Nancy Armstrong  

Agriculture by Nancy Armstrong

July 2024 - Agriculture

About the Image(s)

I took this photo in May of this year on a cattle ranch while visiting Central Kansas. It depicts the biannual task of branding and vaccinating new calves that were born on the ranch in recent months.

I was impressed with the fact that it took all of the family members plus a band of traveling cowboys to get it accomplished. I’ve titled it “A Family Affair” as Mom, Dad, and any child over the age of 10 or so had clearly assigned duties in the process.

I know there are lots of things wrong with this photo, mostly to do with cutting things off at the edges that I wish I had more of in the frame. There was always a lot going on wherever you pointed your camera! I tried to fix what I could by cropping and cloning, but I hope I get another chance at some point to try this again.

8 comments posted

Srijan Roy Choudhury   Srijan Roy Choudhury
Beautiful image. Thank you for sharing. The story became very pronounced because of the monotone. I only wish the calf was a little more clearer in the image.   Posted: 07/06/2024 02:44:09
Nancy Armstrong   Nancy Armstrong
Thanks Saran. I agree it would have been great to have more of the calf in the photo. I am going to look through other images of the process to see if there are any featuring more of the calf.   Posted: 07/08/2024 12:12:01

Carole Kropscot   Carole Kropscot
I like your creative "non-vegetarian" interpretation of agriculture. I agree it is hard to take a rodeo photo that isn't filled with all sorts of interesting things to look at. Since your photo is about cattle branding, I tried cropping to get the branding iron near the center. Then I "removed" somebody in the background. Vignetting. Lightened the darks of the cattle to see it better. A long skinny picture might be too odd looking. But it was fun trying!   Posted: 07/06/2024 16:57:20
Comment Image
Nancy Armstrong   Nancy Armstrong
Thanks Carole - I do like your version much better! I need to go back and look through my shots with a different perspective. I heard someone watching the process say it looked like a ballet, and I completely agreed. There were many moving parts, but it wasn't really hectic. It was all very coordinated. But in a still photo a wide shot of the scene does end up looking rather frantic.   Posted: 07/08/2024 12:18:43

Melissa Cramer Sonnen   Melissa Cramer Sonnen
Nancy - I love this one. This process has sure changed with the years. Gone is the irons stuck in the fire. And pneumatic vaccination machine? - wow. I do wish more of the calf was showing. But I love the people in the background - I only wish they wre watching the proceedings. I think mono is the only medium for this shot - color would be too distracting.   Posted: 07/08/2024 10:18:28
Nancy Armstrong   Nancy Armstrong
Thanks Melissa. I'm getting some really good perspectives and wanting to see more of the calf is consistent.i'm going to look through my other photos to see what else I can find.   Posted: 07/08/2024 12:22:05

Lisa Salisbury Hackley   Lisa Salisbury Hackley
I love this Nancy, and love the choice of black and white for the image. I am wondering if you could do some adjustments with highlights and shadows to tone down the shirts and maybe bring out the calf a bit more. I especially like the boy kneeling and watching while holding the second calf.   Posted: 07/08/2024 14:02:48
Nancy Armstrong   Nancy Armstrong
Thanks Lisa. I've gotten a lot of great advice on this one including yours so I'm going to go back and either crop this one in much tighter or possibly look for another image with a little different perspective.   Posted: 07/08/2024 15:07:31


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