Images of the Titanic by Robert Ballard

Titanic - photographs by Dr Robert Ballard

Dr Robert Ballard’s stunning photographs of the Titanic, 12,500 feet
below the sea

Some 96 years after the Titanic sank, the diver who found her wreck in 1985 has returned to take a stunning series of photos and publish them in a new book, Titanic – The Last Great Images.

I have very mixed feelings about this kind of thing. No-one likes graves to be disturbed, but what remains of the old ship is the only monument that exists for most of the people on board who were lost. In the circumstances, it seems wrong that their memorial should be abandoned and forgotten. What’s more, as can sometimes happen with wrecks, these are stunning, outstanding photographs and on balance I think they should be shared, so long as we remember that this is someone’s grave and that they have relations still living.

In writing about returning to the Titanic, Dr Robert Ballard makes it clear he’s mortified by the way the wreck has been vandalised despite the protection provided by a depth of 12,500 feet of cold North Atlantic sea water, and says that the book is a kind of apology and ‘an opportunity to pay my respects to the ship, somewhat apologizing for the mean- spirited way in which the wreck has been picked over and vandalized’.
The following comes from the publisher’s blurb:

‘Detailed images of Titanic’s great reciprocating engines and massive boilers help us understand her technological significance as the culmination of sixty years of intense competition in the world luxury liners. The still-gleaming telemotor on her bridge, the opening to the crow ‘s nest and the lifeboat davits still poignantly extended outboard tell the tale of the dreadful night she sank.

‘A glimpse of the champagne bottles scattered across the sea floor or the gap that once held the magnificent first-class staircase evokes the stratified society that produced Titanic.

‘Other images remind us that Titanic was also a human story. A leather suitcase or a pair of shoes marks where a body once lay, and other haunting reminders of the passengers which found themselves helplessly enmeshed in an epic catastrophe.

Titanic – The Last Great Images provide us the clearest view of Titanic that we have ever seen, or will ever see. The rapidly deteriorating wreck may soon be gone – and then all we have left is her stories.’

It adds that Dr Ballard is a leading marine geologist and has been instrumental in the development of new underwater exploration technology, and with the NOAA international treaty to protect the ship from salvagers.

Get the book from Amazon in the US and the UK:

Titanic – The Last Great Images from

Titanic – The Last Great Images from

13 thoughts on “Images of the Titanic by Robert Ballard”

  1. Am I seeing right? Are those modern disposable plastic cups under the wrought iron seat end in one of the small photo's?

    Incidentally we are getting lots of new underwater wreck photo's from HMAS Sydney, last seen in 1942 and lost with all 645 hands and the German raider Kormoran. Both ships were sunk in a close quarters engagement. I am having great problems with Explorer and cannot post a link but if you post "HMAS Sydney pictures" you may have more luck than me.

    I too have mixed feelings about the disturbance of the sites but I don't think that the Sydney site will be touched. There's a documentary to be broadcast on the ABC, (BBC equivalent) on the 15th April, maybe you could get it there on the Net. Check for dates and times as they may be different there.


  2. I am going to have to look for this book now! I don't understand why people destroy historic places when there is so much to learn from them. Thanks for posting this 🙂

  3. My teacher just read my class a couple of stories you wrote about the sinking and the discovery of the Titanic, it was beautiful. I almost burst out into tears. I couldn't imagine being there to witness one of the most well known events in history.

  4. the titanic was a loss because a mad man was driveing her into ice charted waters with ships informing her of the same what can be more mading and to have not enough life boats

  5. James, this was not fully the fault of Captain Smith. Sure he made a grave error of judgment, but ultimately it was his employers who were at fault. Pushing him to make it into New York early to make the morning papers and give the company good publicity, adding enough lifeboats required by law at the time however still not nearly enough for all aboard because they wanted more deck space, putting so much faith in an apparently "unsinkable" design. The list is endless. =P

  6. What's with the VERY modern- looking plastic cup underneath the bench arm? I don't think they had those back in 1912.

  7. my eyes always full of tears when i see this

    this is realy a big lost of huminity


    why the destroyed titanik is not take of from the see


    this is no imposible

  8. i was just at a Robert Ballard lecture and he said that he was called "insensitive" by the wall street journal because he said it sank too bad everyone needs to get over it. he is really awesome

    1. That's bizarre.

      I'm sure, however, that Ballard would say that divers must treat sunken wrecks with great sensitivity when they are also graves.

  9. this may sound crazy but maybe a modern day boat was floating by and was carrying plastic cups and dropped a cup …

    Mitchell – I don't think we should get over it.

  10. i really think its amazing how you found the titanic i read your story of finding the titanic its really good i think its cool how you put one of the survivors and her family in the book

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