George Valentine was one of the sons of the most successful Scottish commercial photographer, James Valentine of Dundee. He specialised in landscape photography. In the mid-1880s he left Scotland to live in New Zealand because of ill health. He was based in Auckland from 1885 and made expeditions from there, notably to Rotorua and the lakes of the volcanic area of North Island. Having established that the 'tourist traffic is very satisfactory,' he provided the tourists and the curious at home with scenic views of the country.