Herbert Ponting

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Works

View of the Deck on the Terra Nova with Dogs, from Engine Room Hatch, 3 January 1911

Herbert Ponting

Beautiful Broken Ice, Reflections and the Terra Nova, 7 January 1911

Herbert Ponting

The Terra Nova Held up in the Pack, 13 December 1910 (I)

Herbert Ponting

Beautiful Broken Ice, Reflections and the Terra Nova, 7 January 1911

Herbert Ponting

Captain Oates and Some of the Ponies, December 1911

Herbert Ponting

The Terra Nova and a Berg at Ice-Foot, January 16 1911

Herbert Ponting

Penguins and a Berg at Cape Royds, 13 February 1911

Herbert Ponting

Wave Breaking at West Beach, 28 February 1911

Herbert Ponting

Erebus and Dome Cloud from West Beach, Two Thirty PM, Icicled Foreground, March 7 1911

Herbert Ponting

Captain Robert Falcon Scott in his Den, 7 October 1911

Herbert Ponting

The Pressure Ridges of the Ice Crack from the Barne Glacier to Inaccessible, with Captain Robert Falcon Scott Looking to Cape Royds, 8 October 1911

Herbert Ponting

The Matterhorn Berg Profile with Erebus, 8 October 1911

Herbert Ponting

Tenements Bunks in the Hut, Lieutenant Bowers, Apsley Cherry Garrard, Captain Lawrence Oates, Cecil Meares and Dr Edward Atkinson, 9 October 1911

Herbert Ponting

Adelie Penguin Tracks and Sledge Track Crossing, 8 December 1911

Herbert Ponting

Bernard Day on his Return from the Barrier, 21 December 1911

Herbert Ponting

Dimitri Geroff on Return from the Barrier, 29 January 1912

Herbert Ponting

Cecil H Meares on Return from the Barrier, 29 January 1912

Herbert Ponting

Apsley Cherry-Garrard on Return from the Barrier, 29 January 1912

Herbert Ponting

Charles S Wright on Return from the Barrier, 29 January 1912

Herbert Ponting

Patrick Keohane on Return from the Barrier, 29 January 1912

Herbert Ponting

The Waning Daylight Sun over the Barne Glacier, Midday, 26 March 1911

Herbert Ponting

An Emperor Penguin

Herbert Ponting

Gran, Taylor and Wright in the Ice Pack from the Maintop of the Terra Nova, December 22 1910

Herbert Ponting

Captain Scott and the Group Taken on Return of the Southern Party, April 13 1911

Herbert Ponting

F Debenham Making a Plane Table Survey, September 9 1911

Herbert Ponting

The Castle Berg with Dog Sledge, September 17 1911

Herbert Ponting

Ponting Cooling his Head

Herbert Ponting

Emperor Penguin’s Eggs

Herbert Ponting

Sledging Rations For 1 Man For 1 Day

Herbert Ponting

Ski Adaptation For Finnesko

Herbert Ponting

Passing A Large Tabular Berg

Herbert Ponting

Heinz Advertisement, January 9 1912

Herbert Ponting

At the Pumps in a Gale in Antarctic Ocean, March 1912

Herbert Ponting

Chris and the Gramophone, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Western Party Crossing the Ice to Ship, March 1912

Herbert Ponting

Adelie Penguin Tracks and Sledge Track Crossing, 8 December 1911

Herbert Ponting

Thomas Clissold and the Huge Ice Bastions of the Castle Berg, September 17 1911

Herbert Ponting

Glacier, Antarctica, 1911-1912

Herbert Ponting

An Emperor Penguin

Herbert Ponting

Captain Scott and the Group Taken on Return of the Southern Party, April 13 1911

Herbert Ponting

Bernard Day, Cape Evans, Antarctica, 1 August, 1911

Herbert Ponting

The Midnight Sun, McMurdo Sound, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Cirrus Clouds over the Barne Glacier, 19 December, 1911

Herbert Ponting

The Hut at Cape Evans, 26 March, 1911

Herbert Ponting

A Weathered Iceberg, 29 December, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Weddell Seal about to Dive, Cape Evans, 1911

Herbert Ponting

The End of the Barne Glacier, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Mount Erebus, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Dog Team Resting by the Barne Glacier, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Herbert Ponting with his Cinematograph, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Repairing a Sledge, Petty Officers Evans, Crean and Forde, Cape Evans, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Ponting Developing a Plate in the Hut, Cape Evans, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Lieutenant Gran Skiing

Herbert Ponting

Packing the Sledges beside the Terra Nova, Cape Evans, January 1911

Herbert Ponting

Unloading Coal from a Sled at Winter Quarters, Cape Evans, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Birth of an Iceberg, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Face of the Great Ice Barrier and Mount Terror, 1911

Herbert Ponting

The Terra Nova Held Up In The Pack, 13 December, 1910 (I)

Herbert Ponting

Chris And The Gramophone

Herbert Ponting

Beautiful Broken Ice, Reflections and the Terra Nova, 7 January 1911

Herbert Ponting

Captain Oates and Rows of Siberian Ponies in the Terra Nova, 1911

Herbert Ponting

Early Years

Herbert Ponting was renowned for his meticulous and adventurous approach to photography. His most famous work was taken during The British Antarctic Expedition 1910-1913, when he became the first professional photographer to capture the Antarctic.

Herbert Ponting was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire on 21 March 1870. He was the son of Francis W Ponting, a successful banker, a career that his father hoped his son would follow. On leaving school, he took a job at a bank in Liverpool. However, in 1892, he gave up his position and travelled to the West Coast of America. It was here that he met his future wife, Mary Biddle Eliot, whom he married in 1895. With the help of his family’s money, Ponting bought a farm in California, which subsequently failed and they returned to England six years later.

Travel Photography and Antarctica

After only a short period of time, however, Ponting chose to return to the United States, at which point he grew interested in photography and chose to make a career from it. An acquaintance commenting on one of his stereoscopic photographs suggested to Ponting that he approach publishing companies and enter his work into photographic competitions. In 1901, he travelled to the Far East to photograph the people, landscapes, and wildlife of various countries including Burma and Japan. The results were published in several magazines, including Harpers Bazaar, and The Illustrated London News. Ponting’s first book: In Lotus Land, Japan was published in 1910, by which time he had an established reputation as a successful photographer.

In 1910, Ponting set sail with the rest of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s British Antarctic Expedition as the official photographer, personally chosen by Scott. His established reputation and his connection with Cecil Meares, who was in charge of the dogs for the expedition, both helped Ponting acquire the post. The Geographical Journal wrote at the time, The British Antarctic Expedition should be very well served by the camera in Mr Ponting’s hands.’ He remained in Antarctica for just over a year, during which time the other members of the expedition witnessed his great enthusiasm for representing nature. Diaries from the expedition document that Ponting went to great lengths to take the best photograph, on one occasion narrowly missing an attack from Killer Whales. He insisted on using the traditional glass-plate technique for developing his photos, his cumbersome cinematography and large amount of developing equipment added to the difficulty of his task. Ponting was well liked by his colleagues; however, at times, he preferred to maintain a distance, focusing on his photographs with painstaking detail.

Great White Silence

On his return to England in February 1912, Ponting was disappointed by the lack of response to his photographs and films. Hearing of the subsequent deaths of Scott and the four other men who reached the pole, he set out to promote the legacy of the expedition, rather than focusing on new projects. He held several lectures, and produced the film, Great White Silence, which received great acclaim.