VIDEO: Sam Abell
Hi Band

Low Band

All the elements of the finished photograph are present in the first frame. Of these the most important is the deep background where prairie and sky meet on a clean and graceful horizon. On this foundation the photograph is built.

I concentrated the composition on one cowboy and the action around him. I was after a layered picture and though circumstances were best for this when, in frame two, the calf was branded. But layering depends on separation of elements and that didn't exist at the top of the frame.

Without moving, I turned my attention to the horse and rider and swung the composition rightward as they moved off. A man approached from the left carrying a bucket, spoiling the exit of the rider. I recomposed on the cowboy and made the final frame as, simultaneously, a new tableau of cowboys appeared in the distance and the bucket swung to the edge of the frame.

My colleagues like this picture for its complexity but I want something more in it. I want the branding iron.



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