Photographers Index

Ponting, Herbert George, 1870-1935, photographer

Gender: Male
Active Dates: 1870 - 1935
Active Area: Antarctica (continent)
Likenesses: See p.15 of Savours's 'Scott's last voyage...' (1974).
Photographs: See list of photographs
Publications: Arnold, H.J.P. (1969), 'Photographer of the world: the biography of Herbert Ponting'. London: Hutchinson. [Includes photographs by Herbert Ponting].
Ponting, Herbert G. (1910), 'In lotus-land Japan'. London: Macmillan and Co.
Ponting, Herbert G. (1921), 'The great white south, being an account of experiences with Captain Scott's South Pole expedition and of the nature life of the Antarctic'. London, Duckworth.
Ponting, Herbert G. (1975), 'Another world: photographs in the United States, Asia, Europe and Antarctica, 1900-1912'. London: Sidgwick and Jackson.
Savours, Ann ed. (1974), 'Scott's last voyage through the Antarctic Camera of Herbert Ponting'. London: Sidgwick and Jackson [Contains photographs by Ponting].
Related Entries: Hoppé, Emil Otto, 1878-1972, photographer and writer
Herbert George Ponting was born in 1870, he was the eldest son of Francis Ponting, a banker. He attended Carlisle and Preston Grammar Schools and Wellington House College, Leyland (Savours 1974, p.18). Hebert began a career in banking in 1888. However, after four years it was apparent that banking did not suit him and he shortly set out for the West Coast of America. In America he purchased a fruit farm at Auburn, California. Ponting also invested in gold-mining. He married Mary Biddle Elliott in 1895. The ranch got into financial difficulties in 1898 and Ponting and his family returned to England (Savours 1974, p.19-23).

After a brief period in London, the family returned to California. Ponting took up photography seriously in 1900. In that year he won a competition organised by Bausch and Lomb. He also had a photograph featured in the centre of the Kodak exhibit in the World's Fair at St. Louis. He also submitted images to companies making pictures for the stereoscope. He spent the next decade travelling the world, his travels included visits to Japan, Korea, Manchuria, China, India, Switzerland, France, Spain, Portugal, Russia, France, Java (also known as Jawa) and Burma (now Myanmar) (Savours 1974, p.23-24). During these years he became friends with E.O. Hoppé (Savours 1974, p.34).

Ponting accompanied Robert Scott on his second Antarctic Expedition in 1910. He left McMurdo Sound in mid-March 1912 for New Zealand. Ponting spent the following years lecturing and promoting his work (Savours 1974, p.47-80).

Ponting's later years saw unsuccessful business ventures. Ponting died on February 7th 1935 (Savours 1974, p.99-111).
Sources: Savours, Ann ed. (1974), 'Scott's last voyage through the Antarctic Camera of Herbert Ponting'. London: Sidgwick and Jackson.

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