Before Ponting's rise to fame as photographer to Captain Scott's 1910 Polar Expedition, he travelled the world as a freelance photographer. In the early 1900s he travelled to Ceylon, India, China and Southeast Asia, and also covered the Russo-Japanese war. On his return to Europe he photographed the Swiss and French Alps in 1908. Ponting’s large-scale carbon prints (up to 40 x 60 inches) are mentioned in H.J.P. Arnold's biography of Ponting Photographer of the World,
in connection with the Dresden International Photographic Exhibition of 1909 and thereafter were produced on a smaller scale for other exhibitions and for public sale.
The present image can be compared with Ponting's photographs of waves breaking at West Beach, Cape Evans, taken on Scott's expedition in 1911, some of which were published as large carbon prints.