Dead bodies on the street, photographed from a car. The maker of the photograph cannot be revealed. Victims are mostly kidnapped and then murdered. Bodies are thrown on the street as warning or terror. Some militias prohibit family members to pick up the dead bodies. Sometimes it proves be a booby trap.

Frank Hurley

Exhibition: Photographing the First World War

 James Francis Hurley was born at Glebe, Sydney, in 1885 and became interested in photography as a young man. He began his career with a Sydney postcard company at the age of 20 in 1905.


At the age of 25, in 1910, Hurley learned that Australian explorer Douglas Mawson was planning an expedition to Antarctica; Hurley cornered Mawson on a train and asked to be made expedition photographer. Mawson did just that, while the manager of a local Kodak branch who Hurley was in debt to provided photographic equipment. The Australasian Antarctic Expedition departed in 1911 and lasted until 1914.


Hurley was also the official photographer on Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition which set out in 1914 and was marooned until August 1916; Hurley produced many pioneering colour images of the Expedition using the then-popular Paget process of colour photography. He later compiled his records into the documentary film South in 1919.

Some of Hurley's most famous images of the war were taken during the Passchendaele campaign in the second half of 1917. He ran considerable risks to get his shots, earning the name 'the mad photographer' from the troops. War affected Hurley deeply but he also found the battlefield fascinating.
 

On a trip to Cairo he met Antoinette Leighton. They married on 11th April 1918 and Hurley returned to London to work on an exhibition of Australian war photography.

After the war, Hurley made further trips to the Antarctic, and to the Torres Strait and New Guinea. He flew with Ross Smith, returned to Europe on several occasions and visited the United States. Many of his photographic and film projects received both critical acclaim and commercial success.

For much of the 1930s he worked in Sydney for Cinesound, but in 1940 Hurley resumed war photography with the AIF in the Middle East. His work was, however, overshadowed by that of younger men like Damien Parer and George Silk, who found Hurley's methods outdated. He remained in the Middle East until 1946.

For the rest of his life, Hurley continued traveling and taking photographs, publishing several books of his work. Always a loner, Hurley nevertheless influenced later generations of photographers, and his work - taken all over the world over almost six decades - remains very much in the public eye. He died in Sydney in 1962.