Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy's photography celebrates the wonders and splendor of the landscape and wildlife of Yellowstone and Montana. His adventurous nature brings him to the backcountry wildlands where he captures some of the most astounding beauty of the wildlife and scenic landscapes of Yellowstone National Park.

Biography

Tom Murphy was raised on a 7500 acre cattle ranch in western South Dakota. This experience taught him more than he wanted to know about cattle and convinced him that he didn’t want to chase cows for the rest of his life, but it also provided him with invaluable lessons in animal behavior and a deep love for clean, wide open land.
Tom graduated with honors from Montana State University in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Anthropology. He spent many years combining photography with archeological field work, locating, recording, and testing historic and prehistoric sites on the northwest plains.

Tom’s interest in photography began in 1972. In 1978 he established a professional career in photography when he moved to Livingston, Montana and built a studio there. His photographic passion and specialty is Yellowstone National Park. Since 1975 he has traveled extensively within its 3400 square miles, hiking thousands of miles and skiing on hundreds of extended overnight trips in the backcountry. He has skied across the park twice, once on a 14 day solo trip. Two things motivate him to travel carrying a heavy backpack, a desire to see Yellowstone’s wilderness backcountry, and to photograph the behaviors of free roaming wildlife and the colors, shapes, and textures of the land.

Through Wilderness Photography Expeditions, which he established in 1986, Tom built an internationally respected photography seminar series teaching natural history photography primarily in Yellowstone Park. Bonnie took care of the logistics and most importantly of all, cooked the outstanding meals during our 20 years of Yellowstone workshops. Tom was the first person licensed to lead photography tours in Yellowstone Park. One of the reasons he started his business was to give something back to wildlife and wild lands and to encourage and aid in their preservation. He donates the use of his photography to environmental groups, to support their efforts.
He lends his backcountry skills to the Park County Search and Rescue team, which he helped to organize in 1982.

His photographs have been used, both editorially and commercially, in numerous regional, national, and international publications. Clients include: Life, Architectural Digest, National Geographic, Audubon and Time. Newsweek, The New York Times Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Esquire and others have sent him on assignments. He was Cameron Diaz’s guide in Yellowstone for an MTV project and he photographed for Meredith Brokaw’s cookbook, Big Sky Cooking.
His first book, Silence and Solitude, Yellowstone’s Winter Wilderness, won a 2002 Montana Book Award. Tom’s video, Silence and Solitude, produced by Montana PBS, earned an Emmy nomination for his photography and videography. His second book, The Light of Spring , The Seasons of Yellowstone, his third book The Comfort of Autumn, and his fourth book, The Abundance of Summer are three of a set of books illustrating the four seasons of Yellowstone, published by Crystal Creek Press.
PBS Nature’s show “Christmas in Yellowstone”, first aired nationally on Nov 19 and Dec 24, 2006, and features Tom’s winter photography and some of his backcountry skiing stories. It is aired internationally each December on PBS.

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Bison at Crested Pool

Bison at Crested Pool

Tom hiked into the thermal's at Crested Pool which boils constantly producing lot's of noise and steam. In spite of...
Bison Coated with Frost

Bison Coated with Frost

Tom Murphy photographed this majestic bison during Yellowstone's fierce winter. Bison are built to withstand cold. Their head, shoulders and...
Bison in Winter at Castle Geyser

Bison in Winter at Castle Geyser

These bison were photographed by Tom Murphy in the Upper Geyser Basin. Castle Geyser is erupting in the background as...
Bison Soaking Heat from Thermal Area

Bison Soaking Heat at Thermal Area

One cold January morning Tom Murphy captured these two bison bulls who stood for several hours soaking up the heat...
Black Bear Cub Smelling Flowers

Black Bear Cub Smelling Flowers

This adorable black bear, Ursus Americanus, is a color photograph taken in Yellowstone by Montana photographer Tom Murphy
Electric Peak Alpenglow

Electric Peak Alpenglow

Tom Murphy sot this photo of Electric Peak just before sunrise the subtle yet most dramatic time of the day....
Electric Peak Gallatin Mountains

Electric Peak Gallatin Mountains

Tom Murphy captures the aspens in their brilliant fall colors with Electric Peak in the background.
Grizzly Playing with Toes

Grizzly Playing With Toes

Grizzly Playing With Toes, Yellowstone National Park, is a color photograph by Montana photographer Tom Murphy
Grizzly Sow Standing on Bison Carcass

Grizzly Sow Standing on Bison Carcass

An early morning hike in Yellowstone's Hayden Valley lead Tom Murphy and a friend to a bison carcass. There were...
Lamar River Bison

Lamar River Bison

Yellowstone Bison cross the river in Lamar Valley with the Absaroka mountain range in the background.
Moose dripping Antlers - 2

Moose Dripping Antlers

One evening after sunset Tom photographed this bull standing in a pool along Beaverdam Creek. The moose submerged his head...
Mouse Tracks and Wing Prints in Snow

Mouse Tracks and Wing Prints in Snow

Tom Murphy found this amazing imprint while skiing one January in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone. "I found this story written...
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