Herbert George Ponting, ‘The Terra Nova and a berg at ice-foot,’, 16, Atlas Gallery

About Herbert George Ponting

As the first professional photographer (or “camera artist,” as he preferred to be called) to capture the Antarctic, Herbert George Ponting took over 1,000 images of the region’s vast, foreign landscape and documented the daily life, rations, and research of the 1910 British Antarctic Expedition. Many of Ponting’s photographs were posed, as he was fixated on attaining the perfect composition. The crisp quality of his work stands in contrast to the more popular soft and painterly images of the day. Using autochrome plates, Ponting captured the first color photographs of Antarctica, and he was also among the first to shoot short video sequences of the continent using a cinematograph. Ponting is credited with inventing the Variable Controllable Distortograph, a warped camera lens that produces caricature-esque portraits.

British, 1870-1935, Salisbury, United Kingdom, based in London, United Kingdom