“Three images go into making your final photograph. The first is the image you visualize—the story you are compelled to tell. The second is the scene you capture with the camera. The third is the image you refine in post-production. The better we are at all of these, the closer our final photograph will come to reflecting our initial vision.”
~David duChemin, Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision

We don’t get a lot of snow here in Georgia. Today I’m watching our second of the season melt away into mud and slush.

After our first snow, I drove past a field near our house and was struck by a large, isolated tree and the winding path that tire marks had cut into the snow leading past it. My camera wasn’t with me and therefore the scene wasn’t captured.

When it snowed yesterday, I took my camera and managed catch the image I’d sought the first time. Unfortunately, the snow was fresh; no path to draw the eye.


Although the snow was melting rapidly today, I knew the tire tracks would be there and drove back to the location. This is what I captured.


I brought both photos out of Lightroom and into Photoshop and created a layered image, aligning the trees in each shot. Today’s shot, with the tire ruts, was on bottom; yesterday’s was on top. I added a layer mask to the top layer and painted until the ruts in the bottom photo were revealed.

The lighting was much different, which made yesterday’s mud dark gray and today’s brown. I saved the composite image back into Lightroom and there converted it to a high contrast black and white image, emphasizing the starkness of the winter scene.

We get so little snow, I’ve got to milk it for all it’s worth. 😉


Yes, the final image took time, energy, and effort, but photography is much more satisfying when I have a vision and work towards achieving it.

Do you shoot with a vision?

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