South Coast survivor: photographer Ken Murphy's books offer images that are timeless visions of remembrance and renewal.Photographer Ken Murphy smiles behind his camera. He notices the insignificant, a single yellow iris yellow iris
irispseudacorus. cast against a fountain of emerald leaves or a lone brown pelican The Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) is the smallest of the eight species of pelican, although it is a large bird in nearly every other regard. It is 106-137 cm (42-54 in) in length, weighs from 2.75 to 5.5 kg (6-12 lbs) and has a wingspan from 1.83 to 2.5 m (6 to 8. nested atop the gray-green waters of the Gulf of Mexico Noun 1. Gulf of Mexico - an arm of the Atlantic to the south of the United States and to the east of Mexico
Golfo de Mexico
Atlantic, Atlantic Ocean - the 2nd largest ocean; separates North and South America on the west from Europe and Africa on the east . From sky-high vantage points in helicopters or on rooftops, he gathers auspicious aus·pi·cious
1. Attended by favorable circumstances; propitious: an auspicious time to ask for a raise in salary. See Synonyms at favorable.
2. Marked by success; prosperous. images of neon cities and bustling nightlife. The 51-year-old Bay St. Louis resident views his Mississippi home as one literally teeming teem 1
v. teemed, teem·ing, teems
1. To be full of things; abound or swarm: A drop of water teems with microorganisms.
2. with natural beauty and unlimited potential. In his words, "Mississippi is the place to be."
As a Gulf Coast native living in a post-Katrina South, Murphy lost his house, his commercial photography business, and Daniel's South Beach Bar and Restaurant located on the Bay of St. Louis and co-owned with his brother Ray and nephew Daniel. Hurricane Katrina Editing of this page by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled due to vandalism. destroyed all his photographs, a body of work built over much of his lifetime and stored at home. Murphy rued the loss with only momentary regret.
"Sure, I hated losing those," said Murphy. "But I didn't dwell on that. At the end of the day, they were just things. You have to look forward, think about what's ahead. My family, although they pretty much lost everything, survived. That's what keeps me going." He and his wife, Tina, and children, Dylan, Nicolette, and Christina, have rallied together to rebuild their home.
John Evans John Evans may refer to:
v. rav·aged, rav·ag·ing, rav·ages
1. To bring heavy destruction on; devastate: A tornado ravaged the town.
2. the Gulf Coast last August, his customers repeatedly requested copies of My South Coast Home, a collection of 110 photos by Murphy published in 2001.
"When Katrina hit and all the homes were blown away, when so much was just gone, there was a real demand from people to find books with pictures of those places and of the lifestyle on the coast," said Evans. "There weren't very many books of that type available, and Ken's book was out of print. But My South Coast Home was the one that people wanted to help them remember. I think there will be a continued nostalgic demand for it, because it is the best and most complete photographic book of the coast."
This June, Ken Murphy South Publishing and Photography releases the first of two coffee table books with a reprint of My South Coast Home in its original format. The release will be closely followed by a new book called simply Mississippi, a similarly formatted collection of 140 color photos from across the state, designed and illustrated by Rick Dobbs of Browndog Creative. A special section features 20 sepia-tone post-Katrina shots that provide a stark contrast to scenes captured before the storm.
Mississippi includes photos of many familiar landmarks as well as several pictures taken off the beaten path, like "Attack of the Beaver" at Sardis Lake Sardis Lake refers to:
From the coastal region to the northern Delta, the artist's work features vibrant and endearing points of interest that make Mississippi memorable and strike a chord with residents all around the state.
"Ken Murphy's sensitivity and unusual ability to capture beauty and mood simultaneously result in extraordinary photography," said University of Mississippi The University of Mississippi, also known as Ole Miss, is a public, coeducational research university located in Oxford, Mississippi. Founded in 1848, the school is composed of the main campus in Oxford and three branch campuses located in Booneville, Tupelo, and Southaven. chancellor Robert Khayat Dr. Robert Khayat (born April 18, 1938 in Moss Point, Mississippi) is the 15th Chancellor of the University of Mississippi. He was appointed in 1995. Robert Khayat, a former student of the University of Mississippi, is the only Chancellor of the university to be a member of the .
