Herbert Ponting

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Herbert George Ponting, FRGS (21 Mar 1870 - 1935) was a professional photographer. He is best known as the expedition photographer and cinematographer for Robert Falcon Scott's Terra Nova Expedition to the Ross Sea and South Pole (1910-1913). In this role, he captured some of the most enduring images of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.

Early life

Ponting was born in Salisbury, Wiltshire in the south of England, on 21 March 1870. His father was successful banker, Francis Ponting, and his mother was Mary Sydenham. From the age of eighteeen Herbert was employed at a local bank branch in Liverpool, where he stayed for four years. That time was long enough to convince him that he did not wish to follow in the profession of his father, and attracted to stories of the American West, he moved to California where he worked in mining and then bought a fruit ranch in the 1890s. In 1895 he married a California woman, Mary Biddle Elliott; their daughter Mildred, was born in Auburn, California in January 1897.

After the ranch failed in 1900, Ponting took up free-lance photography seriously. Following a chance meeting with a professional photographer in California, to whom he had given advice about the locality and showed his own photos, he entered his pictures in competitions and won awards. He took successful stereoscopic photographs. In 1904 he was living at Sausalito, near the University of California. He reported on the......
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