Hartley, Martin. (3 of 7). Oral History of British Photography.
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2013-10-08, 2013-11-21, 2013-12-10
The British Library
Hartley, Martin, 1968- (speaker, male)
Read, Shirley (speaker, female)
Part 3: Further reflections on the expedition to the eastern Pamirs, comment that the images are still being used, sending them to Red Bull. Comments about Paul Deegan’s role and Tom Avery’s book which failed to credit Paul Deegan, reactions, removing all their rubbish, the highs and lows of this work. [00.07.15] Comment on MH’s luck in being invited to photograph in Borneo by Moving Brands on his return, the plan to do the first live broadcast from Borneo using very new technology, working with Dan Haylock [?], the difficult terrain and the army group which had been trapped there, they did the first live transmission from that part of the world, transmitting his Canon digital camera pictures. Comments on issues for the expedition and camping in the jungle, getting lost and the pouring rain. [00.20.15] Comment that his work in adventure photography started with this expedition, giving a talk for Paul Deegan and meeting Pen Hadow [PH] afterwards who, two years later in 2002, invited MH to the Arctic. Mention that the British Journal of Photography published a cover image and interview about the expedition to the eastern Pamirs. Lengthy description of MH’s first trip to the Arctic, to photograph PH for the Sunday Times getting ready for PH’s North Pole solo expedition (first unsupported ski trip to the North Pole). MH’s travelling, meeting with Gary Guy, MH’s equipment, arctic clothing and the difficulty of moving, problems with the skidoo and getting separated, a frozen GPS, the difficult conditions, wind and low visibility, getting lost, frozen cameras and getting seriously lost with PH on the return journey, their fear and eventual return to Resolute Bay, further problems. [00.45.45] Description of the Canadian Dewline established in the Cold War to establish their rights to the territory, a monitoring station and of the island itself, MH’s pleasure in the photographs and in working with PH on taking them. [00.53.29]. Remarks about Apsley Cherry-Garrard and ‘The Worst Journey in the World’ and Sir John Franklin’s 1845 journey when the ships were frozen in the ice and all the men died on the journey, Starvation Cove. Description of the job of photographing, hanging around, a reference to National Geographic photographer Gaylen Rowell and use of a fish eye lens. [1.2.30] Comments about MH’s excitement and remembering the pleasures of a journey and an anecdote about the Innuit and polar bears, [1.6.28] Discussion of how MH sees what he does, wanting to return with some kind of knowledge while not being a scientist, mention of both the Pamirs and the Catlin Arctic Survey and the satisfaction of bringing back actual data rather than the more usual computer images, their work in measuring the depth of the ice above and below sea level, summer sea ice and his interest in doing both the scientific work and photographing. His interest in documenting ice formations at different times of year, description of changes and the light, ice moving like a conveyor belt and the emphasis on getting to the north pole. [1.17.53] Comments on the media’s interest in the north pole and their reliance on photographs taken by tourists in the summer months, speculation about the future of the ice, the future of his photographs, being able to reach the north pole by speedboat in 100 years time and the impossibility of archiving material when the systems change so fast.
Life story interview with photographer Martin Hartley, 1968-