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In 1892 Richard and Cherry Kearton took the first ever photograph of a bird's nest with eggs. Realising the camera's potential to reveal secrets of the natural world, they resolved to make the best possible records of their discoveries in the habits and behaviour of birds and other creatures. Three years of field work resulted in the first nature book to be illustrated entirely with photographs.
This was the springboard to two outstanding careers in wildlife photography. Richard, with his patience and intellectual clarity, developed the photographic hide through a series of devices which included the extraordinary Stuffed Ox. Cherry became the world's first professional nature photographer, and travelled the globe as a prolific film cameraman and producer.
Numerous natural history photographers have proclaimed them as founding fathers of their discipline; none, however, of the thirty-odd volumes published in their lifetimes is now in print. This new study examines the methods and procedures behind their work, and reproduces a selection of the remarkable photographs that they proudly advertised as having been taken `direct from nature'.