Photos I Wish I Had Taken: Joshua J. Branson

Photos I Wish I Had Taken: Joshua J. Branson

The Llama Train | Photo: Joshua J. Branson

In this installment of Photo’s I Wish I Had Taken, I wanted to show you this photo I found by Joshua J. Branson.  I think it’s an incredibly nice picture.


When I think about photography and communicating a sense of place, for me, this image is a perfect example. I don’t know about you, but I get a chill just looking at it. I can feel the cold and the weight of the snow bearing down on the limbs of the trees; I can smell the snowflakes floating to the ground. I understand immediately what it’s like deep in the woods on a snowy day.

Surprisingly, what first caught my attention was the pinkish hue of the llamas and the man’s hat juxtaposed to the white of the snow. What a lovely, dreamy quality the pink adds to the photo. Along with the fog and the snowflakes hitting the lens, the photo reminds me of an old-fashioned hand painted scene from a Grimms’ fairytale.

I also admire the composition’s balanced but opposing leading lines: The llamas in single file, standing along the muddy path, drawing the eye back into the frame as if both the trail and animals could go on indefinitely. The slightly left-leaning diagonal lines created by the tree trunks in the background offsetting the more pronounced slope of the mountain which bisects the picture from bottom left to top right.

I like that we can’t see the subject’s face in the photo. I think the mystery lends itself to sensibility of the image. If the person were facing the camera I don’t think the image would have half as powerful. Do you agree?

All in all, it’s such a beautiful picture!

What do you think of this photo?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I’d love your take.

16 replies »

  1. Josh takes breathtaking photos but this is by far one of my favorites! I’m related by marriage but I’m also a pretty harsh critic and I live his stuff!

  2. It definitely transports you to far off places. A fantastic shot – but to have taken it would have meant actually being in that freezing weather. So, I’m pleased it wasn’t me who took the photo. Whoever did though – wow!

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