The White Frontier: Female Photographer Captures Beautiful Images Of Canada’s Most Remote Regions In The 1900s

Geraldine Moodie overcame harsh conditions to become western Canada’s first professional female photographer, capturing beautiful images in the country’s most remote regions. An exhibition, “North of Ordinary: The Arctic Photographs of Geraldine and Douglas Moodie”, is at Glenbow, Calgary, 18 February – 10 September.

Inuit women and children at summer camp, Fullerton Harbour, Nunavut, August 1906:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

Moodie was born in 1854 in Toronto, and after a move to England she met and married John Douglas Moodie in 1878, and had six children.

Inuit woman, Kootucktuck, in her beaded attigi. Fullerton Harbour, Nunavut, February 1905:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

The family returned to Canada to farm in Manitoba, before John began working with the North-West Mounted Police (aka the Mounties).

Hudson Bay Company store covered with furs, Churchill, Manitoba, circa 1906-09:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

Geraldine accompanied her husband on expeditions to the police’s detachment at the now-deserted Fullerton Harbour in Hudson Bay – an obscure, frozen point in Canada’s far north in what is now Nunavut territory.

Inuit man, Kingnuck, of the Kinepetoo tribe, Fullerton Harbour, Nunavut, February 5, 1905:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

She took portraits of the local Inuit people, while he documented the landscapes he found during his police patrols.

Inuit man, Toopealock, of the Kinepetoo, Fullerton Harbour, Nunavut, c.1904-05:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

“Words cannot describe this wonderful coast, apparantly (apparently) devoid of everything that goes to make a land attractive, it still has a grandeur and beauty all its own”, she wrote in her diary.

DGS Arctic frozen in the ice, Fullerton Harbour, Nunavut, April 1905:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

She wrote of the Inuit: “They are very bright and intelligent, her eyes were taking stock of everything all the time”.

Inuit woman, Mirkiook, and her child, Fullerton Harbour, Nunavut, c.1905:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

“The whole sea and land as far as the eye can see lends itself to inspire ghostly imaginations, nothing but snow & the sea in an unbroken expanse of ice and snow. In the sunshine it is beautiful, but at night it looks uncanny, the northern light shifting and changing all the time”

Inuit igloos, Fullerton Harbour, Nunavut, c.October 1903:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

“There is a shooting and trapping mania on board at present, a good thing as it keeps them in health and good spirits”, she writes, also mentioning plenty of dances and football matches.

Loading a polar bear carcass on to Neptune, Hudson Bay, Nunavut, July 20, 1904:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

She complains of the challenges of trying to take decent photographs amid waterlogged supplies and harsh weather.

Inuit woman ice fishing, Fullerton Harbour, Nunavut, 1905:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

Geraldine also writes of improving her technique, while photographing this boat, the Arctic.

“There has always been such a glare of snow with nothing to relieve that it gave no definition when photographed, and made a poor negative. I tried it under every condition of light, and finally found by stopping my lens very low and taking the photo when the afternoon sun was very bright, throwing strong shadows that I succeeded in getting a fine negative”

Dominion Government steamer Arctic in front of an iceberg, at the mouth of Hudson Strait, Nunavut, c.1904:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

She went on to work further south in the city of Regina, Saskatchewan, and when accompanying John on expeditions for the Canadian Pacific Railway. With hundreds of emotive and lyrical images to her name, her legacy is of a true photographic artist, rather than a dispassionate documenter of rural life.

Inuit woman, Ooktook, with child, Fullerton Harbour, Nunavut, c.1904-05:

Geraldine Moodie/The Guardian

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave Your Comment Below


If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

A Life in a Graveyard of Airplanes
When Airplane Food Was First Class – A Mouthwatering Look At What In-Flight Meals Used To Be Like In The Golden Age Of Flying
Shark Island in Central Indonesia
Prague’s Narrowest Street is So Narrow it Has Traffic Lights For Pedestrians
This Woman Captures Charming Photos Of Her Lovely Giant Teddy Bear
Man Takes the World’s Most Impressive Selfie. You Gotta See How Far He Climbed.
Brazilian Expats Launch Project That Is Going To Change The Face Of Tourism In Berlin
A McDonald's in New Zealand Lets Diners Eat Inside a Decommissioned Airplane
Airbnb Launches Its First Underwater Bedroom Where Guests Are Surrounded By Sharks
Discovering The Lost World Of Venezuela
Holiday Decorations Around the World
Backpacked: Explore New Zealand Through The Lens Of A Belgian Photographer
Giant 150ft Iceberg Is Floating Past Canada, And It’s 50ft Bigger Than The One That Sank Titanic
New York Homes Become ‘IGLOOS’ After Ice Blast Sends Temperatures Plummeting
This Artist Pictured His Own Journey Around The US With One Dollar Diary
This Photographer Has Captured Stunning Images Of America's Most Intense Storms From An Extraordinarily Close Perspective
Beautiful Scenery of Hulun Buir Grassland
Two Look Books, Two Countries, Two Minds: Akomplice in Colombia Summer Lookbook
The Pantone Cafe Serves The Colorful Meal Of Your Dreams
Buffalo Horn Cupping Makes Users Look Like a Super Mario Character
Beautiful Abandoned NYC In Photographs By Will Ellis
Watch a Plane Take Off from This Runway in the French Alps
600-Year-Old Buddha Emerges From The Lake In China
Parts of Times Square Closed to Automobiles
"Wei Sang" - A Traditional Praying Festival in Tibet
Welcome to the Saddest 1980s Mall in America
Stunning Aerial Photos Of Australia From Above
Welcome To Creepy Island Of Broken Dolls On Teshuilo Lake In Mexico
Nomadic Photographer Lives, Works & Travels Solo In Her Trusty Teardrop Trailer
Photographer Matthew Christopher Captures This Abandoned Theater Act As A Time Capsule Of A Location That Was Once Rocked By The Stars