The Difference

What is the difference between a snapshot and an image?

A difficult question that can in essence be answered very easily; time.


  • It takes time to learn how to use your camera, to understand what it is capable of.

  • It takes time to learn how to see, how to look at things differently.

  • It takes time to learn that there is more in a scene than what you first see.

  • It takes time to learn that the first time that you come across a composition may not necessarily be the best time to take the image.


This image was taken in Waldenburg. It's a place that usually doesn't see too much water and images of waterfalls tend not to work without water so as it had water flowing it would seem like the perfect time to take the shot.

It's not at least not for me, this is a snapshot.


The composition doesn't work for me as there is too much going on, too much distraction. The foreground is too messy and the layers that come from the waterfalls are not reflected in the forest. It needs something to concentrate how the image is seen and lead the eye into further the image.

  • It needs just enough water, but not too much.

  • It needs water that's not brown.

  • It needs mist to help to create depth in the forest.

  • And it needs a better composition.


The water flow and the colour is easy enough to judge once the water is there. After several days of heavy rain, it will flow, but you have to wait until a slows down slightly for the water to clear although not too long so that there isn't enough water.

The mist is more difficult, but it can, fortunately, be expected during times with a lot of rain.

Two of the three requirements aren't exactly plannable, but once you know what you need at a certain location you plan for when they arrive.

The third is the composition, this one is down to learning and your experience.



This image is the result of bringing all of the parts together. I spent time looking for a composition that fit to what I expected. The water is at a level that creates enough flow but isn't too brown and the mist creates the separation in the forest isolating trees and defining the two sides to bring depth into the image.