The Australian’s Colin Murty, the photographer responsible for the widely-published image of a coffin containing 10-week-old asylum seeker being carried onto a plane is extremely humble about the success of his photo.
“It needs to be remembered that without Paige Taylor, the journalist responsible for the story, and all her hard work, if she hadn’t told me about what was going on and where to be to be, this never would have happened. All I did was take the photo,” Mr Murty said.
The photograph and accompanying story gained massive coverage at the time of publication and has now led to Mr Murty being nominated for several awards.
Last Friday night Mr Murty took out the trophy for the best photograph at the 2013 West Australian Media Awards – and it won’t be the last awards ceremony he will be attending over the coming weeks.
“Well to be honest, it was a great privilege and honour, and it was a good night,” he said. “I’ve then got the News Corp awards on Friday and then the Walkeys in November, so let’s just see.”
When the photograph was first published, Mr Murty was taken totally by surprise with the reaction it received,
“I liked the photo personally, but I did not realise the impact it had on people. I heard that it was on some morning programs, then The Project, and that shocked me.
“I also received e-mails from people around the country saying that it really made them sit back and think about what was going on. It was then I realised that the photograph may have been a bit stronger than I actually thought.”
Mr Murty feels as though photos like his serve the greater purpose of keeping governments honest.
“Without photos like these ones, people would know what’s happening.”
Mr Murty is now back in the office, getting back to his day-to-day tasks as a photographer on the ground in Perth.
“I’m now back in the Perth bureau doing what I was before, just taking regular photos for the paper,” he said. “They always say you’re only as good as you last photo which is good, because otherwise you’d get a big head and lose sight of what we are here for – which is to record history so that people can remember what has happened in the past.”