Behind the camera Kearnan Murphy has more stamps on his passport than most. Born in South Africa, he and his parents moved to Dubai, and then eventually to Australia. “After finishing my apprenticeship, it only made sense that I would jump on a plane again and move to London.”There he met Wellingtonian Jess, who is now his fiancée. “We spent 10 years travelling the world together, living in Vancouver, Sydney, and now we’re five minutes down the road from where she grew up in Brooklyn.”
Why photography? Kearnan found Wellington’s photography and surfing community very welcoming, and discovered that the two hobbies complemented each other. “Bringing my love for the ocean and photography together was inevitable,” he says.
He also photographs professionally part-time, concentrating on weddings, lifestyle, travel, and of course surf photography. “It fascinates me creating mementoes of my life and travels through photography, capturing places, epic surf, and interesting people.” He has recently finished fitting out a self-contained campervan, meaning more road-trips to explore and photograph “New Zealand, its landscapes and rugged coastlines.”
The snap Kearnan’s semi-finalist photo Afternoon Mist was captured on a “surf mission” in the Wairarapa. Driving along Cape Palliser Road he “caught a glimpse of Lake Ferry with some epic afternoon mist and the Remutakas in the background,” and pulled over. “I hiked to a few different viewpoints to get the perfect angle, and tried to highlight the light and shadows over the landscape and the mist rolling in from the ocean.”
Judges thoughts CPotY judge and renowned photographer Derek Henderson said, “Great form and light, I could imagine it as part of a series of images about a small seaside town somewhere.”