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Ponting - The Journey South

Photographs by Herbert Ponting

Herbert Ponting was a self-taught photographer who spent considerable time travelling through the Far East, photographing people and places for major publications. This resulted in his commission as the first ever professional photographer on an Antarctic expedition. Joining Robert Falcon Scott’s epic journey to the South Pole, Ponting spent fourteen months at Cape Evans from 1911 - 1912 and produced over a thousand images.

Ponting’s work captures the stark beauty of Antarctica and remains iconic and timeless to this day. He also recorded the exceptionally difficult conditions under which the expedition members and their animals lived and worked. The collection provides a stirring testament to the heroism and bravery of all involved and perfectly encapsulates the spirit of adventure and discovery that epitomised this epic journey.

2010 marks the centenary of Scott’s departure for the Antarctic. To commemorate this event, Getty Images Gallery has produced a special limited edition set of prints with the assistance of the Scott Polar Research Institute. The original glass plate negatives are now preserved in the Institute and Ponting’s work is represented by Getty Images.