Depth of Field — An Australian Fortnight

In photography, depth of field is a term used to describe the zone within a shot that appears acceptably sharp. It is one of the most powerful tools a photographer has to draw attention towards (or away from) a particular subject. It also happens to be the title I chose for a new series.

“Depth of Field” will evolve, I’m sure, but the basic premise is to showcase a chosen theme in photos. I hope that it may also eventually serve as a reminder that though we so often choose to focus on the specifics, there is really much more depth behind every challenge and opportunity.


In September of last year, I humbly accepted the opportunity to travel to Australia alongside the Five Nations Beef Alliance. I still struggle to write of the trip, though it’s never far from my mind. The journey ended up being so more than just a conference; it was a journey through cultures, a tour of industry, an exploration of identity and many really painful sunburns.

"Night Light" Just a few nights before the renowned Brisbane Festival, which paints the sky, as well as the water, with light.
“Night Light”
Just a few nights before the renowned Brisbane Festival, which paints the sky, as well as the water, with light.
Brisbane - Debra Murphy
“A Brisbane Day”
With a population of over 2 million, if the capital of Queensland ever rests, it’s mid-day, mid-week, while the people work
Grounded - Debra Murphy“Grounded”

An exhibit at the Queensland Maritime Museum, this is the ST Forceful, a coal-fired steam tug built in 1925. Behind her rests “Australia’s largest World War II Veteran,” the HMAS Diamantina.

"Tweet Deck" - Debra Murphy
“Tweet Deck”
Our tour was rich with wildlife and the ocean in particular, presented life vastly different from that of the Canadian plains. I speculate these to be Phalacrocorax sulcirostris or Little Black Cormorants.
Charlotte's Forest - Debra Murphy
“Charlotte’s Forest”
If you’re arachnophobic, it’s likely you won’t believe any spider to be entirely harmless, but this spiny orb-weaver is fairly timid and not considered dangerous. Its web can be an incredible 2m in diameter.
Tranquil Waters - Debra Murphy
“Tranquil Waters”
Chuckles - Debra Murphy
“Chuckles”
This is a kookaburra. With a song that so closely resembles human laughter, every time a kookaburra pipes up, you can be certain a Canadian tried — and failed — to say its name.
Friendly Foe - Debra Murphy
“Friendly Foe”
The Alpha Bull - Debra Murphy
“The Alpha Bull”
This photo was taken at a ranch we toured near Rolleston. The majority of Queensland cattle have Bos indicus genetics, increasing their tolerance to ticks and heat.
Red Drover - Debra Murphy
“A Drover’s ‘G’day'”
Any number of things can drive a man to drove, including drought. One of the biggest challenges can be finding water for the herd.
Hands Full - Debra Murphy
“Hands Full”
Yeah, look: this is a unique handling system, that allows one person to “man” many gates, making sorting manageable with even a small crew.
Great Day, eh? - Debra Murphy
“Great Day, eh?”
John Masswohl, Director of Government and International Relations at Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.
Thoughtful Farewell - Debra Murphy
“Thoughtful Farewell”

Until our next dive into Depth of Field, hooroo.

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