Burren sunset

(photos to be seen here soon – to see now scroll down to Jim’s website – Awesome art for your home or office!)

Jim Murphy has been interested in photography since the early 1970s. A native of Limerick, Jim regularly traveled the Irish countryside taking photographs of favorite places in Co. Clare, Galway and Kerry. He especially loves the Burren in West Clare and regularly spent his weekends, come rain or shine, hiking in and around Black Head.
Jim lived in Galway for over 20 years. In 1995, he met his American wife-to-be, Carol, who worked in Galway for Digital Equipment Corporation. They met at a ceili dancing to Matt Cunningham, and spent their first date hiking in the Burren. In 1997, Jim and Carol married and moved to America, settling in San Diego. Together they explored Southern California, Arizona, Utah and the Badlands in South Dakota. In 2000, their son Ronan was born. Jim took a hiatus from photography to concentrate on raising Ronan.
A few years later Jim’s interest was rekindled with his first digital SLR camera. In 2005 he and Carol took a holiday in the Rocky Mountains. They fell in love with Colorado and relocated to Parker a year later. “One of the smartest things I’ve ever done was to move from California to Colorado – I haven’t had one minute of regret.” Initially, California’s sunny skies were a welcome change compared to the often gray skies of Ireland, but then he tired of the sameness. “It’s the same every day over there (California), We have just as much sun here but we change the seasons – I mean I love to photograph in the winter – you can go out in your own backyard and it’s magic – it can take your breath away!”
Now, Jim travels widely throughout the West. Inspired by so many beautiful places, he has taken thousands of photographs and continues to sharpen his skills. Hiking trips in the Burren have been replaced with visits to Castlewood Canyon, Garden of the Gods, Estes Park, the Maroon Bells, Steamboat Springs and Monument Valley. “It’s really special here in the mountains and on the high plains. I love the wide open spaces and big skies in the Western U.S. with so many beautiful places to hike and to photograph.”
Photographing landscapes in Ireland have special challenges that can work a photographer’s patients. “The thing is when you go home to Ireland you have to be out a long time because the clouds can break at any time and you can have a really interesting sky but it doesn’t necessarily last,” said Jim, adding some words of wisdom, “It use to bother me that I wasn’t getting the sky to do what I wanted -now I do what I can do and don’t go around frustrated.”
Jim says he sells far more photographs of Ireland and it is worth the effort to return home periodically, “When you have a good picture of Ireland you really have something special – We’re a small island but it’s really a nice looking country!” Another reason that Ireland is a top seller he surmised is because a lot of Americans have a connection to Ireland. “Everyone you see have been there or wants to go there – or their people came from there,” said Jim who loves to visit with folks at festivals, “I love to talk to people about Ireland’s history and culture, and about the stories behind my photographs.”
So what catches Jim’s eye when he is out looking at landscapes? “A lot of it is intuitive – there will be something about the image. I’ll look at different angles – so I guess there is a bit of thinking as well.” Sometime he will photograph an intimate landscape instead of the grand landscape depending on what he sees through his lens. And he admitted, “Sometimes you can get the most fantastic photo by accident.”
Folks can order photographs in various sizes including 5”x7”, 8”x12”, 16”x20”, or 24”x36”. Special orders larger than 24”x36” or unusual shapes can also be accommodated. Photographs can be purchased as prints only, matte only or mounted on canvas or Duraplaq wooden hanging systems. Greeting cards are also available.
The DuraPlaq mounting is what you typically see at Jim shows. “They have a satin finish that give colors a lovely pop.” Jim added that the photographs are displayed without glass and have a 3D look that sometimes cause folks to mistake them as paintings. And there is one more reason Jim likes the DuraPlaq mounting, “There’s no work in them -just dust them off!”
For the past few years Jim has exhibited his work at fine art shows in Frisco, Estes Park, Loveland, Steamboat Springs, Boulder, and Aspen. Jim travels back home at least once each year to visit family and friends. He is also a regular exhibitor at the Colorado Irish Festival (July 13-15 Clement Park, Littleton, CO) and looks forward to returning this year.
You can see some of Jim’s images and this year’s show calendar on his website. Take your time browsing through the photo galleries to visit some of his favorite places in the Western United States and Ireland. “If you don’t see what you’re looking for please feel free to drop me a line and I’ll be happy to work with you to help you choose the options that work best for you. You can contact me at or 303.552.7016”
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Clare Glens

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