Murray - Perch

Perch - Taking with a 24mm Tiltshift. I just like this picture because it sums up Summer In Australia. Informal, relaxed but underneath it's all professional

Murray Fraser – Guest Photographer

Posted on: 13th September, 2013 2 Comments

You have to be truly dedicated to make it as a photographer in this day and age, especially if you choose to shoot in the outdoors and you don’t shoot weddings! So when it comes to dedication you don’t find a more worthy candidate than Murray Fraser.

The past 5 years has found Murray rising before sunrise Monday to Friday to capture the early morning happenings of his famous home town of Manly Beach. Now at this moment you might be thinking ‘Wow what an awesome job’, but that would be if he was getting paid to do this! For Murray the majority of those years he would pay to have what in no doubt in his mind is the privilege to do his morning ritual of Sprout Daily. And it’s because of this attitude I asked Murray if I could profile him for fiN. For anyone who crosses this genuine mans path, you can only ever hear the kindest of words directed towards him.

I asked Murray to choose 10 images for us today, and his choices speak volumes for his care for community and humanity in general. There are plenty of grab you images that Murray could have sent, but his selection of people in their own element allows you to understand why anyone who knows him would only ever speak words of kind.

Below are a few questions Mr Fraser has answered to give you a little insight into his world.

Thanks Murray

Keith (ELE)

Also check out Murray’s Sprout Daily website and give him a follow!


To The Island - Welcome to Surfing in NZ

What other outlets do you have for creativity outside photography?

I guess business is something of a creative outlet. In this type business you've got to be creative to come up with different ways to keep an income flowing and keep people interested in what you've got to offer. Whether that be creating a promotion, working on a project, collaborating or something as simple as designing a business card. It's all creation and you're investing your creativity into it.

How did Sprout come to be? -

Sprout Daily was a creation of a friend of mine, Barnaby Eggerton- Warbuton. He worked overseas for almost 10years in Hong Kong and New York and when he settled back in Manly, he between jobs started sending out daily photos of Manly to try and lure his mates to come and visit. He had connections with some technology guys and they set up a basic platform to allow him to send the emails and it grew from there. I got involved a year or so after that and we took it in turns shooting, just for fun. At the end of 2009 we put on an exhibition at a friends hair salon and 300 people turned up - it was crazy with people flowing out into the streets. After that we decided to give it a shot as something a little more serious.

Alone Time. Hey, you can still find time to yourself even in Manly

Green Eye - North Narrabeen.

How many years have you been doing Sprout? and does it consume you five days a week?

I met Barnaby in 2008 and shortly after we started alternative shooting the daily's. These days it definitely consumes the lions share of my week but there's still time to work on other photographic work and projects.

Are you originally from the 'Big Smoke'? and what is it about Manly that allows you to give your life to photographing it?

Ha - I actually grew up on the Gold Coast but I moved to Sydney in 2001 to start a job at Macquarie University. I moved straight into a place in Manly. I loved Manly but hated the commute out to North Ryde where my job was. So I quit the job after and year and just started working at a Board Store in Manly. Manly's a pretty unique place, it's connected to Sydney but it really is like a little village and the people that live here, and have lived here for a long time, really love the place. That's the community side that I love and even if it was just that I think I'd still love Manly. But add to that community side ,a place with the physical beauty of any National Park in this country and that's Manly. The ocean, Fairy Bower, harbour beaches, bushland of North Head, one of the most beautiful buildings in Sydney (St. Patricks Seminary) - see what I'm talking about. The place is amazing!

Ulai - This is one of the boatmen from Namotu. He's a legend and he's got the biggest smile in Fiji.

Do you get holidays? -

I definitely like to put my camera down every now and then just to stop thinking about composition and capturing so I guess that's a holiday from the camera. But this year I've been working in Fiji, Tahiti, New Zealand so I don't know if I really need a holiday.

Shooting daily do you find it difficult to be creative with your photos when there is pressure to get the shot?

