PlainSky, Nebraskans: The Cut, Kreman Ranch

The Cut, Kreman Ranch

The Cut, Kreman Ranch

One of the most well-known National Geographic images is Sam Abell’s “Branding, Ken Rosman Ranch, Montana.” It’s so good that it recently made the magazine’s top 50 photos of all time, and photographic legend and Magnum full member Alex Webb has said of it, “This is what we’re all trying to do.” My style has been influenced immensely by this photo, as well as one of Abell’s other works, “Fisherman Hauling in a Net, Canada.” Yet, imitation is a fool’s hope of originality, so while I can continue to admire the image and learn from its teachings, I can’t, and shouldn’t, try to make another just like it.

But on a Saturday morning branding at the Kreman ranch, I found a chance to reverse the composition as much as possible. Thanks for the lessons, Mr. Abell.


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