Jim Frazier, inventor, naturalist, artist and former cameraman for David Attenborough, has written his autobiography

Jim Frazier has travelled the world filming documentaries. Photo supplied
Jim Frazier has travelled the world filming documentaries. Photo supplied

Jim Frazier OAM ACS has lived an unusual and eventful life - he has travelled the world filming for multiple David Attenborough documentaries, he is an inventor who revolutionised the film industry, and artist who 'paints' with crystals. And he is an environmentalist committed to bringing awareness to the plight of the planet.

And if that wasn't enough to fill a book, there is plenty more interesting living he has done amongst that.

His life would make fascinating reading, and thankfully, he has recently finished writing his autobiography which will allow us to do just that.

The book tells of how Jim met naturalist, photographer and author, Densey Clyne - a meeting that started his international career - and their lifelong friendship and enduring partnership. The pair worked with Sir David Attenborough on his documentaries Life on Earth, The Living Planet, and Trials of Life.

Densey Clyne, Sir David Attenborough, and Jim Frazier. Photo supplied

Densey Clyne, Sir David Attenborough, and Jim Frazier. Photo supplied

"We did a tremendous amount of work for those," Jim says.

"We had to pull a lot of tricks. David couldn't be in all the locations and so I would put my hand into a shot and touch something, and ostensibly it was David's hand! He'd be somewhere else in the bush, in the world. (In the documentary) he'd squat down and then it's my hand that comes in and touches the subject!" Jim reveals.

Jim, who lives at Bootawa on the Mid North Coast of NSW, gained a reputation for being a micro/macro photography expert, and was asked to work on non-wildlife documentaries, some of which turned out to be some of his favourite experiences.

"I had to do an eye operation where an eye surgeon in Sydney was taking out cataracts from people's eyes," he says.

"I remember at the time there was a Zeiss expert there and I said 'I'll be filming inside the eye'. And he turned around to the doctor and said 'this bastard's crazy, he can't do that'.

"He walked out with egg on his face when he saw that I was filming inside the eye while the doctor was operating."

Jim is famously known for inventing the Frazier Lens, an 'infinity' lens with a massive depth of field, that revolutionised the film industry. It was taken up by Hollywood and first used there in blockbusters Titanic and Jurassic Park. The lens earned him an Academy Award for Technical Achievement.

Jim's invention, The Frazier Lens, allowed for a massive depth of field in film and stills photography. It was used to great effect in David Attenborough's documentaries. Photo supplied

Jim's invention, The Frazier Lens, allowed for a massive depth of field in film and stills photography. It was used to great effect in David Attenborough's documentaries. Photo supplied

However, a court case over the patent for the lens was a dark period in Jim's life.

"The court case I went through is part of the story. I lost that case and got severely financially burnt. It was the lowest point in my life, to be honest."

The autobiography took 12 months of solid writing, and is now in the process of getting ready to be published and printed.

Jim is proud that most of the work involved on the book has been, and is still being, done in collaboration with locals. Christine Calabria of Mondrook has edited the book, Karl Bayer provided photography for the front cover (and some of the approximately 700 photos inside), and Sunne Printing has been contracted for the print job when it is ready.

"Everything that's happening with the biography is all local. I'm truly blessed to have all that talent around me. It's just fantastic," Jim said.

It is expected that Jim's autobiography will be launched later this year.