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