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Murray McKean has been photographing for over 38 years and is one of Newcastle’s leading photographers specializing in industrial, corporate, architecture, scientific, and commercial photography.
Originally trained as a RAAF photographer Murray then attended Melbourne’s RMIT studying towards a Degree in Photography (Arts). His early photographic influences were Athol D’Ombrain, Frank Hurley, Wolfgang Sievers, Michael Mathers and Joel Meyerowitz.
In 1986 he left the RAAF and joined BHP as a photographer at their Research Laboratories in Newcastle. He remained there until 1999 as BHP’s Senior photographer before commencing his own business.
Murray has won several Photographic awards at local, State and National levels through the AIPP, and he has worked for many of Australia’s biggest companies including BHP, Rio Tinto Downer EDI and the CSIRO. His work has featured in the The Age, SMH, The Australian, Australian Geographic, The Guardian, Hunter Lifestyle, The New York Times, The Newcastle Herald and many brochures, billboards and websites.
Recent projects have taken Murray to many parts of Australia, New Zealand, Penang and South Africa.
Back home in Newcastle, NSW, he has for the last 30 years been a part-time TAFE teacher conducting both traditional and digital photography courses.
The photographic exhibitions “Steel Life” and “Hot Slag” documenting the demolition of BHP’s Steelworks were shown at the Newcastle Regional Art Gallery and the Lovett Gallery simultaneously in 2003 and was the result of a five year project. Commissioned by BHP this body of work was captured by using film technologies with large and medium format cameras. They were custom printed using conventional darkroom facilities and fibre based papers.
In 2019 a selection from these exhibitions entitled “Steel life”- remembering a Newcastle Steelworks were shown at the Newcastle University Art Gallery where it will be shown as part of celebrating 20 years since closure.