HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935)

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PASSING A LARGE TABULAR BERG by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

PASSING A LARGE TABULAR BERG

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THE CASTLE BERG WITH DOG SLEDGE, SEPTEMBER 17 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

THE CASTLE BERG WITH DOG SLEDGE, SEPTEMBER 17 1911

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AN EMPEROR PENGUIN by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

AN EMPEROR PENGUIN

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THE WANING DAYLIGHT SUN OVER THE BARNE GLACIER, MIDDAY, 26 MARCH 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

THE WANING DAYLIGHT SUN OVER THE BARNE GLACIER, MIDDAY, 26 MARCH 1911

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ADELIE PENGUIN TRACKS AND SLEDGE TRACK CROSSING, 8 DECEMBER 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ADELIE PENGUIN TRACKS AND SLEDGE TRACK CROSSING, 8 DECEMBER 1911

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THE MATTERHORN BERG PROFILE WITH EREBUS, 8 OCTOBER 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

THE MATTERHORN BERG PROFILE WITH EREBUS, 8 OCTOBER 1911

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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 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

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

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EREBUS AND DOME CLOUD FROM WEST BEACH, TWO THIRTY PM, ICICLED FOREGROUND, MARCH 7 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

EREBUS AND DOME CLOUD FROM WEST BEACH, TWO THIRTY PM, ICICLED FOREGROUND, MARCH 7 1911

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WAVE BREAKING AT WEST BEACH, 28 FEBRUARY 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

WAVE BREAKING AT WEST BEACH, 28 FEBRUARY 1911

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PENGUINS AND A BERG AT CAPE ROYDS, 13 FEBRUARY 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

PENGUINS AND A BERG AT CAPE ROYDS, 13 FEBRUARY 1911

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THE TERRA NOVA AND A BERG AT ICE-FOOT, JANUARY 16 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

THE TERRA NOVA AND A BERG AT ICE-FOOT, JANUARY 16 1911

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BEAUTIFUL BROKEN ICE, REFLECTIONS AND THE TERRA NOVA, 7 JANUARY 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

BEAUTIFUL BROKEN ICE, REFLECTIONS AND THE TERRA NOVA, 7 JANUARY 1911

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SKI ADAPTATION FOR FINNESKO by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

SKI ADAPTATION FOR FINNESKO

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SLEDGING RATIONS FOR 1 MAN FOR 1 DAY by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

SLEDGING RATIONS FOR 1 MAN FOR 1 DAY

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EMPEROR PENGUIN'S EGGS by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

EMPEROR PENGUIN'S EGGS

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F DEBENHAM MAKING  A PLANE TABLE SURVEY, SEPTEMBER 9 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

F DEBENHAM MAKING A PLANE TABLE SURVEY, SEPTEMBER 9 1911

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TENEMENTS BUNKS IN THE HUT, LIEUTENANT BOWERS, APSLEY CHERRY GARRARD, CAPTAIN LAWRENCE OATES, CECIL MEARES AND DR EDWARD ATKINSON, 9 OCTOBER 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

TENEMENTS BUNKS IN THE HUT, LIEUTENANT BOWERS, APSLEY CHERRY GARRARD, CAPTAIN LAWRENCE OATES, CECIL MEARES AND DR EDWARD ATKINSON, 9 OCTOBER 1911

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CAPTAIN ROBERT FALCON SCOTT IN HIS DEN, 7 OCTOBER 1911 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CAPTAIN ROBERT FALCON SCOTT IN HIS DEN, 7 OCTOBER 1911

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GRAN, TAYLOR AND WRIGHT IN THE ICE PACK FROM THE MAINTOP OF THE TERRA NOVA, DECEMBER 22 1910 by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

GRAN, TAYLOR AND WRIGHT IN THE ICE PACK FROM THE MAINTOP OF THE TERRA NOVA, DECEMBER 22 1910

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THE TERRA NOVA HELD UP IN THE PACK, 13 DECEMBER 1910 (III) by HERBERT PONTING (1870-1935) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

THE TERRA NOVA HELD UP IN THE PACK, 13 DECEMBER 1910 (III)

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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 cinematograph 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.

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