They plumb the deepest oceans and they scour the coldest countries in search of the perfect footage and now the National Media Museum is hosting a summer exhibition to showcase the work of wildlife photographers and film-makers.

Nature, Camera Action!, which opens on July 18, goes behind the scenes to show how incredible footage and images of nature at work have been produced over the past 150 years.

A special event on Saturday, July 19, timed to coincide with the start of the school holidays, will give young visitors to the Bradford museum the chance to present their own nature programme and handle some live wildlife, including tarantulas and snakes. The event is being hosted by Naomi Wilkinson from CBBC’s Naomi’s Nightmares of Nature.

Among the work on show at the free exhibition, which closes in October, will be that of pioneering photographers and film-makers WHF Talbot, Stephen Dalton, Herbert Ponting and Cherry Kearton.

From amazing pictures of butterfly wings captured in the 1840s with an early camera to contemporary images from David Attenborough’s Blue Planet, the exhibition looks at the challenges faced by cameramen and women and how technology has developed to meet their needs.

Richard and Cherry Kearton taking a photograph of a bird's nest, 1900
Richard and Cherry Kearton taking a photograph of a bird's nest, 1900
 

In the show are cine cameras from the 1900s to the ‘Frankencam’ designed by Martin Dohrn to provide a mobile frame for remotely filming insects and small animals at macro level.

The exhibition is split into several sections – On Safari, In the Dark, Underwater, On the Ice, In the Undergrowth and In the Air – and covers topics such as time lapse photography, thermal imaging and camera traps.

Those who want to see the results of today’s cutting-edge filming can watch the National Geographic Film’s latest production Mysteries of the Unseen World 3D, which is being screened in the museum’s cinemas until August 31.

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