Murray Johnston was born in Fife and educated in Edinburgh and Dundee. From 1969-1972 he worked as a medical photographer. He was the first photographer in residence at Kielder Forest, Northumberland in 1980. From 1982-8 he was Director of the Stills Gallery in Edinburgh, giving particular encouragement to Scottish photographers. From 1988 he was Head of Photography at Edinburgh College of Art and in 1987 he founded Scottish Photographic Works (with Kate Johnston) to promote Scottish photography. In 1989 he organised the major exhibition Scottish Camera Art Now (with David Britain) for the Houston Fotofest. His last published work was Edinburgh Past and Present (1990).