Who I am

who-is-richard-kirbyWho is Richard Kirby?

I’m lucky. I know, but I wasn’t born lucky. I don’t believe in that. I believe you make your own luck by finding your dream. I was 11 years old when someone bought me a book called “Zoo Quest to Guiana” and I wasn’t big on reading but that book changed my life and gave me my dream. I wanted to be a wildlife cameraman. Early days I first began filming through a microscope in the mid 1980’s when the BBC’s Natural History Unit was making it’s early blockbusters – Life on Earth, The Living Planet and The Trials of Life. I was always fascinated by the world we don’t see, either because it’s too small or it happens too slowly to be noticed.

Finding my feet

At the same time a slow revolution was going on in the USSR and I was to witness it first hand. The BBC asked me to spend 6 months filming wildlife for “Realms of the Russian Bear”. Amidst the turmoil of Glasnost and Perestroika, it was one of the most amazing times of my life and I will never forget the generosity of people who shared their lives and homes with me in spite of having so little themselves.  Those months in the former USSR allowed me time to really develop and grow into time-lapse photography. I was always waiting around for something or someone.  

Getting my foot in the door

Back in the UK, the BBC were busy with their next big Attenborough projects – Life in the Freezer and The Private Life of Plants. With my time-lapse skills and a degree in botany, I was asked to be a principal cameraman on the Plants series while my friend Doug Allan headed off to the Antarctic.

My own shoes

Twenty years of wonderful experiences later, I still work abroad 6-8 months of the year. I am probably one of nature’s most adaptable creatures! I tolerate temperatures from minus 50° to plus 50° degrees Celsius, from the Amazon jungle to the peaks of the Himalayas and the Sahara desert to the Arctic pack ice. My trusty time-lapse 35mm film camera went with me everywhere, but now it’s all digital,  which has at least halved the excess baggage! I still shoot a lot of wildlife and documentary but my ongoing passion will always be time-lapse.

My own brand

Fifteen years ago, I realised that I had a mountain of stock footage stacking up from some of the world’s most remote and amazing locations, and at that moment, the Timeframe library was born. So, that’s me, pretty much up to date. If you keep track of me via this blog I will let you know where I am and share with you my plans for the coming year.  

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