Jaroslav Poncar was born in Prague in 1945. He now lives in Cologne, Germany, where he was professor at department for Imaging Sciences at Cologne University of Applied Science (Fachhochschule Köln) from 1973 to 2003. Though officially retired from the university, he is presently on various assignments in Afghanistan and Central Asia.
His countless, photographically motivated travels have usually taken him to the Himalayas, Tibet, India, Burma, Yemen and Cambodia. His most recent publications are Ladakh: 1974-2008, Burma – the Land that Time Forgot, Himalayas – Where Gods and Men Meet, Angkor – A Photographic Portrait, Himalayan Kingdoms and Tibet (all published by Edition Panorama, Mannheim, Germany).
In Europe, during the short leaves he can take from his teaching, it mostly is France where he pursues panoramic projects. Inspired by the great Czech photographer Josef Sudek, who created in the early 1950s a panoramic portrait of Prague, Jaroslav Poncar started in1977 to work on a portrait of Paris. Later in mid-1980s he turned his attention to the heart of France, the Loire Valley. The results of both of these projects were exhibited and published.
In 1976 he took for the first time an panoramic camera to the Western Himalayas - the antique Russian FT-2 - and since that time he specialized on panoramic photography. After 40 years he exposed in Rome the last Ektachrome roll in October 2016...In 2018, he had a retrospective show 40 Years with the FT-2 at Serindia Gallery.
Since 1970 his photographs were presented in numerous solo and group exhibitions. In July 2000 his Angkor photographs were presented to Thai public in the National Gallery in Bangkok.