Alan Murphy

by Alan Murphy | April 1, 2008

Bird portraitAlan Murphy has been captivated by birds since his childhood in England. Even in his youth, Alan found himself inextricably drawn to nature; growing up he found solace from the trials of life under a canopy of trees while in the company of birds. His passion for birding thrived. As he consulted various publications, Alan was fascinated with bird photos and at a loss as to how anyone could get so close to capture such intimate views.

As a young adult, he traveled to roughly twenty countries and always made time to visit the natural areas his various destinations had to offer. Upon immigrating to the United States, Alan found himself overwhelmed and somewhat intimidated by the diversity of bird species, many with such subtle variations they were nearly impossible to distinguish from each other.

He used a camera with a borrowed 300mm lens to take bird photos, later poring over the prints with a field guide to help identify the birds he had seen. While this proved an effective method for learning about North American birds, he couldn’t help comparing his rudimentary images to the published photos he continued to admire.

He adopted the too familiar photographer’s mantra for greater focal length and purchased an inexpensive 500mm lens, continuing to pursue photography voraciously. The more time he spent in the field, the more enamored he became with birds.

One photographer’s name that seemed to be everywhere was Brian Small, and due to fate, plus some planning on Alan’s part, they eventually met. In the photographer Alan admired he also found a great friend. They began to take photo trips together and Alan’s photography transformed. He learned from Brian how to find certain birds and get closer than he had ever dreamed possible.

Alan Murphy

For over twelve years now Alan has been photographing birds, while at the same time operating his own successful Houston business started twenty years ago. Over time he carefully added to his collection of camera gear and now uses a solid Nikon digital SLR system, where much of his work relies upon his 600mm f/4 lens.

He takes whatever time he can to photograph and is energized by the time he spends with birds. Drawing from the different forms of art in his background, he approaches photography with an artistic vision, pre-visualizing the images he wants to take home. He feels blessed to have been born with gifts allowing him to feel such passion for birds and capture images of them, and derives great joy in being able to share the world of birds with others through his images.

Alan has two daughters, Siobahn and Ciara, who are his greatest passion and inspiration in life. He lives in Houston and devotes almost all available free time to bird photography. He is a valued part of NatureScapes.net as the moderator for the Birds Image Critique Gallery.

Alan’s numerous photo credits include Birders World, WildBird, Bird Watcher’s Digest, North American Birds, Texas Birds, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Highways, British Birds, and more. His photos are also published in various field guides, books, CD-ROM’s, calendars, and postcards.

To see more of Alan’s work, please visit his website at www.alanmurphyphotography.com.


About the Author

Alan Murphy is a full time bird photographer living in Houston, Texas. His work is widely published and has appeared in National Geographic, Birding, Birders World, WildBird, Bird Watcher’s Digest, North American Birds, Texas Birds, Texas Parks& Wildlife, Texas Highways, British Birds, and many other publications. His photographs appear in a number of field guides, books, CD-ROMs, and calendars. Alan has authored two books on bird photography. In Alan’s new e-book, Guide to Songbird Setup Photography, offered for sale in the NatureScapes.Net store, he shares the details of the many techniques used to photograph songbirds. Alan also offers several bird photography workshops each year. For more information on Alan’s photographs, workshop offerings, print sales, and more visit his website www.alanmurphyphotography.com and blog alanmurphyphotography.com/blog.

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