Finding hope among the ruins following Katrina, Murphy took out his camera and chronicled the emerging signs of recovery.
"If you look at the photos in My South Coast Home, everything in there is post-Camille," said Murphy, who was living in Bay St. Louis when the infamous hurricane struck the Gulf Coast in 1969. "Realizing that gave me hope and reassurance that we could bring the beauty back again. And we are."
Murphy learned early about overcoming painful challenges. As a boy, he developed Perthes disease Per·thes disease
See osteochondritis deformans juvenilis. , an excruciating leg disorder, and lost the ability to walk. "My dad rigged up this board with wheels so I could play with my brothers," recalled Murphy. "Much of the time, I was in a full body cast. I'd ride, belly down. We beat the house up pretty good with me slamming around on that thing."
Miraculously, Murphy survived the debilitating de·bil·i·tat·ing
Causing a loss of strength or energy.
Weakening, or reducing the strength of.
Mentioned in: Stress Reduction disease and the roughhousing. He started walking again when he was seven.
In 1963, the self-described "military brat" and his family relocated to Bay St. Louis from Fort Riley Fort Riley, U.S. military post, 5,760 acres (2,331 hectares), NE Kans., on the Kansas River; est. 1852 to protect travelers on the Santa Fe Trail from attack by Native Americans. , Kansas. His mother, Helen Dedeaux Murphy Decell, a native of Bay St. Louis, moved her children back home when her husband, Dan B. Murphy, reported for duty in Vietnam.
Eight years later, at age seventeen, Murphy followed in his dad's footsteps and joined the Army.
"Mom was none too thrilled about that," said Murphy. "Vietnam was still a problem. Within eight months of joining, I was a tank sergeant in Korea, but, thankfully, the worst action I saw was barroom fights." A year later, Murphy returned stateside state·side
1. Of or in the continental United States.
2. Alaska Of or in the 48 contiguous states of the United States.
1. to Kentucky. In 1975, he was reassigned to Mannheim, Germany, where he suffered an injury that would change the course of his life forever.
"I blew my right index finger off, my 'trigger' finger, in a training accident on a tank while loading a main gun simulator," said Murphy. "It was just one of many instances where I think fate took charge and led me to do what I never expected to do."
The injury got Murphy reassigned to duty at Fort Leonard Wood Fort Leonard Wood, U.S. army post, 71,000 acres (28,700 hectares), S central Mo.; est. 1940. It is one of the largest basic-training centers in the United States and also provides training for army engineers. in Missouri. His temporary job as the base photography technician in the hobby shop revealed a passion for the field. He read books and taught himself how to take pictures. He learned photo processing and led photography classes, unintentionally teaching his students a unique technique for snapping pictures.
"One day, I looked up from my camera at the class while I was showing them how to hold and operate the equipment," said Murphy. "Every single one of them had their middle finger on the shutter release button. I guess they didn't get it, that I didn't have an index finger."
Early on, he won his first photography award. "That was the first time I had an epiphany Epiphany (ĭpĭf`ənē) [Gr.,=showing], a prime Christian feast, celebrated Jan. 6, called also Twelfth Day or Little Christmas. Its eve is Twelfth Night. that photography was what I wanted to do," said Murphy. "I found out I won third place in an Army-wide photo competition, my first contest entry. I won a $75 savings bond Savings bond
A government bond issued in face value denominations from $50 to $10,000, with local and state tax-free interest and semiannually adjusted interest rates.
A nonmarketable security issued by the U.S. for a picture of a corn shed in the fog. I lost that photo in Katrina."
After brief stints living in Arizona and Washington, Murphy returned to Bay St. Louis and opened Dan B.'s, a restaurant he co-owned with brothers Ray, Rock, Tim, and Mark and their mother. In 1983, Murphy's stepfather, Louis Decell, began supervising the business. The photographer moved to New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of to study at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Later, back in Bay St. Louis, he grieved the loss of his dad and a brother, Tim.
Murphy worked outdoors with his camera, recording the burgeoning growth of both the natural and commercial environment of his beloved Mississippi. His photos drew instant appeal as they appeared in regional publications and on calendars.
