England 1870 – 1935
The 'Terra Nova' icebound 1910 Materials & Technique: photographs, carbon photograph
Recognition of the role photography could play in recording and publicising journeys to uncharted lands is signalled in the appointment of Herbert Ponting as ‘camera artist’ on Robert Falcon Scott’s Terra Nova expedition, which left Cardiff on 15 June 1910. He was the first specialist professional photographer to document the Antarctic. While earlier records by amateur photographers had been made, the dramatic photographs and films of Ponting – and Hurley – were hugely successful in igniting the public’s imagination and bringing fame to explorer and photographer alike. Grand and lavish presentation albums of the Scott and Shackleton Expeditions were presented to George V. The images were reproduced in testimonials (this one was used as the frontispiece to Ponting’s The Great White South) and fine enlargements, using the carbon tissue transfer process, were produced by the London Autotype Company and distributed through the Fine Arts Society in London.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra