Monday, December 14, 2009

Kelowna winery a world-wide winner

Winning international awards is nothing new to wineries in the Okanagan Valley.
The latest award goes to Summerhill Winery - just named the Best Winery in the Canada at the prestigious International Wine and Spirit Competition in London, England. Two of the five entries from the Kelowna vintner won the best-in-class title.
I'll certainly toast to that when I enjoy the bottle I acquired during my last visit to the winery - during the 50th anniversary of the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club. And that's in addition to the fine photos I took during the magic hour of sunset at the winery.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Beautiful rainy weather?

Beauty, they say, is in the eye of the beholder.
Take Wednesday's weather for example. Cool, rainy day in the Kootenay mountains - almost impossible to see which section of cloud the sun was hiding behind. The kind of day only a duck could love, right?
The damp day led one lady to remark on its depressing sight as she exchanged light bulbs in Greenwood, (the oldest and smallest city in B.C.) I was on assignment for energy company FortisBC, photographing this energy-saving promotion happening in communities across the province.
I couldn't help but contradict her, while exclaiming my pleasure on how lovely the landscapes were on this damp day with the clouds hanging lower than the surrounding summits.
I was glad I brought along my professional Kodak SLR/n and Nikkor 300mm f2.8 lens to capture this detailed landscape, among others.
So as more rainy days approach in the Okanagan, I'll remember that beautiful photos don't always require a sunny, blue-sky day. Happy fall photography everyone!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Celebration time !

Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy anniversary!
The big 5-0 is being celebrated this week across the Okanagan for the Boys and Girls Clubs - an organization that I've been happy to support with my photography, writing and pagination over the past decade.

Yesterday, a few dozen adults toasted the history of the charitable group in Kelowna at the venerable Summerhill Estate Winery. A beautiful location for the event, particularly now as the grapes are ripening among the changing leaves. It's a great time for me to capture colourful scenic and stock photos of the beautiful vineyards the Okanagan is known for.
My compliments to the chef on some fine appetizers served to accompany the fine wine. I guess it's a sample of what's to come in a couple of weeks at the popular Okanagan Wine Fesitval. Cheers to all.

Monday, September 7, 2009

I Shoot to Thrill

My slogan for my photography business seemed to work its way into my recreation recently.
It was on the golf course a couple days ago that I thrilled myself when I shot below 80 for the first time on a championship course!
It was just an average performance on the front 9, however, the back 9 included only two bogies and one birdie to score a final round of 79 on the par 71 Kelowna Springs golf course.
Perhaps there are some advantages to a slower year in business - even more than just the extra attention to quality my clients receive when they call Kelowna Photographer Desmond Murray.
Perhaps I can inspire you with some golf shots on my website From this page, just click on "golf".

Monday, July 20, 2009

Forest Fires renew Fears from 2003

JULY 19, 2009 - Kelowna's scenic surroundings are making national headlines again - for a sad reason.
Two Forest Fires have forced evacuation of almost half the homes in West Kelowna, and closed the highway disecting the town of Westbank.
Recalling the devastation in 2003 when over 200 homes were consumed by fire in the Okanagan-Mission region of Kelowna, national media have quickly descended upon the city.
Fortunately, nobody has been injured and it appears only two homes have been lost to the blaze that began Saturday afternoon.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Water's the trouble?

In the middle of a hot,dry summer in the Okanagan, the most recent news around BC waterways have been sad.
On Okanagan Lake, this year's renewal of hydroplane races has been sunk by the promoter Jordan Schramm.
It's been a few years now since we've last seen the world's fastest boats racing just off the Kelowna shoreline. I enjoyed photographing the event for the sponsor Molson the last time around - even though I had to stretch my 300mm f2.8 Nikkor to its limit with a 1.4x teleconverter to get images reasonably tight.

Even sadder, a death was recently recorded on the first BC waterway I worked beside after graduating Journalism School. A rafting accident led to a fatality on the Kicking Horse River near Golden BC. It was back in the 1980's when I spent a couple summers photographing clients riding the rapids of this mountain river.

