final push to the South Pole. One of them was Edward Wilson, seen here sitting on a sledge (he's the one on the right), his back to the camera, sketching the impressive mountain range ahead.

Scott and his four companions perished on their return trip, done in by the relentless grip of the approaching Antarctic winter. Scott, Wilson and Henry "Birdie" Bowers, likely one of the other figures seen in this picture, died in a small tent just 11 miles from the next food depot. Searchers found the tent in late 1912 and recovered the explorerer's personal effects, covered the tent with snow, and marked the men's resting place with a cross made from skis. Their frozen bodies still lie somewhere beneath the Antarctic ice.

Andrea Mustain was a staff writer for Live Science from 2010 to 2012. She holds a B.S. degree from Northwestern University and an M.S. degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia University.