"As corny corn·y
adj. corn·i·er, corn·i·est
Trite, dated, melodramatic, or mawkishly sentimental.
[From corn1. as this may sound," said Murphy, "I always felt that I was on a mission from God, because I was purposefully being led down a path, one that I took in spite of myself. I'm not the most religious person. But so many extraordinary things had to happen to get me where I am. When I decided to do My South Coast Home, I always sensed there was a reason. Now, after Katrina, I think I know why."
Audrey Jonckheer, a director at Eastman Kodak Company in Rochester, New York This article is about the city of Rochester in Monroe County. For the town in Ulster County, see Rochester, Ulster County, New York.
Rochester, once known as The Flour City, and more recently as The Flower City or , lauds Lauds is one of the two "major hours" in the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours. It is to be recited in the early morning hours, preferably near dawn. Structure of the hour Murphy's accomplishments. "We were introduced to Ken's work a few years ago when he sent us a copy of My South Coast Home," said Jonckheer. "My colleagues and I were struck by the warmth and beauty of the South that Ken captured in all his images."
A staunch Kodak film user, Ken requested support from Kodak for his ongoing photo projects. "We were delighted to provide him Kodak film," said Jonckheer. "Over the years, I've developed a great friendship with Ken, who is a talented, very humble, and kind artist. We at Kodak are proud to support Ken and are thrilled that his next book will be published."
In Bay St. Louis, Susan Daigre, owner of Bookends bookstore, said she believes the re-release of My South Coast Home and Murphy's new title, Mississippi, will help heal the wounds inflicted by Katrina.
"We need those books," said Daigre. "That reprint is important because the book is such a beautiful record of the Gulf Coast before Katrina. People who don't live here keep asking me, 'Why are you staying?' When I show them what's in that book, nothing else needs to be said. I know Ken's Mississippi will do the same for us. It will help us continue to heal."
Noting a dark cloud dark cloud
See absorption nebula. on Mississippi's hopeful horizon, Murphy denounces the widespread litter he sees on his photographic jaunts and the lack of unity of Mississippians across the state.
"The litter is a real problem," said Murphy. "And I wasn't aware of how regional we are until I started working on Mississippi. What I want these books to do is to show how beautiful and diverse our state is. We could do a lot more for our state and for economic development if we would get together, become closer, and promote all of Mississippi."
As he rebuilds his business and his Bay St. Louis home, Murphy takes time to fish the warm Gulf waters and photograph those things that remind him why living in Mississippi is such a pleasure.
"My next book will be about rebirth," said Murphy. "Mississippi's most redeeming characteristic is her beauty. Together, we can bring out the best in this state."
As seen through Ken Murphy's lens, Mississippi shines with splendor and infinite promise. His timeless photographs record her enduring majesty and grace while his vigilant eye scans the horizon for all that he knows she can be.
MY SOUTH COAST HOME
Photographs by Ken Murphy. Reprint available in June. Hardcover, $65 until August 29, then $75. Ken Murphy South Publishing and Photography, 228/216-0465, www.kenmurphysouth.com.
Photographs by Ken Murphy. Available in November. Hardcover, $65 pre-sale; $75 after release. Ken Murphy South Publishing and Photography, 228/216-0465, www.kenmurphysouth.com.
Both books will be available at Square Books, Oxford; Lemuria, Jackson; Campus Book Mart, Main Street Books, and Plum's Gifts, Hattiesburg; Bookends, Bay St. Louis; Pass Christian Books, Pass Christian; Beau Rivage The Beau Rivage is a waterfront casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, USA. It is owned and operated by MGM Mirage. Beau Rivage was rebuilt and re-opened a year after Hurricane Katrina (see details below). The Beau Rivage hotel is currently the tallest building in Mississippi. , Biloxi; Barnes and Noble and Books-A-Million; and most online bookstores.
Corporate editions of each title are also available. These special print runs require a minimum order of 200 books at $25,000. These editions include a first chapter written by the business and feature custom photos by Ken Murphy on contract or submitted photos. Submitted photos must meet editor's standards. The book cover is customized with a nameplate.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEN MURPHY