Here's a couple photos from these events in better times. More fun recreation on the water appears on my website

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Countdown to 24 hours

Can you hear the clock ticking?
It's now just 24 days to the most invigorating and inspiring 24 hours of the year in Kelowna PLUS an opportunity to win a beautiful 24" display print for your generosity.
To help out the annual 24 hour relay on June 13-14, 2009, I have just launched an online auction on Kelowna for a framed, poster-sized display print. ALL of the funds will go to the 24-hour-relay, which funds the Easter Seals Camp in Winfield plus programs at the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs.
Bidders can choose from hundreds of beautiful photos on my site ranging from stock images of Okanagan vineyards and Kelowna area orchards to lifestyle and recreational images from this lakeside paradise.
Bids will be accepted up to the minute before midnight on Sunday, June 14, 2009.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rockets Rock the WHL

First place Vancouver Giants - eliminated.
First place Calgary Hitmen - upset.
Kelowna hockey fans cheered their Junior hockey team to another WHL championship on home ice Saturday over the top-ranked Calgary Hitmen.
Next stop - Rimouski - for the Memorial Cup.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Rockets rolling

Excitement is building for the hockey playoffs once again in this sporty B.C. city of Kelowna.
While some are focused on the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL, our local fans have another team to get even more excited about - our own Kelowna Rockets in the WHL.  The team is in the driver's seat in the Western Hockey League championship series against the Calgary Hitmen, returning to home ice Monday after winning the first two games of the series in Calgary.
It reminds me of the 2004 season when the Rockets won the Memorial Cup on home ice against the best junior hockey teams across all of Canada.  That week provided a lot of outstanding action for me to photograph as the newspaper published a special daily section of Memorial Cup stories through that memorable week.
Let's hope history repeats itself this year.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kelowna writer rising

I'm constantly inspired by other artists around Kelowna - and pleasantly surprised when another is recognized internationally. I recently had the honour of photographing for the Vancouver Sun a fiction writer whose books have become popular world-wide.

Alan Bradley, 70, writer of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie and two more mysteries about a precocious English girl, 11-year-old Flavia de Luce. The series of books has been sold in 13 countries; the first of the Canadian books launched a week ago.

Similar to a common hangout for Flavia, an old church in Kelowna became an interesting background for the portrait of the Okanagan mystery writer. I hope local artists continue to be appreciated for their creative works. Some of my more recent creative works have taken life in a re-design of my website.

Monday, February 16, 2009

More news is good news

I hope people enjoy news about new developments in photography, with hi tech equipment continually adding to the digital evolution.
I've just added a news page to my main website with today's top story - the new spark in remote trigger technology.  Here's the new gadget's I've deciding between right now for when they become available in Canada for my Nikon cameras.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

On the web again ...

Feels so good to be on the web again ! Everybody sing it now, like Willy Nelson. Feels so go to be on the web again.

I've been clicking my mouse more than my Nikon cameras over the past couple of weeks, doing a redesign on My Website to add new content, cleaner navigation all under a more attractive banner.
Here's a snapshot of one major page attached to the blog. However, to really appreciate it, you've got to visit the site and see how it adjusts with the browser size.
Keep tuned... there's more to come in future weeks as I renovate the photo galleries with hundreds of my images (including many award-winners). I just hope my cameras don't get jealous that my mouse is getting more of my attention right now.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Avalanche Dangers, again

With the dawn of a new year, thoughts return over the past 52 weeks and the memorable photos captured. Naturally, any recap has a logical starting point at the beginning of the year.
Coincidentally, the first news assignment I photographed in 2008 is coming back with a vegence again 53 weeks later.
A Vancouver daily newspaper called me up on a Sunday afternoon with word of an avalanche that buried people at Big White ski resort earlier that day. Could I get photos of the search that continues in the slide path inside the ski resort, asked the assignment editor.
Quickly, I grabbed the photo gear I thought would best fit the shoot and some extra gear to get to the site. Along with set of downhill ski gear, I grabbed my telemark skis and boots - just in case I'd have to do a bit of manual pushing on the flats or even uphill.
Fortunately, I arrived in time to catch a ride on the last chairlift ride of the day (for the general public) and arrived at the cloudy summit as the light was starting to dim.
From underneath my jacket, I attached my 300mm lens to my camera body and shot a few quick shots of the searchers visible from about 500 metres away. Staff guarded the roped off access to the region, making a closeup more challenging.
Bypassing the immediate approach, a few turns down another run led to a flat area of some 300 metres of pushing to get closer to the bottom of the avalanche debris zone. Good thing I put on the telemark skis - my downhill gear would not have served me well for this skitrip.
Profusely sweating, I arrived just as the searchers were starting to pack up to leave. The new location that took me at least 500 calories of energy to get to, afforded a few quick images of ski patrollers and their helpers riding out on snowmobiles. Not much of a shot usually, but the one who was clutching his search-dog on his lap made it more interesting.
The first grab shots of the searchers made front page of at least a half-dozen daily newspapers across Canada. What a way to start a photo year.
I'll revisit a few more shots in the coming weeks.
Here's a couple photos from the event.