Richard Ashdown

Richard Ashdown

Lighting camera/DOP

Hardworking, creative and calm under pressure, I'm a freelance lighting cameraman who is always looking for a new story to tell. I have worked in the media since 1997, beginning in news, then broadening my experience to include documentary, factual and corporate film-making. My profession has taken me to many extraordinary corners of the world, and I enjoy the opportunities I get to portray people and places with creativity and sensitivity. I’m based in South London but will work anywhere in the world. I have documentary and news experience in conflict areas, and I keep my hostile environment training certification up to date. I am also good with peaceful locations! I own Sony F5, PMW500 and A7S camera kits with a good complement of sound, lighting and grip. I am, of course happy to use any other camera systems your production requires. Over the last two years I have enjoyed using large sensor cameras to deliver some great pictures for clients. For more information, and some examples of recent work, please visit my website at

Work Area

London, South East, National, International (Everywhere)


Recent Work

Al Jazeera English: The Rise of ISIL (Al Jazeera English 2015)

Lighting cameraman on this 2x50 minute current affairs feature on Islamic State. Filmed most of the location interviews for the series on Sony F5.

Al Jazeera English: Sport Matters (Al Jazeera English 2015)

Lighting cameraman on pilot episode of a 30 minute programme taking an in-depth look at sporting issues. Filmed actuality and interviews in the UK and Europe. Prepped, set and lit a key multi-camera interview on a vacant floor of The Shard. Filmed on Sony F5.

RTL Extra: Inside ISIS (RTL) 2014

Lighting cameraman on a 20 minute special report with senior foreign correspondent Antonia Rados. Interviewed ISIS and other jihadis in Turkey, creatively to preserve anonymity. Filmed inside a Syrian refugee camp, interviewed Christian refugees in Iraq and filmed Kurdish Peshmerga fighters. Filmed with PMW 500 and Sony A7S.

Al Jazeera America: 2014

Shoot/Edit Lighting Cameraman for assignments including three weeks in Crimea during the Russian annexation. Made films for general output with extended versions for primetime show America Tonight.

The Science Channel: Nasa's Unexplained Files (Wag TV) 2013

Lighting cameraman shooting core interviews and sequences for a six part series on space phenomena. A very specific look was achieved using a C300 and a mix of primes and tilt-shift lenses. Filmed in the USA.

BBC Newsnight: 2012-ongoing

Shoot/Edit Lighting Cameraman for Newsnight, including assignments in Hong Kong during the student protests, and Greece during the 2015 debt crisis.

Discovery Channel: How Do They Do It? (Wag TV) 2012-2015

Lighting Cameraman on features for series 9-14 of the Discovery show about engineering, science and industrial processes. Filmed across Europe and USA with F800 and F5.

The Military Channel: The Military Channel Presents (Wag TV) 2013

Lighting cameraman shooting core interviews for a series that explored lateral connections between different figures and events in history. Filmed in the USA on F800 XDCam.

Al Jazeera English: Earthrise (Al Jazeera English) 2013

Lighting cameraman for presenter links on an episode of Al Jazeera's environmental issues programme. Filmed in London on C300.

Al Jazeera English: Listening Post (Al Jazeera English) 2013

Lighting cameraman for interviews, graphic elements and reconstructions for Al Jazeera's media analysis programme. Filmed in London with C300 and PMW500

Nat Geo Wild: World's Weirdest (Wag TV) 2012

Lighting cameraman for a short feature on insect farming for human consumption. Filmed in the Netherlands on F800 XDCam.

The Military Channel: Combat Countdown (Wag TV) 2012

Lighting Cameraman shooting core interviews and features for a series on military hardware from around the world. Filmed in the US and UK on HDCam F900, including aerial filming with the US Air Force.

Al Jazeera English: People & Power – The Great Olympic Greenwash, 2012

Lighting Cameraman on an investigative documentary in Utah for Al Jazeera Programmes. Filmed entirely on Canon 5DmkII, including track and aerial shots.

BBC World: The Health Show (Rockhopper TV) 2011

Lighting cameraman for presenter links and feature segments. Shot in HD, with jib work.

Al Jazeera English News: 2011, continuing

Shoot/Edit Lighting Cameraman for the London News Bureau, covering the UK, Europe and parts of Africa. Diverse assignments, including features in Bulgaria on border control, protests and conflict in Ukraine, rioting in Athens, the Edinburgh Festival, and EU summits in Brussels. Filmed on XDCam. Editing on Final Cut and using BGAN and Quicklink for lives and transfer.

ITN Productions: 2010, continuing

Various programme assignments including celebrity interviews for ITN outlets, and a series of obituary interviews. Lit and composed taking care to match the look with other footage for the same production. Work is a mixture of HDCam and XDCam.

BBC World: Life in Limbo (Rockhopper TV) 2009

Documentary filmed in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, following internally displaced refugees as they struggle to survive in camps around the city. Filmed on F800.

BBC World: Kill or Cure? - Saving Lives (Rockhopper TV) 2009

Documentary on the rollout of a pneumonia vaccine in Rwanda. Filmed in remote rural health centres, district paediatric wards and a grand inauguration with the Rwandan government.
Edited the highlights on location using Final Cut Pro and fed back to the UK via FTP.

Teachers TV: Need to Know (Brook Lapping Productions) 2008-2009

Presenter-led documentary series looking at key issues facing teachers and education professionals in England and Wales. Location filming across the UK. Shot on DSR.

Teachers TV: Community Challenge (Brook Lapping Productions) 2009

Lighting cameraman on an observational documentary series that followed projects integrating schools with their communities. Location filming across the UK. Shot on DSR.

Additional Info

Hostile environment experience, and current training certification
British national
Full, clean car and motorcycle licence
BBC News and Location Safety certified
BBC Mains Lighting certified
Army NBC trained
Sony Europe 3D Fundamentals Training
Member of the Guild of Television Cameramen
Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society
Owner of full DSR kit with lights, radio mics, monitor and a VW estate crew car


Coming Up

GTC eWorkshop: Drone Regulations

GTC eWorkshop: Drone Regulations
2 Mar 21 @ Online, Zoom, 14.30 GMT

RPT Pitch Perfect: Pitching and Negotiating Skills for Freelancers

RPT Pitch Perfect: Pitching and Negotiating Skills for Freelancers
3 Oct 21 @ Online, 17.00 GMT

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