Yeah I definitely find that I create limitations as to what I think I can do and therefore it becomes difficult to be "creative" and do something different. You know, you think the surf's small like yesterday, I've only got 2 lens to work with today, the lights bad - but the reality is that I'm most creative when I have a clear and free mind. It's got nothing to do with external factors. There's an infinite numbers of pictures that can be made between the 3 k's of beach and ocean I walk every day.

The Early Boat, Namotu Island, Fiji

Floating Carnation. A local legend Bruce was farewelled and had his ashes scattered this morning. I just love the delicate nature of this carnation floating half submerged and what it means.

Do you need to do any other work to supplement, doing Sprout?

Oh yeah for sure. I'd love to be selling more prints to create more income but I think I'd still be doing other work.

What is your preferred subject matter? Your site would suggest surf, but is there a path that you'd like to take yourself down, away from the ocean?

Yeah I would say community firstly and secondly adventure. Sprout is hopefully as much about community as it is about surf and that'll be the direction I'd like to take Sprout. As for adventure, I love the idea of going some place that not only I haven't been but not too many people have been. More of that to come hopefully.

Flaming Sky. Probably the most amazing sunrise I've seen while shoot Sprout Daily - the whole sky looked like a fire!

Fin Free in New York, Derek Hynd. This was the swell before Hurricane Sandy destroyed this stretch of coastline. Couldn't believe we were surfing perfect 200m lefts 1 hour from the centre of Manhattan

Hynd Sight, Brooklyn Bridge NY, 2012. This was about 1am and Derek and I were walking home to mid-town. We were an hour in with 2 hours to go - things were getting a little crazy

How long on average do you think a daily post would take you, from rise to hitting send?

Probably about 3-4 hours.

What equipment are you shooting with?

I'm shooting with a Nikon D4 and a range of Nikon Lenses. My favourite right now is a 50mm f/1.4. Good for in the water, portraits and just walking around.

What would you say to other photographers thinking of going down the daily blog/photo path?

I guess you've got to be clear as to why you want to do it. The daily blog for me has been a training ground more than anything and I guess that's been the reward. I think that my best work, both in terms of Sprout Daily and personal work, is ahead of me.

Manly Mornings

You've done a few trips overseas in the past 18 months, give us a run down of highlights, fave destination, your low moments and place/s your not rushing back too?

I love New Zealand and New York right now. New York City because I feel like an adventurer there. I mean you've got to be to discover surf in a city that's so NOT surfing. And New Zealand is just so beautiful and the people are super cool. They just get on with stuff, with minimum fuss.

Where outside manly would you like to travel to next?

Europe. Anywhere in Europe; from Iceland to Spain or East to Russia.

What lens do you use the most? And what lens would you love to have in your kit?

Right now I'm loving the 50mm f1.4. As for something I'd like, I'm going to go discover that tomorrow at The Digital Show in Melbourne.

Welcome to Asbury Park, New Jersey. (Home of Bruce Springsteen) - I just like this image, that's NJ beach culture right there!

What is your take on Instagram? Does getting 'likes' effect your social wellbeing?

I love Instagram personally - Love trolling through people's photos. Professionally I'm not really sure yet, I mean I guess you get to be seen by more people so that's a good thing. As far as Likes go, I don't really care that much. I know what I like. I think followers are probably more important because it's kind of like a mini commitment; it's someone saying "Yeah I like you're stuff, I like what you're doing, I'm going to come along for the ride".

Would you still like to be doing Sprout five years from now? If so how do you see it evolving?

Yeah that'd be cool. -As far as evolution goes I'm not too sure I've stumbled on the formula yet. I'll keep you posted

This was Supermoon Sunday in 2012. I hung around to watch the biggest full moon rise from the water. There we heaps of guys still surfing and plenty of light

Photographers that inspire you?

Chris Burkard, David Maurice Smith, Andrew Quilty, Trent Mitchell,Vlad Sokhin, Pete Longworth, Krystal Wright, Jeremy Koreski. Visually I've always loved the work of Peter Lik.

Humans that inspire you?

It's probably a similar list to those people mentioned above plus an addition of Sarah Kearney. Everyone above is doing their thing and that's what inspires me.

What would you be doing if you weren't taking photos?

- Surfing. I'm pretty much always shooting these days when I would have been surfing.