In June 1910 Captain Robert Falcon Scott embarked on a second Antarctic expedition to reach the South Pole. The party set out overland for the pole from Cape Evans on October 24, 1911. The motor sledges broke down, then the ponies had to be shot and the dog teams were sent back. By 31 December seven men were returned to the base and the remaining five men then reached the south pole on January 18, 1912, only to find that Roald Amundsen had reached the pole a month earlier. This photograph was taken by Lieutenant Bowers (who had been taught to use a camera by the expedition's official photographer Herbert Ponting). Bowers is seen on the far left of the group, the string that he attached to the camera just visible.
All five men died on the return journey from the pole and the two films were found with Scott's body eight months after his death. They were developed a month later in the hut at Cape Evans.